Popular Activities for Families with Small Children on Maui: Top Picks for Fun and Adventure

As a frequent traveler to the beautiful island of Maui, I’ve discovered that it’s an ideal destination for families with small children. With its warm climate, diverse attractions, and the welcoming spirit of aloha, there’s a multitude of activities that cater to families with kids of all ages.

Popular Activities for Families with Small Children on Maui

In my experience, some of the most popular activities for families on Maui include exploring the vibrant underwater world at the Maui Ocean Center, embarking on an adventure along the road to Hana, and learning about Hawaiian history and culture at a traditional luau. Additionally, with pristine beaches, exciting water sports, and unique local experiences like farm visits, there’s no shortage of memorable moments to share as a family.

Not only do these activities provide endless opportunities for fun and learning, but they also foster appreciation for the island’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. As a parent, I’ve found that the family-friendly atmosphere combined with the array of engaging activities make Maui an ideal vacation destination for creating unforgettable memories with my loved ones.

Kid-Friendly Beaches

Baby Beach

One of my favorite kid-friendly beaches on Maui is Baby Beach, also known as Puunoa Beach. Located in West Maui, this beach features shallow waters that are perfect for young swimmers or non-swimmers. The calm waters allow for a relaxing beach day for the entire family.

The beach isn’t as crowded as some of the other touristy beaches on the island, making it an excellent choice for families with small children. Parents can breathe a little easier knowing they won’t have to fight for space or worry about their little ones getting lost in a sea of people.

Kamaole Beach Park

Another fantastic option for families is Kamaole Beach Park, which is actually a series of three beaches (Kamaole I, II, and III) located in South Maui. Known for their soft sand and calm waters, these beaches are an excellent choice for families with young children. Each beach park features restrooms, showers, and picnic facilities, making it easy to spend an entire day there.

Some of my favorite activities for kids at Kamaole Beach Park include:

  • Building sandcastles
  • Swimming in the gentle waves
  • Searching for sea turtles and other marine life in the tide pools
  • Snorkeling in the clear waters

Overall, both Baby Beach and Kamaole Beach Park offer safe and enjoyable beach experiences for families with small children. With their calm waters, convenient facilities, and plenty of space, these beaches make for a relaxing and fun-filled day on Maui.

Outdoor Adventures

As someone who loves exploring the great outdoors, I’m always on the lookout for family-friendly activities that allow small children to enjoy nature’s wonders. In Maui, two attractions stood out to me as perfect for families with little ones: Haleakala National Park and the Maui Ocean Center.

Haleakala National Park

One of my favorite experiences in Maui was taking my family to Haleakala National Park. The park offers a variety of activities suitable for children, such as hiking trails with varying levels of difficulty, guided walks led by park rangers, and even a Junior Ranger program for kids aged 7 to 12. Each activity provided us with stunning views of Maui’s beautiful landscapes and unique plant and wildlife.

Some family-friendly hikes we enjoyed were the Hosmer Grove Loop, which took us through a beautiful forest, and the Pa Kaoao Trail, offering breathtaking summit views. I recommend visiting the park early in the morning, as the sunrise from the summit was nothing short of spectacular!

Maui Ocean Center

For more water-based fun, my family and I visited the Maui Ocean Center, an aquarium dedicated to showcasing Hawaii’s unique marine life. The center features several kid-friendly exhibits and interactive experiences, allowing little ones to learn about the ocean while having hands-on fun.

We were particularly impressed by the “Open Ocean” exhibit, with its massive 750,000-gallon aquarium, which gave us a rare opportunity to view sharks, rays, and other fascinating sea creatures up close. My children also enjoyed the “Turtle Lagoon” exhibit, where they could observe Hawaiian green sea turtles in their natural habitat.

Throughout our visit, we appreciated the knowledgeable staff and engaging presentations that made the Maui Ocean Center a fun and educational experience for the whole family.

Cultural Experiences

Lahaina Historic District

One of my favorite places to explore with my family on Maui is the Lahaina Historic District. This charming area provides a glimpse into Hawaii’s rich history while offering various kid-friendly attractions. Walking through the quaint streets, we admired the beautifully preserved buildings, many of which date back to the 19th century.

During our visit, we stopped by the impressive Banyan Tree, which covers an entire block. My kids loved playing under its sprawling branches while I enjoyed learning about the historical significance of the tree, planted in 1873 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Lahaina Missionary Society.

Polynesian Luau

Attending a Polynesian Luau has to be one of the most unforgettable experiences I’ve had on Maui. It’s an excellent way for my family and me to immerse ourselves in Hawaiian culture. We were captivated by the vibrant costumes, traditional music, and energetic dance performances, which brought the island’s history and legends to life.

