How to Enjoy Maui with the Kids

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing vacation or an action-packed trip, Maui is the perfect place to spend time together as a family. You’ll find plenty of activities geared towards kids that allow you to discover the island and have fun at the same time. Most of these family-friendly things to do are not too far apart either, making it easy to combine several activities in one day.


Part 1 Part 1 of 2:Preparing Your Trip Download Article

How to Enjoy Maui with the Kids

Choose your accommodation wisely. Most families choose to stay in a resort because of the many kid-friendly facilities, such as water parks with pool slides and kids’ clubs. Others prefer the convenience of a condominium for a more tranquil and affordable vacation. Whatever Maui accommodation you prefer, here are some things to consider before making your booking:

  • Maui’s climate, like that of the other Hawaiian islands, is characterised by the tradewinds. There’s a windward side, which receives the most rain and wind, and a leeward which is usually sunnier and drier. West Maui (Lahaina and Ka’anapali) and South Maui (Kihei and Wailea) tend to be the sunniest places on the island.
  • Take into account driving times. Maui is not that big, but because a large part of the land is dominated by the Haleakala volcano, getting from point A to B might have to involve a detour.
  • Most resorts charge a nightly resort fee, which can add up to $45 per room per night. This nightly hotel supplement does include some perks, however these don’t tend to justify the rather high fee.

How to Enjoy Maui with the Kids

Make your rental car reservation early. Since you’re traveling with kids, you’ll need a spacious car that fits the bags and possibly some extra gear such as strollers or boogie boards. Because you’ll most likely be traveling during the busier holiday period, some car types book out fast. Maui is an island after all, so it’s not as easy for rental companies to meet the offer by relocating cars from another destination. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to book your car (and child safety-seats) in advance.

How to Enjoy Maui with the Kids

Book some popular excursions ahead of time. Some popular Maui activities require an advance booking, especially during busy periods such as spring break. These activities include:

  • Haleakala volcano sunrise: You need a reservation for each vehicle entering the Haleakala National Park summit area. Bookings are available up to two months before your preferred date. Only a small number of last-minute tickets are released online 2 days beforehand.
  • Maui luau: Many of the popular Maui luau experiences are booked out weeks in advance, again especially during holiday periods.

How to Enjoy Maui with the Kids

Keep the program light. Children can be sensible to a change in rhythm and jet-lag. Don’t plan too many activities in those first days of your family vacation to give them the chance to recover from the trip.

Part 2 Part 2 of 2:Discovering the Best of Maui With Your Kids Download Article

How to Enjoy Maui with the Kids

Explore ‘Iao Valley. One of the most spectacular sights on the island is the ‘Iao Needle. This State Monument rises 1,200 feet (370 m) from the floor of the ‘Iao Valley, a sacred place in Hawaiian culture. The site features a small botanical garden with plants brought to Hawaii by the early Polynesians and a scenic viewpoint that can be reached by following the steep paved path and some steps.

How to Enjoy Maui with the Kids

Hike to a waterfall at Twin Falls. Driving the Road to Hana with kids might be a bit too ambitious. It’s a long road trip with dozens of hairpins that can be quite tough on the stomach with kids, but you can settle for Halfway to Hana or just explore the first stop along the Hana Highway, Twin Falls, an easy and family-friendly hike to Maui’s most popular waterfall.

How to Enjoy Maui with the Kids

Look for family-friendly beaches. Maui is a renowned beach destination. Do note, however, that some beaches can be unsafe for families traveling with young children. Look for beaches that:

  • Offer shade;
  • Have a lifeguard on duty:
  • Have a gentle surf;
  • Are equipped with restrooms.

How to Enjoy Maui with the Kids

Explore Lahaina. Learn all about Lahaina’s whaling history during a  self-guided walk along 62 historic sites. Or head directly for the former’s capital eye-catcher, the large Maui banyan tree on Lahaina Court.

How to Enjoy Maui with the Kids

Visit a local plantation or farm. Discover the colorful flowers and fruits of Hawaii by visiting a local farmer.

  • Take the Tropical Express Tram Tour on the Maui Tropical Plantation or go on a self-guided tour of the property. Young daredevils will certainly appreciate the zip-lining experience.
  • Explore the fragrant grounds of the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm.
  • Pick strawberries at Kula Country Farms.

How to Enjoy Maui with the Kids

Discover local wildlife Most of Maui’s wildlife can be found in the ocean, making the island’s underwater world just as exciting as its mountains and valleys. Here are some options to explore the local wildlife:

  • Go dolphin or whale-watching. During winter, North Pacific Humpback whales migrate to the Maui’s warm and safe waters. A whale-watching cruise gives you the opportunity to see these giants up close.
  • Go snorkeling. You can find reefs teeming with fish, just steps away from the beach. Alternatively and with somewhat older kids, you can take an excursion to the popular Molokini crater.
  • Visit the Maui Ocean Center.

How to Enjoy Maui with the Kids

Become a junior ranger at Haleakala National Park. A visit to the volcano guarantees a thrilling experience for kids and adults alike. Pick up a Junior Ranger booklet at the Haleakala National Park visitor center. It mentions several educational activities, perfect for primary school aged kids. When your little ones score well, they are sworn in and rewarded with a badge.

How to Enjoy Maui with the Kids

Participate in seasonal activities. Throughout the island, you’ll come across several family-oriented activities, many of which are open to locals and visitors alike. Most of these events are free of charge. Examples are lei making tutorials, hula, and ukulele classes.

How to Enjoy Maui with the Kids

Take a day trip to Lanai. The smaller island of Lanai is the only other Hawaiian island that can be reached by boat. Hop on the ferry at Lahaina Harbor to explore the remote beaches of Lanai and maybe spot some whales along the way. The journey takes less than an hour.

How to Enjoy Maui with the Kids

Hit the waves. Sign up for a family surf lesson. This can be especially enjoyable when you’re traveling with pre-teens.

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