Maui is not only beautiful, but is in my opinion the most kid friendly of all the Hawaiian islands. Gorgeous year-round weather along with tons of fun family activities make Maui an ideal family vacation spot. Forget the road to Hana with little ones unless they enjoy spending an entire day in traffic and try these instead:
The Beach & Stars – The shallow shoreline along Ka’anapali Beach is home to hundreds of tiny tropical fish. You can don fins and snorkel gear and wade out pretty far for even more varieties and sizes of marine life. But, little ones can just put on a snorkel mask and walk out waist deep and see plenty of fish! Obviously, children should always wear life vests in the ocean, even if they are strong swimmers, or in shallow water. At night, the beach is a wonderful place to see more stars than you’ve ever seen before. Because the islands are far enough apart, you don’t get light pollution and can see them all. You are also very likely to see a few shooting stars every night… great for wish-making!
Whale Watching – You don’t have to be an animal lover to get a thrill from seeing these majestic creatures up close in the wild. Be sure to book a tour with a company that respects the laws protecting them by keeping a safe distance. I highly recommend Pacific Whale Foundation because they are a research facility and not just a tourist attraction. That doesn’t mean that the whales won’t come to you, however. We were lucky enough to have a baby humpback whale swim within 20 feet of our boat, and my son swears it looked right at him. So sweet! We also had a large male swim right under our boat, (safely) which was very exciting! In the spring, you can also see them from the beach along the horizon.
Haleakala National Park – Haleakala is a breathtaking spot, a 10,023-foot-tall dormant volcano whose lava formed most of East Maui. The cinder cone-covered crater floor measures more than 24 square miles, and is a 3,000-foot drop from its upper rim. Visit the official website for a list of activities and services just for kids. There is a backpack program for hiking, coloring pages to print out to learn about native animals, plants and birds. Learn about Hawaiian culture, language and myths. If you go, be sure to bring your own food and water, as none is sold in the park, and bring sun protection and warm clothes since the climate changes drastically as you near the top.
Maui Ocean Center – As an island, Maui enjoys a special link to the sea. The Maui Ocean Center explores that link; indoor and outdoor displays at the aquarium feature 2,000 sharks, fishes and other sea creatures as well as vast displays on Hawaii’s black lava shores and colorful coral.
Maui Tropical Plantation – A tram ride transports tourists through this lush region of the island as a narrator tells of its rich agricultural heritage. The 120-acre plantation encompasses more than 60 acres of pineapple, sugar cane, mangoes, guavas, papaya, ginger and coffee, and also showcases dozens of varieties of tropical orchids. After the tram, children will be entertained by Hawaiian hula dancers and demonstrations of native crafts.
Kid friendly or not, check out these great deals on Maui hotels:
For more ideas for your Maui family vacation, check the related posts section below.