Hawaii might be one of those places that you would love to visit but don’t really consider it fully for a family holiday not just because of the long haul flight but because it seems like a destination for couples, where you get an Hawaii beachfront rental to relax on the beach and put on your new scuba and snorkelling gear on to explore the clear waters. However there is plenty to do in Hawaii for the whole family and I do believe the 6 unique islands will make the long haul flight worth it! Hawaii is an all year destination and depending on what you want to do will depend on when the best time to visit Hawaii is for you.

As well as good old fashioned fun on the beach building sandcastles, burying each other in the sand and paddling in the sea with an underwater camera to capture the tropical fish, there are an array of activities on the island.

There are various tours that are catered for the family whether you are wanting to see the scenery or visit some cultural sites. You could explore a real Polynesian village, followed by a sunset luau, at the Polynesian Cultural Centre. Show your little ones a piece of history with a tour of Pearl Harbour.


Visiting Hawaii with children a humback whale about to splash back into the water


Whale watching

Humpback whales visit Hawaii every year from November to May with the peak of the season being January to March. There are a variety of boat tours and whale watching cruises with some offering free child places at selected times. There are lots of Whale watching tours in Maui but there are whale watching cruises at most harbours.

Ride a train through a plantation

Kilohana plantation offers an abundance of activities including riding a train through the beautiful 105 acre plantation, hiking through the rainforest, feeding the animals, taste locally made drinks, shop, eat or enjoy the day spa while your other half entertains the little ones!


Visiting Hawaii with children small waterfall along dark rock and lots of greenery around

Horseback riding

If you or the little ones fancy being a Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) why not book a trek through the Hawaiian countryside, there are various tour operators offering this and I have found Gunstock ranch have a private 1-1 session for children aged 2-7 years.

Go on a zip line

Pi’iholo ranch allows you to soar through immense eucalyptus forests, native and indigenous plants — all while catching spectacular coastal views. Combine the zip line tour with a hike to explore beautiful tree houses and 2 waterfalls. Children aged 8-12 also go free on selected tours with a paying adult.

Visiting Hawaii with children a photo of a turtle swimming underwater

Visit the zoo

Honolulu zoo is home to over 900 species. Komodo Dragons, orangutans, elephants, primates, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and a variety of African animals can be viewed in their specially-designed habitats daily. There are daily walking tours that you can book onto including the safari stroll where you can Zoo’s African wildlife through our Savanna. The reptile roundabout and primate island where you learn about the zoo’s favourite cold-blooded friends in their Ectotherm Complex as well as some of the primates on a Primate Island. The other walking tour is Island life where you find native Hawaiian species and other animals from island ecosystems living at the Zoo. The zoo also has a botanical garden with an array of beautiful plants that are native to Hawaii or have a long history of specialised importance to the Polynesian cultures. 

Dolphin sighting

Blue Dolphin Charters is proud to run the two largest motor sailing catamarans on Kauai specializing in tours of the Na Pali Coast and the forbidden island of Ni’ihau. They are also the only Na Pali charter tour company to offer a guarantee that you will see dolphins on your morning adventure!


Visiting Hawaii with children camera pointing up towards the sky and palm trees


Volcano tour

Volcano National Park tour gives a taste of all things Hawai’i. Don’t miss your chance to view Mauna Loa and Kauna Kea, the two largest volcanoes of Hawai’i Island, the famous Rainbow Falls and the sleepy, beachy Hilo-town. You can also stop at the beautiful Punalu’u black sand beach where endangered sea trutles feed and rest.

Go on a submarine

Atlantis Submarines offers a one-of-a-kind underwater experience off the shorelines of Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island, giving guests a close-up view of an array of marine life, exotic tropical reefs and numerous sunken vessels. It’s like swimming in a giant aquarium, but staying dry the whole time! Enjoy your underwater adventure in the comfort and safety of a spacious air-conditioned, Coast Guard approved submarine. Their battery powered vessels are designed and built with customer safety and the environment in mind.


Visiting Hawaii with children


Go chocolate tasting

I definitely couldn’t leave this out, we went on a chocolate tour when we visited Hamburg which was fab. Garden Island Chocolate offer a chocolate tour and tasting through a three hour guided adventure where you will learn all about the cacao tree and see how chocolate is made from the cacao fruit. During the tour you sit down to an EXTENSIVE chocolate tasting of 20 types of chocolate, all Hawaiian grown and made.

Become of mermaid

Have a mermaid adventure where your mermaid guide immerses you into the ocean habitat where you learn all about life as a mermaid, various marine animals and coral as well as marine conservation, mermaid mythology and sailors’ tales. You also get free high quality digital underwater photos of you and the children as mermaids and mermen as a souvenir.

Go to a waterpark

Wet n Wild features more than 25 exhilarating attractions. Nestled on 29-acres in lush tropical landscaping and natural cliffs, you will find a different adventure in each corner ideal for families and thrill seekers alike.  Adrenaline addicts can enjoy slides like Shaka – which plunges guests down a sheer 36- foot drop almost vertically into a u-shaped slide to experience a zero-gravity sensation; or Tornado, which catapults guests through a swirling 45-foot funnel into the eye of the storm and into calmer waters. The park also features tamer attractions like Water World Playground, a multi-level children’s area that is full of dumping buckets, kid friendly slides and interactive water cannons; or Hawaiian Waters, a 400,000-gallon wave pool where you can body board on machine generated waves similar to the waves on Waikiki Beach.


Visiting Hawaii with children #hawaii #usa



29 Comments on Visiting Hawaii with children

  1. I hate when people write certain places off for children.. I mean there in children in those places right.
    Your post has confirmed for me why this is on my list with the boys slow moving lava and komodo dragons are high on Sebastian’s bucket list yup he is 4 with a bucket list

  2. Hawaii has always been an exotic destination that I wanted to visit. It offers so many things. I’d love to go on a volcano tour but also to go out on a boat and try to spot whales.

  3. I may stop in Hawaii on my way to Australia when I finally decide to take such a long flight. I’ve heard wonderful things about the people, the food and the culture.

  4. Wow, just wow! I’ve also liked the look of a Hawaii holiday but I’d never really looked into it. Your list of things to do has made it shoot right up the travel wishlist. It sounds great for both adults and kids, I love the sound of becoming a mermaid, the sunset luau, whale watching, pretty much everything you listed I want to do

  5. I would love to see the whales and have a tour around the volcano national park. Hawaii is such a vast and changing landscape and it shows with the range of activities on offer which you’ve included. Being a mermaid must be fun for little girls!

  6. I went to Hawaii about 10 years ago by myself when backpacking and it was full of families. There is so much for kids to do.

  7. I must admit the long haul flight would put me off with my 2 little terrors. But maybe when they’re a bit older we might risk it. It looks fab and I didn’t realise there was so much family stuff to do

  8. I might have to add Hawaii to our family bucket list now! It sounds amazing and the kids would love whale watching.

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