Things to do on O ahu

Whoever said nothing in life comes free has obviously never experienced the numerous (and thrifty) thrills that the island of Oʻahu offers. From paradisaical public parks and dazzling firework displays to an open-air cinema under the stars, enjoying your time on Oʻahu doesn’t have to break your budget, and in these Hawaiian havens, you really don’t have to pay to play.

 

Cost-efficient community yoga

Break a sweat – not your budget – under the sun at Courtyard Yoga. Hosted by Honolulu’s Ward Village, taking advantage of this free community yoga class will give you the chance to reset your mind, restore your spirit, and most importantly, retain the green that’s in your wallet. Think of it as economical enlightenment for the cost-effective inclined.

 

Budget-friendly beacons of light

Next up, take a hike, literally. The Makapuʻu Point Lighthouse Trailepitomizes the perfect marriage of great views and fresh air, but without all the mud, dirt, and 4-wheel driving that comes with most Hawaii hikes. Located just a hop, skip and a jump from Honolulu, the trail is a roughly 2-mile, smoothly paved nature path accessible for all, including parents with stroller-cruising kiddos. And the best part? Waiting at the top of the steady ascent is Makapuʻu Point Lighthouse, one of Hawaii’s most familiar landmarks, along with a million-dollar view that doesn’t cost a dime.

 

Windward botanical gardens

Oʻahu’s east side boasts one of the most beautiful tropical oases in the entire Aloha State, Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens in Kaneʻohe. Here, amid 400 acres of lush verdant land, native Hawaiian plants flourish, and the glimmering waters of a 32-acre lake sets a stunning scene. With no entry fee, numerous nature trails, camping on the weekends and an educational visitor center, this public property is a proverbial Hawaiian playground. Set aside a day and bring the whole family, and if you and the keiki (children) love fishing, come on a weekend, when the Gardens hosts a catch-and-release program, providing bamboo poles with barbless hooks – all you have to do is bring the bait.