18 Things to Do in Maui With Kids That Are in the Aloha Spirit

If you’re looking for the best Hawaiian island for families, look no further than Maui where you can find shave ice, whale watching, an active volcano, surf lessons, and the beautiful Road to Hana—and you don’t even need a passport.

When you plan a Hawaiian Island visit with kids, you will have to choose which island– or islands– you want to see. While island hopping is definitely an option, Maui might just be the best Hawaii island for kids. There’s so much to do for families on the second-largest island in Hawaii; it’s a kid-friendly paradise. Here are eighteen of our favorite things to do in Maui with kids.

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18 Things to Do in Maui With Kids

1. Treat Yourself To Shave Ice

Shave ice is a Hawaiian delicacy that’s something like a snow cone… if it were made of actual snow! These soft, giant icy treats come in dozens of flavors with lots of toppings. Ululani’s Shave Ice is some of the finest shave ice on Maui– their rainbow shave ice is not to be missed.

Key Information: Kid servings are $4.99 – 5 locations on Maui – Dairy and gluten-free

Good To Know: Shave ice has roots in Japanese cuisine, so encourage your kids to try some of the more traditional, unique toppings– like sweet red beans!

2. Fly Over A Tropical Garden

The Maui Zipline Company is the only zipline company on Maui, and their adventure tour takes you over Maui’s biggest botanical garden and a beautiful tropical lagoon.

Key Information: $149 per person – Ages 5 and up – Zipline tour takes about 2 hours

Good To Know: Family members who aren’t zip lining can explore the Maui Tropical Plantation for free; this is a perfect place for one parent to stroll with your baby while the other parent takes the older kids zip lining.

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Front of cabana Wishing well shaved ice
Anakeesta Park, Gatlinburg, TN. Photo by @ZuzanaM

3. Stop By A Baby Beach

Maui has three beaches that are known for their shallow, protected waters and soft sand that make them perfect for families with babies or toddlers. These beaches are Baby Beach Paia at Baldwin Beach, Launiupoko Beach Park in West Maui, and Baby Beach Lahaina. 

Key Information: FREE – All beaches have changing facilities – Consider renting a sand stroller for ease and convenience

Good To Know: If you’re visiting Maui with a baby, don’t worry about bringing baby equipment with you. Maui Baby Rentals has everything you need, from car seats to sand strollers, at very affordable rates.

4. Go Whale Watching 

The warm waters of the Hawaiian islands are home to thousands of aquatic animals, including endangered Hawaiian monk seals, playful dolphins, and majestic humpback whales. Humpback season runs from mid-December to mid-April, but the dolphins are year-round residents.

Key Information: Prices vary by company – Most boats require you to stow strollers – Active toddlers might not enjoy this experience, but older kids will love it

Good To Know: Catamarans and larger boats provide smoother rides and are less likely to provoke sea sickness.

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5. Hang With The Honu

“Honu” is the Hawaiian word for green sea turtle. These peaceful creatures are a huge part of Hawaiian culture, and you can usually catch them sunbathing on Maui’s beaches in the late afternoon and early evening.

Key Information: FREE – Ho’okipa Beach on the northwest coast is the best place to see turtles – Observe all beach rules and caution tape

Good To Know: You must stay 30 feet away from the turtles at all times. 

6. Learn About Hawaiian Cowboy Culture

Maui has a rich cowboy culture, and the best way to learn about it is to experience it firsthand on a horseback ride at Triple L Ranch in Upcountry Maui. 

Key Information: $175 per person for a 2-hour private guided tour – Cold drinks and snacks provided – Call ahead if you have children under 8

Good To Know: The ranch is very accommodating for different time schedules and horse riding ability– just call in advance and ask!

7. Meet Some Web-Footed Friends

We’ll bet that you didn’t think you could meet penguins in Hawaii! But every morning, the resident penguins at the Hyatt Regency Maui come out for breakfast. They stay out all day, so you can stop by any time to see them.

Key Information: FREE – Penguins are fed at 9:30 – Free wildlife tours on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 10:00 AM

Good To Know: You don’t have to be a hotel guest to come and say hi to the penguins. 

8. Go To School… Surf School!

Surfing lessons aren’t just fun– they’re an opportunity to engage with Maui’s traditional surfing culture. 

Key Information: Prices vary – Best for kids elementary school age and up – Equipment rental is always included in surf school cost

Good To Know: Make sure to take your surf lessons on west Maui, where the water is gentle enough for newbies.

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19. Travel the Road to Hana

The Hana Highway is more than just a road. It’s a journey through Hawaii’s history and mythical, epic past.  

Key Information: FREE to drive yourself – Tours have various rates – Bring swimsuits

Good To Know: You can drive yourself, but the best way to experience the Road to Hana is on a bus tour with a guide who can tell you what you are seeing and show you all the best places to stop.

10. Explore A Volcanic Landscape

See an otherworldly black rock landscape at Haleakala National Park. The park is beautiful at any time of day, but you can make a sunrise reservation for a sight that is truly unique and beautiful.

Key Information: $30 per vehicle – Lots of easy trails – Water and accessible restrooms available at all visitor centers

Good To Know: Your pass is good for three days, so use it on the Road to Hana if you decide to visit the Pools of ‘Oheo.

