Food, Fun and Film at the Ko Olina Children's Festival

Food, Fun and Film at the Ko Olina Children's Festival
  • September 15, 2018

It's called the Ko Olina Children's Festival, but in actuality it's an afternoon and evening of movies, activities, musical entertainment and more the whole ohana will enjoy.

"It offers great entertainment, ono food and fun, educational activities that both kids and kids at heart will love," said Sweetie Nelson, director of destination marketing for the Ko Olina Resort Operators Association, which oversees the festival. "It strengthens family and community bonds and provides much-needed support for a worthy cause. Add Ko Olina’s safe, beautiful, beachfront setting and you have all the ingredients for a fabulous end-of-summer celebration."

The annual event was launched in 2014 as a fundraiser for Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women & Children, which still receives 100 percent of ticket proceeds. Since 2014, Ko Olina has contributed $210,000 to fund, among other things, a new emergency room and neonatal and pediatric intensive care units for the nonprofit hospital.

"Kapi'olani Medical Center is a valued partner for the festival, and they're actively involved with the implementation of it," Nelson said.

"Dozens of their employees volunteer to help in many areas, including manning the first-aid tent and the sun-and-safety tent, which offers games, exhibits and activities that underscore the importance of staying hydrated and applying proper sunscreen when you're outdoors."

In addition, kids at the festival can take a photo with Winnie, the medical center's therapy dog, and receive a souvenir gift - maracas that light up - to match this year's theme, "Coco." The Disney/Pixar blockbuster tells the story of a Mexican boy named Miguel, an aspiring musician who learns about his family's history during an adventure in the Land of the Dead. A sunset screening of "Coco," which won Oscars for best animated feature film and best original song, is certain to be a festival highlight.

Also attracting crowds will be the Slime Design workshop led by Jasper Wong, illustrator, pop-culture artist and founder of Pow! Wow! ( He'll teach kids to make slime from everyday ingredients such as water, glue, shaving cream and food coloring.

Honolulu Community College's Music & Entertainment Learning Experience program, which trains students for careers in the music industry, will operate the Studio Mix booth, where keiki experiment with mixing separate tracks of a song.

At the station set up by the Blue Zones Project (, you can create art while exercising. As you pedal the "spin art bike," paint squirts onto paper, producing an eye-catching, multicolored pattern of lines and spirals that you can take home and frame.

Read More