First I want to start off by saying that I am not a huge shopper or shopaholic as many people call them. However, I do enjoy strolling around malls that are new to me, especially one as grand as Ala Moana Center. While in Waikiki in December of 2016 Gene had gone to see the ship next to the Pearl Harbor Memorial, so I decided to hang back in Waikiki and check out this amazing center.
Here is a video from their website that I’d like to share before I even talk about my visit. It gives a great overview of the center and some of the events that they have daily.
I had heard about it from several travel-related blog posts and such but did not know it was so huge. Not surprisingly, it is the largest shopping mall in Hawaii. It opened on August 13, 1959, is the seventh-largest shopping mall in the United States, and the largest open-air shopping center in the world. They weren’t kidding. I was there for several hours and don’t think I saw most of it. The place is 3 levels and was HUGE. A person could easily get lost if they wanted to, lol.
I was actually more interested in seeing some of the more unique stores that we don’t see here. One of the more entertaining stores I saw was called Jungle Fun Island. It is a jungle-themed environment with great games and prizes, cuddly stuffed animals, and unique jungle gifts. I loved their decorations. You should check it out if you are there.
One of the stores that caught my attention the most was the Flip Flop Workshop. As the name says, this is where you can custom make your own unique flip flop. How cool is that? I sort of wanted to do one, but I had two sets of flip flops with me and didn’t need another pair. Next time I may have to forget mine so I can make a pair 🙂
Another store you should check out, although you see them all over the islands, is ABC Stores. They are great places to pick up some great souvenirs and Hawaiian treasures. I loved browsing through the store and picking up a couple of calendars for the following year, as well as some boxes of Macadamia nuts. Yum.
I have never seen a bigger food court than the one on the main lever at Ala Moana Center. It was filled with every type of restaurant you could think of from almost every country. It was spectacular. They state that they have over 100 different restaurants in the center. While walking around I saw another section with restaurants on an upper level as well. Not as big, but nicer and much more upscale. Later I heard that they have 3 food courts, but I am not sure, and it might be wrong information. However, I wouldn’t be surprised, lol
The Ala Moana Center is not short on entertainment either. In the center of the building, they have a stage properly called the Centerstage. Monday through Saturday they have a free, 20-minute production featuring both kahiko (traditional) and modern hula. Also, every Sunday, enjoy the Ala Moana Keiki Hula Show. This hula show demonstrates how the tradition of hula is perpetuated through Hawaii’s children. All shows are at Centerstage on Street Level 1 and begin at 1 pm. Sadly I missed the show, but I am aware of it now, and won’t miss it the next time we are in Waikiki. There are also seasonal shows. Check out their site for more info.
Have kids with you? No problem. There is a Children’s play area on Level 3, Mauka Wing. It features a large, unique play structure composed of colorful platforms. It is a safe place for children to climb and explore. Also, a great place for you to take a break, lol.
I enjoyed window shopping and looking at the food choices, but the highlight for me was the waterfalls and ponds with Koi fish on the main level. They were beautiful and you could see them from every level. It was quite peaceful and relaxing walking around taking pictures. Gene said he had a fun day, but I think I got the better end of the deal, lol.
Here is a link to their website with a listing of all their stores, restaurants, and entertainment schedule. Here is some useful information to know before your visit. Happy Shopping.
Ala Moana Center Visitor Information
450 Ala Moana BoulevardHonolulu, HI 96814
- Monday – Saturday 9:30 am to 9 pm
- Sunday 10 am- 7 pm
Ala Moana Center provides ample free parking to ensure complete convenience as you enjoy your favorite retailers, dining venues, and entertainment options
Take TheBus 8, 19, 20, 23, 24 or 42
From the North Shore:
Take TheBus 55 Honolulu- Ala Moana
From Honolulu International Airport:
Take TheBus 19 or 20
Public Transportation Information
Taxi stands are located near the Kona St. Transit Center and near the Ala Moana Boulevard Depot #1.
Distance to points of interest:
Airport – 7.8 miles
Bishop Museum – 4.3 miles
Diamond Head – 3.5 miles
Hanauma Bay – 10.8 miles
North Shore/Haleiwa – 31 miles
Honolulu Zoo – 2.2 miles
Trolleys provide convenient transportation between the Center and 14 locations in Waikiki. The trolley service operates seven days a week, arriving every 10-12 minutes. Look for the Pink Line Shopping Trolley throughout Waikiki. Cost is $2.00 each way; children 2 years and under are free. Please pay fare with exact change.
Monday – Saturday: 9:10 AM – 9:59 PM
Sunday and Holidays: 9:10 AM to 8:09 PM
For a complete schedule route and to purchase tickets, please visit: www.waikikitrolley.com
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