29 rea­sons to take your kids to Hawaii, now!

Most fa­mous for its beaches and laid­back life­style, there’s so much for fam­i­lies to love about Hawaii. ni­cola mcclean re­veals why you should say ‘Aloha’ to an is­land-hop­ping hol­i­day.

Holiday with Kids - - International -

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Go more than 30 me­tres un­der wa­ter in a sub­ma­rine to ex­plore the depths of Hawaii’s ocean, dis­cov­er­ing sunken ships, reef sharks and trop­i­cal sea life. It of­fers a great op­tion for fam­i­lies with young kids or those who aren’t great swim­mers to ex­plore and learn about the un­der­wa­ter life of Maui. at­lanti­sad­ven­tures.com

3 Sun­set with sea tur­tles

MAUI

After a day spent snorkelling with ma­rine life, head to Ho’okipa Beach Park in Paia to un­wind with the tur­tles as you watch them swim ashore to rest. As the sun sets, lit­tle ones will love watch­ing the green sea tur­tles (honu) clus­ter to­gether to sleep, and have their ques­tions about the en­dan­gered tur­tles an­swered by one of the park vol­un­teers. mauicounty.gov

At­lantis Sub­marines

MAUI Surf­ing Goat Dairy Farm

MAUI

A not-so-typ­i­cal Hawai­ian ac­tiv­ity, Surf­ing Goat Dairy Farm, lo­cated in Maui's Haleakala Crater, al­lows you to feed goats, take a look at the milk­ing ma­chines, see the cheese-mak­ing process and taste one of 30 or so va­ri­eties of cheeses and quark. In Evening Chores & Milk­ing Tours, you can even take a cheesy snap of the kids as they get hands-on milk­ing a goat. surf­ing­goat­dairy.com

The road to Hana

MAUI

No trip to Maui is com­plete with­out driv­ing the pic­turesque Hana High­way be­tween Kahu­lui and Hana. With wa­ter­falls, beaches, bam­boo forests, quaint towns and a mas­sive lava tube all dot­ted along the high­way, kids and adults will feel like they are on an ad­ven­ture through par­adise. Be sure to drop into a typ­i­cal Hawai­ian shack to get a real taste of cul­ture. road­to­hana.com

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With a range of whale-watch­ing op­tions, Pacwhale Ecoad­ven­tures of­fers whale-watch­ing with all prof­its go­ing to­wards pro­tect­ing the beau­ti­ful sea crea­tures. Kids will love see­ing whales swim up close to the boat, watch­ing moth­ers and calves in­ter­act and hear­ing the dis­tinct sound of the whale call. paci­ficwhale.org

7 Molokini Ex­press ad­ven­ture snorkelling

MAUI

A must for fam­i­lies who en­joy big thrills mixed with a lit­tle seren­ity. This Maui raft­ing tours al­low you to soar across the ocean to the islet of Molokini. Here, jump into the pic­turesque wa­ters and snorkel this vol­canic crater to see some of Hawaii’s most abun­dant coral and colour­ful ma­rine life. blue­wa­ter­raft­ing.com

Win­ter whale cruises

MAUI La­haina Town MAUI

Stop off at the his­toric for­mer whal­ing vil­lage of La­haina to stroll the shopfronts and en­joy the sun­shine, ac­tiv­i­ties and en­ter­tain­ment. Be sure to get tick­ets to a sea­side luau where the fam­ily can en­joy a lo­cal feast and en­joy the tra­di­tional dances of Poly­ne­sia. Every Fri­day night is Art Night, with gallery open­ings, artis­tic demon­stra­tions and en­ter­tain­ment. go­hawaii.com/au

Night­time pad­dle board­ing un­der the fire­works OAHU

En­joy an evening SUP off the coast of Waikiki with lights fixed un­der­neath your pad­dle­board to il­lu­mi­nate the sea life below, even the trop­i­cal fish and tur­tles that ap­pear un­der­neath. As the sun sets, watch the sky light up with a spec­tac­u­lar fire­works dis­play, an ex­pe­ri­ence that will never be for­got­ten. noc­tur­nal­ad­ven­ture­shawaii.com

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Snap a photo of the kids with the statue of Duke Ka­hanamoku, the fa­ther of mod­ern surf­ing and Hawaii’s Am­bas­sador of Aloha. One of the most pho­tographed lo­ca­tions in Waikiki, the Duke stands with open arms draped with leis from vis­i­tors. While in the area, take a his­toric tour at the Moana Surfrider ho­tel and in­dulge in Dole Whip pineap­ple ice-cream. go­hawaii.com

12 Duke Ka­hanamoku’s bronze statue

OAHU Dole Plan­ta­tion OAHU

Home to the world’s largest maze, The Pineap­ple Gar­den Maze, the Dole Plan­ta­tion of­fers ev­ery­one the “Pineap­ple Ex­pe­ri­ence”. With ac­tiv­i­ties for all ages, the fam­ily can ride the Pineap­ple Ex­press, en­joy the Plan­ta­tion Gar­den Tour, get lost in the maze and en­joy a hand­picked treat at the end of the day for a true taste of trop­i­cal Hawaii. dole-plan­ta­tion.com

