Best Things To Do in Maui with Kids

Planning a family vacation can often be a daunting task, especially when looking for activities that cater to kids of all ages. Parents want to ensure that their children are not only entertained but also safe and engaged throughout the trip. This is particularly challenging when visiting a location like Maui, which is renowned for its adventurous and often adult-oriented attractions.

Fortunately, Maui offers a plethora of family-friendly activities that promise to keep kids entertained and create unforgettable memories. From beautiful beaches to educational excursions, there is truly something for every child to enjoy.

To help you plan the perfect family getaway, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide on the best things to do in Maui with kids. Read on to discover activities that will make your trip both enjoyable and stress-free, ensuring that every family member has a fantastic time.

Overview of Maui 

Maui is a renowned family-friendly destination that offers a plethora of activities and attractions suitable for all ages. 

Families can embark on scenic drives along the famous Road to Hana, explore the majestic Haleakalā National Park, or visit the Maui Ocean Center to learn about marine life.

 For a more relaxed day, kid-friendly beaches like Baby Beach in Lahaina provide a safe environment with calm, shallow waters, perfect for young children to splash around.

 Safety measures are a priority at these beaches, including lifeguards on duty and clearly marked swimming zones. With a variety of family-friendly options, Maui ensures a memorable and secure vacation experience for everyone.

Importance of planning kid-friendly activities

Planning kid-friendly activities is essential for fostering a child’s development and creating lasting memories.

 Structured activities provide opportunities for children to learn new skills, explore their creativity, and develop social connections. These activities can range from educational outings to parks and museums to interactive playdates with peers. 

Additionally, well-planned activities help ensure safety and keep children engaged, reducing the likelihood of boredom and mischief. By thoughtfully curating experiences that are both fun and educational, parents can contribute significantly to their child’s holistic growth and well-being.

Beach Activities for Families in Maui

Maui offers a diverse range of beach activities perfect for families with kids, ensuring that every member of the family finds something to enjoy. 

From building sandcastles on the golden beaches to exploring vibrant marine life through snorkeling, Maui’s crystal-clear waters provide countless hours of fun and adventure. 

Families can enjoy paddleboarding and kayaking, which are not only exhilarating but also safe for children. For those seeking a unique experience, whale-watching tours offer an unforgettable glimpse of majestic humpback whales in their natural habitat.

 With such a wide range of options, Maui truly stands out as a premier destination for families looking to create lasting memories through engaging beach activities.

Baby Beach

Baby Beach, located just off Front Street in Lahaina, is a perfect spot for families with young children due to its safe and calm waters. 

The beach is renowned for its gently rolling waves, making it an ideal location for kids to splash around and enjoy the ocean in a secure environment.

 Conveniently situated nearby are amenities such as Safeway and Foodland for any picnic or snack needs.

 Additionally, during low tide, there’s a wonderful opportunity to explore the reef, making Baby Beach not only a place for relaxation but also for adventure and discovery.

Ka’anapali Beach: A Family-Friendly Haven

Nestled on the western shores of Maui, Ka’anapali Beach is a renowned destination celebrated for its gentle waves and exceptional amenities that cater to families.

 This inviting beach boasts calm, crystal-clear waters making it ideal for children and parents alike to enjoy a safe and relaxing swim. Encompassing a vibrant stretch of coastline, Ka’anapali Beach is well-equipped with various amenities including beachside restaurants, convenient restrooms, and easy access to rental equipment, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all visitors. 

These features, combined with the beach’s natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere, make Ka’anapali Beach a perfect choice for family outings and vacations.

 Kid-Friendly Beaches 

Maui is renowned for its stunning beaches that cater to visitors of all ages. For families seeking safe and enjoyable coastal experiences, the island offers several kid-friendly beaches with calm waters, ample shade, and convenient facilities. 

Whether you’re looking to relax on a sandy shoreline, explore the underwater world, or engage in a bit of play, these beaches provide the perfect settings for family adventures. 

Below, discover some of Maui’s top kid-friendly beaches that promise unforgettable moments for both children and adults alike.

Marine Life Encounters

The world beneath the ocean’s surface is a vibrant mosaic of marine life encounters, each habitat offering unique glimpses into the lives of its diverse inhabitants. Coral reefs, known for their stunning biodiversity, provide a sanctuary for myriad species such as vibrant reef fish, gently gliding sea turtles, and various forms of the coral itself. In the lush, underwater jungles of kelp forests, one can observe the graceful dance of sea otters, schools of fish weaving through the fronds, and the occasional sighting of sharks stealthily navigating the kelp.

The open ocean presents a different kind of marine life encounter, where vastness meets mystery. Here, one might witness the playful antics of dolphins leaping alongside a boat or the powerful presence of a migrating whale. The open waters are also home to formidable predators like sharks, whose sleek bodies and keen senses have adapted perfectly to this expansive habitat. Each species within these diverse environments exhibits unique characteristics and behaviors that underscore the rich tapestry of marine life.

