Kid-Friendly Beaches in Oahu

Best Kid-Friendly Beaches in Oahu

You cannot go anywhere in Oahu without running into a beach. As a parent, our first concern is for our children’s safety. It is important to know which beaches are the most kid-friendly. 

The best thing about the beach is they are free, you can enjoy the sun, warm water, and soft sand. We spent 8 days in Oahu with our 9-month-old baby and found the most kid-friendly beaches in Oahu.   

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Baby Cee enjoying the sand.

Kid-Friendly Beaches in North Oahu  

Enjoying Shark’s Cove

Pupukea Tide Pool

This tide pool is also known as shark cove and this is because the rocks at the beach are like the teeth of a shark. Do not let the name fool you this beach has calm waves and is perfect for snorkeling with kids. Be advised there are a lot of rocks that require swim shoes as they can be very slippery.  

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Kuilima Cove

This the perfect spot for snorkeling and seeing beautiful colorful coral without the crowds. The current is manageable making it perfect for kids, but the water isn’t as clear as other beaches in Oahu. If you are looking for a beach that is off the beaten path, has ample parking, and some sea life this is the beach for you.   

Tip: There are snorkel equipment and beach chairs available for rent here.  

Reef-Friendly Sunscreen

Waimea Bay

This is the perfect place to do everything swimming, surfing, snorkeling, and surfing. You can plan the perfect family outing in the summer with many surfers abandoning the beach for better waves. The water can be crystal clear allowing you to see straight into the water to the sand below. 

If you have older kids, there are amazing underwater tunnels only a few minutes from the shoreline. There are fish swimming along beside you as you make your way through the tunnels.  

Caution: In the winter waves can reach heights of up to 30 feet, the best time to visit is when the waves are calm in the summer. Be cautious the shallow shoreline drops off quickly. 

Tip: If you want to avoid the crowds the sunset from this beach is as breathtaking as sunset beach.  

Sunset Beach 

Sun setting at Sunset Beach

The name says it all. After a day lounging on the beach there is nothing more beautiful than watching the sunset over the ocean. If you plan on going to watch the sunset, get there early to find parking because it can get crowded.  

Watching the sunset from the rocks at Sunset Beach

Kid-Friendly Beaches in East Oahu  

Lanikai Beach

Lanikai Beach

It can be frustrating to find parking so you may want to arrive early or later in the day. You will likely have to park in a neighborhood off the street and walk to the beach. 

With soft white sand, this beach is one of the most beautiful on the island. This is a great place for kids to enjoy because it is shallow for quite some distance. 

The hassles to find parking is certainly worth it to relax on a beach that looks like it can be on a postcard.   

Tip: There are no bathroom or shower facilities available at this beach. 

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Hanging out at Kailua Beach

Kailua Beach

Located next to Lanikai. Kailua must be considered the second most beautiful beach on Oahu. With more parking, it is easier to access this beach. 

With the same beautiful soft powdery sand and gorgeous blue water Kailua is the perfect place to spend your day. Unlike Lanikai, this beach has restroom facilities and showers. 

The underrated sister beach is also larger than Lanikai stretching over 2.5 miles giving your family more space to find the perfect spot. 

Baby Sun Hats

Bellow Field Beach Park (Waimanalo)

You will need to have base access to go to this beach during the week. It is a great place to go to get away from the crowds and tourists due to restricted access.

The beach is open to the public on the weekend and holidays. Enjoy the soft, white, warm, powdery sand between your toes. The best activities for this beach are surfing, fishing, picnicking, and bodysurfing.  

Kualoa Beach Park

This beach is not so great for swimming, but you can camp here. This made the list because of the beautiful views of Chinaman’s hat from this beach. It is the perfect place for a photo op.  

Caution: Jellyfish are known to be in this area so proceed with caution. 

Kid-Friendly Beaches in West Oahu  

Ko Olina Lagoons 

These man-made lagoons are not to be missed while in Oahu. These lagoons are located on the western leeward side of the island. The san is important from the neighboring island Lanai.

