Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Kanaloa Octopus Farm, Big Island

Whenever possible, I like to incorporate an animal encounter in our vacations. They enhance the experience and make for great memories. We always try to be sensitive to how the animals are treated so sometimes it can be difficult to find something that works.

After doing a bit of research, I felt good about visiting the Kanaloa Octopus Farm in the Kona area and I wasn't disappointed. This event is something few people can say they've experienced!

You'll start off the tour with a presentation on the facilities and and the rules of engaging the octopi. Our tour guide was very friendly and was happy to answer questions. After the presentation, everyone washed their hands and selected a bin. The lids were removed and we were able to feed an octopus. After feeding, we were allowed to place our hands under the water to try and tempt contact. Some were very friendly!

The tour was fun and very educational. Our guide was full of information. We didn't feel rushed at all, but neither did we feel as though the experience dragged on.

If you have time, plan on exploring nearby Wawaloi Beach Park. You can swim, wade, walk the rocks, and search for Pele's Well. There's not much in the area so plan on a picnic lunch!

What You Need to Know

Appointments are crucial. Due to concerns about the animals' welfare and the fact that this is a working laboratory, tours are limited in size and fill up quickly. Plan ahead and don't leave your visit up to chance.

It's also important to note that there are rules of engaging with the octopi, so it's important that children be able to listen and follow directions. If you have questions about age requirements, strollers, etc, please be sure to call before booking a tour.

Finally, it's often overlooked, but I always like to remind people that animals can be finicky. There's no guaranteeing that an octopus - or any animal - is going to be cooperative. This can be frustrating and disappointing for children, so it's good to talk about it beforehand and maintain a positive attitude.  One last hint; our guide informed us that the octopi are intrigued by shiny objects so wear a ring or two and you may have a better change of enticing some interaction.

Additional Resources

Lots of fun octopus-themed ideas at Child Fun.

Check out Making Contact, a 35-minute documentary about an Alaskan professor who studies and octopus in his home.

For a unit study/lapbook page, check out Homeschool Helper Online.

For more information, consider the links below. Check your local library first, but if you decide to buy please use my link as I'm an Amazon Affiliate member. Every purchase helps support my blog!

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