Things to do with kids in Hawaii

This is a collaborative post

We’ve been talking a lot about volcanoes here recently following my son’s school topic, which has got us looking at the globe and seeing where volcanoes can be found around the world.  As we spun the globe we ended up in the Pacific Ocean looking at a range of volcanic islands that form part of Hawaii.  It’s a part of the world I don’t really know, but we do know someone who was born there.  It got me wondering about things to do with kids in Hawaii and about accommodation options including homes for rent in Hawaii too. If we are lucky enough to visit in the future, it would be nice to have different options available.

Things to do with kids in Hawaii

So what would be top of our list of things to do with kids in Hawaii?

Well I guess no visit to Hawaii would be complete without a trip to the beach.  Waikiki is famous for its beautiful white sandy beaches which look perfect for sandcastle building. If your kids like watersports then you could also hire paddle boards and perhaps try canoeing.

Snorkeling might also feature highly on the list of things to do with kids in Hawaii, if they’re confident in the water.

If you’re visiting Kauai then a trip to the Kokee Natural History Museum would be a great place to explore, learn more about the island and is a good starting point to explore the Kokee State Park.  The state park is highly forested and has a wealth of trails to explore, to get really close to the fauna and flora of the island.

If you have train fans like I do, then a trip to the Kilohana Estate would be a good idea.  Take the train for a tour of the 1930’s plantation estate with its manicured lawns and artisan shops. In fact it’s the only place you can ride on a train at all, so well worth a visit.  You also have the opportunity to feed wild pigs, along with sheep and goats.

Somewhere else on Kauai that looks totally breathtaking is the Waimea Canyon State Park.  Known locally as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, the canyon is 10 miles long and over 3,500 feet deep.  We’d certainly love to see those views for ourselves.

For us, one of the top things to do with kids in Hawaii, would be top visit Pearl Harbor on Oahu.  There are five sites to explore as part of Pearl Harbor, where you can learn all about the tragic events of World War Two that led to USA declaring war on Japan.  It’s a sombre lesson but one that is important for all to learn.  A must visit in my opinion.

Photo Credit: What Mummy Thinks

With a giraffe mad son I know that a trip to Honolulu Zoo would feature highly on his agenda.

Things to do with kids in Hawaii

Set in 42 acres, there are lots of animals to see and the Ectotherm Complex sounds right up our street, with the chance to see pythons as well as giant snails.  You can also see lions, tigers and cheetahs, monkeys and even aardvarks.

With my son’s love of all thing volcanoes I know we’d have to visit the Haleakala National Park on Maui to see the Haleakala Crater and the Waimoku falls look truly amazing too.

Haleakala National Park
Photo Credit –

With 30,000 acres to explore there’s really something for everyone, from the crater and waterfalls to red deserts and rock gardens.

You can also visit the Diamond Head Crater which is an extinct volcano to be found near Waikiki Beach  The one and half hour trek takes you up from the internal crater to the summit, offering views across Oahu as your reward.

Another top tip for things to do with kids in Hawaii would be to explore the Maui Ocean Centre with its living reef, which is one of the largest in the world.  You can also get up close to the beautiful Hawaiian green sea turtles in the Turtle Lagoon, which would be a highlight for all of our family. For shark lovers there’s the Open Ocean exhibit which offer a 240 degree viewing opportunity of these much misunderstood sea creatures with a walk through tunnel.  There are six different species of sharks, turtles and fish to enjoy as you explore this area of the attraction.

If swimming with dolphins is something you’d like to try, then you can visit Dolphin Quest on Oahu.  The team have a number of family friendly packages available for all the family to enjoy. Experiences last from 15 minutes up to 5 day trainer of the week packages for children aged 12 plus.

For the ultimate underwater experience for all the family you could also try the Atlantis Submarine trips.  These trips run from three of the Hawaiian islands; Oahu, Maui and Hawaii.  The submarines dive to depths of 100 feet to give you the opportunity to see the coral and the sea life that calls the area home.  You might also get to see sunken vessels for a bit of added drama.

From one extreme to another and something I love too, why not try a helicopter tour to get a totally different view of the geography of the islands.  This would feature close to the top of things to do with kids in Hawaii for us.  My son would love to fly aboard a helicopter and enjoy the deluxe volcano waterfall safari.  Fancy getting up close to an active volcano from the air! It would certainly bring school projects to life, literally.

To get a deeper understanding of the history of Hawaii and the Pacific Islands it would be well worth visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center where you can practice the famous hula dance as well as seeing how the leis garlands are made.  You can also book tours of Oahu from here, which cover some of the places I’ve mentioned above.

If you’ve got a thrill seeker in the family then you can arrange family trips (aged 8 and over) to enjoy the Piiholo Ranch Zipline tours on Maui.  These tours last between 2-3 hours as you travel through the trees together.  Definitely one for those who aren’t afraid of heights.

Hopefully I’ve given you a few ideas of things to do with kids in Hawaii.  If you’ve been before where would recommend?

Things to do with kids in Hawaii


About Over 40 and a Mum to One

I'm a Mum in my late 40′s with an 8 year old son. I had a busy life in Export Sales before my Monkey came along, but decided to become a stay at home Mum once he arrived. Now I enjoy writing my own family lifestyle and travel blog. sharing the adventures that we have as Monkey makes his journey through school. We have a cat called Brewster who makes appearances and I’m a mad Ferrari Formula 1 fan, so that expect to hear about as each season unfolds. We love reviewing days out, toys, games and books and would love the opportunity to look at anything that fits in with our family lifestyle. We are always out and about and offering an insight on the places we visit, with a passion for nature thrown in for good measure. If you like what you read please leave me a comment, I love to hear from people, and always try to reply. Enjoy the read.

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