10 Family-Friendly Activities to Do in Hawaiʻi

From visiting historic landmarks to enjoying a tasty lūʻau, these activities are great for the entire ʻohana.
03 Maui Ocean Center Swp
Photo: Courtesy of Maui Ocean Center

When it comes to finding and planning fun activities, think of an itinerary that’s appropriate for all ages. Fill your day with these memorable experiences that your family will still be talking about back home.

Check Out Rare Species of Marine Life (Mā‘alaea, Maui)

Take a trip to an aquarium that’s home to colorful displays of live coral reef habitats, sea turtles, stingrays, sharks and more. Maui Ocean Center, mauioceancenter.com.

Visit a Historic Landmark (Honolulu, O‘ahu)

Uss Arizona Memorial

Photo: Getty Images

Take a tour of the Pearl Harbor National Memorial where visitors can learn more about World War II in the Pacific. Pacific Historic Parks, pacifichistoricparks.org.

Enjoy a Tasty Lū‘au (Kapa‘a, Kaua‘i)

At the family-friendly lū‘au in Wailua River Valley, you can try traditional Hawaiian foods like kālua pig baked in an imu (underground oven) and poi, enjoy hula performances and Tahitian drums and view a dramatic Samoan fire-knife dance. Smith Family Garden Lū‘au, smithskauai.com.

Explore the Rich Heritage of the Pacific Islands (Lā‘ie, O‘ahu)

Polynesian Village

Photo: Getty Images

Visit six Pacific Island villages and exhibits representing Hawai‘i, Fiji, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga. Eat dinner at an authentic lū‘au and watch “Hā: Breath of Life,” an award-winning show with songs, hula and fire dancing. Polynesian Cultural Center, polynesia.com.

Swim with Dolphins (Waikoloa, Hawai‘i Island)

Get up close and personal with dolphins in this interactive experience at the Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Dolphin Lagoon. Dolphin Quest, dolphinquest.com.

Visit a Lavender Farm (Kula, Maui)

Blooming Lavender Plants At The Alii Kula Lavender Farm On Maui

Photo: Getty Images

Walk through a beautiful farm that grows 45 varieties of lavender and shop at its gift shop with soaps, lotions, teas and jams – all made with the farm’s lavender. Self-guided tours are available. Ali‘i Kula Lavender, aliikulalavender.com.

Learn about Hawai‘i’s Legacy of Exploration (Hilo, Hawai‘i Island)

Explore exhibits, family-friendly activities and a full-dome planetarium that’s home to the show “Mauna Kea: Between Earth and Sky.” ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, imiloahawaii.org.

Visit a Rainforest Exhibit and Explore East Asia (Honolulu, O‘ahu)

This keiki discovery center is a favorite for local families, with fun activities and hands-on educational exhibits. Our favorite is the “Your Rainbow World” gallery, which highlights East Asian cultures – kids can catch fish, sing karaoke, do the lion dance and eat pretend sushi. Hawai‘i Children’s Discovery Center, discoverycenterhawaii.org.

Go on a Family Hike (‘Aiea, O‘ahu)

Scenic View Of Aiea Loop Trail With Camilla, Oahu, Hawaii Near H3 Freeway

Photo: Getty Images

The entire family will enjoy hiking the ‘Aiea Loop Trail (99-1849 ‘Aiea Heights Drive). Don’t forget to bring water, snacks and bug spray!

Go Whale Watching (Lahaina, Maui)

Whale watching season on Maui runs from November to May, with the peak time between January and March. Hop on a boat with the fam to see your first whale, and remember to pack binoculars. PacWhale Eco-Adventures, pacificwhale.org.

Categories: Family, From Our Magazine