Family Travel: Visiting the Bishop Museum in Hawaii, Flickr: nostri-imago

Break From the Beach for Some Brain Tanning!

The largest collection of Hawaiian artifacts can be found at the Bishop Museum, just west of Waikiki Beach in Honolulu.  If you are looking to explore more than just the sun-splashed beaches of Hawaii, be sure to stop by the Bishop for the chance to explore the history, art, and culture of the Hawaiian people.

The Bishop Museum's history dates back to 1889, when it was founded by Charles Reed Bishop to house royal heirlooms of the Kamehameha royal family.  Bishop's wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last descendant of the royal family, had passed away just a few years prior in 1885.  To date, the museum has expanded to include millions of artifacts, photographs, and documents, not only about the royal family, but also on the history of Hawaii and its diverse cultures.

Permanent and rotating exhibits fill the halls, which were at one point a boy's school. 

Mānu‘unu‘u ka Welolani: The Chiefly Cultures of Polynesia (through summer 2013):  Adornments, clothing, and objects of rank and importance are on display from Polynesian cultures.

Tradition and Transition: Stories of the Hawai'i Immigrants (through Fall 2014): This exhibit focuses on the diversity and contribution of Hawaiian immigrants throughout the 20th century.  Kids can enjoy Pā‘ani Place, where they can play with multi-ethnic toys and relics from the past. 

Hawaiian Hall: This expansive exhibit showcases three realms of Hawaiian history and culture: Kai Ākea, Hawaiian gods and legends; Wao Kanaka, the importance of nature in daily life; and Wao Lani, the realm inhabited by the gods.

Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kāhili Room: This room displays numerous portraits of the Hawaiian monarchy as well as personal artifacts.

Richard T. Mamiya Science Adventure Center:  Here visitors can learn about Hawaiian geological history including its volcanology, oceanography, and biodiversity.

Don't forget to stop by the planetarium, Hawaiian sports hall of fame, and the popular Pacific Hall, which will reopen September 2013.  Although not specifically geared toward Hawaii, the Dinosaurs and Ice-Age Mammals exhibit (open now through Sept 2013) features 10 full size animatronic dinosaurs and large animals that place you and your family 2.6 million years back in time.  Kids can control a hands-on robotic skeleton and participate in a dinosaur dig. 

The Bishop Museum is open daily, excluding Tuesdays, from 9 a.m. -5 p.m.

You don't need much of a reason to book cheap tickets to Hawaii, but this will be fun for you and your kids!

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photo: nostri-imago

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