view of Molokai from maui

Are you looking for the best things to do in Maui with kids? For families visiting Maui, this post will help you discover the island’s top family-friendly activities and attractions, based on our years of experience visiting the island.

We love visiting Maui every August, and we have visited Maui since our oldest was 18 months old. In fact, we have been there over 15 times with babies, toddlers, school-aged kids, and now preteens and teens.

Not only do we know Maui extremely well, but we have also explored so much of the island with our kids at all ages that we are the go to experts on Maui with our family and friends. From the Maui Ocean Center to snorkeling to hiking to enjoying the Road to Hana, there is so much to do with kids in Maui. And let’s not forget tasting your way through Maui (my favorite is the delicious banana bread from Julia’s and of course yummy shave ice!)

Though it is often thought of as a destination for honeymooners, Maui is our favorite of the Hawaiian islands for kids. It is a perfect blend of things to do without being too busy, and full of Hawaiian culture and experiences.

If I had to give you one piece of advice when planning your Maui family vacation, it would be to plan a mix of active, cultural and relaxing activities. We typically like to plan at least one ocean or boat activity like snorkeling, an exploration to the rainforest or to see waterfalls, a Hawaiian cultural activity to learn something new and some relaxing pool/beach days. Having a mix gives you the best of what Maui has to offer.

Now, let’s help YOU plan your Hawaii trip. Whether you are visiting Maui with toddlers, school aged kids or teens, our guide to Maui with kids has it all and by the end, you’ll know what you can do in Maui with kids. It will help you plan your dream family Hawaiian vacation and create your fun-filled Maui itinerary full of family-friendly activities.

sufboards near Jaws on Maui
The Jaws Country Store is worth a stop on the Road to Hana and during the winter, the waves are high so you can watch big wave surfing nearby. photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

This post contains affiliate links for which I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you, should you make a purchase using this link. Please see my disclaimer. Cover photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

hippie bus in Maui selling acai bowls
Kaanapali, Maui, photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

The 30+ Very Best Things To Do In Maui With Kids For All Ages

Kids in a Hawaiian canoe on the beach
Maui is great for kids of all ages. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Hawaii is far from the Mainland of the United States, but it is a must visit destination and my favorite of the Hawaiian Islands. If you plan on visiting Maui, I recommend at least seven days to really experience a variety of the best things to do with kids in Maui.

But, whether you have one or several days, there are many ways to discover this incredible island with amazing family activities on Maui. And, with some planning, you can make your dream Hawaii trip come true in Maui.

Be sure to include your snorkel and hiking shoes, along with your flip flops and swimsuits, on your Hawaii packing list because there are many adventures to be had! Here are some of our family’s favorites.

1. Snorkeling at kapalua bay beach

The Hawaiians have great respect for the “Kai”, the Hawaiian word for the sea.  Not only does it serve as a source of food, with a variety of ocean life.

One of the best ways to see some of these special residents is by snorkeling. It’s a fun family activity that kids of all ages love.

things-to-do-with-kids-in-maui-kapalua-snorkeling
Kapalua Bay Beach, Photo Credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Kapalua Bay Beach

For a simple day trip or morning snorkel, our favorite spot on Maui is Kapalua Bay Beach. It is one of the top spots for the best snorkeling in Maui. And, in my opinion, it is one of the very best beaches in Hawaiian Islands for kids, including toddlers!

I recommend bringing your own snorkel gear to this West Maui spot, but there is a stand on-site that rents snorkel gear and floaties if you need them. Because you are in the open ocean, I recommend kids have a good snorkeling set made for kids.  And it is always on my Hawaii packing list, because it ensures kids will be able to enjoy the experience because it will fit properly and is better quality than the ones you buy in the souvenir stores.

The protected bay offers a shallow reef there, with a variety of wildlife, including the famous humuhumunukunukuapua’a (or just humu humu for short), a triggerfish known as Hawaii’s state fish. There is also a resident turtle who lives there, but take note that it is against Hawaiian law to go within 10 feet of the Hawaiian green sea turtles. Every time we have visited Maui, we are sure to stop by this West Maui spot for a snorkel.

I also want to add that you can see the Hawaiian green sea turtles at Ho’okipa Beach, located at mile #9 of the Hâna Highway. Ho’okipa Beach is one of the best places to visit sea turtles and other neat majestic creatures.

A Great Beach For Toddlers

If you are visiting Maui with toddlers, Kapalua Bay is one of the best beaches on Maui for families.

Toddlers can easily splash in the water and play in the sand, as there isn’t typically rough surf. It is one of our favorite family activities in Maui, and we make time for it each trip. If they are too young to snorkel, check out my tip on visiting the Maui Ocean Center as a way to get the littlest Keiki to see the incredible marine life.

