Field trip to Discovery Center Hawaii

Sometimes I’ll bore you with details of my thrilling life. But, on top of my full-time job and my photography business, I also babysit a few hours every week. She’s a darling 19 month old who charms everyone. Our house is pretty toy-less, but thankfully, she loves our piano, my photography props, and she’s been known to carry around Scott’s golf clubs. To break the boredom, my sister and I have organized combined field trips where I bring baby HB and my sister brings her three youngest girls, all 2 years old and younger. Last week, we went to the Discovery Center in Honolulu. I thought I would blog about it for anyone who hasn’t been there yet.

Discovery Center Hawaii

Two big downfalls that we immediately encountered were operating hours and prices. They are open only for very limited hours. They are closed Monday (which we found out a few months ago when we tried to show up without checking out the website…oops). Tuesdays through Fridays, the center is open 9 am to 1 pm. That was hard for us considering my sister had to feed, clothe, and pack up three toddlers by herself. We didn’t meet up at the center until 11 am. They are open later on weekends (until 3 pm).

The fee is $8 for anyone over the age of 1. We did eye my sister’s twins and HB. Totally tempted to try to knock off 7 months off their ages. Darn, they can pretty much run already so we just had to pay full price. And the $8 is the kama’aina rate and military rate so bring your ID. Once we paid, we were instructed to leave all strollers in the lobby before proceeding into the play area. Yikes. That threw us for a loops. Together, my sister and I had brought

2 year old girl
one 19 month old girl
two 17 month old twin girls
two backpacks
a camera bag

Next time, pack light.

The price was a little high but I think it’s comparable to other attractions and we got to escape the hot summer heat. That’s the biggest plus I can think of. Once we were inside the Discovery Center, the fun really began. There was an area for the younger toddlers immediately after you enter. We let the kids loose and frankly, they could have played in there the whole time. There was a sailboat that the kids could clamber in. There was a little play fishing pool that the 2 year old used a fishing rod to catch fake, colorful plastic fishes while the babies chose to just roll around on the floor.

All the kids would have been thrilled just to play in the baby play area, but we definitely wanted to explore the rest of the floor and get the most out of our day. There were all these displays set up to convert real world habitats into pint-sized worlds fit for humans under 3 feet tall. I dont’ have pictures because I had to abandon the camera to keep up with our little bundles of speed. There was a little hospital room with mini-scrubs hanging on the door hook. Fire truck and a bus. A small theatre with a cool panel where pressing buttons changed the lighting or added sound effects. I got a litttle crazy with the lightning sound effect and my 2 year old niece jumped in my arms saying “skeri, skeri.”

The babies, 19 month old HB and 17 month old twins, 2 year old not pictured (running amuck)
The culprits

our mini Jon and Kate Plus 8 day
Fishing is fun, and plastic fishes smell way better
Fishing, without the smell or dirt
One twin was trying to scale the picket fence gate and look who came to help
Blimey, they
Shopping at the pint-sized grocery store

Nice healthy choice for breakfast

A grocery store built for 2

I think the Discovery Center is more geared for kids 2 years and up. Although HB and the twins loved the grocery store, the rest of the displays and scenes didn’t hold any appeal. They took more enjoyment climbing up on the snack table. But the 2 year old loved it. It was perfect for her. And all the kids just loved the freedom of running around. I wish they had more props. I went to the children’s museum in Boston and they had a 3 foot tall chess set, hula hoops to blow bubbles. I would have liked to have seen that here, especially since they make such cute photo opportunities.

I cannot say enough about the staff at Discovery Center. Everyone was completely kind-hearted, from the woman who sold us our tickets, the young helpers watching the floors who sweetly played with the kids as well, to the friendly staff in the lunch counter who didn’t bat an eye when my sister (not the kids) spilled an entire container of macaroni and cheese on the floor. If you have kids who are between 2 and 6, I would recommend it. And you can bring your own lunch, you just have to eat it outside. Just remember to bring your camera!!!

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