Bishop Museum, Honolulu

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 Reviews

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Volcano model
    Volcano model
    by DEBBBEDB
  • making lava - with flash
    making lava - with flash
    by DEBBBEDB
  • Bishop Museum grounds and planetarium
    Bishop Museum grounds and planetarium
    by DEBBBEDB
  • Rixie's Profile Photo

    Learn Hawaiian History the Fun Way

    by Rixie Updated Dec 20, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Close-up
    3 more images

    The Bishop Museum is one of my favorite places in the world. It houses a wonderful collection of artifacts from old Hawaii and Polynesia, and also tells the story of the immigrant groups who have contributed to Hawaii's history.

    There are feather war gods, huge gourd bowls, clubs studded with sharks' teeth, a full-size grass hut, and things that belonged to Hawaiian royalty, and special exhibits. (After you've seen all the feathers taken from the tail of the o'o, you can make up your own story about how the bird got its name... )

    The Planetarium has several different shows, one explaining how the ancient Hawaiians navigated by the stars. With my faulty sense of direction, I probably would have ended up in Alaska.

    The Science Adventure Center offers interactive exhibits about Hawaii's environment, including simulated lava flows and tidal waves. When we were there in 2009, an animated dinosaur exhibit was there for a few months.

    Local hula and music groups often perform in the main hall, and once we went to a children's festival on the grounds. Some buildings date from the 1880s, not all are wheelchair accessible.

    For directions and other information, please refer to the museum website.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • RobertSKau's Profile Photo

    Sad Sad Sad

    by RobertSKau Written Dec 6, 2011

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I have visited Bishop Museum several times throughout my life -- usually on a field trip as a child. So, when my out of town guest wanted to go, I was game. I hadn't been in about a year and was anxious to see the new Mars exhibit and the japanese immigrant exhibit. The Mars exhibit - runs through January - is more impressive than I had thought. The immigration exhibit is pretty good. However, there is a serious lack of Aloha spirit there and I couldn't put my finger on why I didn't feel comfortable there. I think perhaps its because at most visitor places, the staff is beaming with joy to see you there and I just didn't get that reaction at Bishop Museum.

    Also, don't go on Tuesdays, they are closed!

    Another tip: they are no longer doing Moonlight Mele on the lawn and there are no military days or Kamaaina family weekends!

    The Dinosaur exhibit is also no longer there.

    Polynesian Hall is no longer open as it is going through renovations. It's expected to open sometime in 2012.

    Several exhibits in the Science center were broken when they were there. The staff said they weren't sure when they would be fixed. (See my earlier comment about lack of aloha spirit)

    The cafe is much improved and had really choices! A little pricey - but if you are hungry -- go there!

    The gift store is looking a little shabby these days, but the book section has a lot of good selections in it.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • girladventure's Profile Photo

    Visit the Bishop Museum

    by girladventure Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Bishop Museum

    The historic Bishop museum, founded by a Hawaiian princess, is the most important respository of Polynesian artifacts in the world. The museum has world renowned collection of cultural objects and natural science specimens which includes rare artifacts from Hawaiian and Pacific cultures such as ceremonial and domestic objects, poi pounders, adzes, pre-industrial Polynesian art, etc.

    While visiting, you MUST visit their new Science Adventure Center (opened recently). It provides exhibits that are immersive and interactive with a strong emphasis on better understanding Hawaii’s environment.

