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Family Fun on JBPHH

Family Fun on JBPHH

by Gaea Armour
(this story originally ran in the September 2017 issue of the Great Life Hawaii magazine)

The beautiful island of Oahu has so much to offer to both adults and children from hiking, surfing, snorkeling, parasailing, camping, parks and museum visits, and let’s not forget the occasional luaus.  But did you know, you and your family can have just as much fun right here on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam through our Morale, Welfare & Recreation Programs?


Beaches and Water Activities

Clearly, Hawaii is known for serene, turquoise beaches that attract tourists from around the world.  Oahu’s tropical oasis give us a variety of beaches to choose from, but if you’re searching for that golden white sand and teal ocean, you don’t have to drive anywhere else! Hickam Beach is not only a great spot to cool off, but also a cool place to host birthday parties or family events, enjoy water activities such as stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, outigger canoe paddling, sailing, or learn to surf.  For those who live on the Leeward side of the island, White Plains Beach offers the same amenities including rental pavilions for parties and private surf lessons for ages 10 and up.  Need a gear? Both beaches also offer equipment rentals for all your recreation needs such as body boards, surf boards, paddle boards, wind surfing board, fins and kayaks (Hickam only). 

Our Outdoor Recreation & Marinas offers sailing classes to aspiring junior sailors from 8 to 17 years old at both Hickam Harbor & Rainbow Bay Marina.   


Sports & Fitness

Being in Hawaii and the great tropical weather that it has to offer, there’s endless opportunities to get fit.  You and your family can take advantage of our sports and fitness activities through our Youth Sports & Fitness Program.   If you have a child between 3 to 5 years old, you can participate in the Start Smart Programs.  “Our Start Smart Programs help families reconnect through sports.  It gives families a time and day to have one-on-one time with their child.  This day in age; with all the hustle of the workday; we don’t always have an hour to give our individual attention to our youth.  Start Smart also helps with our youth’s motor skill development, which is the foundation of every sport,” says Brittany Bigham, Youth Sports Coordinator.  Free sessions are offered bi-annually in flag football, soccer, basketball and T-ball.  

Seasonal sports are also offered all year long from flag football, basketball, soccer, tennis, baseball, softball and cheerleading.  Volunteering as coach for your child’s team is not only a way to bond with your child, but our Youth Sports coaches are the main foundation of our sports program. 

All youth sports programs are open to any DoD cardholders.  More details available on

Bowling is always a favorite family pastime while taking part in physical activity.  Our base has two bowling centers for recreation or event purposes for families to enjoy: Hickam Bowling (located on Hickam side) and Naval Station Bowling (on Pearl side).  Hickam Bowling offers Junior Bowling League where your child can get “learn-to-bowl” instructions while organizing a league of their own.  This league is open to bowlers and non-bowlers ages 5 to 21 and meets every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.  


Arts & Crafts

Looking for some bonding activities for the kids? Arts & Crafts offers classes from woodworking, sewing, watercolor, drawing, painting, photography and basic pottery for ages 7 years old through teens.  Pick & Paint, where you pick the piece, paint it and the staff fires it is one of the popular activities.  Registration for Arts & Crafts classes are available online.  


Story Time

Got a preschooler? Our JBPHH Library offers free story time for 3 to 5 years old twice a month.  “Story time is a good connection for families that have moved here, it helps with the social & attention skills for this age group,” says Sandy Nii, Library Aid. Story Time is held on Wednesdays twice a month from 9 to 10 a.m. and ends with an arts & crafts session where kids create an artwork related to the story for them to take home.  The library also holds a Kids Book Club for 4th and 5th graders twice a month, Lego Club, and Wii Wednesdays as an after school activity for avid gamers.   



Movie buffs do not need to go off base to see the latest flicks.  Enjoy the latest movies at a very low cost at the Sharkey Theater, located on Pearl Harbor side, and Memorial Theater, located on Hickam side.  Listings and future free advanced screenings are available on



Weekday meal plans are sometimes a struggle. If you like the beautiful view at the Hickam Harbor Beach, gather the family and enjoy some island inspired cuisine at The Lanai at Mamala Bay on Wednesdays when kids can eat for free! The Lanai’s Kids Eat Free Wednesdays are held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for 12 years and younger.  Mongolian BBQ on the other hand is another great dining experience for the whole family to enjoy, held every Monday and Thursday, from 5 to 8pm at the Historic Hickam Officers’ Club Lanai at only 95 cents per ounce. 

Like weekend brunches?  Enjoy the Sunday brunch at the Historic Hickam Officers’ Club Lanai, every Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or at Restaurant 604, located off-base, next to the Arizona Memorial every Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

More options are also available to everyone in your family to sink their teeth into.  Visit the Dining page on for more details. 


Three years can go by pretty fast for most of us, so whether you’re here temporarily or have set your heart here forever, why not take advantage of all amenities and resources our beautiful base has to offer?

Here’s a list of other resources:

School Information

School Liaison Officer -

(school information & requirements, school zones and resources)

Child Care

Child Development Center  -

(child care, hourly care, 24/7 care & home day care)

Youth Activities

Youth Programs -

(Teen Center, School Age Care (Pre-Teen) & Youth Sports)

Pools & Swim Lessons

Aquatics -

(list of pools, summer swim lessons, private swim lessons, & lifeguard certification for 15 & up)

Tickets and Travel  -

(tour tickets, amusement parks tickets, concert tickets, events, cruises, chartered transportation, inter-island travel, domestic & international travel)

Rentals -

(party rentals, beach equipment, patio rentals, bouncy houses, and outdoor equipment rentals)

For more information on upcoming family events, visit the Family Activities page on 



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