Even in the middle of a picturesque island paradise vacation, sometimes a rainy day can come along and put a damper on things. But don’t let a little rain get you down! A rainy day can be the perfect opportunity to explore and discover new things if you enjoy a change of pace and a bit of adventure.
On a recent trip to Oahu, my boyfriend and I found ourselves in the midst of the rainy season. Instead of letting the weather get us down, we decided to make the most of it by seeking to do indoor activities to keep us entertained. We ended up having some of the best experiences of our trip, exploring the island’s rich history, visiting aquariums and planetariums, and even doing some shopping.
If you are stuck indoors on a rainy day in Oahu, don’t worry – plenty of great activities keep you entertained. There’s something for everyone, from museums and art galleries to shopping malls and historic sites like Pearl Harbour. And even if it’s not raining, these indoor activities are still worth checking out, whether you’re traveling as a couple or with a family.
Let’s get started!
#1. Bishop Museum – The Largest Collection of Polynesian Artifacts on Earth for Rainy Days Oahu
This museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the native people of Hawaii and the rich history of Polynesian culture. It has existed since the 18-hundreds, so there is lots to see. The building is spacious and beautiful, with exhibits spread across three floors (there’s even an elevator for those who need it). There is so much to see, and it’s family-friendly.
I bought tickets online, but many days there is space to buy right at the door. Tickets are $26.95 per adult and well worth the 3 hours we spent exploring.
We particularly enjoyed the tattoo exhibit and the history of boats from ancient to modern times. My boyfriend enjoyed all the modern street art. The artifacts are well-labeled and provide a comprehensive look at the history of Hawaii. The employees at the museum are also friendly and informative.
One of the highlights of our visit was the planetarium show. Several shows are available, and we chose Ngā Tohunga Whakatere: The Navigators. It was extremely well done and lasted about 45 minutes. The museum also has a snack shop, so we were able to grab some food and water during our visit.
This is the best place to visit on a rainy day because:
- It is exciting and informative, with a vast number of exhibits.
- They have a great planetarium with multiple (and different) shows each day.
- Not too crowded, with helpful and friendly staff.
- There are displays of modern street art, traditional Polynesian culture, and interactive and fun displays for children.
Address: 1525 Bernice St, Honolulu, HI 96817
#2. Waikiki Aquarium – Best Indoor Activity for Kids in Oahu
Located on the shores of Waikiki Beach, this aquarium is the perfect place to see the native fish and sea life of Hawaii.
On a recent trip to Oahu, my boyfriend and I decided to visit the Waikiki Aquarium on a rainy day. We were not disappointed – the aquarium is small but well-maintained, with a wide variety of marine life on display.
We spent an hour here, and it was wonderful. Tickets for adults were $12.00 each. One of the best things about the Waikiki Aquarium is that the University of Hawaii runs it, so you’re supporting a valuable educational institution by visiting.
The exhibits are well-labeled, and interactive elements and touch screens make it easy to learn about the different species. We particularly enjoyed the jellyfish exhibit and the large fish display.
I enjoyed the large collection of coral and anemone-like Invertebrates with some unusual-looking creatures. There is also a small fish display with some fun and colorful species.
It is the second oldest aquarium in the US, and it’s great to visit and support. The aquarium also has a nice gift shop where you can pick up souvenirs or gifts for friends and family back home.
This is a great place to visit because:
- They have a large collection of tropical and native fish.
- They have a good collection of jellyfish.
- There is an impressive coral collection.
- Exhibits are interactive and very informative. The staff is friendly and helpful.
- The University of Hawaii runs the aquarium, and it’s an excellent opportunity to support them.
Address: 2777 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
#3. The Ala Moana Centre – The Biggest and Best Shopping Mall
So this is an open-air mall, but it’s the biggest one in the world! They host events like hula shows, music performances, and more. I enjoyed the shopping and dining they have to offer. Even though it is open-air, there is plenty of coverage, so you won’t get wet on a rainy day.
