5 inspiring places for artistic family adventures in Honolulu
OK, we will be the first to say it: Art can be boring for children. Quiet museums, “no contact” signs and abstract subjects are obstacles to discovering the joy of art. So how do we keep our keiki engaged? Our answer: Learn by doing and moving! Reverse the stifling stereotype of the museum and venture out to explore these active ideas for artistic excursions around the island.
1. Spectacular street art
Get their blood pumped and the spirits embark on a treasure hunt to locate kid-friendly murals. First of all, the street art mecca, Kaka’ako. Every year, Pow! Wow! Hawaiian artists paint this neighborhood from the sidewalk to the canopy with colorful and evocative artwork. Children will especially enjoy the superheroes: Hulk, Spider-Man and Captain America on Cooke Street between Halekauwila Street and Ala Moana Boulevard. Next, turn into Auahi Street to spot the life-size singing alien robot mural in Lana Lane.
Next, head to Mō’ili’ili to admire the new mural at Old Stadium Park (2237 S. King St.), which describes the history of the neighborhood. The intense colors, youthful faces, racing cars, and baseball references will appeal to the keiki, although they may be distracted by the newly renovated play structure nearby.
Another stop in the hunt is the hidden rainbow tunnel in Mililani. This pedestrian access tunnel under the Kamehameha Expressway, just west of the Mililani High School athletics, has been transformed into a colorful cave of wonder. Children can stretch their legs and check who has the strongest echo.
What you need to know: Prepare your camera, because all of these places offer Instagram-worthy photo ops (as long as your family is cooperating). Hitting the curb is a hot and tiring affair, so you may have to bribe the kids with a hydration stop at fan favorite Waiola Shave Ice (2135 Waiola St.), conveniently located one block from the Old Stadium Park.
SEE ALSO: ️ Art Class Made Easy: Fun and Easy Hawai’i Drawing Tutorials Keiki Will Love
2. Parents Night Out Workshops at KidzArt Windward
We can’t tell who’s the most excited about that monthly evening deposit program — parents or children. Art and Pizza Class Night allows kids ages 3 and up to get creative while parents enjoy a night out on the town (Kailua Town, that is). Get your craft beer at Maui Brewing Co. or Lanikai Brewing Co. while your little Picassos craft all night long on projects like designing a fedora hat, making a puppet, or weaving flowerpots out of it. macrame. With pizza, Capri Sun and pajamas, at 9 p.m., your keiki won’t be ready to go again.
What there is to know: The art room with its double sliding glass doors and its veranda opening onto the lawns offers children a space to be inspired and parents peace of mind regarding the circulation of air and the social distancing. Tip: Book your appointments for the rest of the year (August-December) and benefit from a reduction. Also ask about the sibling discount!
Parents Night Out workshops take place on the third Friday of each month. $ 58 per child for a drop-in or $ 275 per child for the five events this fall. St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, 93 N. Kainalu Drive, Kailua, (808) 354-5905, kidzart.com, @kidzartwindward
3. Sculpture garden at the Hawai’i State Art Museum
A small oasis nestled in at the rear of the museum, the sculpture garden provides a refreshing contrast to the hustle and bustle of the city center and the serious atmosphere of the museum’s indoor exhibits. Playful sculptures prove that art can be relatable, and even humorous. Children will laugh at the mashup sculpture, “Mr. Chickenpants”, which stands in the center of the garden. Animal lovers will be drawn to “Jax Bench”, a sculpture of three dogs standing guard. For keiki who would like (almost) to defy the laws of physics, “walk” on water at the “Waikui” sculpture, a glass piece representing the YMCA swimming pool that once stood there.
What there is to know: Take advantage of the three picnic tables in the garden for a serene afternoon tea. The afternoon shade makes it a great after-school hangout, with artificial turf and plenty of springboards for jumping and exploring.
Free entry. 250 S. Hotel St. (808) 586-0900, hisam.hawaii.gov, @hawaiistateartmuseum
SEE ALSO: 🐓 HiSAM’s Sculpture Garden has reopened with a whimsical new sculpture by May Izumi
4. Pottery Painting at Clay Café Hawai’i
Sloths and unicorns to fighter jets and jewelry boxes, keiki will love selecting an unpainted ceramic piece, planning a design, and painting her own project from start to finish. Parents can even have fun with dozens of useful dressing bowls, trays and mugs. The price is determined by the size of the clay piece you select and includes a two hour work session with paint, tools, glaze and baking. Return in seven to 10 days to collect your finished part. Take your design to the next level by blowing paint bubbles with a straw, splashing color with a toothbrush, or transferring a favorite image to your room.
What there is to know: “Café” is in the name for a reason. Keiki can be just as creative with his own personalized smoothie to sip on while he works. And, in case you were wondering, the paint (and smoothies) will wash off their clothes!
Prices range from $ 16 for small figurines to $ 30 for mugs to $ 130 for large platters. Recommended for ages 7 and up. One must reserve. McCully Shopping Center, 1960, boul. Kapi’olani, unit 208, (808) 589-1808, claycafehawaii.com, @claycafehawaii
5. Messy monster art club at the Kroc Center Hawai’i
Do you have a messy monster at home? Keep your keiki creative (and keep the clutter out of your home) with this parent engagement course. Kids ages 3-10 socialize by learning new songs and activities each month, and tackle seasonal-themed craft projects. If you prefer to participate virtually, you can collect all the crafting supplies in advance and log into the course from home.
What there is to know: Artists aged 5 to 10 can immerse themselves in painting, drawing and sculpture in clay during the Centre’s Art Explorations course, which takes place on Saturdays from September 11 to October 16, 2021.
Messy Monsters Art Club is offered one Friday per month from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. $ 5 for members and $ 10 for non-members. 91-3257 Kualaka’i Parkway, ‘Ewa Beach, (808) 682-5505, kroccenterhawaii.org, @kroccenterhi