Other Great Snorkel Beaches

If you’re looking for another great beach for families with younger kids, check out Baby Beach at Baldwin Beach Park in Paia, a town on the north shore. The crystal clear waters of Baby Beach are shallow and safe for small children because of the offshore reef nearby. It is another one of the best beaches in Maui for kids.

Many people also like to snorkel at Black Rock near the Sheraton on Kaanapaali. While this is a great snorkeling spot for experienced snorkelers, it is rougher waters and there is a current here. I would not recommend this for young kids or inexperienced simmers or snorkelers.

BVWK Tip

There is a parking lot near the beach but it gets full quickly. You can also park across the street for a fee at the tennis club. I recommend arriving early to avoid the crowds.  You may also want to bring your own food and water. Bathrooms and foot showers are available on site.

 

people snorkeling in molokini crater
Snorkeling in Molokini Crater is like swimming in an aquarium. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

2. Eco-Adventure Snorkel Trip To Molokini Crater

Another great way to snorkel on Maui is during an Eco Adventure snorkel trip to Molokini Crater. We loved the experience with the Pacific Whale Foundation, which leaves right from the Ma’alaea Harbor, right near the Maui Ocean Center. In my opinion, it is definitely one of the very best things to do with kids on Maui. Not only do you get a snorkel experience, but the staff also teach kids about ocean ecology and conservation.

As Lahaina Harbor is currently unavailable, it leaves from Ma’alaea Harbor.

Pride of Maui also runs snorkel cruises. Some of these come with a BBQ lunch too!

The Molokini Crater is an iconic site off of Maui, known for its vibrant Pacific Ocean marine life.  It is a fantastic place to see the incredible underwater world in crystal clear waters that mimic an aquarium.

In fact, Molokini is known around the world for being one of the best sites for Maui scuba diving as it’s a State Marine Life and Bird Conservation District. My husband and I have done it several times.

While my children are not certified in diving, the Molokini Crater is the perfect place to take your kids snorkeling. I must say, snorkeling Molokini is a must-do activity in Maui and a great place to see sea turtles and other marine life! And you can even take a snorkel tour for more structured fun.

Snorkelers and scuba divers alike can view the clarity and beauty of the scenery here! No for anyone who can’t snorkel, or for younger kids, be sure and add the Maui Ocean Center to your list before sunset cruise, or after your boat ride so you can see the underwater world as well!

kids looking over boat at water in molokini crater in maui
Molokini Crater, Maui, Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

What is so fantastic about the Eco-Adventure tour with the Pacific Whale Foundation is that it is very family-friendly.  Not only does this amazing tour include two snorkel stops at some of the best snorkel sites on Maui, but it also includes lunch.

The boat staff also invites children to talks about conservation during the 45-minute boat ride to and from the snorkel sites. They also serve as lifeguards while you snorkel.  It is one of the best family snorkel experiences we have ever done, due to its thoughtful approach to experiencing and learning about the ocean.

They also visit other locations, like Honolua. But, it is a great way for kids to see what’s under the sea (along with a visit to Maui Ocean Center.)

3. Ziplining on Maui

This past year, we visited Camp Maui for a family-friendly zipline adventure. Now, I am afraid of heights, so this was an …. interesting….experience for me.

But I have to say Camp Maui did an amazing job with their Maui zipline tour.  They worked with my fear of heights, and the staff was fantastic. And if you have some thrill-seekers in your family, you can even go rappelling at Rappel Maui. With my fear of heights, I will probably not be doing Rappel Maui anytime soon!

things-to-do-with-kids-in-maui-camp-maui
Photo credit: Camp Maui and Bon Voyage With Kids

Camp Maui offers a family-friendly, seven-line Maui zipline experience on its private property. It is also the site of the Pacific World War II’s training base.  The site hosts a small museum with vehicles and planes from World War II to look at before or after your zipline adventure.

This is one of the best family activities on Maui! You can also check out Skyline Eco Adventures for another ziplining experience.

things-to-do-in-maui-with-kids-camp-maui
Photo credit: Camp Maui and Bon Voyage With Kids

4.  Road to Hana

Many people ask if the The Road To Hana is good for kids. My answer to this is yes – but understand it is a fully day experience on very windy roads. If your kids can handle a long 8-12 hour day, with many stops in and out of the car, then yes the Road to Hana will be good for kids.

The Road to Hana is one of the most spectacular experiences to do in Maui and absolutely should be on your travel bucket list. If you are on the island for two days or more, the Road to Hana experience is a must.

truck on road to hana
The Road to Hana is fun for kids and be sure and make many stops along the way. photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

This all-day drive, which can take around eight to ten hours to complete, takes you all around the area to explore some of the most awe-inspiring spots on the island, including a gorgeous black sand beach.

couple standing at black sand beach in Maui
A black sand beach on the Road to Hana. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Full disclosure – the roads are windy, so if you are prone to motion sickness, take precautions. In fact, you should definitely consult a Road To Hana guide so you know what to expect.

things-to-do-with-kids-in-maui-seven-pools

You can either take the drive yourself (though some rental car companies prefer that you don’t) or you can go on a guided tour.