    Admission Fees:
    General - Adult $ 14.95
    General - Senior, 65 & over $ 11.95
    General - child (ages 4-12) $ 11.95
    General - child (age 3 & under) Free
    There's a student discount too so if you're a student, bring your I.D.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo

    History & Culture of Hawaii & the South Pacific

    by rexvaughan Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This wonderful Victorian building houses an incredible collection of art and artifacts of Hawaii, Polynesia and Micronesia. It was built by Charles Reed Bishop in 1889 in memory of his wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop who was the last descendant of the royal Kamehameha family. Bishop had come to Hawaii from New York and was a leading businessman who was also involved in many civic activities including promoting proper schools for the residents. The museum's publicity states: "Our mission is to record, preserve and tell the stories of Hawaii and the Pacific, inspiring our guests to embrace and experience our natural and cultural world." They have done a wonderful job - you can see symbols of Hawaiian royalty, artifacts from all over the Pacific, legends and depictions of the gods, and even live hula performances and other demonstrations of traditional Hawaiian arts. There is also an observatory & planetarium on the grounds where you can learn how the Polynesians navigated by the stars.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Science Adventure Center & Planetarium

    by grandmaR Updated Nov 4, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Science Adventure Center
    4 more images

    We are getting the trolley to the Bishop Center this morning. Well that was the plan

    Originally I had planned to take one of the sightseeing trolleys out there, but they have shortened the route and no longer go out that far. So we took The Bus (#2) The driver and other pax were very helpful about where to get off and where to go after that. We got transfers.

    The bus doesn't go directly to the museum - there is a two block walk, plus the gate is about another block from the buildings. We went first to the Science Adventure Center. My grandson played with the remote control underwater robot and looked at the volcano model and down into where the underwater robot operates. We also saw information on volcano tubes. After lunch, we went to the Planetarium for a talk on how the Polynesians got to Hawaii using the stars. Although I thought it was semi-interesting, I almost went to sleep (maybe jet lag) and my grandson thought it was boring. My sister was sad that we missed all the stuff in the main building, but I think my grandson would have found that just as boring as the planetarium.

    We walked up to the bus stop and there was a bus there - I told my grandson to run up and tell the driver I was coming, but he misunderstood and thought I just wanted to know what bus it was. So we missed it. Eventually got on a #2 and went back to Waikiki

    Open Wednesday to Monday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays.

    Ample free parking
    Admission: Adult $ 17.95
    Senior, 65 & over and child 4-12 $ 14.95 (age 3 & under)

    FreeDiscounts for military and kama'aina, but you must show ID

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Family Travel
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • DEBBBEDB's Profile Photo

    Bishop or the Beach?

    by DEBBBEDB Updated Aug 31, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Volcano model
    4 more images

    My grandmother said that she didn't think I would want to surf, so I said that if she did it, I would do it. I think she almost wanted to try it, but she asked me if I wouldn't want to go to the Bishop Museum instead. She said they had a remote control sub and stuff on volcanos, so I decided that would be cool. We went on the bus. The bus doesn't go directly to the museum - there is a two block walk, plus the gate is about another block from the buildings. My grandmother really walks slow.

    We went first to the science building, and were told that there would be a lava melting demonstration in about 10 minutes. There was a very noisy furnace going behind a steel mesh curtain, heating up the lava rocks. The demonstrating person passed around various kinds of lava to the audience, and then he opened the curtain a little and put on turnout gear (like firefighters wear) and poured out the lava in a red glowing stream (2 photos - one with flash and one without)

    After that I played with the remote control underwater robot and looked at the big volcano model. I got a good picture of the lava bubbling up. We also saw information on volcano tubes which I expect we will see on the Big Island. We went to the Planetarium for a talk which was boring.

    Admission: Adult $ 17.95
    Senior, 65 &over $ 14.95
    Child 4-14 $ 14.95
    Child 3 & under free

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Redlats's Profile Photo

    Bishop Museum

    by Redlats Updated Jul 21, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bishop's museum

    If you wish to find out about Hawaiian royalty, Hawaiian flora and fauna etc., go to the Bishop Museum. It houses an extensive collection of Hawaiian artifacts and royal family heirlooms. There heirlooms come from the founder of the museum, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop who was the last Hawaiian royal.

    The museum has more meaning when you join the tours (included with the entrance fee). Arrive early enough in the day to be able to follow a few of the tours. It took us over 1/2 a day to see everything before we were museumed out.