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For the adren­a­line-lov­ing fam­ily, is any­thing more thrilling than jump­ing in a cage sur­rounded by sharks? North Shore Shark Ad­ven­tures is the orig­i­nal Oahu shark tour com­pany and takes kids as young as three out to sea to swim in the se­cure cage. Sharks can range up to 4.5 me­tres, so even if you don’t jump in you’ll see them swim­ming un­der the boat. shark­tour­shawaii.com

13 North Shore Shark Ad­ven­tures

OAHU Dog surf­ing OAHU

Known for its surf cul­ture, Oahu is the per­fect place for learn­ing how to hit the waves. Want to take it one step fur­ther? How about surf­ing with dogs? Pro surfer Rocky Canon teaches kids and adults how to surf or SUP with man’s best friend. The ex­pe­ri­ence is one of a kind as the dogs, Hina and Kahuna, help you pad­dle your way to catch­ing the per­fect wave. hawai­isurf­dogs.com

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Need a break from the sand? The only wa­ter park in the state of Hawaii in­cludes more than 25 at­trac­tions, in­clud­ing slides, wave pools and a tub­ing river guar­an­teed to en­ter­tain your whole crew. Book a ca­bana and re­lax in the shade while the kids have fun splash­ing away on the rides, in­clud­ing the fun­nel-like Tor­nado and the Vol­cano Ex­press race­way. wet­nwild­hawaii.com

14 Wet’n’wild Hawaii

OAHU KA WA’A, a lu’au at Au­lani

OAHU

Take a jour­ney through Hawai­ian his­tory in the mag­i­cal way that only Dis­ney can of­fer. The evening be­gins at 5pm with VIP seat­ing and pre-show ac­tiv­i­ties. Through­out the night your fam­ily can feast on a lav­ish is­land buf­fet while be­ing en­ter­tained with songs, nar­ra­tives and per­for­mances bring­ing an­cient tales to life. dis­neyaulani.com

Poly­ne­sian Cul­tural Cen­ter

OAHU

Un­miss­able and un­for­get­table, the Poly­ne­sian Cul­tural Cen­ter is lo­cated on the North Shore of Oahu. With re­al­is­tic, in­ter­ac­tive vil­lages from all of Poly­ne­sia – Hawaii, Tonga, Samoa, Aotearoa, Fiji and Tahiti – kids can learn lei mak­ing, hula and Maori games, mak­ing this a must for fam­i­lies. poly­ne­sia.com

Ka’ena Point Trail

OAHU

A gen­tle hike down Ka’ena Point Trail will lead you to Ka’ena Point Nat­u­ral Area Re­serve, where sea birds and sun­bak­ing seals are plen­ti­ful. The mod­er­ate-rated walk is rel­a­tively flat, mak­ing it the per­fect choice for ac­tive kids, who are sure to love wan­der­ing along­side the wildlife. dlnr.hawaii.gov

Vol­cano Boat Tour IS­LAND OF HAWAII

This is likely the clos­est you will ever get to lava. Ki­lauea is one of the world’s most ac­tive vol­ca­noes and has cur­rently been erupt­ing since Jan­uary 1983. A Vol­cano Boat Tour gives you the chance to see the erup­tion (con­di­tions pend­ing) or you can ex­plore black sand beaches, lava tubes and ar­eas where lava has touched the sea. seelava.com

Ger­maine’s Luau

OAHU

For a taste of tra­di­tional Hawaii, visit Ger­maine’s Luau, a cel­e­bra­tion of tra­di­tional mu­sic, dance and food. Lo­cated on the west side of Oahu, a fan­tas­tic jour­ney of dance and song awaits you with per­for­mances in­clud­ing a Samoan Fire-knife dance and hula, and a Hawai­ian feast. ger­maines­luau.com

Out­rig­ger Ca­noe Surf­ing

OAHU

Take a ride in a tra­di­tional out­rig­ger ca­noe. This fun jour­ney al­lows you to ex­pe­ri­ence the thrill of surf­ing within the safety of a ca­noe steered by a li­censed cap­tain. En­joy the cap­tain’s sto­ries about Waikiki, then hold tight to catch the waves back into shore. waikik­ibeach­ser­vices.com

Road-trip the North Shore

OAHU

Drive along the North Shore at your own pace. Take a de­tour to ad­mire the view from Nu­uanu Pali Look­out. Pause for morn­ing tea in Haleiwa, a re­laxed retro vil­lage, and stop by leg­endary surf spot Waimea Bay. On the drive you'll be sur­rounded by pineap­ple plan­ta­tions, moun­tain ranges and beaches. go­hawaii.com

Sea Life Park OAHU

Per­fect for kids of all ages, Sea Life Park al­lows the fam­ily to get as close as pos­si­ble to all forms of sea life in ex­hibits mod­elled after their nat­u­ral habi­tats. Dol­phins, sea li­ons, tur­tles and sharks can all be found here. Ed­u­ca­tional talks and tours make this a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence for kids and adults alike. seal­ifeparkhawaii.com

Hawaii Chil­dren’s Dis­cov­ery Cen­tre

OAHU

This in­ter­ac­tive, hands-on mu­seum is geared to­wards chil­dren 13 and younger. They will love ex­plor­ing five themed ex­hibit gal­leries: Rain­for­est Ad­ven­tures, Fan­tas­tic You!, Your Town, Hawai­ian Rain­bows and Your Rain­bow World. dis­cov­erycen­ter­hawaii.org

Ahu’ena Heiau IS­LAND OF HAWAII

A his­tor­i­cal hotspot, this tem­ple of peace and pros­per­ity was built to honor Lono, the god of fer­til­ity, by King Kame­hameha the Great, who united all of the Hawai­ian Is­lands. Beau­ti­fully re­stored after be­ing de­stroyed by a tsunami, the tem­ple holds an ex­ten­sive his­tory of Hawai­ian pol­i­tics, cul­ture and re­li­gion, and is free to visit. ahuena-heiau.org

Hilo Farm­ers Mar­kets

BIG IS­LAND

Con­sid­ered one of the best in the US, Hilo Farm­ers Mar­kets has some­thing for ev­ery­one. Along with 200 ven­dors sell­ing lo­cal pro­duce, cheap eats and baked goods, you’ll find tarot card read­ings, lo­cal art projects and free kids’ art ac­tiv­i­ties on the first and third Satur­day of each month. hilo­farm­ers­mar­ket.com

Eat like a lo­cal

No trip to Hawaii is com­plete with­out try­ing its two most pop­u­lar dishes: poke and shave ice. Al­most every food sup­plier in Hawaii will have these spe­cial­i­ties to re­in­force that “ono grinds”, or good food, is ev­ery­where. Adults will ap­pre­ci­ate the fresh­ness of the raw fish in poke, while the kids will love the rain­bow syrup driz­zled over snow-like shaved ice. go­hawaii.com/au

Pic­nic at Hanauma Bay

OAHU

The calm, blue wa­ters of Hanauma Bay are dot­ted with bright coral and trop­i­cal fish, mak­ing it a great op­tion for fam­i­lies. Set up along the sand with snacks of your own or from the lo­cal café, then cool off in the calm wa­ter with the kids or hire some snorkelling equip­ment for the day. hanaum­abaystatepark.com

Pearl Har­bor OAHU

One of Hawaii’s most sig­nif­i­cant sites, the pil­grim­age to Pearl Har­bor is a must. Take a fas­ci­nat­ing boat ride past war­time ship­wrecks out to the float­ing USS Ari­zona Memo­rial, board the bat­tle­ship USS Mis­souri and squeeze into real-life sub­ma­rine USS Bowfin. Back on land, walk through the hangars of the Pa­cific Avi­a­tion Mu­seum, com­plete with WWII air­craft. vis­it­pearl­har­bor.org

Waimea Canyon

KAUAI

Re­ferred to as the Grand Canyon of the Pa­cific, Waimea Canyon is the per­fect day trip for the ad­ven­tur­ous fam­ily vis­it­ing the stun­ning is­land of Kauai. Filled with hikes, sight­see­ing and breath­tak­ing canyon views, the kids will be awed. There are plenty of pic­nick­ing ar­eas to rest and wa­ter­falls may be plung­ing off sur­round­ing moun­tain tops if you visit after some rain. hawai­is­tateparks.org

Ly­dgate Beach Park

KAUAI

Ly­dgate Beach Park is found on the East Side of Kauai and is a fam­ily hotspot due to its safe beach and play area. The lava rock wall en­closes the wa­ters to keep con­di­tions safe, while the play­ground area is per­fect for pic­nics. The beach is found along the Kapa’a Bike Path so fam­i­lies can burn some en­ergy cy­cling the 12-kilo­me­tre route on a rental bike. kauai.com 11 Brows­ing Hilo Farm­ers Mar­kets © Hta/daeja Fal­las Crater © HTA/ Tor John­son 12 Hik­ing Maui’s Haleakala

0701 Sup­ing at Ka’na­pali Beach Ho­tel © Zak Noyle 02 Hula on the Koala Coast © HTA/TOR John­son 03 Night-time Sup­ing © Noc­turn­tal Ad­ven­tures 04 Sub­ma­rine thrills © At­lantis Ad­ven­tures 05 Meet­ings with green sea tur­tles © HTA/TOR John­son 06 Au­lani, A Dis­ney Re­sort’s Rain­bow Reef © Dis­ney/flo­rian Geiss 07 Shave ice © Hta/daeja Fal­las

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09 08 Learn­ing how to hula © Poly­ne­sian Cul­tural Cen­ter 09 Lava meets the sea in Hawaii Vol­ca­noes Na­tional Park © Hta/blake Bron­stad 10 Pool fun ga­lore © Hil­ton Hawai­ian Vil­lage

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