Keep in mind that while there are spectacular things to see along the way, driving the Road to Hana is about the journey, not the destination.   Picturesque waterfalls cascading into pools that overlook the rugged coast, black rock beaches, rain forest, and of course, Hana town are some of the many things to experience along the way on this coastal drive.

dad and son walking on black sand beach in Maui
Exploring the black sand beaches is a fun thing to do with kids in Maui. photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Note, if you want to see a neat black sand beach, check out Honokalani Black Sand Beach, located in Waianapanapa State Park in East Maui. It’s Maui’s most famous black sand beach.

If you see any road stands on the journey, be sure to stop for a treat. Nothing is quite as delicious as homemade banana bread during your drive. There are many stands along the way and not only are they a great place to stretch your legs, but it’s also a great chance to find snacks and fresh fruit, and you support a local business.

Maui fruit stand on Road to Hana
Roadside stands are part of the fun on the Road to Hana. photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

5. Visit Haleakalā National Park

Part of what makes Maui so spectacular is seeing it from the land, the sea, and from above.  At 10,000 feet above sea level, you will certainly do so by visiting Haleakalā National Park in Upcountry Maui.

This dormant volcano offers a variety of landscapes and is home to the rare plant Haleakalā Silverswords of Upcountry Maui.   The views alone make it worth the visit, but for a very special experience, visit it to watch the sunrise or sunset.

things-to-do-with-kids-in-maui-haleakala
View from top of Haleakalā, Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

You can either visit the volcano yourself or on a guided tour.  Many types are offered at Haleakalā National Park.

If you are traveling with older kids (teens), you can book an early sunrise bike tour. After the tour brings you to the top of Haleakala National Park, you will watch the sunrise and then bicycle down the volcano. This is one of the best things to do in Maui with teens.

It is a great way to experience yet another of Maui’s magical treasures and one of my favorite things to do in Upcountry Maui with kids.

woman standing next to Heleakela Silversword plant
Haleakela Silverswords and very special to see, Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

There are also great hiking trails like Seven Sacred Pools and Sliding Sands Trail in Haleakala National Park. Sacred Pools is a short hike under a mile long that traverses some truly beautiful scenery.

And while we’re talking about Upcountry Maui, you may want to visit the Surfing Goat Dairy Farm. The young kids will love interacting with the goats at this unique location. Even older kids will stay engaged, visiting the pigs, baby goats, cats, and dogs. Definitely add Surfing Goat Dairy Farm to you Maui kids list of things to do!

the top of Haleakela above the clouds
You are above the clouds at Haleakalā so bring a sweater or jacket. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

6. Hiking the Iao Valley

Another one of my favorite things to do with kids on Maui is to go hiking in the Iao Valley.  This beautiful location is located in central Maui and is ideal to experience Maui’s lush and breathtaking landscapes and Hawaii’s rich history. It is simply a breathtaking experience.

Iao Valley
Iao Valley, photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

The Iao Valley is also a fantastic way to experience the culture of the Hawaiian people, so you must add it to your Maui itinerary. This location is significant to Hawaiian history and is also considered sacred for housing ancient Hawaiian demigods.

I love learning about the culture of Hawaii, as it is very much alive and present on the island. The Iao Valley is a mystical place is a great place to experience it firsthand.

The Iao Valley is a great place to enjoy a special family day hiking the trails, visiting the waterfalls and swimming in pools, and enjoying a picnic.  Hands down, this is one of the best experiences to do with kids in Hawaii.

kids in Iao Valley
Iao Valley is a fun thing to do with kids in Maui. photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

7. Maui Treasure Hunt

The Maui Treasure Hunt begins as an exciting adventure for families looking to experience nature on Maui in a unique way. It’s a great way to enjoy nature if your kids aren’t up for a hike.

With the family Maui Treasure Hunt, you can enjoy a three-hour family-friendly experience that starts in Kahului in Central Maui. The Treasure Hunt in central Maui will take you on a family tour, a hike, and a swim in the ocean, a private lagoon or a swimming hole.

family hiking in Maui
Hiking in Maui. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

And it also includes a hunt for treasure with a map designed for families. The Maui Treasure Hunt is a great way to engage the kids while enjoying the lush nature of central Maui has to offer and experience an awesome family adventure on Maui.

A perfect experience for kids ages five on up, it is definitely a fun and unique thing for kids to do in Maui.

8. Attend A Luau

One of the best things to do with school-age kids in Maui is to attend an authentic, family-friendly luau.  My kids love it! The traditional Hawaiian party/feast popular with tourists is a great way to enjoy a Hawaiian tradition and learn about the island’s culture. It’s also a fascinating experience to have Polynesian Dances and Chants explained, which is one of the highlights of attending a luau.

