Aloha Adventures: Kid-Friendly Excursions in Maui

Welcome to the enchanting island of Maui, where adventure awaits at every turn for families with children! Maui has tons of experiences that cater to the young and young at heart. It is a paradise for families seeking unforgettable adventures. We are covering some of the best activities and attractions perfect for families with kids to help you make sure that your Maui vacation is filled with excitement, laughter, and cherished memories that will last a lifetime. So, pack your sunscreen, don your leis, and get ready for a journey of discovery and delight as we explore the best Maui has to offer for families with children. Aloha and e komo mai (welcome) to Maui!

This post contains affiliate links. We may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying sales.

1. Beach Hopping

Maui has more than 80 beaches around the island, each a little different. One of the joys of Maui is the opportunity to discover some of the island’s most famous and iconic beaches. From the golden sands of Ka’anapali Beach to the dramatic cliffs of Waianapanapa State Park, Maui’s coastline is dotted with treasures waiting to be explored. By visiting multiple beaches, families can experience the diversity of Maui’s landscapes and discover their own personal favorites.

Another thing to love about Maui is that if the surf is too rough or the wind is too strong at one beach, you can simply hop in the car and find a beach where conditions are more favorable.

Black rock at Kaanapali Beach. Great snorkeling destination on Maui
Black Rock at Ka’anapali Beach

However, we should note that while is it possible to check out multiple beaches every day, you might not want to. Parking lots get full around midday, and tradewinds pick up in the afternoon. So arriving at a beach at 3pm may be more hassle than its worth.

And, of course, to properly enjoy your day at the beach, bring a beach bag to carry your gear, lightweight beach towels, snorkeling gear, water shoes for walking on rocks, plenty of reef safe sunscreen, water, and snacks or a packed lunch.

A few of our favorites that you’ll definitely not want to miss are

  • Napili and Kapaula Bays- We are grouping these two because they are right next to each other. Both are beautiful, protected, and great for kids and snorkeling
  • Ka’anapali, near Black Rock- excellent snorkeling, and a great place to see turtles. Depending on the section of the beach, you’ll have waves for splashing in, or calm water for swimming.
  • Maluaka– the southern end of this beach is known as ‘turtle town’ because turtles are so common in this area. Its a beautiful big beach, and a great place to hang out.
  • Baby Beach aka Puunoa Beach– shallow, calm water, and lots of sand- perfect for families with young children. We’ve seen lots of turtles there as well!
kids playing in the sand at Kapalua Beach, Maui
Kapalua Beach

2. Go Snorkeling

Maui is consistently rated as one of the top snorkeling destinations in the world! . With an abundance of snorkeling spots to choose from, you family is sure to find a suitable place to get started! Sign up for the daily snorkel report from The Snorkel Store– it’ll give you daily updates on where you’ll have great snorkeling conditions, and where it might not be safe to go snorkeling.

a green turtle spotted a Kaanapali Beach, Maui

You can rent quality gear from the Snorkel Store even for kids!

Want to learn more about taking your kids snorkeling for the first time? Check out our post here.

Then head out and get started! There are tons of great places to snorkel in on Maui. At Black Rock on Ka’anapali Beach, first time snorkelers need only put their face in the water even in shin-deep water to see TONS of colorful fish. Kapalua and Napili Beaches are also great spots because they are protected bays and often quite calm.

Molokini Snorkel Excursion

One must-visit destination for snorkeling enthusiasts is the iconic Molokini Crater, a crescent-shaped volcanic crater located just off the coast of Maui. The calm and sheltered waters of Molokini make it a world-class destination and an ideal spot for beginners and experienced snorkelers alike. You’ll need to take a boat to get there. And many of the fantastic tour operators, we love Trilogy because they are family friendly and super feel luxurious) will make the day easy and fun with included snorkel gear, meals, large, comfortable boats with bathrooms.

3. A Boat Tour

A boat tour with kids in Maui is not only a thrilling adventure but also a fantastic way to explore the island’s stunning coastline and marine life. Many boat tours are super-family friendly and comfortable and it’ll allow you and your family to see wildlife and scenery you cannot see from the shore. For my family, it’s a favorite Maui activity!

