Things to do in Maui with kids
We just returned from an amazing trip to Maui with kids! Believed to be more laid back and less commercialized than Honolulu, Maui attracts the tourist that wants to slow down and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. When I travel with kids I’m always looking for fun field trips to supplement pool and beach time. In Honolulu, we visit the Children’s Museum, go to the Zoo and have brunch with Disney characters. What is there to do in Maui with kids? I was a little worried we wouldn’t find these options in Maui but I quickly realized that we were in a very kid friendly part of Hawaii.
Maui Ocean Center
Located right on the ocean in Wailuki, the Maui Ocean Center is a great day outing to get a break from the beach and pool and explore the island. On top of seeing sea turtles, colorful fish, jelly fish and sharks there is a fun scavenger hunt for kids to partake in. Scattered around the aquarium are wooden posts with rock carvings. Kids can use the coloring tool to copy the picture on the rock onto their scavenger map. It was really fun trying to find all 12 rock carvings and kids can claim their prize in the gift shop before you leave.
The Open Ocean exhibit was also amazing. A 750,000 gallon tank with a tunnel allows up close access to sharks, turtles, sting rays and all kinds of ocean fish. The county of Maui prohibits the exhibit of dolphins, whales and porpoises but there is a great discovery area where kids can watch interactive videos about these amazing animals. There is also a snack shack with slushies, panini’s and ice cream treats. The gift shop is also top notch. Day passes for adults are $30 and children are $20. There seems to be some small discounts if you buy online ahead of time. A must stop when traveling to Maui with kids!
Maui Golf & Sports Park
Just down the street from the ocean center is Maui Golf & Sports Park! We grabbed lunch after the aquarium and then checked out this adventure park. The Bumper Boats were a new experience for my little ones and they had a blast spraying each other an other boaters. There is also a luscious tropical themed miniature golf course with beautiful flowers and a fun volcano to putt through. Rock climbing and X-Treme Trampolines round off the activities. A great place for all ages! They have different pricing packages, but we did the Big Kahuna for the kids, $26 each and included unlimited golf and 3 passes for the other activities. There were no snacks available but there were shaded areas with tables to rest at.
Maui Tropical Plantation
A tropical train ride! The Maui Tropical Plantation is a great opportunity for families to get an up close and personal experience with Hawaiian nature and culture. It’s a 45 minute train ride with views of the Waikapu Valley, tropical plant life and the beautiful West Maui Mountains. My kids really enjoyed the coconut demonstration where staff showed us how to husk a coconut and educated us about coconut water. Adults are $20 and kids ages 3-12 are $10 and ages 2 and under are free. Visitors can also walk the grounds and enjoy the spectacular gardens, feed the ducks at the lagoon and even zip line!
Enjoy a fresh cup of Hawaiian coffee at the Mill House Roasting Co. or a scoop of ice cream at Scoop or grab lunch on the lanai at The Mill House Restaurant. They even have interactive dining experience called Maui’s Chef’s Table which looks like a great date night for parents.
You gotta start somewhere! Four and six years old to be exact! My husband was pretty adamant about getting them on surf boards and I’m so glad we gave it a chance. They had a blast! They required private lessons because of their age but this was well worth the money. Not only from a safety perspective but they each got the undivided attention of their instructor. I think they rode 40 waves without a break and I could barely get them out of the ocean! The instructors from Outrageous Surf were totally stoked to work with my kids and did an amazing job. We paid around $250 for 2 privates. They are still talking about it!
Make sure you bring goggles and snorkels if you are staying on or near the beautiful Kaanapali Beach! My kids were amazed at all the action goin on below the surface. We saw a ton of colorful fish darting in and out of coral coves. The waves and the tide are easy enough for adults to manage, but we did have to hold the kids up. They couldn’t quite master the snorkel but just holding their breathe and taking peeks was enough. I’m sure there are more ideal areas to snorkel in Maui but we were excited to be able to test out snorkeling for the first time right outside our hotel.
Whaler’s Village Kaanapali Beach
Whaler’s Village is outdoor shopping center right on Kaanapali Beach. Make dinner reservations at Monkey Pod overlooking the ocean and go to the village early to do some shopping. There are some great kids shops and of course surf shops to get new swim wear. There is a splash pad and a climbing structure on the bottom level as well as ice cream shops for an after dinner treat.
Traveling with kids is always a trip! We love Hawaii and are having a blast getting to know each island. The next time you travel to Hawaii check out kidtrip to see if a local family has some fun items to rent to make your vacation even easier and more special.