Our favorite Luau in Maui has historically been the Old Lahaina Luau which is close to the Kaanapali resort area.  While many hotels often have their own Luaus, the Sheraton Maui Black Rock is our favorite of the hotel Luaus, as you watch a diver dive off the cliff as part of the experience.

After an initial welcome and usually a refreshing beverage and greeting with a flower or shell lei, guests at a luau can spend some time enjoying traditional games and activities and checking out handicrafts available for purchase.

kids doing activities at Hawaiian luau
Remember your Aloha shirts and dresses for dinners out and a luau. PHoto credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

This is usually followed by a buffet or family-style meal of fish and pork, sides, and traditional desserts that is the main attraction of a Luau.

There are other luaus all over the island, like the Drums of the Pacific Luau at the Hyatt Regency Maui and Maui Nui at the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa. Both of these are in West Maui.

Another very popular one if you are staying in South Maui is the Te Au Moana luau at the Wailea Beach Resort Marriott Resort in Waila. The Te Au Moana luau features the traditional feast and Hawaiian games, activities, polynesian dancing and storytelling at this ocean front location. It’s a good one for anyone staying in South Maui area.

luau at the Westin
A family luau is a great thing to do with kids in Maui. photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Once dinner is mostly over, the dinner show with singers and musicians performing traditional Hawaiian songs, hula dancers, and sometimes fire throwers.  The songs and dances often tell the story of Hawaiian culture.

Luaus are a wonderful way for toddlers and older children to experience and learn about the culture of Hawaii, which is very strong and present on all of the islands of Hawaii, and the Luau is a great way to learn about it.  It is one of the best things to do with the whole family.

BVWK Tip

Luaus typically require you to arrive around 4 or 5pm to enjoy the pre-activities and to see the ceremony where they bring out the cooked pig. This is a great activity to do on your beach/pool “off” day.

9. Take A Surf Lesson

kids surfing Kaanapaali
Kids surfing in Kaanapaali, photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Surfing and Hawaii go hand in hand.  Some of the most famous Hawaiians were surfers and even heroes, like Duke Kahanamoku, who made the ancient sport of surfing popular, and Eddie Aikau, the first lifeguard at Waimea Bay on Ohau.

Surf lessons are some of the most iconic things to do when visiting the islands. You can’t drive past a beach on Maui without seeing surfers waiting for the next round of ocean waves. You can take individual surfing lessons or even a group lesson as a family.

So, when in Hawaii, why not do what the Hawaiians do and take surf lessons from some of the best surfers in the area?

things-to-do-with-kids-in-maui
Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids, courtesy of Ka’anapali Surf Club

My kids loved learning to surf in Maui. Many resorts offer surf instruction right in front of the hotel and kids learn a lot in a short period of time. For kids ages 10 and up, group surf lessons are available from a variety of vendors, depending on your resort area. Kids ages nine and under can also learn but are encouraged to take private or semi-private surf lessons.

Our 10-year-old son took his first lesson last year with my husband and loved every minute of it. This past summer, our twins took their first lesson. In their two-hour lesson, they were able to get up on the board and ride a few waves.  It was definitely a highlight of our trip and one of the coolest things to do with kids in Maui.

10.  Take A Lei Making Class, Hula Lesson, or Learn To Play the Ukulele

family taking a ukulele lesson in Hawaii
A Ukulele lesson was fun and educational for my kids. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Another one of the best things to do in Maui with kids is to experience something cultural and unique.  Oftentimes, family-friendly hotels on Maui will offer classes for ukelele and hula lessons, or you can even find a lei-making class. Learn how to make the famous fresh flower lei that you see in anything promoting Hawaii.

You can also take Hawaiian culture lessons and even learn some Hawaiian words.

Lei-making and hula lessons are great interactive experiences that make learning about the culture of the Hawaiian people fun. And it is definitely one of the best things to do with kids in Hawaii.

My daughter and I loved learning to make a beautiful fresh flower lei at our hotel. It was a wonderful experience to see how these beautiful and delicate pieces of art are made, and a great thing to do to experience Hawaiian culture.

11. Whale Watching on Maui

Whale season is during the winter months on Maui. But, if you happen to visit during the winter months, a whale watching tour is one of the best things to do with kids of all ages in Maui. Maui, Hawaii, is one of the best places for whale watching in North America.

Whale watching is one of our favorite activities in Maui. My kids loved seeing the gentle giants breaching the waters and you can take boat charters to do whale watching.  It is quite a sight to behold and kids will be mesmerized.  It is a very special experience and one of the best family activities in Maui.

12. Shop For Unique Hawaiian Souvenirs

One of our favorite family things to do on Maui is visit Whaler’s Village or Wailea for shopping. There are so many wonderful places to get a lasting memory of your first trip out to Maui, and you’ll find gift shops in many locations.

