If you’re planning to visit Pearl Harbor with your kids, there are a few things you should know before you head out. The Pearl Harbor Tours offered at the memorial are educational and engaging for children and adults, but a Pearl Harbor visit with kids still warrants a few extra considerations.
Remember, when you visit Pearl Harbor, you’re actually visiting the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine, the USS Missouri and the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island. If you want to hit every attraction before you leave, it might be best to divide your trip between two days. Getting to each attraction involves plenty of walking, waiting in line and stairs, so the kids may not be too happy by the end of the day if you try to do it all at once.
Though strollers are allowed, several of the sites aren’t stroller friendly. The Bowfin submarine has enough narrow passages and stairs that larger baby backpacks might not fit either. Keep this in mind if you plan to bring infants or toddlers. You may end up carrying them, though front-facing baby slings are often adequate.
The USS Arizona Memorial is the least kid-friendly, since no strollers, slings or baby backpacks are allowed in any part of the experience. There are also no bathrooms until you return to the Visitor’s Center, which is usually two hours later. Tickets also have to be booked early or you’ll end up waiting in a long line under the Hawaiian heat.
When you visit Pearl Harbor with kids, it’s also important to consider the site’s bag policy. Due to security issues, bags of any kind are prohibited at each site in pearl harbor, including purses, fanny packs, backpacks, and even diaper bags. Bags can be checked at the Visitor’s Center for $3 an item, but the bigger problem might be that your children are without snacks, bottles and toys for the whole time you’re there.
Even though Pearl Harbor presents a unique set of challenges, it’s also an invaluable part of naval history that the whole family can appreciate. If you can make the trip while you’re in Oahu, don’t let the obstacles keep you away. Go in prepared and you should all have a great time.