The importance of conservation efforts to protect these marine habitats and the species that inhabit them cannot be overstated. Threats such as pollution, climate change, and overfishing pose significant risks to marine ecosystems, disrupting the delicate balance that sustains them. By prioritizing conservation efforts, including the establishment of marine protected areas and promoting sustainable fishing practices, we can help preserve these incredible ecosystems and ensure future generations experience the wonder of marine life encounters.

Maui Ocean Center

The Maui Ocean Center offers a wide array of interactive exhibits and marine life encounters that are sure to captivate kids of all ages.

 Located centrally, it is easily accessible to visitors staying at the Lahaina/Ka’anapali area resorts as well as the ones in Kihei/Wailea. At the Maui Ocean Center, children can marvel at diverse marine life, including sharks, turtles, stingrays, and a vibrant array of tropical fish. 

Among the interactive exhibits, kids can explore touch pools where they can gently feel starfish and sea cucumbers and the fascinating Living Reef exhibit that showcases the intricate beauty of coral ecosystems. 

The Open Ocean exhibit, featuring a 54-foot walk-through tunnel, gives children a closer look at formidable sharks and graceful stingrays as they glide overhead. Another highlight is the Turtle Lagoon, where kids can observe sea turtles swimming gracefully in their habitat. 

For added convenience and savings, families can purchase tickets online in advance. Experience unforgettable marine life encounters and create lasting memories at the Maui Ocean Center.

 Pacific Whale Foundation

During whale season, the Pacific Whale Foundation offers exceptional educational whale-watching tours that provide an immersive experience for guests of all ages.

 One of the standout features of these tours is the Onboard Jr. Naturalist Program, specifically designed for kids. 

This engaging program educates young participants about marine life and conservation through interactive activities and games, making learning fun and memorable. Additionally, the tours are equipped with underwater hydrophones, allowing guests to hear the enchanting songs of the whales in their natural habitat.

 To ensure guest satisfaction, the Pacific Whale Foundation promises a free tour if no whales are spotted during the excursion, underscoring their confidence in delivering a phenomenal whale-watching adventure.

Snorkeling Adventures

Honolua Bay

Honolua Bay, located on the northwestern coast of Maui, offers an unparalleled snorkeling experience. The clear, turquoise waters of the bay are teeming with vibrant marine life, including schools of tropical fish, sea turtles, and an array of coral species. The bay’s calm waters and varied underwater landscapes make it an ideal spot for both novice and experienced snorkelers. With its rich biodiversity and pristine environment, Honolua Bay provides a window into the stunning aquatic ecosystems of Hawaii.

Black Sand Beach

Black Sand Beach, situated in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, presents a unique snorkeling adventure. Due to the volcanic activity in the area, the beach’s shoreline is composed of black basalt sand, creating a striking contrast with the crystalline blue waters. Snorkelers at Black Sand Beach can expect to encounter a myriad of marine life, including vibrant fish, sea urchins, and perhaps even a glimpse of the majestic manta rays. The beach’s rugged beauty and the opportunity to observe diverse underwater creatures up close make it a must-visit destination for snorkeling enthusiasts.

 Outdoor Adventures

Maui offers a treasure trove of outdoor adventures, making it an idyllic destination for nature enthusiasts and thrill-seekers alike. 

One of the island’s premier activities is hiking, with trails that cater to all skill levels and offer breathtaking views of Maui’s diverse landscapes. 

The Lahaina-Pali trail is a must-visit for avid hikers, presenting a challenging trek along the ancient Pali Highway with panoramic vistas of the island, the ocean, and neighboring islands. 

For those seeking a more serene experience, Iao Valley State Park provides a lush, tranquil setting marked by its iconic Iao Needle and rich cultural history. 

Complementing these natural attractions is ‘Ulalena, an enthralling theatrical performance that brings the island’s folklore and natural beauty to life, providing a cultural immersion that is as captivating as the hikes.

 With such a broad array of outdoor adventures, Maui stands out as a premier destination for experiencing the wonders of nature and culture.

Family-Friendly Hiking Trails in Haleakala National Park

Exploring the family-friendly trails in Haleakala National Park is an enriching experience suitable for all ages. Here are some trails that are ideal for families:

Sliding Sands Trail

The Sliding Sands Trail is a short-distance hike offering a unique opportunity to see old lava formations. This trail, located at the summit, provides stunning views of Haleakala’s volcanic landscape. While the full trail is quite extensive, there are shorter segments that families can enjoy. Make sure to bring plenty of water and sun protection, as the trail is exposed and can be quite hot.

