Family-Friendly Things to Do in Hawaii

Family-Friendly Things to Do in Hawaii

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  1. You might think the only family-friendly things to do in Hawaii involve sunblock, sand, waves, and sandcastles. Although there are plenty of family-friendly beaches on all of the islands, the family fun goes far beyond the beach. If you are planning on a family vacation in the Aloha State, here are some things you absolutely must try.

    Beautiful landscapes

    After beaches, the islands’ physical beauty is probably the next thing you think of. On the Big Island of Hawaii, you really shouldn’t miss the Kilauea Volcano. Whether you travel on foot, or in the air by helicopter or plane, your family will have a chance to see lush rain forests, breath-taking waterfalls, and glowing lava flows, along with the crater of an active volcano. The Big Island is also home to some amazing waterfalls. According to nile guide, there are small group tours to the Kohala Falls that include lounging in the pool of one of the falls. Near Hilo, on the windward side of the island, nile guide also features the Hawaii Waterfalls and Hamakua Coast Tour. You will marvel at the sites of Rainbow Falls, Akaka Falls, and the Hamakua Coast.

    On Oahu, in Nuuanu Pali State Park, is the Nuuanu Pali Lookout. While the winds are quite brisk—hold tightly to all smaller family members—the spectacular views are definitely worth the stop if you are in the Honolulu area. Also near Honolulu, Diamond Head Monument (also known as Leahi according to the Hawaii Visitor and Convention Bureau) bakes for a tough but family-friendly hike.

    On the southwest side of Kauai is what the Hawaii Visitor and Convention Bureau refers to as “The Grand Canyon of Hawaii.” Although not as big as the actual Grand Canyon in Arizona, Waimea Canyon is 14 miles long, a mile wide, and 3600 feet deep. From the Waimea Canyon Lookout you will see panorama of the ruggedly beautiful inland landscape, including crested buttes, crags, and deep gorges.

    Haleakala Crater on Maui rises over 10,000 feet above sea level, making for spectacular views. Haleakala means “House of the Sun” in Hawaiian for good reason: the locals recommend the amazing sun rises.

    On all the islands, the family-friendly beaches are too numerous to mention. Almost all of the public beaches offer spectacular views, surfing and body surfing, swimming, and other beach activities.

    History and Culture

    There is so much to do in the way of history and culture, it’s difficult to figure out where to begin. You might begin with Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park on the Big Island. This former royal grounds was also a place of refuge for law-breakers during ancient times. If they could could evade their captors and make it to this spot, they were granted absolution and allowed to rejoin society. Also on this site is a Great Wall, a sacred temple, and wooden sculptures of Hawaiian gods. South of Kona on the Big Island, Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park offers kayaking, wonderful snorkeling, and a memorial to Captain James Cook, the first Westerner to reach the island, who was killed on this site in 1778 during a skirmish with natives of the island.

    One of the best known historic attractions in all of the islands is Pearl Harbor on Oahu, site of the attacks that touched off U.S. Involvement in WWII. Today the historic area is actually comprised of five sites commemorating the events of December 7, 1942: USS Arizona Memorial, Battleship Missouri Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, Pacific Aviation Museum, and USS Oklahoma Memorial.


    During the Winter Months, you can whale watch from any of the islands. A popular spot, though, is the Auau Channel between Maui, Molokai, and Lanai. If you want to see other colorful underwater creatures, the Kona coast of the Big Island is known for its snorkeling and scuba diving. In Honolulu there’s Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, the first marine conservation district in the state (according to the Honolulu official website). For a less expansive environment, there are also the Honolulu Zoo, and the Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu.

    Active fun

    When you thing about Hawaii, you probably think about surfing. There is plenty of that on each of the islands, and you can usually find lessons for most age groups. There is also kayaking, hiking, swimming, boating, and four-wheeling. Hula dancers are also icons of the islands. You and your family can find Hula lessons on most of the islands. Whether peering into the rim of a living volcano, exploring rain forests, or peering at hundreds of species of the most beautiful tropical fish anywhere in the world, your active family will have the time of their lives!

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