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Good For Kids
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The museum has a campus like setting - seems like a mall college or university with a mix of old and new buildings.
Closest available address
1525 Bernice Street, Honolulu, HI 96817
Open Wed.-Mon., 9-5:00, closed Tuesdays and Christmas.
Best time to visit
On an island somewhat starved for cultural and historical offerings, the Bishop Museum is a welcome oasis. Located only a few miles from downtown Honolulu, the museum occupies a small campus and is spread out in several buildings. Of the permanent collection, the best exhibits are the Hawaiian Hall, the science center and the planetarium.
The museum was founded in the late 1800s to preserve a significant collection of Hawaiian and Polynesian artifacts. Since then the museum has significantly expanded its collection which now includes such diverse items as seashells and sports memorabilia.
A highlight of the museum is the science center. It provides information on the formation of the Hawaiian islands, volcanic forces, and undersea exploration technology. The museum also has a planetarium which features a live presentation showing how ancient Polynesians used the stars for navigation. In addition, there are daily live presentations on such topics as lava formation and Hawaiian culture.
If time is limited, go to the Hawaiian Hall and the science center first. The science center in particular is great for kids with a variety of interactive displays and fun challenges that entertain as well as educate.
While the time preference for the museum is half a day, there is enough to see and do to warrant staying longer. It will depend on how many exhibits you want to see and how many live events you attend. The museum’s admission price is a little on the high side, but if you are looking to better understand the Hawaiian people and their cultural heritage and history, it’s worth it.
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