    Cost in 2004 for adults is still $15 each. We found a coupon in some magazine for $5 off the entrance fee.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • geekgrrl's Profile Photo

    Bishop Museum

    by geekgrrl Updated Apr 22, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bishop Museum

    The Bishop Museum is an excellent museum in Honolulu. It is a friendly museum, full of interesting exhibits. The Hawaii Hall is 3 balcony floors of display cases with lots of information. I love the kings' feather capes, the Ni'ihau shell leis, the beautiful wooden bowls, and especially the model of the islands showing the 'newest' island that is erupting way below the ocean. There are other exhibits in other buildings including a sports in Hawaii hall and rotating exhibits in Castle Hall.

    There is a good gift shop and a decent cafe.

    Admission is $14.95 for adults; 11.95 for youth 4-12 years

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • elcbw's Profile Photo

    Bishop Museum

    by elcbw Updated Jul 12, 2004

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Great Hall

    The museum's mission is to record, preserve and tell the stories of Hawai`i and the Pacific, inspiring their guests to embrace and experience Hawaii's natural and cultural world. It is a great way to learn about Hawaii, both land and its people. My personal favorite is the exhibit on Hawaii's Royal Family and Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame. The museum admission also include the admission to the Honolulu Maritime Museum which is located offsite next to the Aloha Tower in downtown Honolulu.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Must see museum!

    by fellman01 Written Sep 14, 2003

    The Bishop museum contains a carefully assembled and presented collection of Hawaiin and Pacific cultural material.
    Plan on at least 4 hours, and this might not include a visit to the Planeterium/Observatory!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • TropicGirl77's Profile Photo

    Feeling the real history at Bishop Museum

    by TropicGirl77 Written Jun 21, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bishop Museum, main entrance

    Visiting Bishop Museum may not be interesting to the children, but it holds a ton of information in the form of costumes, implements and other relics left from the past. Three floors in the main museum cover the first inhabitants to missionaries. The whole second floor is dedicated to Hawaiian culture and history. You will also see the planetarium and a (cultural) hula show with very informative narration.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • kenmerk's Profile Photo

    Bishop Museum

    by kenmerk Updated Feb 12, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Bishop Museum, Honolulu

    This is the best museum of Polynesian culture that I have been to so far. They cover not only the Hawaiian Islands but various cultures all through the Pacific Region. Be sure to check out the (Real) Sperm Whale Hanging in one of the Galleries.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Gillianina's Profile Photo

    BishopMuseum is the premier...

    by Gillianina Updated Sep 9, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bishop Museum is the premier natural and cultural history institution in the
    Pacific and is recognized throughout the world for its cultural collections,
    research projects, consulting services and public educational programs.  It
    also has one of the largest natural history specimen collections in the world.

    As the largest museum in the state, Bishop Museum hosts over 500,000 visitors
    each year who experience over 2,000 years of history and cultural heritage, from
    early Polynesian migration and settlement to space exploration.

    The Museum also operates two other institutions:  Hawai'i Maritime Center (located
    in Honolulu Harbor next to Aloha Tower Marketplace) and the Amy B.H. Greenwell
    Ethno botanical Garden (on the island of Hawaii). Visit also the Bishop Museum Planetarium: I really liked it (but also missed the last bus to get home to see it :PP lol)

    Was this review helpful?

  • kenmerk's Profile Photo

    The Natives are Restless...

    by kenmerk Written May 2, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Native Masks at Bishop Museum..

    Bishop Museum has quite the collection of native artifacts, not just from Hawaii but from throughout the Pacific Islands...

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Honolulu

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

107 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Bishop Museum
2.5 out of 5 stars
1 Review
2 miles away
Show Prices
3.0 out of 5 stars
1 Review
2.8 miles away
Show Prices
3.5 out of 5 stars
2 Reviews
3.1 miles away
Show Prices

View all Honolulu hotels