From handmade quilted items, gorgeous jewelry from Na Hoku (my favorite) or Maui Divers Jewelry, incredible artwork, wonderful Hawaiian shirts or dresses, ukuleles, and more, picking up trinkets at a gift shop is a must-do activity on Maui!

Whaler's Village shopping area in Kaanapaali
Whaler’s Village, photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

In fact, our home has a gorgeous piece of sketched art to remind us of our favorite place. And my kids have come home with many special treasures from these shopping areas.

One of our must-stop shops on every trip is the Honolulu Cookie Company. Located in multiple spots around the island, these special shortbread cookies are hard to put down.

They come in a variety of types, from plain to coffee to macadamia nut flavored and more. And the chocolate-dipped ones with sprinkled coconut can’t be beaten.

Honolulu cookie company
Honolulu Cookie Company, Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

While there used to be a shop near the largest Lahaina Banyan Tree in Banyan Tree Park, currently only the store at The Shops At Wailea is open. In addition to a great in-room snack, they also make gorgeous souvenirs to bring home or a gift.

They usually have samples areas to taste (my kids favorite part.) But this is a must-stop shop on your next trip to Maui!

14. Get a Yummy Shave Ice

Kids and Toddlers love a special treat. And there is no better one in Hawaii than flavored shave ice from Ululani. You will find them in various spots on Maui, but shave ice is definitely one Hawaiian food not to miss.

shave ice in Maui
Definitely enjoy shave ice in Maui with kids. photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

15. Take A Farm Tour And Taste The Islands

Maui is one of the most beautiful Hawaiian islands, with so much nature to appreciate both on the land and on the sea. Local Hawaiians treasure their land and grow amazing food that is often sourced by local Maui restaurants.

A really fun and unique thing to do on Maui with kids is to take a farm tour and taste the islands. From a pineapple farm to a cacao farm (with chocolate tasting) to a goat farm known for its cheeses, there are many different options to learn a lot about the island, its agriculture, and what grows there. It is another way to experience Hawaiian hospitality and culture with kids!

farm stands on Road To Hana
If you don’t have time to visit a local farm, be sure and stop for some fruit from local farm stands and banana bread on Maui. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

One really fun place to visit with kids (especially toddlers) is the Maui Tropical Plantation. My kids enjoyed this experience.

Located in Wailuku, the Maui Tropical Plantation is a working farm. It’s a great way to learn about Maui agriculture and watch a coconut husking demonstration, learn about the pineapple and sugar cane industries and get an overview of tropical plants and fruits that grow in Maui.

You can take a 40 minute train tour of the tropical gardens, which todllers love. It’s a great educational experience for kids on your Maui vacation.

16. Dive Under The Sea

submarine surfacing near maui
Atlantis Submarine Photo credit: © Djpillow | Megapixl.com

If you visit Maui, seeing what’s under the pacific ocean is as special as enjoying the ocean from above or on land. For kids who may be ready for an underwater adventure but not quite old enough to snuba or scuba dive, you can enjoy the Atlantis Submarine to see the world under the sea, including fascinating and rare marine life like Humpback Whales.

You will dive 100 feet down and can see Maui’s vibrant Hawaiian sea life from the comfort of your Atlantis submarine window!

They will love seeing the artificial reef, humpback whales, and other marine life and views of the ocean during this underwater adventure. This Atlantis Submarine adventure is one of the most unique ways to see Hawaii.

For additional ideas of activities on Maui, check out this unique list of unusual things to do on Maui.

17. Learn To Swim Like A Mermaid

hawaii mermaid adventures
Learn to swim like a mermaid. Photo credit: Courtesy of Hawaii Mermaid Adventures

Any mermaid-loving kid will absolutely love this unique adventure! Available to all ages (as long as they weigh at least 50 pounds), your aspiring mermaid will learn to swim like one with an instructor wearing a mermaid tail!

At Hawaii Mermaid Adventures, kids will learn from the mermaid instructor how to swim like a mermaid, all the while learning about the ocean and how to protect it and observing Maui’s ocean life.

For little mermaids too young for the Hawaii Mermaid Adventures lesson, they can meet and greet a mermaid and hear tales about her ocean adventures.

They even offer free digital underwater photos with your lesson. This is definitely one of the top things to do in Maui with kids! And they have a program that talks about the mythology behind mermaids and Hawaii’s flora and fauna.

18. Take A Rainforest and waterfall hiking adventure

twin falls waterfall
You can hike twin falls and private waterfalls and swim in the pools below. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids, LLC

Kids ages six and up can enjoy this magical hike through one of Maui’s most gorgeous valleys nestled on the Road to Hana Highway. It’s a great way to learn facts about the rainforest and experience this side of Maui.

