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Honolulu Zoo

Oahu, Hawaii, United States


Honolulu Zoo is a tropical wonderland and I like to go there more for the trees and vegetation than for the animals. Huge old trees spread their canopy over lush lawns. It's wonderful to sit on a bench and take in what a paradise Hawaii is! Tropical flowers abound.
The layout of Honolulu Zoo is just perfect too. Famous zoos like San Diego Zoo aren't anywhere near as nice to walk around as Honolulu Zoo. Honolulu Zoo is flat and there are winding paths and huge open expanses of lawn.
The exhibits are fantastic too! The old, old tortoises move so slowly they look like they're out of a dinosaur movie. According to the zoo keeper, if one steps on your toe it's so heavy it will break your bones! Monkeys swing freely on trees with no cage around them. They go absolutely crazy every so often making incredibly loud noises and kids adore this! The pink flamingoes and African spoonbills sleep silently on one leg. Gharials are crocodilians with strange long snouts, and there are only 200 of them left in the wild. The tiger is behind one-way glass and stretches out to nap just inches from where you stand! The baby tigers have impressive fights. Funny tropical birds in cages make unusual sounds. The baby chimpanzees are so hyper they make their mothers crazy jumping all over them- something sounds familiar here... And the hippopotamus, well, he looks directly at you, squishing his face against the glass to get a better view of you! The theme of most of the zoo is Africa, and you can see beautiful Bongo antelope, elephants, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, and gigantic Eastern White pelicans.
There are sculptures of animals for kids to climb. A space-age playground with interesting features is situated under massive twisting shade trees. Local families come here to enjoy a playground that is different to the typical generic playgrounds at the other Oahu parks. Beside the playground is a snack bar with tables and colorful umbrellas.  There is a petting zoo for kids with sheep, a llama, a tank of giant koi fish that kids can stand in the middle of, and a sweet horse.
From mid-June to mid-August, on Wednesday afternoons, the zoo opens for summertime concerts. People bring large blankets and lawnchairs and make a picnic for themselves on the huge grassy lawn, starting at 4:30pm. From 6pm till 7pm a band plays live music! Kids gather at the front of the lawn and dance to the music. You will get that happy summertime feeling at these concerts! Admission to the concerts is $5 per person aged 2 and older.
Honolulu Zoo is across the street from Waikiki Beach. Cross the street and go for a blissful swim! The Waikiki Beach Ocean Swimming Pool, also nearby, is a nice place to take kids for a calm-water swim.

Photo Gallery

The happy monkeys have so much fun in their exhibit!

These lemurs are funny guys, lazing with their tummies sticking out.

Small turtles share the monkey exhibit.

An Aldabra tortoise.

A tortoise with a beautiful shell.

A toddler peeks over the fence at an old Galapagos tortoise- this is an example of how intimate the exhibits are at Honolulu Zoo.

The fiery bright pink flamingos.

Koi at the Keiki (Children's) Zoo.

My toddler shouted baaa with delight at her first sighting of a real sheep.

The sweet pony at the Keiki Zoo.

Children sit by the playground under a Banyan tree.

The Banyan tree by the playground has amazing roots.

A bench where you can take a break.

Red ginger.

An expansive lawn.

Hawaii has the most beautiful trees! Diamond Head is behind.

See the massive tree in the distance.

The landscaping is bright and uplifting at Honolulu Zoo.

Healthy, colorful plants and Diamond Head in the distance.

The gnarled Monkeypod trees.

The entrance to Honolulu Zoo.

The awesome space-age playground!

Rhino kiss!

Intricate treetop.

The giraffes really look like they're in Africa.


African Spoonbill- I love these guys.

The penguin exhibit is pretty.

The Eastern White Pelican is huge- very impressive.

Bongo Antelopes are critically endangered.

A gharial, which has such a strange long snout.

Lemurs have such gorgeous tails.

Hippo sculpture for kids to climb.

The playground has some fun spots.

The tropical trees are wonderful!


This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.

Honolulu Zoo is located at 151 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu HI 96816, call (808) 971-7171. The zoo is located on the corner of Kapahulu Ave and Kalakaua Ave. The parking lot is off Kapahulu Ave, and costs $1 per hour. You can use your credit card to pay the parking machines.
The zoo costs $19, $8 for local residents and military, $11 for children aged 3-12, and $4 for local/military children. Kids under 3 are free.
Open 9-4:30 daily. Closed Dec 25.
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