The paradise island of Hawaii is considered to have some of the most perfect spots for families looking to take to take their children along for a memorable vacation. Hawaii offers many different types of tours and activities, which will not only fulfill the needs of the adults but keep the little ones occupied as well.
Having said that, when it comes to planning for a perfect Hawaii vacation with kids in tow, it takes some doing. From beach side activities to tubing or visiting museums, the choices are not only endless but confusing too. In order to make things simple for your next sojourn to this exotic place, I have made my research on some of the favorite haunts of a family with kids, apart from chilling in your fancy rental house in Hawaii.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island
Located near Hilo, this famous park is home to two active volcanoes, Mauna Loa and Kilauea. Odd as it may seem, despite the constant volcanic activity, the park is quite safe and draws a large number of visitors, especially the young ones, who love to explore the remnants of the frequent outbursts from the two volcanoes. The Thurston Lava Tube, which is a cave-like aperture formed by a flow of red lava, is a great hit with kids who enjoy walking through it.
Honaunau National Historical Park
Known in the ancient culture of Hawaii as “Place of Refuge”, the park provides a meaningful experience for persons of all ages. Visitors can access the remains of the old Kiilae Village and
the Royal Grounds. Children will love to explore the fish ponds, salt vats, animal pens and the centuries-old temples to have a great educational experience. The waters near the landing are prime nesting grounds for sea turtles, which too are a great hit for everyone.
Kahalu’u Beach Park
This is the best park in the whole of Hawaii for water-related sports, especially for the younger generation. This marine preserve is well protected by reefs, as a result, the waters are always calm and ideal for swimming, snorkeling or just wading. Children will be engrossed with sightings of a large variety of marine life like sea turtles and different kinds of colorful fish. Kahalu’u is the right place for snorkeling beginners and there are many outlets renting out gear for the little ones as well as the grown-ups.
Atlantis Submarine, Maui
This perennial child favorite takes visitors to a depth of over one hundred feet on a two-hour underwear adventure. The trip allows guests to get close up views of the different fish in a dry and warm environment.The months of December through May are reportedly ideal for even whale sightings.
Maui Ocean Center
This engaging and rather compact aquarium provides great glimpses of the diverse marine life found in Hawaii. A Marine Mammal, Tide Pool and a Discovery Center are a great draw of school-age children, as is The Living Reef. This place exhibits vividly what life on the seafloor is all about, by taking guests to the deep reef zone of the ocean, which is home to sharks, tuna fish, and other deep-sea water life.
Bishop Museum, Oahu
This is one of the biggest museums in Hawaii, housing a huge number of family heirlooms and other precious artifacts pertaining to the state.The Hawaiian Hall occupies three stories of local history, culture, and exhibits of Hawaiian gods and deities. The Science Adventure Center is a big hit with kids where they can learn a lot about the oceans and volcanoes. Children even have the option of visiting the inside of a volcano and study and experience how the eruptions occur.
Hawaiian Kids Discovery Center, Honolulu
This discovery center, though a little less known, is hugely popular with the young locals, especially for families with kids up to ten years old. At “Fantastic You” children get to know about the human body, while the history of Hawaii is aptly described in “Hawaiian Rainbows”. Kids can simulate the role of a banker, fireman, mechanic and more at “Your Town”. For the toddlers in the age group 2 to 5, “Tot World” has been created to provide fun and education in a safe environment.
Kauai Backcountry Adventures
At some period of time, Kauai was a major producer of sugarcane. The plantations were irrigated by constructing a network of channels to transport water from the other side of the island. Though the plantations have long since gone, the channels which have survived have been put to excellent use. We all know that water and kids always get along well, hence the state has started tubing adventures in the lush dense backdrop of these channels. Children can have a gala time by simply grabbing an inner tube and floating down the wild landscape. It is a wonderful experience for kids five-year-old and above and takes roughly three hours to traverse.
Kalaupapa Guided Mule Ride, Molokai
This tiny island has been able to withstand the rigors of the outside world and maintain its pristine beauty until today. Molokai is best experienced on a guided mule ride, commencing from the Mule Barn. Children who are 16 years and over, can undertake this three-mile downhill trip to reach the once forbidden village of Kalaupapa. The area is now a historical park of national importance, and the mule ride makes the visit all the more memorable.