The free things to do sure are fun, but the paid things to do in Hawaii are still recommended
Paid thing to do in Hawaii #1: Whale tour
Dolphin and whale tours are very popular in the islands. During the winter and spring seasons, you’ll see a lot of whales hanging out around the islands. Whales migrate here from colder places because Hawaii waters stay nice and warm, even during the winter. These tours can be really cool. Some tour boats are lucky enough to see a family of dolphins and whales. Some will even jump out of the water and splash you a little bit.
Paid thing to do in Hawaii #2: Surfing lessons
If you’re gonna be in Hawaii, ya gotta learn how to surf for at least a little bit! Surf lessons are pretty much available at every public beach. Board rentals are also abundant. I took my visiting family members on surf lessons in Waikiki and they had a blast. Surfing is a huge part of the beach culture here in the islands, so giving it a try is a good idea! It’s also a fun activity for those that love the water. It might be tricky to stand up the first time, but once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty simple. Surf instructors can also be very helpful in guiding you. Surfing lessons might be better than just renting a board, because if you don’t know how to use a surfboard, you could hurt yourself and especially others around you.
Paid thing to do in Hawaii #3: Polynesian Cultural Center
The Polynesian Cultural Center is an interactive museum for Polynesian cultural on the north shore of O’ahu. It’s one of the most popular attractions and can get pretty busy during the summer months. The center has shows and events hourly with several things to do and see. They also host local hula groups (halaus) to perform. You can also buy luau tickets for you and your family members to enjoy and have fun! The cultural center gives you a beautiful insight into polynesian culture.
Paid thing to do in Hawaii #4: Luau
It’s not a trip to Hawaii without a luau. Luaus are so much fun. Hawaii kids like to make the joke that “Hawaii kids have luaus for their senior grad-nites while mainland kids go to Disneyland.” Luaus are awesome, and they’re a great way to celebrate! In fact, “Baby’s 1st luau” is a celebration for the baby’s first birthday party. These kinds of celebrations typically come with a huge attendance of family members and a bar-b-que on the beach. Even if the baby can’t swim yet, everyone else can enjoy the water!
Paid thing to do in Hawaii #5: Helicopter tour
Helicopter tours are popular for the north shore of O’ahu and the Waimea coastline of Kaua’i. I’ve never been on a helicopter tour of the islands before, but I’ve only heard good things about them. The view from a helicopter gives you a view like no other. They can be pretty pricey, but I’ve heard they’re worth it. The Waimea coastline is already a sight to see, so I can imagine that the view from a bird’s eye would be unreal. However, for those that are scared of flying or have a fear of heights, I would not recommend!