Born and raised on the North Shore and in Waikiki, Buttons Kaluhiokalani started surfing at the age of 7, earning his way into the 1973 US Championships at the age of 13 and planting himself in the pages of Hawaiian surfing history. At Buttons Surfing School, newcomers can learn to ride waves from a master during 90-minute lessons that cover proper technique as well as safety and etiquette out on the water. Visitors can also rent out the school's boards or take lessons on stand-up paddleboarding.
A couple proclaiming their commitment to each other, barefoot on the beach with the sunlight dancing on the ocean behind them—this is a dream come true with the help of Wedding Day Hawaii. The officiant guides the couples "I do's," as photographer Rei Mooney snaps brilliant photographs with picturesque backdrops. Her experience in fine art and model photography influences every shot, whether candid or posed, to preserve memories of that beautiful day in the tropics.
Party Pizzazz pumps balloons full of helium and gatherings full of fun with an extensive assortment of decorations and party supplies. Event planners can conceal ceilings with radiant 11-inch latex balloons in shades ranging from sapphire blue to pink ($19.95/dozen), or pick up paper plates ($3.89+/24-pack) for serving up picnic fare or crafting makeshift pirate hats in a pinch. An array of 18-inch mylar balloons bear a plethora of birthday wishes from popular characters such as Dora the Explorer and Curious George ($3.95 each), and other designs celebrate occasions ranging from anniversaries to baby showers. Land-bound inflatables eagerly await the arrival of a 14-cubic-foot helium tank, which contains enough squeal-inducing vapor to fill 25 11-inch or 50 9-inch balloons, or raise one speaking voice roughly 29 octaves ($35 for a one-day rental).
Sometimes a party needs an extra element—perhaps the bucking and spinning of a mechanical bull, themed decorations, or a DJ to spin tunes over the dance floor. The Hawaii Party Rentals offers all these ingredients and more. They can amp up festivities with speakers and even supply the live band. To fulfill fantastical themes such as "Winter Wonderland," the store can even make it snow. For a little competition, ask The Hawaii Party Rentals to lay out race tracks or inflatable sumo wrestling mats. Whatever the celebration, they work closely with clients, customizing events down to the last detail.
The water churns along the length of The Treasure Seeker, as the 83-foot galleon slices its way out of storybook pages and into the waters of Waikiki. Crewed by a team of salty dogs, the ship specializes in pirate-themed cruises, with other boats sometimes appearing to do water-cannon battle. Passengers man the enormous squirt guns to help fend off these foes.
The crew of The Treasure Seeker also conducts more adult-oriented excursions, including evening cruises that adopt a club-like feel complete with flashing lights, music, and BYOB adult beverages. Still clad in their pirate garb, the crew leads a bit of themed skullduggery or joins in a dance or two. After de-boarding and becoming a landlubber once more, revelers can visit The Groove Hawaii for go-karting, pizza, and other pirate-free fun.
The 800 teddy bears at Teddy Bear World Hawaii might appear to be alive, but they're actually animatronic. The museum packs its 20,000 square feet with colorful scenes of the bears reenacting famous scenes from history, such as the first space shuttle launch, the construction of Mount Rushmore, and the day stuffed animals gained the right to vote. Complementing the historical exhibits are famous works of art reinterpreted to include bears, a dinosaur-themed exhibit, and the Save The Planet section that details how global warming may affect the planet's future. The building also houses a fully animated Elvis show, where a teddy bear version of the king performs a song-and-dance routine rivaled only by Elvis's short stint as a basketball mascot.