When choosing a boat tour, there are a ton of great options- snorkeling tours, sunset cruises, whale watching trips, dolphin tours and more.

Discover Lanai

A favorite of my family’s is the Trilogy “Discover Lanai” trip.

A child crawling on a netted area of a boat over the ocean. Trilogy 'Discover Lanai' tour leaving from Maui
Trilogy IV, our beautiful boat for our trip to Lanai

The trip begins either at Whaler’s Village in Kaanapali Beach, or at Ma’alaea Harbor. Then you’ll head out on a scenic boat ride to Lanai. Along the way, the staff will search for dolphins, whales (when they are in the area), and any other interesting sea life. The also explain the history of the island, and interesting geological formations, cultural landmarks, legends, etc. in a kid-friendly way. You’ll also get a super tasty casual breakfast on the boat as you make your way to Lanai.

On Lanai, you’ll have time to explore the clearest, most filled with life tide pools I’ve ever seen, play on the beach, go snorkeling, and just enjoy Hulopo’e Bay. Then, a huge, delicious lunch is provided. Picky eaters will love that there is so much to choose from, everyone will find something they’ll enjoy.

On the ride home, you’ll be served ice cream and drinks (including cocktails for the adults) and have the opportunity for more dolphin viewing, and stories from the staff. The crew was amazing and made our children feel so welcome and special.

a child walking on the beach, Lanai, Hawaii
The beach on Lanai

The ‘Discover Lanai’ trip is a long day, but doesn’t feel like it due to the big, beautiful, and fully staffed boats, amazing staff that will make sure you and your family have everything you’ll need.

4.Farm Tours

Farm tours in Maui is a wonderful way to get to know the island a little bit better by delving into the island’s rich agricultural heritage. And, of course, try some delicious food!

Each farm tour is a completely different experience, so we’ll walk you through a few that we’ve done and loved to help you chose which might be right for you and your family.

Coconut Information Farm

A split young coconut at Coconut Information Farm, Maui

The private tour at the Coconut Information Farm is the type of tour that will make you want to move to Maui to become a farmer! Ryan, who runs the tours, is super knowledgeable and friendly and can adjust the tour to fit your family’s interests. Talking to someone who is passionate about what they do, and truly enjoy sharing it with you makes this tour truly unforgettable and very special.

During the tour, we were shown coconut trees and coconuts in various stages of growth. Then we were able to taste each stage to see the differences in taste and texture of the fruit. He showed us the quick way to open a coconut at each stage of growth, and the kids got to try it out! We also learned how to cook noodles made of coconut meat, and how to make sweet coconut milk. Ryan was happy to answer my kid’s questions and made the tour and cooking class interesting for them, even when that meant spending a little bit of time talking about lizards and chickens rather than coconuts.

Coconuts at different stages of growth, Coconut Information Farm, Maui

Surfing Goat Dairy Farm

This adorable Goat farm gives you an opportunity to ‘meet’ a ton of adorable goats, learn a bit about goat farming, and even interact with the animals! Because this is a larger tour operator, you’ll be part of a larger group, so the the interactions with staff might not feel as personalized as they would for a private tour, but the cost is also much lower than a private tour.

A child feeding the goats at Surfing Goat Dairy in Maui
Feeding the Goats at Surfing Goat Dairy

The Surfing Goat farm also has some neat tour options that give you the opportunity to spend extra time with the baby goats, feeding the babies, or helping with milking and other farm chores. It’s a super fun way to learn a little more about goat farming. And who could resist those adorable baby goats!

Of course, there is the goat cheese! You can also get a flight of goat cheeses that all totally different, tasty, and tons of fun to try!

baby goats lying in the sand at Surfing Goat Dairy Farm in Maui
baby goats at Surfing Goats Dairy farm

The Maui Chocolate Tour at Kui’a Estate

Unfortunately the Maui Chocolate Tour is currently not running do to the fire at Lahaina. However, we do hope they’ll running again soon!