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10. Learn about Marine Life at Maui Ocean Center

Maui Ocean Center is one of the top 10 aquariums in the world and has the largest live coral tank anywhere. Your kids will be enthralled by the peaceful sea turtles, sleek sharks, and other incredible sea creatures. The aquarium isn’t just the indoor enclosures; the site is actually a huge nature park where you can experience native wildlife and plants in their natural habitat.

Key Information: $29/$45 – Must book online in advance – Food onsite

Good To Know: Bring your stroller – the aquarium is not currently renting them.

11. Explore A Volcanic Landscape

See an otherworldly black rock landscape at Haleakala National Park. The park is beautiful at any time of day, but you can make a sunrise reservation for a sight that is truly unique and beautiful.

Key Information: $30 per vehicle – Lots of easy trails – Water and accessible restrooms available at all visitor centers

Good To Know: Your pass is good for three days, so use it on the Road to Hana if you decide to visit the Pools of ‘Oheo.

12. Snorkel In A Volcanic Crater

Molokini Crater is one of the neatest snorkeling spots on Maui. It’s home to over 250 species of marine life that are used to humans being around. You might just spot a manta ray or moray eel! The long-exploded volcano has created huge black stone walls that created a protected cove, so you don’t have to worry about being a particularly strong swimmer to enjoy the gentle waves and deep blue water of Molokini Crater. 

Key Information: Deluxe snorkel rental is $12 a day for 2 sets – Boat tours available for private or group tours – Best if everybody in your family knows how to swim

Good To Know: If you want to snorkel with sea turtles, licensed boat tours can take you to Turtle Town, a part of the crater where they congregate.

13. Hike the Twin Falls

The Twin Falls hike is part of the beautiful Road to Hana, and it is the perfect section to walk with kids. It’s a 1.5-mile groomed trail that ends in a magnificent waterfall and swimming hole. The walk is on a private farm that’s opened up the trail to the public, so it’s important to be respectful of the farmers’ boundaries. The off-limits areas are off-limitsoff limits for your safety!

Key Information: $10 dollar parking fee – Trail is groomed but not paved – Bring swimsuits

Good To Know: Stop for farm-fresh banana bread from the local food stand– it’s some of the best on the island. 

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14. Fly Over an Active Volcano 

When you visit Haleakala National Park, you can hike on the volcano, but you can’t get too close to the immense moonlike crater. Treat your kids to the view of a lifetime with a helicopter tour that will show you parts of the park that are impossible to see from the land. 

Key Information: 1-hour tour starts at $314 – Best for kids elementary school age and up – Must book in advance

Good To Know: You might even be able to view whales from your helicopter!

15. Try A New Kind Of Surfing

If you like adventurous outdoor activities, windsurfing or kitesurfing might be your new favorite sport! At HST Surf School, the whole family can get on these fast-paced, fun water sports. 

Key Information: Rates start at $75 for group lessons – Good for kids 6 and up – Located on Maui’s north shore

Good To Know: HST Surf School also offers paddleboard and foil surfing classes, just in case kitesurfing and windsurfing aren’t enough.

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16. Meet Some Mermaids

Mermaids on Maui is Maui’s premier ocean activity designed especially for kids. Kids and adults will learn how to swim in a mermaid tail as your professional mermaid teaches you about the coral reef ecosystem. Pictures and video included!

Key Information: Rates vary – For ages 4 and up – Classes tailored to individual skill levels

Good To Know: If you have a kid who absolutely, positively does not want to be a mermaid or merman… don’t worry, they have shark costumes, too! 

17. Chase Rainbows at Waimea Canyon State Park

One of Maui’s nicknames is the Valley Isle, and Waimea Canyon State Park is a very good example of why this is so. This valley, carved out by the Waimea River, is one of the wettest places on Earth. The constant rainfall has created a lush, tropical jungle with many beautiful overlooks and vistas. It also means that there’s almost always a rainbow or two shimmering in the sky. How many can you spot?

Key Information: $5 per person – Kids 3 and under are FREE – Park admission is good for Waimea Canyon State Park and Kokee State Park

Good To Know: The hikes in and out of the canyon are long and strenuous. If you have kids, driving through the park and stopping at overlooks is a much better option.

 

18. Take A Submarine Tour

Descend almost seventeen fathoms (or 100 feet, if you’re on land) to a colorful world of fish and coral on a Maui Atlantis submarine adventure. This one-of-a-kind tour is the best way to see the beautiful coral reef. Your tour begins in Lahaina Harbor, where an open-air cruise takes you to the dive site where you will transfer to the state-of-the-art, air-conditioned submarine and go on the adventure of a lifetime. 

Key Information: Tickets start at $163.56 – You must be 36 inches or taller to ride – Plan for over 2 hours

Good To Know: This tour is awesome any time of year, but it’s an absolute must-do during whale-watching season. It’s one of the only ways to have a chance to see whales underwater. 

Do any of these ideas inspire your aloha spirit? We hope thaideas have inspired you to make Maui your next Hawaiian island to visit. Share with one of the options below if you’re feeling inspired for your next Maui vacation.

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