Mokupapapa Discovery Center

Mokupapapa Discovery Center

Mokupapapa Discovery Center
4.5
Natural History MuseumsScience MuseumsAquariums
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Explore the natural science, culture, and history of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands at the Mokupāpapa Discovery Center. Since most people might not visit these remote islands, the center in Hilo, Hawaiʻi brings the place to you and aims to spur greater awareness of the region and ocean conservation issues. Mokupāpapa features a 3,500 gallon saltwater aquarium, interactive exhibits, life-size models of Hawaiian wildlife, artwork inspired by the islands and Hawaiian culture, and many interpretive panels in both Hawaiian and English. This visitor center provides a range of accessibility features for every visitor to enjoy the exhibits. Different learning styles are accommodated using activities, such as hands-on learning exhibits, audio chants, and a knot-tying station. Visit our website to learn more information about wheelchair mobility, service animals, sight and hearing impaired assistance, and sensory friendly assistance.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles108 reviews
Excellent
62
Very good
38
Average
8
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Ravenito
Charlotte, NC473 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Couples
A nice stop neat downtown Hilo. It's free, which is nice, and it only takes around an hour to get through at most and that includes ~20 minutes of film in the theater. The guy at the front desk was really nice and was happy to answer any questions we had. There was one tank with fish in it. There's a few small exhibits upstairs but that area is really geared more towards children. Overall it was a nice stop but I wouldn't make a special trip.
Written 17 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AbsolutelyDubrovnik
Seattle, WA1,137 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
After a few visits to Hilo over the years found this fascinating place near Hilo’s old town on the waterfront. Loved this ( free😀) explanation of this Hawaiian national monument. Great interactive displays and information on birds, marine life, coral, cultural ties and unfortunately the large amounts of pollution (mostly fishing -industry related). Worth a visit.
Written 22 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Essy
28 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022 • Couples
Not accessible for mobility impaired. First floor is spacious and roomy enough for a wheelchair. Wheelchairs are not available to borrow as some museums have. However, second floor totally inaccessible due to a very large staircase and a broken elevator.

Volunteer at desk very knowledgeable and friendly. Lots of information on an important topic.
Written 17 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mike F
Antigo, WI435 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
After two years, I was excited to take my now 5&7yo kids back. We spent a lot of time here back then and it was just as cool as we all remembered!

Fish tank and children’s section are great along with all of the other things to see. Such a cool place for anyone to visit and free!!
Written 25 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rosyspex
London, UK105 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2013 • Family
I love this place! I have been in at least 5 times and keep recommending to people. It has a lot of interactive displays, has been really well thought out and is massively informative! It has a wealth of different aspects to the Hawaiian islands from a geographical and environmental aspect. The videos were interesting (not so keen on the one I briefly saw on the Great Barrier reef but there was one about Monk Seals that was really interesting) The photographs were very nice and the rubbish bit was not rubbish at all :-). I felt that it was informative for children and my 2 always sneak in as we walk past! I love that it is free as with 2 kids with pretty short attention spans we can duck in and out as we please and not have to force them to see everything in one go!
The staff were informative and extremely friendly and answered all of our odd questions eagerly.
Please note that it is closed on Mondays and is NOT an aquarium as mentioned by another reviewer. There is a small tank in construction but to my knowledge will have a reef in it rather than actual fish.
Written 13 February 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Life Starts at 50
Winnipeg, Canada224 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2015 • Couples
Huge, family-friendly marine museum right on the waterfront. Most of information is aimed at school children, but the exhibits are interesting for all ages. Gigantic fish tank with local species; dioramas depict the effects of pollution on marine life and shore birds, display cases of artifacts, interactive exhibits about the islands. Allow at least an hour to see it all – and we understand that more is being added.
Written 11 March 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carol C
Hilo, HI7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Friends
What an upgrade. The old Koehnen building is absolutely gorgeous - amazing woodwork, beautiful space. It must be at least 10 times the size of the old location. There will also be exhibits upstairs soon, and a new theater. The new 3500 gallon aquarium is getting restocked and "growing bacteria" so that bigger fish can be added, plus they have an application submitted to do live coral. Wonderful and helpful staff working there, all in all a great experience and getting better all the time.
Written 30 April 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Keith-B-Robinson
Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada928 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2012 • Couples
The Discovery Center is a fresh, new-looking, well-designed (albeit rather small) museum devoted to the Northwest Hawaiian Islands, which are also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

The beautiful exhibits and displays describe in an exciting, vibrant, easy-to-read-manner, the biology, ecology, and history of these little known islands.

The hands-on displays are fun and the aquarium is neat, too!
Written 29 November 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mike F
Antigo, WI435 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
Worth the visit. Many cool things to see and learn about. Also has a great kids area with books, puzzles, coloring pages and a cool little interactive game.
Written 21 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

reilly86
St. Paul, MN31 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
This was a well-done discovery center, with knowledgeable staff. We learned a lot on some topics we don't usually see covered. Plus it's in a cool historic department store building.
Written 9 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Mokupapapa Discovery Center - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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