Family friendly things to see and do in Hawaii

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Keeping kids occupied on a family holiday can be a tough task, unless you’re in the right place of course! With an extensive and excellent selection of things to see and do, the family fun never stops on a holiday to Hawaii!

Here are some of the most memorable activities and sights to enjoy whilst holidaying to Hawaii.


Home to the capital city Honolulu and one of Hawaii’s famous beaches, Oahu is an integral stop over on any Hawaiian holiday. Here are three of our must-do activities when in Oahu:

  • Woofs and waves: While there are many surf schools across Hawaii, there’s only one that allows surfers to ride the waves with accompanying four-legged friends. At Hawaii Surf Dogs in Oahu, guests of all ages can learn to break waves alongside one of the schools’ resident pups. It’s a complete once-in-a-lifetime opportunity the kids (and you!) will never forget.
  • Experience a Luau: No trip to Hawaii is complete without experiencing a traditional Luau. This Hawaiian feast celebrates the island’s culture through live music, performances and delicious local food. Fun for all the family, everyone will enjoy watching – and joining in with – traditional hula dancing too!
  • Hit the beach: Waikiki is undoubtedly one of Hawaii’s most famous beaches, and one that spans the stretch of Honolulu city. The white sparkling sands play host to surf competitions, events and hundreds of visitors who want to enjoy the sun-soaked beach. Splash in the sea, play beach games or revel in the sunshine.


As Hawaii’s oldest island, there’s plenty of history to discover on Kauai. After centuries of growth, the island has become a picture-perfect natural paradise, earning its name the ‘Garden Isle’. Think jagged mountain backdrops, lush emerald gorges and sprawling stretches of sand. Here’s what you can get up to on on Kauai:

  • Snorkel the seas: Kauai is an ideal place to practise a spot of snorkelling, and thankfully there are plenty of areas perfect for young kids. One of these is Poipu Beach. Here, kids can practise snorkelling in the shallows, whilst keeping an eye out for fish and bathing Hawaiian monk seals on the shore.
  • Taste local treats: Shaved ice is one of Hawaii’s most savoured sweet treats, with both kids and adults alike sharing their love for the cold concoction. Serving up shaved ice for 23 years, Jojo’s is one of Hawaii’s oldest and most famous places to get your hands on this cold treat. With more than 50 flavours to choose from, we bet you’ll be back!
  • Mountain tubing: Holidaying with older children? They’ll love tubing through the mountains of Kauai! With headlamp and rubber tube on, get ready to float around a series of open tunnels, taking part in fun tasks along the way, before stopping for a nearby picnic and dip in the swimming hole.

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Maui is the second largest island in Hawaii, and the place where wildlife lovers will feel most at home. Here are some animal activities to get amongst when visiting Maui:

  • Visit Maui Ocean Center: For 20 years, the Maui Ocean Center has been at the forefront of coral and marine life conservation, giving guests the chance to witness some of Hawaii’s most fascinating underwater creatures up close in a protected environment. The Open Ocean exhibit is one of the main attractions here, and with a 750,000-gallon space and 240-degree acrylic tunnel, we’re inclined to agree.
  • Keep an eye out for whales: If you’re visiting Hawaii during the months of November to May, you’re in for a treat, as this timeframe is otherwise known as the North Pacific humpback whale migration period. Here, people can witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat when boarding one of the local tours.
  • Explore Maui on horseback: There’s no better way to view the endless stretches of stunning coastline than riding horseback. Maui is famed for its cowboy history, so it’s only fitting to get the whole family involved in this age-old tradition! There are many ranches that conduct tours around the area, meaning you’re never too far from a pair of western-style boots!

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Big Island

As the name suggests, Big Island is Hawaii’s largest island in the archipelago, meaning there’s plenty to get stuck into whilst visiting! Due to its vast size, you can even travel through all but four of the world’s different climate zones. Here are some of the must-do family friendly activities to do whilst travelling Big Island:

  • See an active volcano: Without volcanic activity, Hawaii wouldn’t exist. However, these volcanoes aren’t extinct. In fact, there are several active volcanoes left in Hawaii, with two out of the three housed in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Here, visitors can witness these monumental wonders up close, and kids will especially love seeing the steam rise from the volcanic vents!
  • Look for turtles at Punalu’u Beach Park: While Punalu’u Beach may be famous for its dense black sands, it’s also a hit with families for another reason. Quite often, visitors can see green turtles basking on the beach, as well as the endangered hawksbill turtle in nearby waters. While taking photos is encouraged, visitors are forbidden from touching or invading the turtles’ space, so always keep an eye on little ones.
  • Visit Akaka Falls: Plummeting 442 feet into a large gorge, Akaka Falls is sure to take the whole family’s breath away! The walk to this momentous waterfall is beautiful in itself, and it’s easily accessible – taking about one hour to complete the loop.

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If you’re heading on a family holiday to Hawaii, don’t get caught out without cover. Give the team at Travel Insurance Direct a call today to see how we can help you plan for your perfect Hawaiian getaway.


TID is an Australian online travel insurance company.

Travel Alert: Cover is not available for loss arising from government restrictions including travel bans, border closures and broadly imposed quarantine requirements, or failure to follow government advice. If your travel is affected by government restrictions, we have options available if you no longer need your policy. See our travel alerts.


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