Teddy Bear World Museum Hawaii

Guest Post: Ruth Elayne Kongaika

Bears in Waikiki! There is a new hangout in Honolulu for teddy bear lovers (young and old alike). We recently visited the new museum with some of our grandchildren, and were very excited and amazed at all there was to see. As we approached the museum on Kalakaua Avenue, we were greeted by a huge smiling bear. We were able to take pictures of the grandchildren with him. None of the kids shied away from the cuddly teddy. He was very warm and friendly. Then we took an escalator up a floor to the displays. After paying a nominal fee, we were given a Scavenger Hunt to challenge us on our journey through the museum, with promises of cotton candy at the end of our hunt, if we indeed found all the items listed.

The idea for a Teddy Bear Museum originated in Korea. There are five in South Korea, created with the children in mind and the calming affect the bears have on people. The Teddy Bear Museum in Honolulu is the first one of its kind in the United States.  The five million dollar attraction takes up 20,000 square feet and features more than 800 teddy bears, many of which are animated. The cute and cuddly creatures are found playing, sleeping, dancing, playing sports and various other activities. It really is a delightful place for the family.

Sports Bears, Bear World Museum Hawaii, Photo by R. KongaikaExhibits featured different scenarios including 8 wonders of America, Save the Planet, APEC Bears, Dinosaur Park, Bears in Hawaii, and an Art Museum amongst others. Enchanting and intricate details are put into each display. In the eight wonders of America, we traveled from New York to Washington D.C., the Rocky Mountains, on to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and also Hollywood. Various bears participate in many sports, and outings with penguins, seals, otters and other friends.

Harley Bear, Bear World Museum Hawaii, Photo by R. KongaikaWe learned the history of Teddy Bears and also entered a theatre where Elvis Bear sang his favorite songs and wiggled as only Elvis can. The kids were enthralled with so much to take in. I thought the dinosaur exhibit was very interesting. I would not have thought to put bears together with dinosaurs! It was like mixing your worst nightmare with the typical antidote for many children’s fears.

Icebears, Bear World Museum Hawaii, Photo by R. KongaikaIn the Art Museum, you can find Mona Lisa Bear, The Bear Thinker statue, as well as other famous artwork bearified. You can even find Mr. Bean’s best friend, Teddy on display.

The displays are created to educate and entertain. The Save the Planet exhibit, in particular, helps children be aware of the endangered bears on the planet due to many current conditions, and how we can help to preserve them.

 Sumo Bear, Bear World Museum Hawaii, Photo by R. KongaikaSince the museum is in Hawaii, there are bears surfing, doing the hula, playing the ukulele, beating the drums and snorkeling. There were even bear mermaids! I could barely keep up with my grandchildren as they darted from one exhibit to the next. And, yes, we completed our scavenger hunt and got cotton candy at the end. It was fun watching the children and appreciating this unique family-friendly venue.

Ruth Elayne Kongaika was raised in the mainland, USA, and has been living in the South Pacific for the past forty years. She enjoys trying to capture the beauty of the Polynesian islands through her photography, painting and writing. She has a blog which shares some of her art and favorite subjects at:


email: kongaikr@byuh.edu


The Beaches of Waikiki

Guest Post by: HNLhulagirl

Lifeguard Tower Waikiki Beaches, Oahu HawaiiWaikiki, dreams are made of the beach. The sandy shoreline and the cerulean hues waters are world famous. The beach attracts many from all over the world to the shores where surfing was born and beach boys reign. The resort area of Waikiki is barely seven blocks wide and 2 miles long and packed into this collection of luxury resorts, shops and restaurants is actually a collection of beaches. Each beach is filled with history and a unique personality. Waikiki along with all beaches in Hawaii are public property and access to the beach is mandated and required by law. Here are a few of the more notable beaches in Waikiki:

Duke Kahanamoku Beach and Lagoon
Fronting the Hilton Hawaiian Village, this beach and lagoon has always been a popular spot for locals and hotel guests who enjoy the wide sandy beach the soft gentle waves and the shade from several palm trees. The lagoon was recently renovated where the ocean water is re-circulated keeping the ocean water cool and clear.

Fort DeRussy Beach Park
Located adjacent to Duke Kahanamoku Beach and Lagoons, this beach park is known as the widest stretch of sand in Waikiki. Adjacent to the Hale Koa Hotel, this park offers more than sun and surf, there are volleyball and handball courts, showers and more.

Grays’ Beach
Proceeding toward Diamond Head, this beach is one of the more historic in Waikiki. Fronting the luxurious Halekulani Hotel. The area was originally the home of King Kamehameha V whose home sat amidst coconut tree groves and taro patches. Today the sandy channel off the white sand beach is popular with swimmers.

Royal-Moana Beach
This beach stretches from the Sheraton Waikiki to the Moana-Surfrider hotel. This area of Waikiki is the traditional heart of Waikiki Beach. The shoreline offers soft sand and a gentle sloping bottom that gracefully edges into deeper water. This beach is also the site of a couple of Waikiki’s famous surf breaks. One is popular with outrigge4r canoes and the other is a great break for beginner surfers.

Waikiki Beach Oahu HawaiiWaikiki Beach Center
It is the portion of Waikiki Beach that is the sandiest and safest. The area offers immediate access to the refreshment stand, beach services, lifeguards and police. The beach is very popular and is congested at times.

Kuhio Beach Park
Stretching between the Banyan tree and the Kapahulu Groin, this stretch of beach is by far the best for children. The sea wall keeps the water quieter than most areas of Waikiki and gentle for young children. The area was once called Pualeilani, home of Price Kuhio and Princess Kahanu. The area was given to the city in 1922 and dedicated to the beloved Prince.

Waikiki is a magical place that is beloved by many. In earlier days, it was a collection of royal residences, taco patches, fresh water streams and shady coconut groves. Today it is a collection of resorts and excellent beaches full of beauty excitement and recreation for visitors all across the world.

For more information on Waikiki and the island of Oahu, check out Beachcomber Pete Travel Adventure guides on Hawaii.

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