Celebrating Hawaii’s children and youth

Hawaii CYD 2016

Exciting news! The annual Hawai’i Children and Youth Day is back, kicking off a month-long series of family-friendly events. On Sunday, October 2, the day kicks off in Honolulu with a CYD Sunrise at Mauna’ala Royal Mausoleum and a CYD Fun Run at Kaka’ako Park. The main event starts at 10 am at the State Capitol.

It’s a day to celebrate Hawai’i’s children and youth, and spend time together as a family. Best of all – there’s free entertainment, games, and educational activities for children and youth of all ages (and free parking in the municipal parking lots too).

When my son was younger, the highlight of the event was the McDonald’s tent – he loved winning a prize and taking a picture with Ronald McDonald. The large, colorful tent always had the longest line and was always packed with people.

For the past two years, the event that motivates and challenges him is the early morning CYD Fun Run at Kaka’ako Park. He is not normally a “runner” but he enjoys challenging himself to the 3k run. High school student Jordan Jones did a fantastic job organizing it last year, and she’s coordinating it again this year. It’s free to register and runners receive a cool medal at the finish line.

Now that he is older, we’ll skip the Children’s Zone and go straight to the Teen Zone, with fun, educational, and career-oriented activities. He’ll probably head for the sports demonstrations, like soccer and golf. We’ll encourage him to check out the Financial Zone, which features a hands-on, interactive Financial Reality Fair.

There’s so much to do, we really need more than just one day. We could tour ‘Iolani Palace, take a guided tour of the King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center, walk through the Hawai’i State Art Museum, browse Space Exploration exhibits, and watch the Team Magma Robotics demonstration.

Just as important as learning, is the opportunity to help the community – Children and Youth Day is also accepting gently-used clothes donations to help support Children and Youth Day, United Cerebral Palsy of Hawai’i, and National Kidney Foundation of Hawai’i.

For a complete list of the month-long events, visit the CYD website.

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