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22 Feb 2024
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Vacation Planning

Are you planning a family-friendly Hawaiian vacation and don’t know where to start? Well, look no further! Our list of excursions, activities, and kid-friendly beaches will have you ready to go in no time. You won’t find suggestions for 6-hour road trips to Hana or 3-hour hikes on this list. We’ve scoured the island for things families traveling with kids will actually enjoy. From petting zoos with an educational twist for the little ones to more adventurous activities for teens and even some fun for the parents, we hope this guide helps you picture yourself in Maui for your next family-friendly vacation.

Shady Beaches for Family Fun

palm tree on Maui beach

One of the best parts of a Hawaiian vacation is, of course, the beach! But when you have a baby in tow, making sure you can escape the sun throughout the day is important. Who wants to lug a tent all the way to Maui, though?

That's where these shaded Maui beaches really deliver. Consider visiting Kamaole III in Kihei and Ulua, and Mokapu Beach in Wailea. These beaches offer a safe and comfortable environment for your family to enjoy the sun, sand, and surf. With playgrounds, picnic tables, lifeguards, and waters perfect for snorkeling, your family will have everything they need to enjoy a perfect beach day.

Baby Beaches: Safe Fun for Everyone

For families with young children, Maui's baby beaches are a must-visit. These beaches feature calm waters protected by reefs, making them safe for babies and toddlers. While the official Baby Beach is found just north of Paia on Baldwin Beach, you'll find calm waters and gentle waves along parts of Sugar Beach as well. These areas are often less crowded and offer an enjoyable environment for your little ones to experience and explore the ocean.

All Aboard the Tropical Express Tour

Take your family on an exciting journey through a tropical plantation on the Tropical Express Tour. This 40-minute electric train ride offers a unique opportunity to explore the lush landscapes of Maui.

During the tour, you'll witness a live coconut husking demonstration, where you'll learn about the importance of the coconut tree in Hawaiian culture. The tour also includes a fruit-tasting session, where you can sample some of the freshest tropical fruits straight from the trees. The best part? Kids aged 0-2 years can enjoy this colorful journey for free!

Shopping in Maui

For a relaxing day, consider a stroll through the Shops at Wailea. Offering a wide range of stores, from high-end boutiques to local artisan shops, there's something for everyone.

Family-Friendly Hikes in Maui

Maui's diverse landscapes offer several hiking trails that are easy to navigate with a stroller. The Wailea Oceanfront Boardwalk Trail, for instance, is a paved path that leads you past gorgeous ocean views and takes a little over an hour to complete. This trail is not only easy to traverse but also offers an excellent vantage point during whale-watching season, making it a fun learning experience for kids and families as you witness this monumental migration.

Savor the Flavors of Maui at Local Food Trucks

Experience the true taste of Hawaii by visiting the food trucks of Maui. These mobile eateries offer a variety of local dishes, from fresh seafood to Hawaiian BBQ, all served with a side of stunning views. Whether you're craving a quick snack or a full meal, the local food trucks offer a unique dining experience that combines delicious food with a laid-back Hawaiian vibe.

Dive into Marine Life at the Maui Aquarium

child with outstretched arms looking at an aquarium full of tropical fish

The Maui Aquarium is a wonderland for children and adults alike. The aquarium houses hundreds of species of fish and marine life, offering a glimpse into the vibrant underwater world of Hawaii. From the mesmerizing jellyfish to the playful sea turtles, the Maui Aquarium promises a day of fun and learning for the whole family.

MauiWine and Ulupalakua Ranch Store

While Maui offers plenty of activities for kids, it hasn't forgotten about the parents. Visit the Ulupalakua Ranch Store to grab some delicious ice cream and sandwiches. Then, head over to MauiWine for a wine-tasting session. The kids can play cornhole or explore the gardens and grounds while you sip delicious wines and enjoy the scenery. 

Shave Ice: A Hawaiian Treat

shaved ice

No Hawaiian vacation is complete without trying shave ice, a true local treat. This refreshing dessert, made from finely ground ice and flavored with various syrups, is a perfect way to cool down on a hot day! Kids will love experimenting with flavor combinations, and parents will enjoy the unique island ingredients that make shave ice so much more than a snow cone. 

Maui Animal Farm

Experience the magic of Maui Animal Farm, a unique petting zoo where your family can interact with a variety of animals and learn about the cultural history of farming in Hawaii. This heartwarming experience will bring smiles and laughter to everyone. Though the petting zoo was not damaged by the Maui wildfires, you may still want to call before visiting to ensure they're officially open to the public during your visit. 

Surfing Goat Dairy

small child feeding a baby sheep with adult supervision

Let your kids pet and feed the goats at the Surfing Goat Dairy as they learn all about the farm, how cheese is made, and how the goats are milked. With daily tours, this is a must-do family activity that’s sure to delight everyone and provide tasty treats during the process.

Hawaii Wildlife Discovery Center

Located in Whalers Village, the Hawaii Wildlife Discovery Center offers an interactive virtual experience where your family can learn all about the ocean, conservation, and sustainability. Check out their event calendar before you go to catch any special presentations or workshops on your visit.

Snorkel at Molokini Crater

mother and daughter snorkeling

See stunning marine life, from fish to moray eels, octopuses, and more, when you take a snorkeling tour at Molokini Crater.

Whale Watching

If you're visiting between November and May, don't miss the chance to go whale watching. This is a breathtaking experience that your family will remember forever.

Twin Falls Hike

Take an easy 1.5-mile hike to Twin Falls, which ends at a waterfall and swimming hole. Along the way, enjoy the food stand, where you can taste delicious banana bread and enjoy refreshing drinks.

Activities for Teens

If you're traveling with teens, consider surf lessons, sunset helicopter tours, jungle zipline excursions, or a fishing charter to keep them engaged and enjoying every minute of your family vacation to Maui.

Book Direct with Maui Condo

living room of vacation rental in Maui

Maui offers a wide range of family-friendly activities that cater to all ages. From beautiful beaches to exciting tours and unique experiences, a vacation in Maui is sure to be unforgettable. When you’re ready to book your travel, remember to do it directly with Maui Condo. Our selection of vacation rentals offers something to suit every family's needs. Whether you want something right on the beach or you’re looking for a secluded private home, we can help you find the perfect place for your family. So, pack your bags and get ready for a family-friendly Hawaiian vacation like no other!