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Best Family Activities in Maui

Children are always welcome in Hawaii! Discover all the things you can do with your family during your stay in Maui.

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

5 min read

Best Family Activities in Maui

Snorkelling in Maui | ©Subtle Cinematics

In Hawaiian culture, ohana (family) is very important, so the archipelago proves to be a family-friendly destination where children can also enjoy an unforgettable holiday with lots of activities.

1. Enjoy a relaxing boat ride along Maui's coastline

Sail as a family| ©Abhinaba Basu
Sail as a family| ©Abhinaba Basu

This Maui holiday may be the first opportunity for many kids to get on a boat and sail the waters of the Pacific - for them it will be an adventure!

A boat trip off the coast of Maui is a great way for children to get in touch with the ocean and learn to respect nature. Along the way they will be able to see beautiful scenery and get up close to marine animals such as spinner dolphins, humpback whales, albatrosses and tropical fish.

Also, if they are older, you can take advantage of the excursion to teach them basic concepts about sailing so that they can understand how a boat works while they watch the crew handling it. And if they're still little, you can always tell them stories of intrepid sailors and fearsome pirates as you ride the waves. They'll have a blast!

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2. Join a snorkelling tour

Have fun snorkelling| ©Becky Fantham
Have fun snorkelling| ©Becky Fantham

All kids love to scuba dive and the crystal clear waters of Maui are one of the best places to snorkel in Hawaii - the perfect combination for a fun-filled day out!

In the depths of the Pacific Ocean lies a fascinating underwater natural treasure trove of miles of coral reefs home to tropical fish, manta rays, sea urchins and starfish, green turtles, eels and even dolphins.

Having the opportunity to dive in such a unique natural environment and enjoy a day outdoors practising sports together is one of the coolest things you can do with your family during your trip to Maui.

Many of the best snorkelling spots such as Turtle Town and Molokini can only be reached by boat, so the best way to experience them is to join a snorkelling trip to Maui.

There are many types! By catamaran, by boat, by kayak... if you like snorkelling and want to know the best tours on the island I advise you to read the post click here you will surely find the ideal option for your family!

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3. Visit Maui's Ocean Center

Enjoy learning at the Ocean Center| ©Smart Destinations
Enjoy learning at the Ocean Center| ©Smart Destinations

Another fun and educational way to see animals is to visit the Ocean Center in Maui, one of the top 10 aquariums in the world.

The Hawaiian people have a special connection with the sea and have a very close relationship with it, so much so that one of their main deities is Kanaloa, the god of the ocean. To learn more about Hawaiian culture and traditions as well as the unique ecosystem of this archipelago, I recommend a visit to Maui' s Ocean Center where you can discover more about its rich marine life.

During the aquarium tour, the little ones will have a great time seeing native Hawaiian species such as tropical fish, octopus, moray eels, sharks, manta rays, jellyfish, sea urchins, seahorses and many more. There are also super interesting exhibits on humpback whales, sharks and coral reefs that will pique their curiosity.

It's a very entertaining visit to the marine world that you can complete in about 2 hours, so it's a good plan to do with kids in Maui at any time of the day as they won't get bored and it won't take too long.

Isabel's Traveler Tip

Normally, the aquarium is most crowded in the morning. If you want to see it without crowds I recommend going from 1 PM onwards.

4. Take a tour on the Atlantis Submarine

Sail the ocean floor aboard Atlantis| ©yo &
Sail the ocean floor aboard Atlantis| ©yo &

Most travellers are introduced to Hawaii's underwater charms while scuba diving, but unlike the Atlantis Maui submarine, these excursions do not descend 30 metres into the water to observe the amazing underwater life that lives in Maui's warm waters.

This is an adventure that will thrill the kids! It's not every day that you get the chance to climb aboard a submarine to explore the ocean floor and see the multitude of animals that call Maui's waters home (coral reefs, tropical fish, green turtles, whales, manta rays, etc.) in their own habitat, as if you were a legendary explorer or just another sea creature.

In addition, the guide who will accompany you will make the visit very pleasant and will explain in detail a lot of curiosities about the flora and fauna that live in the depths of the Pacific.

If you are curious and want to know more about this activity, then I recommend you to read the post Atlantis Submarine Tours in Maui, where you will find more detailed information.

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5. Take them to a traditional Luau show

Traditional Luau| ©Andy L
Traditional Luau| ©Andy L

During your trip to Hawaii I am sure you will want to attend a traditional luau party in Maui. It's one of the best things to do on the island, even with children, because these kinds of celebrations are so much fun and joyful.

Hawaiian luau parties are an expression of Polynesian culture and revolve around music, dance and the typical cuisine of the archipelago.

Kids will love the Samoan fire dancing shows and other live Hawaiian music shows with lots of hula dancing. And of course, try the delicious Hawaiian-style feast that is prepared for the festivities.

Participating in a Hawaiian luau party is quite an experience. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed with a lei necklace of flowers and drinks. The highlight comes later, when the conch shell sounds and the imu ceremony begins to bring the delicious kalua pig out of the underground oven. From then on you will enjoy a feast of food, dance and music in style.

There are several places on Maui where you can experience an unforgettable Hawaiian luau party - check out the Luau on Maui post to discover the best ones!

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6. Enjoy Maui's best beaches with the family

Honolua Bay| ©Nicholas Cole
Honolua Bay| ©Nicholas Cole

There is no doubt that one of Hawaii's biggest tourist attractions is its paradisiacal beaches. In the case of Maui, the second largest island of the archipelago, its beautiful beaches are known for being perfect for surfing and other water sports such as kayaking, snorkelling and windsurfing.

Maui's beaches are the ideal place to relax and disconnect from the world. They all have crystal clear waters that invite you to cool off and sand of all colours (black, red, white and green) and the kids will love making sand castles and splashing in the sea!

If you were to ask me which are the coolest places on the island to spend a day with the family, I would recommend you to visit:

  • Honolua Bay is a perfect beach for kids to have fun snorkelling.

  • Makena Beach: South Maui's largest beach with fantastic views of the islands of Molokini and Kahoolawe.

  • Wailea Beach: Considered the best beach in the USA, this is the typical beach surrounded by lush vegetation that comes to mind when you think of Hawaii.

  • Kamaole Beach: one of the island's most popular beaches with a great family atmosphere.

  • Polo Beach: ideal for snorkelling and swimming.

  • Kaanapali Beach: a huge beach located in West Maui, where you can attend the Puu Kekaa ceremony at sunset to commemorate King Kahekili's deed.

  • Puamana Beach County Park: a beach with waves perfect for beginner surfers if the kids want to get a taste of surfing.