There is plenty of parking. There are more stores and restaurants here than I could count. I read somewhere that there are over 350, including restaurants, department stores, and local shops. They even have an app for navigating the mall and stores.
We spent over 3 hours here and also had some great food and snacks. Even if you are not looking to buy clothes or apparel, there are great stores like Diamond Head Chocolate Company (high-end handmade chocolate anyone?)
For food, check out the Blue Hawaii Lifestyle, which is a great local eatery. We enjoyed poke bowls and splitting a Panini sandwich. Also, try their Mango, papaya, pineapple, and strawberry smoothie (I loved it!) Han No Daidokoro also has a great Korean barbecue (yes, we ate twice!)
Visit the Ala Moana Centre on your rainy day because:
- It’s the largest open-air mall in the world, with over 350 shops and restaurants.
- There are excellent local businesses and shops found all in one place.
- It’s a great place to buy souvenirs and have a good meal.
- They often have live music, hula dancers, and even fashion shows to enjoy.
Address: 1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814
#4. Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum – Best Indoor Activity for Adults in Oahu
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Pearl Harbor and World War II, the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum is a great place to visit on a rainy day in Oahu. This nonprofit museum offers a fascinating look at the attack on Pearl Harbor and the role of aviation in the war.
Our visit lasted about 2.5 hours and included a tour of the airfield and control tower, which offered a unique perspective on the museum’s exhibits. We paid $45.00 each for the top f the tower tour and general admissions.
One of the museum’s highlights is the collection of vintage aircraft on display in the two huge hangers.
You can see bullet holes, flight simulations, and plenty of war birds and jets here. Everything is well-labeled and there is plenty of informative material. It’s a history buffs’ paradise. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and the museum is clean and well-maintained.
Make sure to visit the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum because:
- The tout to the tower is super informative and full of historical facts concerning the attack in WWII.
- The collection of vintage plains is exciting, and there is a lot to see.
- The staff is informative, professional, and friendly.
- They are a great nonprofit to help out.
Address: 319 Lexington Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96818
Oahu is a fantastic vacation destination, offering visitors a wealth of exciting outdoor and indoor activities. So even if you find yourself stuck indoors on a rainy day, there’s no need to be disappointed. A rainy day is the perfect opportunity to explore this beautiful island’s rich history and culture from an indoor perspective.
Whether traveling with children, as a couple, or on your own, Oahu has plenty of indoor activities to keep you entertained. History buffs will love the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum and The Bishop Museum, while shopaholics will enjoy the world’s largest open-air mall, the Ala Moana Centre. And kids will love the Waikiki Aquarium, where they can learn about the fascinating marine life of Hawaii.
So if you’re looking for something to do on a rainy day in Oahu, don’t worry – there’s no shortage of exciting indoor activities to choose from. Let us know your thoughts, and help us grow by sharing this article with your friends.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
What to do if it rains in Oahu?
There are many great things to see in Oahu when it rains. So even if you are not on the trail or beach, you will still have a fun day. On a rainy day, visit the 3-story Bishop Museum, with the most extensive Polynesian artifacts on the planet, or the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, which houses a fantastic collection of vintage plains. If you would instead shop and have a great meal, visit Ala Moana Centre (the biggest open-air mall in the world).
What is the rainiest month in Oahu?
The rainiest season in Oahu is winter. The rainiest month is December. In December, the average temperatures range from 67.8 F to 81.7 F, and the average rainfall is about 2.85 inches. However, there are great rainy-day activities regardless of when you visit. Take advantage of visiting the Waikiki Aquarium or Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum (with a flight simulation) and an impressive collection of vintage plains.
What should you not do on a rainy day?
A rainy day in Oahu is still a great vacation day. There are many great activities asides from dining with a beach view. Some great activities include:
- The Bishop Museum
- Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum
- Ala Moana Centre (largest open-air mall)
- Waikiki Aquarium
Last Updated on January 22, 2023 by Brigitte