Hilo Teens and Kids

Family in East Hawaii

Books by the authors of HiloLiving




Family is a high priority in Hilo and Hawaii Island and extended families are often the primary social groups that residents spend time with. Families have fun together at the local beaches, parks, and events. The importance of and activities for children is one of the reasons that we were drawn to Hilo.

Hilo fishing Father and Son

Here are some resources for families and their children and teens.

Our son was home schooled, so we don't have direct experience with the public or private schools in Hilo. We have heard good and bad stories from parents about the public schools; it depends on the family and the student and the school. We recommend visiting the school and individual classes before deciding whether it is the right place for your children.

We have experience with the Hilo Community Adult School which offers GED testing and evening classes. The staff was fantastic supporting our son in getting his GED. Hawaii also offers a Competency-Based High School Diploma Program which combines taking classes and passing the GED to award a Hawaii high school diploma. These programs are great for home schooled children allowing them to get into colleges and offering high school equivalency for jobs and the military.

You can get reviews of Hilo schools at the Great Schools site.

Hilo Public Schools

Hilo public schools are part of the Hilo-Laupahoehoe-Waiakea complex.

Hilo High School is directly above downtown Hilo. Here are some pictures of Hilo Highschool.

Waiakea High School is nearby Hilo in the Waikea area across the street from the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Here are some pictures of Waikea High school.

Hilo has 8 elementary schools (Ernest Bowen deSilva, Haaheo, Hilo Union, Kalanianaole, Kapiolani, Kaumana, Keaukaha, Waiakea, and Waiakea Waena) and 3 intermediate schools (7-8) schools (Hilo, Waiakea, and Kalanianaole).

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Private Schools

There are many private schools in Hilo:

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Home School Resources

Hawaii's home school requirements are different than other states, but the environment is very supportive. There are a lot of groups and families around the Big Island that support home school families, so if you are already home schooling or choose to start home schooling you won't be alone. GED testing is available regularly in Hilo and Kona through the Community school for Adults. Here are some resources and informational web sites about Home schooling.

Teens and young adults can continue their education in Hilo at the University of Hawaii Hilo campus or Hawaii Community College. They can also get their degree from home through the University of Hawaii distance learning programs or Chaminade University of Honolulu online PACE degree programs.

Guide to Online Degrees describes degrees available from universities and colleges around the country and resources for highschool students.

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Competitive Sports Teams for Kids

Hilo has swim teams that practice at the county indoor Kawamoto Swim Stadium and NAS pool. The county also sponsorAmerican Red Cross life guard training for youth as well as summer swimming classes. Swim teams also practice at Kamehameha School , St. Joseph, Hilo High School, Christian Liberty, and Waiakea High School pools. The YWCA has a heated pool which offers swim classes.

A Gymnastics school practices in Hilo at Pantheon Gymnastics located on Kalanikoa Street. The Pacific Gymnastics Flippers team competes nationally.

Pacific Gymnasts in parade at Merrie Monarch

Hilo has several competitive and recreational canoe and outrigger clubs including Puna Canoe Club. Youth sailing and other boating is supported by the Na Hoa Holomoku of Hawaii Yacht Club.

Hilo kids paddling in Hilo Bay

Hilo has Baseball, Basketball, Football, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball, Tennis, Golf, and Hunting and Fishing. Hawaiisportspage has information about the teams.

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Activities for Kids

Hilo has many activities for young people in addition to sports. The location of the telescope observatories, museums, the University of Hawaii, Hawaii Community College, and an active arts community creates an exciting intellectual and artistic community in Hilo with many activities tailored for families, children and teens participation.

'Imiloa Astronomy Center has many programs for children and families in addition to their regular planetarium shows, exhibits and Hawaiian cultural programs. They have afterschool programs during the school year and camps when school is out of session. And the center is a great place for teens to volunteer.

Astronomers at UHH and local Hilo Observatories have created amateur Astronomy clubs and provide families the opportunity to view the stars in Hilo and at the visitor's center on Mauna Kea. Astroday Institute sponsors astronomy events year-round.


Many Hilo schools have competitive Robotics Teams. Friends of Hawaii Robotics describes the programs in Hawaii including FIRST, Botball, RoboFest, ROVs and others.

Hawaiian Hula Schools, Halau Hula, teach Hula to children and adults and often compete internationally in hula events. As a part of the instruction, students learn the Hawaiian language, chants, meles, and lei making. Some of the most famous Kumu's are in Hilo such as Paul Neves and Johnny Lum Ho. You can find a list of the many Halau Hula in Hilo at mele.com. The Merry Monarch festival takes place in Hilo every Spring; it is the premiere international Hula event. Living in Hilo is a unique opportunity for families to learn about and become involved in Hawaiian culture and dance.

Hilo kids doing hula Hilo kids hula

The County of Hawaii supports many sports and cultural activities for families and children through the parks and recreation division.

There are many groups active in Theater and Performing arts in Hilo. The Big Island Theater Network Newsletter lists the events.

Hilo has a great library and special section just for kids.

Hilo Library

If your kids are like my son, they can't do with out a supply of computer games and a place to sell used games. Fortunately, the Prince Kuhio mall in Hilo has a GameStop.

Hilo GameStop

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Pictures of Hilo Highschool

Hilo High School sign

Hilo High school from parking lot

Hilo High school

Hilo High outside Picnic area

Hilo High Walkways

Hilo High Auditorium

Hilo High inside Auditorium

Hilo High school band in Merrie Monarch parade

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Pictures of Waikea Highschool

Waikea High School in Hilo

Waikea High School front in Hilo

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Pictures of Hawaii county swimming pools in Hilo

Hilo Kawamoto pool

Hilo Kawamoto pool

Hilo Kawamoto diving boards

Hilo NAS outdoor pool

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