The Best Things to Do with Kids on Maui

We want you to love Maui as much as we do, so we partnered with a number of tours and excursions to provide you the best experience. We may make money when you click on the links.
Sun-soaked beach days, gushing waterfalls, ziplines through verdant valleys: the island of Maui has a plethora of things to do for kids of all ages. Book a surfing lesson with Maui Surf riders, adventure to the top of Haleakalā National Park to greet the sun, plan a boat trip to world-class snorkeling. From the mountains to the sea, the list of kid-friendly activities is long. As it probably won’t be possible to endeavor on every adventure, consider our recommendations below while planning visiting Maui.

Drive The Road to Hāna

When it comes to things to do on Maui, the Road to Hāna rates high on the list. 52-miles of twisting road takes travelers past jungles of tropical plants, flowing waterfalls, and jaw-dropping views. The drive is well over two-and-a-half hours, considering stops (and you will want to stop). We recommend booking a tour with Robert’s Heavily Hana. Robert’s will take the unexpected out of the journey. Allow their expert guides to take you through the hair-pin turns, one-way bridges, and must-see sights. Considering the winding roads and lengthy travel time can be cause for car-sickness for little ones in rear-facing car seats and boredom for eager toddlers, the trip is better suited for older children ready to hike, jump in icy fresh water, and get their feet muddy.

Surf with Maui Wave Riders

Keen to get off the shore and out into the waves? Maui Waveriders surf school puts aloha into the art of teaching the Hawaiian sport. Perfect for newbies of all ages, instructors at the family-owned and operated surf school seem to have an intuitive knack for tailoring lessons to individual needs. With locations in both Kihei and Lahaina, it is easy to book a memorable experience for you and your family.

Explore the Maui Ocean Center Aquarium

Conveniently located at Ma'alaea harbor, The Maui Ocean Center Aquarium is a popular attraction for kids of all ages. Children will enjoy gallery views of tropical fish and alien sea life while learning about the importance of ocean conservancy and Hawaiian culture. The aquarium boasts world-class exhibits, including the Humpbacks of Hawai'i Sphere. The 3-D show will immerse you in the deepest depths of the sea and bring you face-to-face with lifelike renditions of the giant whales. The exhibit is not suitable for children under three, but for everyone else, the 13-minute show is well worth the ticket.

After spending some time at the aquarium, consider driving the 15 minutes Wailuku to explore Iao Valley State Park and the Maui Tropical Plantation.

Visit Haleakalā National Park

Escape above the clouds to the otherworldly summit of Haleakalā . The raw landscape of rust-colored cinder and black lava rock is home to gaggles of native nēnē geese and the especially rare Silversword plant. Children will love walking through the clouds and exploring the moonlike setting. Halealakā’s summit is also the ultimate place to catch the sunrise or sunset. From 3am-7am reservations are required to enter the park. After 7am the park is open to all visitors.

Haleakalā towers10,000 ft. above sea level. The high elevation could affect small children and individuals with certain underlying medical conditions. It is recommended you consult a physician before making the trip.

Hike to Waterfalls with Hike Maui

Take a day to explore one of Maui’s many hikes. Hike Maui offers an array of outdoor excursions for all ages and expertise. For kids as young as four, the Waterfall Walk is a quick and easy trek through a Hawaiian rainforest. Children will love bathing under a Hawaiian waterfall and exploring the jungle landscape. The Waterfall & Rainforest Hiking Adventure is Hike Maui’s most popular undertaking. Suitable for kids 6 and older, the tour follows freshwater streams with not just one, but many waterfalls.

Watch Whales with Pride of Maui

When over 10,000 humpback whales make their way from Alaska to the Hawaiian islands, Maui is easily the best place to enjoy the season. Though spectacular views of the playful whales are to be had on shore, you won’t want to miss the opportunity of jumping on a whale watching tour to get within arm’s reach of the giant mammals.

Pride of Maui and Trilogy are two private charter companies that offer exceptional tours. While both companies check the box of getting within arms reach of the giant mammals, you may find one tour is better suited to your needs than the other.