Our family loved Hike Maui’s guided five-hour adventure through spectacular waterfalls and the chance to jump into some of the pools. It is a spectacular way to experience Maui’s beauty up close and personal and is an activity the whole family will love!

bamboo forest at twin falls in maui
On your hike to twin falls, you also get to see a bamboo forest! Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids, LLC

19. Take A Family Outrigger Canoe Ride

outgrigger canoe on beach in Maui
Enjoying an outrigger canoe is a great thing to do with kids in Maui. photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Discover Maui in a completely different way with a family outrigger canoe ride. During this unique experience, families will learn about Maui history, Polynesian culture, and the native Hawaiians’ use of outriggers to travel between the islands.

It is also a great opportunity to explore maui and observe sea life up close. This unique experience is one of our favorite things to do in Maui as a family.

20. Visit Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm in Upcountry Maui

ali'i lavendar farm and view of maui
There are breathtaking views of Maui at the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

If you visit Haleakalā on the way home, be sure to stop at Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm. This is a lovely place in Upcountry Maui to discover something you wouldn’t expect to see on your Maui vacation – fields of a variety of beautiful lavender and olive trees. They also have a secret garden treasure hunt that starts at the gift shop and tours the hidden, lesser-known areas of the Kula Lavender Farm.

You can also get a breathtaking view of Maui from the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm. It is a great place for kids to stretch their legs, explore the farm, take photos, try some lavender-flavored treats, and pick up beautiful art or a special gift at the gift shop. Kids love the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, and I definitely recommend it as a must-stop when visiting Maui with kids.

21. Learn To Fish On Maui

kids fishing from the shore on Maui
My kids loved learning to fish in Maui. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Many locals love can often be seen fishing from the beaches near Maui, and it’s a great thing to learn for kids too! Whether you learn how to fish from the beach or on a fishing charter, it’s a great activity to add to your Maui itinerary.

My kids learned to fish from Kaanapaali beach. Staff from the Marriott Ocean Club were teaching a lesson so it was a great opportunity for them to try it. While they didn’t catch anything, they had a lot of fun trying and learning a new skill.

Things To Do In Maui With Toddlers

family with three kids in Hawaiian clothes wearing leis
There are so many fun things to do with toddlers on Maui. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

If you are traveling to Maui with a toddler, there are a few activities you can swap on this list. We first visited Maui when our son was 18 months old and then again when our twins were 12 months old.

While some of the above activities are things to do with young kids in Maui, some will be too much. 

Toddlers can’t do some of the more active activities on this list, but never fear!  There are still amazing things to do in Maui with toddlers.  I recommend these activities.

22. Maui Ocean Center

picture of the Maui Ocean Center
The Maui Ocean Center is great for toddlers. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Toddlers love watching fish, so you should visit Maui Ocean Center. It is a great place to do that and get to see marine life up close.  Getting a glimpse of some of Maui’s favorite underwater residents is one of the best things to do in Maui with toddlers.

All my children love the Maui Ocean Center, especially when they were young kids, so you definitely don’t want to miss it. You get to learn more about the rich culture of the very first Hawaiians and explore the ocean depths to see sharks and stingrays, tropical fish, a living coral reef, and other marine life.

aquarium at Maui ocean center
Toddlers can see under the sea at the Maui Ocean Center. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

I would allow at least two hours when you visit Maui Ocean Center with young kids, and you may want to avoid peak hours that start in the morning and run through lunchtime. There are fewer visitors after 1 PM.

23. Surfing Goat Dairy

Visit this charming goat dairy farm in Kula, pet some goats, and enjoy goat milk treats. You may even get to milk a goat! Surfing Goat Dairy is a fun place for kids to interact with the goats, learn about its history, and tour the dairy.

goat with head over fence
My toddlers love seeing the goats at Surfing Goat Dairy. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

This, along with the Maui Tropical Plantation, is definitely a unique experience on Maui and one of the best things to do in Maui with younger kids.

24. Penguin Feeding and Bird Chatting At Hyatt Regency Maui Resort

Penguins at the Hyatt, Maui
Seeing the penguins at the Hyatt is a fun thing to do in Maui with toddlers and kids. photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Yes, there ARE penguins on Maui! When my kids were toddlers, we would often take a walk to the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort to watch and feed the resident penguins. There are also several talking birds hanging in large cages. 

It is a great thing to do with toddlers in Maui when they need a break from the sun, and the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort is a great place to stop and it’s a place the whole family will enjoy! It is also one of my favorite family resorts on Maui.

25. Maui Animal Farm

kid petting a goat on Maui
Kids love to see the Maui farm animals upclose. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

For kids who need a change of scenery from sun and sand, a visit to the Maui animal farm is a great thing to do with toddlers in Maui.  Tots can have a chance to meet and pet a variety of sweet animal friends, like goats, pigs, a tortoise, and more!