The Chocolate Tour takes you out into the cacao farm where you can see cacao growing on a tree, learn about the history, and the perfect conditions for growing cacao. You’ll get to walk through the trees, hold a cacao bean in your hand, and learn the process from cacao bean to chocolate.

Learning about cacoa at Kui’a Estates, Maui on the Maui Chocolate Tour
Learning about cacoa at Kui’a Estates

From there, you’ll head up to a beautiful outdoor tasting area where you’ll get to walk through a guided tasting and discuss flavor profiles for each chocolate. And the chocolates were so delicious, I now need to regularly order so that I always have some around.

While this tour felt a bit more adult than some of the others, it was still totally kid-friendly with guides that made my kids feel welcome, answered their questions, and laughed at their jokes. They were able to wander and look around if they didn’t care to hear everything the tour guide was explaining, making it easy and relaxing for everyone.

5. Luau

Attending a Maui luau feels like such a classic Hawaiian activity. A Maui luau offers a captivating blend of cultural immersion, delicious food, and lively entertainment, making it an unforgettable journey into Hawaiian tradition and hospitality. But at 2-3 hours long, a luau can feel pretty long for families with kids, especially younger kids. Plus, they can be quite expensive. And not luaus are not all the same- they vary in format, style of performances, and audience participation. So when choosing a luau, its important to do your research and pick a great luau that will keep your family entertained, engaged, and well fed!

Here are a few amazing luaus we know you will love:

  • Old Lahaina Luau: This one is generally considered to the be the best luau in Maui. Kids will have opportunities to walk around and check things out before the show, the menu is large and will likely have something kids will enjoy, and the show is super interesting and engaging even for kids
  • Drums of the Pacific Luau: Famous for the its fireknife finale, this luau may be the most exciting on the island. Families with kids love this one because of the exciting show and great food.
  • Grand Wailea Luau: Another fan favorite because of its exciting show with fire knife finale and aerial acrobatics.

6. Stay at a Resort

Maui has some beautiful resorts, with even more beautiful pools. They have waterslides, splash pads, infinity pools, lazy rivers, and more. And, even better, they have poolside dining so your kids can order chicken strips and popsicles (or whatever they love to have poolside) and barely take a break from swimming. And the adults can order cocktails along with a beautiful poolside lunch.

Even if staying at a resort isn’t in the budget for your whole stay, you can often get two full days at the pool with just a one-night stay at the resort. (And the truth is 2 days at the pool is enough!)

A child eating a popsicle at the Nala adventure pool, Wailea Beach Resort
Poolside popsicles at Nala Adventure Pool, Wailea Beach Hotel

Here are a few of our favorite amazing Maui resorts with amazing pools and amenities for families

  • Wailea Beach Resort Marriott: Great resort with a multiple pools including a fantastic kids pool, with four waterslides (and one of those is the longest on Maui), spray park, poolside dining and multiple other restaurants, kids club, game room, and just a short walk to Ulua or Wailea Beach
  • Hyatt Regency Maui: Another great resort with a huge pool complex including kids area, 150 ft waterfall, hanging bridge AND access to nextdoor Hyatt Residence Club pool complex with waterslides, lazy river, etc, and poolside dining plus tons of other kid-friendly restaurants, onsite birds to check out, and its located on famous Ka’anapali Beach!
  • Fairmont Kea Lani: Beautiful resort with multiple pools, 140ft waterslide, tons of great restaurants, and amazing staff, located in Wailea on Polo Beach.
Kids playing in the pool at Hyatt Regency Maui
Kids pool area at Hyatt Regency Maui

7. Road to Hana

The Road to Hana is one of Maui’s most iconic and scenic drives, offering families a thrilling adventure through lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and breathtaking coastal vistas. The drive is only 64 miles each way, but this trip is a full day or a multiple day trip.

The drive itself is an adventure, with winding roads, narrow bridges, and stunning viewpoints around every bend. There are a million amazing things to see and do along the way including swimming in Twin Falls, checking out the bamboo forest, Wai’anapanapa State Park, Hana Lava Tube, Garden of Eden, Ho’okipa Beach Park, Pua’a Ka’a Falls and so much more.