Trilogy offers a shorter and more affordable tour, charging between $45-$75 for a 2.5 hour excursion.They offer three departure times from Lahaina Harbor - morning, mid-day, and afternoon - making it easy to find a time that suits you and your family. A light meal and snack are provided on board, as well as two complementary adult beverages for guests 21 and over. Kids of all ages will enjoy being splashed by a breaching whale and listening to a live whale’s songs through an onboard Hydrophone.

The Pride of Maui tour is a bit more costly, charging $128 for adults and $108 for children. However, you do get quite a bit more bundled in the price. The Pride of Maui offers a 3.5 hour whale watching tour that also includes a snorkeling adventure. Kids of all ages will love sliding down the catermaron’s water slide into Maui’s beautiful reefs. On board guests will enjoy a freshly prepared BBQ lunch, as well as a premium open bar for the adults. The Pride of Maui’s Whale Watching and Snorkeling Tour leaves Ma'alaea Harbor at 2pm.

Both tour companies book up quickly so be sure to plan ahead.

Explore the Sea with a Snorkel Trip with Sail Trilogy

Sail Trilogy also hosts unforgettable snorkeling trips. Explore Molokini, a crescent shaped crater situated between the islands of Maui and Kaho'olawe. With some of the clearest waters in Hawai'i and over 250 species of fish, Molokini crater is a snorkeling trip of a lifetime, with a lot of excursions combining it with Turtle Town. Trilogy also charts great spots along Maui’s coast, as well as an unforgettable all day trip to the private island of Lana'i.

Hit the Sky with Skyline Eco-Adventures Zipline

Ziplining is a fun way to explore Maui by air. Skyline Eco Adventures offer exciting tours of Maui with ziplines in both Haleakalā and Ka'anapali,. Children 8 or older can zip through a misty rainforest near the summit of Haleakalā. The Ka'anapali tour will fly you through breathtaking coastal views of west Maui and neighboring islands (kids must be 10 or older).

Plan a Beach Day

What would a trip to Maui be without beach days? Some of Hawai'i’s best beaches for families are found here in Maui. Consider a day (or two) at our favorite beaches for kids- Kapalua Bay in South Maui, and Baby Beach in Paia The pristine beach boasts incredible snorkeling, calm waters, and powdery white sand; kids of all ages will find something to enjoy here. Should you get hungry or forget your snorkel gear, a nearby shack sells both beach rentals and refreshments.

Attend a Feast at Lele Lū'au

We do not recommend visiting and not experiencing a Maui luau. The Feast at Lele is redefining the Hawaiian lū'au experience. Guided by music, dance, and an incredible 5 course meal, the seaside lū'au takes guests on an exhilarating journey through Polynesia. Unlike other lū'aus on the Hawaiian island, guests are seated and served at private tables. The feast does run late. Guests arrive around 6:30pm and should expect to leave around 10pm. The experience is better suited for older children. If you have a hard time getting reservations, our second favorite is Old Lahaina Luau, also located in South Maui. Not only will you be entertained, you will learn about the Hawaiian culture and history.

Other FAQs

Where to Stay with Kids in Maui

The west and south shores of Maui cater to visitors with kids. Both areas boast family-friendly resorts and extended stay hotels that are designed to make vacations wonderful. Resorts like the Grand Wailea on the south shore and the Hyatt regency Maui Resort on the west side appeal to families looking for both leisure and adventure. Kids will love sliding down one of the many pool waterslides while parents enjoy a beverage at the grotto bar. The resort is situated on the beautiful Wailea Beach. Guests can lay under the shade of an umbrella, or book an excursion on a Hawaiian outrigger canoe. Ka'anapali in the west showcases a long stretch of resorts and hotels on the famous Ka'anapali Beach. You will find everything you need here: sand and sea, restful pool days, sundry stores, world-class shopping and dining, and shuttles to various activities on island.

When is the Best Time of Year to Visit Maui?

Though the sun shines and the oceans glimmer year around in Maui, certain times attract more visitors than others. The winter months are especially popular for families looking to celebrate the holiday season in the sun. Not only is the weather warm and wonderful, it is also a great time to enjoy Hawai'i’s spectacular whale season. We recommend you book accommodations and activities in advance; the months of November and December are considered to be Maui’s high season.

Visiting Maui, and the other Hawaiian Islands is totally worth it and doable with kids.  Yes, the flight over may be long (take the red-eye home), but we can guarantee you it will be worth it.  Let us know what your favorite activity is to do with kids.