26. Spash In A Toddler-Friendly Sprinkle Park

Maui Ocean Club Resort pirate ship pool area
Pirate ship pool area at Maui Ocean Club in Kaanapaali, photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Several of the hotels on Maui have amazing toddler-friendly splash areas at their hotel pool. When choosing the most family resorts on Maui, look for one that has one of these special areas.

Our favorite kid-friendly resorts are the Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club and the Hyatt Regency Maui on Kaanapali on West Maui. Both of these resorts have at least one awesome hotel pool and many more activities.

family on Maui
We have been to Maui yearly with kids at every age. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Things To Do On Maui With Teens and Tweens

If you are traveling to Maui with teens, there are a few additional activities they might like to try. While they can certainly do all of the things on the list above, here are a few things that might be fun for the older, more adventurous kids (a.k.a. tweens and teens.)

27. Parasailing To See Maui From Above

View of parasailing from beach in Maui
Adventerous teens will love parasailing in Maui. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

I’m gonna admit something. I am not a huge fan of this activity, because I am afraid of heights (especially when my feet dangle.) But my husband absolutely loved parasailing over Ka’anapaali in West Maui.

That said, because Maui’s views are so incredible, it is worth a mention of one of the popular things to do in Maui. If you are a fan of heights or views from above, this is definitely a fun thing to do in Maui with tweens or teens.

28. Horseback Riding In west Maui Mountains

Horses in stable at Kualoa Ranch
Horseback riding is a great thing to do in Hawaii with teens and older kids. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Kids ages 12 and above can experience Maui via horseback on a guided tour through the West Maui mountains! It is an amazing way to see Maui’s incredible views, waterfalls, and many hidden gems. This is definitely a very special thing to do in West Maui with kids ages 12 and up!

29. Golf Maui’s Epic Golf Courses

kid golfing in Maui
Kids, preteens and teens can golf on Maui. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

If you have a golf enthusiast in your group, getting to tee off on one of Maui’s legendary golf courses is a great thing to do. Our family loves the Ka’anapali golf courses.

The views overlooking the ocean from the Ka’anapali hillside simply can’t be beaten. It is one of our favorite things to do in Maui with our preteen.

While a younger child could potentially do these golf courses, I would recommend it more for older kids and teens. It’s a great way to enjoy some of the best golf courses in the US while overlooking the gorgeous Maui scenery.

30. Snuba or Take an Intro to padi Session in Maui

kid wearing scuba gear in pool
Kids can begin to learn about scuba diving in Maui. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

For preteens or teens who might want to get a taste of diving or spend a bit more time underwater than just snorkeling, Snuba is a great thing to do in Maui. Kids can also get junior PADI certified or even just take an intro to scuba course from many of the beach scuba shops.

Many resorts also offer snuba. Snuba does not require scuba experience or certification. But it can be an introductory experience to getting to see Maui’s incredible sea life, like sea turtles, a bit more up close and personal than snorkeling.

You can ago out on a snorkel tour, so it is another fun thing to do on Maui with teens.

31. Take a Maui Helicopter Tour To See Maui From Above

helicopter in hawaii
Older kids and teens might enjoy seeing Maui from above. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

One of many peoples’ favorite things to do on Maui is to take a helicopter tour over the island. It’s a fantastic way to see parts of Maui that can only be seen from above, and it’s incredible landscape.

While you can take kids on a helicopter tour of Maui, I really think this is an activity better saved for tweens or teens. My kids were younger when we went on it and while they are quite adventurous, most kids might get airsick or be a little afraid.

kid looking out window of a helicopter
Older kids and teens can participate in a helicopter tour of Maui. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

But tweens and teens will love this experience, so I recommend it as one of the best things to do on Maui with older kids and teens.

Other Things To Do On Maui With Kids

Sunset in Napili
Sunset in Napili, Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Here are a few activities your kids might enjoy that I didn’t mention above:

Makawao Forest Reserve

Take a hike among the pines just a short area from the beach. There are many short hiking trails and mountain biking trails.

Makena State Park

This is a gorgeous coastline and beach in Wailea, where you can enjoy a beach without hotels and devlopment. Makena Beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Maui.

One important thing to note: The surf can be rough at this state park so I don’t recommend swimming here unless you are a very strong swimmer. The park features the beauty of nature and the ocean.

But visiting this area to at least see the pristine beach or enjoy the natural park is worth it.

Sunset watching or a sunset Cruise

Maui sunsets are a sight to behold. Whether you watch them from the beach or on a sunset cruise, be sure to take time to stop and enjoy them.

You’ll be surprised at how each night, the sunset is totally different. Rays of colors beam from the sky, and many people pause to take photos. It is definitely one of our favorite Maui family activities.

