The Hawaiian Islands are great places to take your family for a vacation with kids. And with stunning beaches, many of which are wholly untouched and peaceful, Maui – the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands – is the perfect place for all of the family to relax, play, and spend quality time together.
However, anybody who has ever taken their children on a tropical holiday will be only too aware of the importance of finding a range of other activities to keep them occupied and entertained. With a great range of Maui rentals available which are close to the many family-friendly activities and amenities that the island has to offer, a vacation in Maui is a great option for those looking for a no-fuss trip that will put smiles on everyone’s faces.
If you’re currently planning your next family vacation and you’re considering Maui with kids, it’s worth spending some time doing some research into the best places to go and the best things to do on the island. With a good plan in place, you can easily arrange a vacation that will keep members of your family of all ages and with all interests entirely entertained for the duration.
The perfect place for an outdoor day trip, the national park is a place where lush tropical rainforests contrast with volcanic rock formations. It is home to some of the rarest species of animal in the world – some of which live only here. Hawaii’s famous and iconic honeycreeper birds, which are extremely unusual and rare, can be spotted here – and the national park is in fact one of the last sanctuaries that exists.
With lots of outdoor space and rare and exciting wildlife, there’s plenty to get the younger members of your party exited about.
The traditional Hawaiian outrigger canoe is a symbol of the Hawaiian Islands, and there are plenty of companies offering outrigger experiences. With experienced guides who can show you all the best coves and beaches and tell you all about the local history and geography, you can be sure that everyone will be having fun and learning at the same time.
There is always the chance that you may be lucky and have a close encounter with a pod of wild dolphins or other friendly sea creatures – an experience which will always delight the children, and leave them with cherished memories of the natural world that they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives.
A trip to the Hawaiian Islands should naturally involve the sea and marine life, but for many families, it can be hard to find out the best ways to allow their children to experience the rich marine biodiversity that exists. With scuba diving usually being reserved for adults, there’s always the option of snorkelling while at the beach – but if you’re looking for a way to allow your children to get even closer to marine life, and to learn and be inspired in the process, the Maui Ocean Center is the ideal place to take them.
The Maui Ocean Center is more than just a standard aquarium: it is a place where your children can get close to some of the rarest and most impressive sea creatures. With a huge array of tropical fish, turtles, stingrays and even sharks, there’s enough variety to keep everyone interested for hours.
When is the best time to vis Maui with kids to see the whales? If you visit Maui between October and April, there’s the possibility of spotting some of the large numbers of humpback whales which migrate to the Hawaiian Islands from Alaska during the winter months.
During the peak months, which are January, February and March, it is often possible to spot humpback whales from the beach – but it’s always a good idea to make an occasion of the experience by booking you and your family onto one of the whale tours that local companies run during the season.
Not only does taking a tour improve your chances of seeing the whales, it also allows you to and your party to get much closer to them and observe them in their natural environment in a way that few people will ever get the chance to do.
What's an unforgettable experience to try in Maui with kids? Far from being a scary or intense experience, paragliding is in fact extraordinarily relaxing and tranquil. Children as young as three can take part, and it’s an experience that everyone will enjoy and remember for a lifetime.
From the air, you’ll be able to look out for the famous Hawaiian green turtles and watch as they gracefully swim past below you. You’ll undoubtedly notice how quiet it is, and how far away you suddenly seem from the rest of the world.
Snorkelling from the beach can grow old before too long, and watching sea creatures in the aquarium is never quite the same as observing them in their natural habitats. But when you book your family onto an organised snorkelling tour, you can rest assured that you’ll be taken to the very best snorkelling spots in the area and given top quality equipment to help you observe the rich and varied marine life below the surface.
The experience is compelling and life-affirming, and it’s certainly one that you and your children will never forget. Most tour providers include a BBQ lunch and an open bar in the price, enabling you to make a day of the experience and spend time discussing all the incredible wildlife you’ve spotted.
There is plenty of fun things to do in Maui with kids, so find a great Maui rental to stay at and enjoy your time in Hawaii with the kids.
James is the founder of Little Nomads a family-focused travel site where he shares his experiences about travelling with kids. You can have a conversation with James on twitter @littlenomads or via his Facebook page.