Hawaii Mom Blog: Waimea Valley

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August 21, 2017

Waimea Valley

Beautiful Waimea Falls

If you are looking for some family friendly adventure that is both fun and safe, look no further than a day at Waimea Valley!  Located in Hale'iwa, Waimea Valley's mission is to preserve and perpetuate the human, cultural and natural resources of Waimea for generations through education and stewardship.  Waimea Valley has been home to a long line of Hawaiian Chiefs and High Priests and is also a popular destination for visitors wishing to explore their world class botanical gardens and hike to the majestic Waimea Falls.

My kids and I arrived on a 
Sunday morning a little after opening so the first parking lot was already full, but there was still plenty of space in the second parking lot.  When we called in the morning for waterfall swimming status, the recording stated the waterfall was flowing and there would be regular swim.  The natural rain fed 45 foot waterfall cascades into the 30 foot deep pond and swimming at the waterfall is allowed, but the status of swimming changes throughout the day depending on the weather.  Unfortunately, when we got to the admissions counter, swimming had just been cancelled due to the low flow of the waterfall.  

The kids are excited to spend the day at Waimea Valley!

We didn't let this bother us since we were excited to see the botanical gardens and historical sites along the main pathway.  Although it is a paved path and mostly stroller and wheelchair friendly, there are shuttle rides available from Hale Ho'ike to the Wailele waterfall turn around area available for purchase at the ticket booth.  The hike to the waterfall is about .75 miles.  Make sure you bring water, sunblock, and bug spray because there is little shade and both my son and I got a couple of mosquito bites. 




The kids enjoyed exploring the gardens of many rare and endangered plants.  Waimea's World Class Botanical Garden features 41 well defined zones, representing 5,000 different types of plants from all around the world!
One of their favorites of the day was visiting the Kauhale - ancient Hawaiian living site. 




That tiny dot is Cade!

Enjoying the view of the waterfall with an ice cream sandwich followed by an afternoon bite to eat - complete with a visit from a peacock!


When we reached the waterfall, we took a break to enjoy the view.  The kids had a great time skipping small stones.  If there had been swimming that day, guests would be required to wear a provided life vest.  There are changing rooms nearby and also a snack bar (cash only) that offers drinks, snacks, shave ice, and ice cream sandwiches.

On the way back, we took the stairs down to a short path along the Kamananui Stream.  The kids really enjoyed exploring this shady area.  We ended our visit with a quick bite to eat and a visit from a peacock!

Waimea Valley is open daily 7 days a week.  They offer venues for special events and weddings.  They are also home to a farmer's market every Thursday and hold special events like moon walks and special occasion dinners and brunches.
 
For families, they host Lā ‘Ohana days on every 3rd Sunday of the month and offer 50% off general admission for kama'aina (Hawaii residents) and military families!  On Keiki Wednesdays, it is Free admission for kama'aina and military children ages 4-12.  They even have $10 wagon rentals for ease of navigating your family throughout the valley.    






Thank you to Waimea Valley for hosting our visit! 



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