Participating in a luau also gave us the opportunity to taste authentic Hawaiian cuisine. My kids were delighted by the buffet-style spread that included dishes like kalua pig (slow-roasted pulled pork) and poi (a traditional Hawaiian staple made from taro root). They even got to try their hands at various Hawaiian games and crafts, making our Maui trip truly unforgettable.

Farm Tours

When I first thought about a family trip to Maui with small children, I must admit farm tours hadn’t crossed my mind. However, once I discovered them, they quickly became a highlight of our vacation. I’ll share a couple of our favorites: Surfing Goat Dairy and the Maui Tropical Plantation. Both are perfect for families with young children.

Surfing Goat Dairy

My family and I particularly enjoyed our visit to Surfing Goat Dairy. This unique farm is home to award-winning cheeses and adorable goats that kids can interact with. My little ones loved being able to feed the goats and learn more about them during our guided tour of the facilities. They also offer a variety of dairy products to sample, some of which incorporate flavors native to Hawaii.

The farm is not only enjoyable for its furry residents but also quite picturesque, set against the backdrop of Maui’s lush green hills. The experience was educational and immersive, making it a great choice for families with children.

Maui Tropical Plantation

Another farm tour that captured our hearts was the Maui Tropical Plantation Tour. It’s a sprawling farm that showcases an abundance of tropical fruits, flowers, and even a demonstration of how coconuts are husked. It was a phenomenal learning opportunity for my kids, who were curious about the origins of their favorite tropical fruits.

The plantation also provides a fantastic setting for picture-perfect moments, making it a great place for family photos. Their tram tour is especially welcoming to young children who can soak in the beautiful views while happily seated. After exploring the plantation, we thoroughly enjoyed a stop at their on-site restaurant and farmers market for fresh and delicious local produce.

Having experienced these farm tours firsthand, I can confidently say that they have left an indelible mark on our Maui vacation memories, and I’m certain they will be a hit among other families with small children as well.

Indoor Activities

When planning activities for families with small children on Maui, it’s important to have some options for indoor activities. While the Hawaiian sunshine is what attracts many visitors, sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate, or parents might be in search of activities that provide a break from the sun. In this section, I’ll focus on two popular indoor activities on Maui: the Maui Ocean Center and Maui Family Fun Center.

Maui Ocean Center

One of my favorite indoor activities for families with small children is the Maui Ocean Center. This state-of-the-art aquarium offers a fantastic opportunity for both kids and parents to explore the wonders of the ocean. They provide up-close views of the diverse marine life, including tropical fish, green sea turtles, and even sharks!

What I particularly enjoyed during my visit was the 750,000-gallon Open Ocean exhibit, which features a walk-through tunnel that offers a truly immersive experience. They also have interactive displays and daily presentations, which make learning about marine conservation both fun and educational for the whole family.

Maui Family Fun Center

Another great indoor destination for families with small children is the Maui Family Fun Center, located in Maui’s central valley near the aquarium. This entertainment facility offers a range of age-appropriate activities to keep kids engaged for hours. Some highlights include:

  • Mini-golf: A fun, 36-hole course that offers a challenge for both beginners and experienced players.
  • Bumper Boats: Children and adults can enjoy a friendly competition on the water while trying to avoid getting splashed by waterfalls and fountains.
  • Rock Wall: For those looking to test their strength and agility, the rock wall offers a safe and fun environment to practice climbing skills.
  • Video Arcade: With an array of video games and redemption games, kids can have hours of fun and even win some prizes.

The Maui Family Fun Center provides an excellent option for families looking for indoor entertainment, making it a must-visit during your stay on the island.

Planning Tips and Recommendations

As someone who has experienced the magic of Maui, I want to share some useful planning tips and recommendations for families with small children.

Best Time to Visit

In my experience, the best time to visit Maui with little ones is during the shoulder seasons: April to May and September to November. This is when the weather is pleasant, and there are fewer crowds at popular attractions.

During these months, the daytime temperatures are typically in the high 70s to low 80s (Fahrenheit), making it perfect for beach days and outdoor activities. Another perk of visiting during the shoulder seasons is that accommodations and flights are often more affordable.

Safety Precautions

Keeping safety top of mind is essential when traveling with small children. Here are some safety precautions I recommend taking:

  • Apply sunscreen regularly: Be sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 and reapply every 2 hours, as well as after swimming or sweating.
  • Stay hydrated: Ensure everyone is drinking plenty of water, especially while being active under the sun.
  • Use life jackets where required: For water activities like snorkeling, make sure your children are wearing the appropriate safety gear. Most tour operators will provide this.
  • Keep an eye on the shore: Maui beaches can have powerful waves and currents. Supervise your children closely and never turn your back on the ocean.
  • Observe wildlife from a distance: Keep a safe distance from marine animals like sea turtles, and respect posted signs or recommendations from local guides.

With these planning tips and recommendations, your family will have an unforgettable and safe trip to Maui. Enjoy!

Scroll to Top