Twin Falls waterfall- beautiful waterfall you can swim in along the Road to Hana, Maui
Twin Falls waterfall along the Road to Hana

Pick your route and make a plan ahead of time – this is a great resource to get your started. You’ll also want to be sure to pack plenty of snacks, water, sunscreen, insect repellent, and anything else you need for a day out. You will be able to stop for delicious snacks, fruit, restaurants, and bathrooms. But stops are not always when its convenient. Much of this area is pretty remote and driving can be slow. Consider renting a comfortable vehicle with ample space for the family. And be prepared for narrow roads and occasional traffic delays.

If this all sounds a little overwhelming but you are still interested in the Road to Hana, you have a few options:

Book a Tour

There are some great Road to Hana Tour companies out there who will pick you up at your hotel, choose all the great stops, water, and lunch. You can do custom of group tours, depending on budget. Either way, you won’t have to worry about driving on the narrow roads, or planning a detailed trip, making your Road to Hana trip so much easier and more relaxing!

If you decide to do a tour, we love Dynamic Tour Hawaii and Polynesian Adventure.

Do the Halfway Route

For families with limited time or smaller children who may not be able to handle the full journey to Hana, the Halfway to Hana trip offers a fantastic alternative. This abbreviated version of the Road to Hana still provides a taste of Maui’s stunning scenery and natural wonders without committing to the full day’s drive. Some of the highlights of the halfway trip are Twin Falls, the Garden of Eden Arboretum, and the charming village of Ke’anae.

8. Surf Lessons

Learning to surf is such a quintessential Hawaii experience. And even kids (over the age of 5) can participate in surfing lessons! In just a couple of hours, you and your kids will learn the basics of surfing and maybe even be able to pop up and ride a wave!

Maui Surfer Girls is a great option for families with kids. Younger kids will need to do a private lesson, which is actually great because it means they are safe, and getting super helpful 1:1 instruction to allow them to successful. Older kids and adults can do a private or small group lessons. The instructors are knowledgeable and attentive. They all make everyone feel safe and relaxed during their lessons, and make sure they learn something as well!

Learning to surf in Maui is sure to be a highlight of your trip, and perhaps even start a new hobby!

9. Hiking

The landscape in Maui is beautiful and diverse, and getting out to explore it is a fantastic way to really get to see what is special about the island. Hiking trails on the island range from lush rainforest to coastal views, waterfalls to dusty volcanic cinder. And trails vary from quick, easy 20 minute walks to intense, full day (or longer) treks. Hiking will take a little bit of advanced planning to make sure you end up on a trail that is right for your family, and bring the things you need.

green foliage and red flowers along a hike in Maui. A man and child are walking down a path
Hiking in the beautiful rainforest in Maui

A few favorite trails on Maui are

  • ‘Iao Valley State Park: 4000 acre park with paved trails. You’ll be able to get an up close look at the ‘Iao Needle as well as waterfalls, and beautiful rainforest.
  • Nakalele Blowhole: about a mile hike on rugged terrain to see the famous blowhole. But watch from a distance, especially with younger children- the blowhole itself can be extremely dangerous.
  • Kapalua Coast Trail: a nice, coastal walk that kids will love

If you are willing to make the time commitment, the Haleakala National Park is a very special place with volcanic landscapes on one side, and the unique and fragile ecosystems of Kipahulu Valley on the other. There are some pretty breathtaking trails and views with in the park. And, if you book reservations early and are willing to get up early enough or stay out late enough, you can watch the sunrise or sunset from the summit of Haleakalā!

10. Farmers Market

Maui is home to tons of wonderful farms with all kinds of local produce basically year round. We’ve had tons of fun sampling some of the great fruits and vegetables grown on the island, including many we had never tried before, while they are ripe and in season.

Most of the farmers market also have some great Maui-made crafts, and prepared food and drinks. We love getting fresh juice!

A few farmers markets worth visiting are:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *