Sitting smack in the middle of Waikiki, The Honolulu Zoo benefits from balmy tropical weather perfect for exhibiting and breeding rare tropical birds. The winding paths are lush, and a great view of Diamond Head sits in the background. The zoo’s 12-acre African Savanna is home to lions, tigers, hippos, black rhinos, crocodiles (seen through underwater glass), giraffes, and African land and water birds. A troop of chimpanzees keep kids and adults roaring with their antics. The orangutan habitat will introduce you to Rusti and his companion, Violet. (Rusti has a fascinating rescue story with a happily ever after ending. Be sure to ask.)
The zoo prides itself on its special programs such as Snooze in the Zoo, Breakfast with a Keeper and the Junior Zoo Keeper program. The Zoo Summer Concert Series occurs every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.
Kids love the Keiki (“children” in Hawaiian) Zoo. The kids can pet a bevvy of domestic animals including dwarf goats and potbellied pigs, give a pony a bubble bath, milk a cow, stand in the middle of a pond of Koi fish or giggle at the guinea pigs.
Best Time to Visit the Zoo: Go early, when it first opens. The zoo is closed December 25.