There are rock levies that encase the lagoon to allow for calm water and protection from strong waves. This is the ultimate destination for families with smaller kids and babies.  

There is parking available at all lagoons with the largest being lagoon #4. Arrive early and park at lagoon #4 and walk to the other lagoons.  

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Kid-Friendly Beaches in South Oahu 

Sandy Beach

Sandy Beach 

This beach is perfect if you have older children who like to bodyboarding and bodysurfing. This can also be a great place to enjoy a picnic with a table scattered throughout the park.

Just know that you will be finding sand for days if you visit this beach because it is so fine and gets everywhere and we do mean everywhere.  

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

I am sure this place needs no introduction as it is considered the best snorkeling spot on the island. You should arrive early because the parking lots fill up quickly.

Please be aware the bay is closed on Tuesdays to allow the fish and turtles to enjoy their environment without human interference. This is the only beach on this list that includes a cost: 

  • Children 12 and under – free 
  • Hawaii residents with proper ID – free 
  • Active duty military – free 
  • Parking fee – $1 
  • Adults 13 and older – $7.50 

Ala Moana Beach

Ala Moana Beach

This beach has something to offer everyone in the family. There is plenty of shade available with banyan trees scattered throughout the park, picnic tables, concession stands, walking paths, surfing and tennis courts.

This beach has everything you need to enjoy an entire day of fun in the sun. Located next to a marina you can enjoy a bit of adventure and go parasailing.  

Baby Sunglasses

Bonus: A local secret beach “Sherwood Forest Beach”

A female sea turtle came on the beach.

If you are looking for something off the beaten path this is the place for you. This is a great family beach that the locals use. If you are looking for a place away from crowding and tourist as well as some great snorkeling this is the place for you.

This beach is kid-friendly with manageable currents and even sea turtles. We were able to see a beautiful large female turtle.

Tip: There are lifeguards on the beach and clean facilities.

Bonus: If you are heading to another island in Hawaii like Maui here are some awesome things to do.

Have more kid-friendly beaches in Oahu? Comment below.

Pinterest_Kid-Friendly Beaches Oahu

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Last update on 2022-07-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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12 thoughts on “Kid-Friendly Beaches in Oahu”

  1. I am sure a lot of families with little children will appreciate this post! You’re right about how Oahu has beaches wherever you go and it’s key , if you are with little children, to know the best ones which are safe. The shark cove does sound a bit scary but since you say it’s great for snorkelling and calm for kids, I guess the name is misleading. Kuilima Cove sounds perfect with the coral, for snorkelling.

  2. I read Oahu and shark cove and baby – and its a good thing that you clarified it refers more to the sharp rocks that probably keeps away the sharks. What a nice read to have to the point which beaches are worth visiting and what to see there. Parents with young children will appreciate this post!

  3. Such a fantastic list of kid friendly beaches. I agree that safety must be first when it comes to our children. Thanks so much for putting together this great list. Will make my planning so much easier

  4. Hawaii is a dream destination of mine, and Oahu just looks wonderful. I’ve got no kids (yet) but these beaches look dreamy to me too! I especially like Sunset Beach and Ala Moana Beach. Your baby is adorable too btw!

  5. I’ve seen lots of Ko Olina Lagoons pictures from my friend who lives not too far from there. And I’m jealous. I’m glad you found this beach though. Waimea Bay sounds interesting with its crystal clear water and underwater tunnels. Not only my son, I think I will like the walk to the tunnels as well.

  6. So many things to do in one place! I am sure for families with kids would like this information. It is a holiday place without too many stress. It is nice to know that the costs there are not so high.

  7. I have not travelled to this part of the world but if I did I would surely visit some of these Kid-Friendly Beaches in Oahu. I normally travel with my kids and can’t think of better places than these as all that brings a smile on their face is the beach. Sheer wood forest beach with its turtle surely makes it a place I would want to visit. Good to know some of these are frequented by the locals as well. Thanks for sharing some great beaches.

  8. Pupukea Tide Pool aka shark cove?! This sounds like a place for me and my family to visit! The sunset at Sunset Beach looks absolutely gorgeous, I just need to go there!

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