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Founded in 1889, the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum is the biggest museum in Hawaii, and houses the world's largest collection of Hawaiian and Polynesian artefacts. Aiming to educate the public on the area's history, the museum is also home to a planetarium and interactive science exhibits.
Learn how the Polynesians used the stars to find their way, observe a volcano as it erupts and wander through a galaxy of stars – the recommended 2 to 3 hours here may just not be enough!
The centrepiece of the Bishop Museum is the Hawaiian Hall. Constructed in the Romanesque style, the hall houses the Hawaiian royal crown and consort's crown, not to mention a 15-metre sperm whale skeleton which hangs from the ceiling. Only partially covered in papier-mâché, the impressive skeleton's structure can be examined in detail by those below its bulk. Move from the Hawaiian Hall to the Polynesian Hall to view a wealth of traditional artefacts from the surrounding islands.
If you're visiting the museum as a family, a visit to the Science Adventure Center is a must. With exhibits ranging over 5 floors, many of which are interactive, this section of the museum teaches children (and parents) all about Hawaii's environment and encourages visitors to take an active part in the learning process. You can control lava as it flows from a volcano, navigate the ocean floor with a hand-held control, or stand back and be impressed by the volcanic eruption display that takes place several times each day.
For those who really want to get away from it all, where better than outer space? Head over to the planetarium for a fascinating journey through our galaxy. Enjoy one of the daily shows held here, or simply wander around at your leisure.
There's plenty of green open space for picnickers and sunbathers alike in the museum gardens, as well as a handy little café for those who haven't planned ahead. Regular buses run to the Kalihi district, and the museum offers plenty of free parking. The Bishop Museum is open every day except Tuesday and Christmas Day and is a great way to occupy the kids for a few fun-filled hours.
Get the most out of your time spent at Bishop Museum. Here's a list of some of the best activities:
For more activities, take a look at our Western Honolulu things to do page.
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