Located minutes from the Honolulu airport, the Living Art Marine Center is a great way to witness the beauty of Hawai‘i’s underwater ecosystem in one of their many educational exhibits with tropical fish from all over the World.
The exhibits feature the latest in the Marine Ornamental Industry and Aquaculture methods such as Harlequin Shrimp breeding and Post-larvae Capture and Culture.
Tours are given at 10:00AM and 2:00PM every Saturday and Sunday. To book transportation and guided tours from Waikiki click on the following link: Living Art Marine Center.
My daughter and I opted for the self guided tour $5.00 (adult) and $5.00 (child) that comes with a Gyotaku,(Japanese fishprint). The gentlemen I purchased the tickets from explained the Living Art Marine Center was a cross between the Waikiki Aquarium and Bishop Science Center.
Our first stop was the Do-It- Yourself Center where kids can create and decorate a Hawaiian 'ipu, carve their name into a cowry Shell, or make a Gyotaku fish print.
Here my Daughter makes her own Gyotaku fishprint on a her Living Marine Center souvenir t-shirt I bought her for 6$.
After the DIY center, we headed to the Travel the Ocean exhibit that features tropical marine fishes they collect and export from Australia, Philippines, Indonesia, Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, and The Red Sea.
At the Voyage Into the Deep exhibit, we learned when capturing fish living at a considerable depth, fishermen need to make sure they bring them up to the surface slowly. An inflated swim bladder or even death can be the result if this is not done properly.
My daughter really enjoyed the jellyfish tank.
The Shark Science and Culture exhibit shows how Sharks are a big part in many cultures around the Pacific Ocean. This misunderstood creature plays an important role in many Hawaiian mo‘olelo (stories) such as the kumulipo and is often heard in oli and mele.
We also learned sharks are threatened by habitat destruction, marine debris, and hunters going after their fins.
Surprisingly, this mako shark head did not freak my daughter out at all. She was more scared of the starfish in the touch pool.
The Hawaiian Art and Culture exhibit was informative and featured many unique weapons used made out of Shark's teeth.
Here is a Hawaiian drum made out of shark skin. One of many tools and instruments on display in this section.
Out side of the main exhibit hall lies the Aquaponics Garden. Aquaponics is a revolutionary system where plants, fish, bacteria, and lots of water are all involved in a sustainable cycle of life.
Here are some tomatoes grown without soil.
In the Hobbyist Center, visitors are treated to a unique peak into the industrial side of the Marine Ornamental Industry. We looked on as warehouse workers packed live ornamental fish to be shipped overseas.
After we were done checking out the Hobbyist center we went over to interact with hermit crabs, sea stars, and other invertebrate animals at the Discovery Center.
My daughter refused to be the first to touch the sea star, therefore I took the plunge.
In the building next to the touch tanks they had a few rooms parents can rent out to celebrate their kid's birthday party. They offer full service packages that include: a party facilitator, guided tour, scavenger hunt, Gyotaku fish print, lunch, drinks, and cake. If you interested in celebrating your kid's birthday here check prices and availability at their website.
The Living Art Marine Center is a hidden gem in Oahu and was an educational experience for our family. It is located in an industrial area near the airport making it convenient for visitors awaiting a flight or locals looking for a fun place to stimulate their kid's minds.
The address for the Living Art Marine Center is:
3239 Ualena Street #100, Honolulu HI 96819, Phone: (808) 841-8080