Pipiwai Trail

Famous for its enchanting bamboo forest, the Pipiwai Trail is a must-visit for families. This moderately challenging hike weaves through lush greenery, leading to the magnificent Waimoku Falls. The dense bamboo forest creates a magical atmosphere, perfect for young explorers. Along the way, families can also enjoy picturesque views of the cascading Makahiku Falls.

Hosmer Grove Trail

The Hosmer Grove Trail is a short, easy loop that takes hikers through a unique forest ecosystem. The trailhead is located just below the Haleakala Visitor Centre. This trail is great for young children as it allows them to learn about non-native tree species brought to the island. The cool, shaded environment makes it a pleasant hike for families.

Halemau’u Trail

For families looking for a slightly longer adventure, the Halemau’u Trail offers breathtaking views of the crater and the surrounding cinder cones. The trail is well-marked and features a gradual descent, making it manageable for children. The Switchbacks provide a thrilling hiking experience with rewarding vistas.

These family-friendly trails in Haleakala National Park offer diverse landscapes and ensure a memorable adventure suitable for all ages. Whether it’s the old lava on the Sliding Sands Trail, the bamboo forest on the Pipiwai Trail, or the unique flora on the Hosmer Grove Trail, there is something for every family to enjoy.

Lookout Points Along the Coast of Maui for Whale Watching

Maui offers several excellent lookout points where visitors can view humpback whales during the whale-watching season, which runs from mid-December to mid-April. The prime spots to witness these majestic creatures are typically beaches and cliffs along the coast. Some of the best lookout points include:

  • McGregor Point Lookout: Known for its panoramic views, this spot provides a fantastic vantage point for humpback whale sightings.
  • Papawai Point: Another great location to observe the whales, offering stunning coastal views and ample opportunities for photography.
  • Lahaina Pali Trail: This trail offers elevated perspectives along the cliffs, making it an excellent spot to see whales breaching in the distance.
  • South Maui Beaches: Wailea Beach and Makena Beach are popular among visitors for whale watching due to their expansive views and proximity to whale activity.
  • North Kihei Beaches: These beaches provide clear, unobstructed views of the ocean where humpback whales are often seen.
  • Kapalua Bay: This picturesque bay is another favored location for spotting whales, with its beautiful surroundings enhancing the experience.

During the whale watching season, these lookout points along the coast of Maui become hubs for enthusiasts eager to catch a glimpse of humpback whales in their natural habitat.

Ziplining Tours: Thrilling Adventure for Older Children in West Maui

Ziplining tours in West Maui offer an exhilarating experience tailored especially for older children seeking adventure. 

These tours feature a series of high-flying thrills, allowing participants to glide through lush forests and over scenic valleys, providing breathtaking views of the island’s natural beauty. The adrenaline-pumping activity not only guarantees an unforgettable experience but also promotes outdoor physical activity and a sense of accomplishment. 

With safety being a top priority, trained guides ensure that all participants enjoy a secure and thrilling journey from start to finish. Whether soaring above the treetops or zipping across expansive landscapes, ziplining in West Maui is an adventure that combines excitement with the stunning backdrop of Hawaii’s diverse ecosystem.


What part of Maui is best for kids?

When it comes to family-friendly destinations in Maui, Wailea stands out as an excellent choice for kids. This area is known for its calm, sandy beaches such as Wailea Beach and Ulua Beach, which are perfect for swimming and building sandcastles. Wailea also offers a variety of kid-friendly resorts with extensive amenities, including pools with water slides, kids’ clubs, and family activities.

Additionally, nearby attractions like the Maui Ocean Center provide educational and entertaining experiences for children. With its safe environment and abundance of activities, Wailea ensures that families can enjoy a memorable vacation.

What do you do with kids in Maui?

When it comes to family-friendly destinations in Maui, Wailea stands out as an excellent choice for kids. This area is known for its calm, sandy beaches such as Wailea Beach and Ulua Beach, which are perfect for swimming and building sandcastles. Wailea also offers a variety of kid-friendly resorts with extensive amenities, including pools with water slides, kids’ clubs, and family activities.

Additionally, nearby attractions like the Maui Ocean Center provide educational and entertaining experiences for children. With its safe environment and abundance of activities, Wailea ensures that families can enjoy a memorable vacation.

Is Maui a good place for families?

Maui is an excellent destination for families, offering something for everyone to enjoy. The island is renowned for its breathtaking beaches, where children can build sandcastles and swim in the gentle waves, while parents relax under the sun.

Families can also explore the lush landscapes, from hiking in Haleakalā National Park to discovering the enchanting waterfalls along the Hana Highway. Additionally, Maui’s rich cultural heritage provides educational opportunities, such as visiting the Maui Ocean Center or attending a traditional Hawaiian luau. With its diverse range of activities and family-friendly atmosphere, Maui is indeed a fantastic place for a family vacation.

Leave a Comment

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

Scroll to Top