How To Use This Maui Map

You can use your mouse or finger on your mobile to move the map. It is organized to highlight the activities on this list, so click on a marker to see more information. You can click on the box in the top left corner to see the legend. Want to save it to your google maps? Click on the star next to the title to add this to your Google Maps account and have it on the go!

boy holding coconut on black sand beach in Maui
Black Sand Beach, photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Maui Beach Is Best For Kids?

These are the best Maui family beaches: Kapalua Bay Beach, Kaanapali (but be careful with the current though North of Black Rock is calmer), Baby Beach in Paia, Napili Bay, Sugar Beach

What Area of Maui Is Best For Families? What Part of Maui is Best For Kids?

There are many places to stay on Maui for families or best for kids. The majority of families tend to stay in Wailea or Kihei, where there are great vacation rentals, or near Ka’anapali and Kapalua. There are plenty of family-friendly hotels and resorts in these areas.

But our preference is Ka’anapali, where there are all kinds of family-friendly resorts like the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa. This area has great beaches, a lovely walking area, great restaurants, and you have great views and sunsets. You can also walk to Whaler’s Village, which is a great spot for dining and shopping.

There are many family-friendly resorts and Air B n Bs in idyllic locations that make it easy to access gorgeous beaches and family-friendly activities. 

Is Maui Good For Families? Is Maui a Good Place To Visit With A Family?

As you can see from this list, Maui is excellent for families! It is, in my opinion, one of the best Hawaii islands for kids. There are plenty of activities for the whole family, from toddlers to teens! And there are lots of family-friendly resorts in Maui and family-friendly restaurants.

And, with great places to eat with kids on Maui, it is perfect for a family vacation.

kids on grass with Maui sunset behind them
Maui is a great place for families to vacation. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

How Many Days In Maui Is Enough?

I recommend 7 to 10 days to be on Maui with kids. This gives you enough time to have some active days and some relaxing pool or beach days. Maui is so much more than just the resort areas of Wailea, Kihei, Kapalua, and Kanapaali. There is a lot to experience, learn about culturally, and to explore!

Our family likes to spend a couple of days exploring some of the other areas either Upcountry (Kula or near Haleakala), visiting some of the other towns, black sand beaches, or exploring the Road to Hana or the Iao Valley. There are many sacred and culturally significant areas as well and the more you explore outside the resorts, the more you learn about Hawaiian history and culture.

If you only have a few days to spend on Maui, I definitely recommend a minimum of four, so you have two days to explore and two days to relax.

Is 3 Days In Maui Worth It?

Maui is so special, and while I recommend longer in Maui to truly embrace the island, 3 days in Maui is worth it. You could accomplish a few activities in this time, including the Road to Hana, snorkeling to Kapalua, Honolua, or Molokini Crater, and you may even get to go to Haleakala. It would be a busy couple of days, but you could see a lot of what Maui has to offer.

Maui is such a beautiful island that, personally, I say if you have only 3 days, Maui is definitely still worth it. It’s also small enough that you can get around easily in this time.

How Do I Plan A Family Trip To Maui?

First, check our complete list of Maui planning resources at the beginning of this post. That’s a great place to start. You will certainly need to think about flights, family-friendly resorts in Maui or an Air BnB, things to do with children in Maui, and family-friendly restaurants.

You may also want to contact a travel agent to help plan your trip and get you the best deals. And you may want to consider travel insurance for your family vacation. This “just in case” insurance can help protect your belongings, finances, family, and your investment in the trip.

Need a Maui Travel Guide? Check out this great Maui Travel Guide from fellow blogger Marcie!

Final Thought About What To Do In Maui With Kids

Maui is an amazing place for a family vacation. There are so many things to do with kids in Maui that will teach them about Hawaiian islands and culture and enjoy a relaxing family vacation full of unique experiences together. 

Whether you want to go whale watching, hiking, visit the Maui Tropical Plantation, learn about the Hawaiian culture, or just relax on the beach, you’ll find plenty to do! You will leave your island paradise vacation knowing why the Hawaiians often say, “Maui Nō Ka ʻOi!”

Maui Sunset
Maui sunsets are breathtaking. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

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17 Comments

  1. We love Maui too! We were lucky to spend lots of time there in 2016, but since my kids were smaller we did not zipline or do Io. We did spend the night in Hana which was pretty amazing! The family tour looks interesting. We did one in Venice, and will def be looking for family tours on future trips.

  2. Oh, these sound like such great things to do on Maui with kids. When we get there we will definitely do some of these with our son.

  3. I love the simplicity, yet plethora of information that this article provides! Sometimes a Hawaii vacation seems too difficult to plan – I have hope after reading your post that I could put together a fun, family itinerary!

  4. Now that is what I call- Completely written blog post. Cant wait to land up in Maui with my 3 kids and make this trip a memorable one for them.

  5. Spending beautiful time on the beautiful island Maui with kids is just an amazing experience everyone should have.

  6. Good day! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

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