Hot Hawaiian Happenings

If the latest round of winter weather has inspired you to book a ticket to Hawaii then you are in luck. The state is gearing up to host a bevy of family friendly events from the Pro Bowl to a massive underwater celebration. Now is also a great time to take advantage of some spectacular deals featuring some of Hawaii’s greatest natural resources.

The first deal is a Tri-Park pass that allows visitors to explore the natural wonders on the Big Island of Hawaii and Maui. For $25 your pass will get you into Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (which is celebrating 25 years of Kilauea’s continuous eruption) and Pu’uhonua o Honaunau (Place of Refuge) on the Big island and Haleakala National Park on Maui.

The annual pass allows admission to all three parks for a year from the date of issue. You can purchase a pass at any of the parks entrances.

Also on Maui, 2008 has been named the International Year of the Reef, and Maui Ocean Center (one of my favorite spots on the island) will be hosting a variety of reef-themed activities monthly throughout the year.

For example, one of the center’s most popular events takes place on January 17th from 6 to 8 p.m. “Night of the Reef” provides visitors with the rare opportunity to explore the aquarium after dark. Admission is $18 for adults with discounts for children.

Other family-friendly events are scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the week of January 20th. That’s when naturalists will host workshops and offer insight into the world of tiny invertebrates to giant green sea turtles, and everything in between. You and your children will be able to learn about the delicate balance sustained on reefs and some of the threats that face these ecosystems. For young underwater explorers there will be kids coral crafts, stories, and other hands-on educational group studies. Coral Stations will also be available daily with diagrams and coral exhibits that visitors can touch.

Admission to Maui Ocean Center is $24 for adults, $21 for seniors, and $17 for children.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.