Things To Do In Maui For Kids | Maui Ocean Center

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What to Do in Maui with Kids

June 2, 2023

Top 6 Things to Do in Maui with Kids

While the spirit of Hawai’i is present on all the islands, you can especially feel it on Maui. As the saying goes, “Maui Nō Ka ʻOi,” which means “Maui is the best” and you’ll understand why once you breath in the sea scented air.


Maui offers a wide range of exciting activities and attractions that are perfect for the little ones – or keiki (children) as we call them around here! With beaches, mountains and surf all at your fingertips it can be difficult to decide what to do in the time you have. That’s why we made it easy for you and ranked our top 7 favorite things to do on our beautiful island – so you can focus less on what to do, and more on making memories that last a lifetime.

Discover the Maui Ocean Center

You don’t want to miss the awe in your kids’ eyes as they hug the glass to watch a sea turtle swim overhead, or when they discover for the first time what the tentacles of an Octopus looks like. 

 

 

The Maui Ocean Center is an excellent destination for kids to discover and learn about marine life in a fun and engaging way. This aquarium features interactive exhibits that allow kids to get up close and personal with marine creatures. They can touch sea stars, sea cucumbers, and other marine animals at the Tide Pool, providing a hands-on learning experience.

 

 

You’ll definitely want to stop by the Turtle Lagoon, where they can observe Hawaiian green sea turtles up close, and walk through the tunnel of our Open Ocean Exhibit surrounded by marine life on all sides.

Go on a Whale Watching Tour

whale watching tour

If you’re visiting between November and April, whale watching tours in Maui provide a thrilling and educational experience for kids as they witness the majestic humpback whales in their natural habitat. 

 

We recommend the Pacific Whale Foundation which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of whales, dolphins, and the marine environment. All of the profits go directly to research, education and advocacy. 

 

Their tours feature knowledgeable naturalists who provide educational commentary about humpback whales, their behavior, and their conservation. These experts engage with children, sharing interesting facts and answering questions to enhance their understanding and appreciation of these magnificent creatures.

Take a Road trip to Hāna

Road to Hana

The Road to Hāna is a world-renowned scenic drive located on the eastern side of Maui, Hawai’i. Stretching approximately 64 miles (103 kilometers) along the Hāna Highway, it offers breathtaking views, lush landscapes, and numerous points of interest. This journey is a truly unforgettable road trip, where you’ll encounter stunning waterfalls, lush landscapes, and scenic viewpoints. 

 

Make sure to factor in stops along the way to explore the Seven Sacred Pools, Wailua Falls, and the black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Park. These unique beaches offer an opportunity for a refreshing swim or a leisurely stroll along the shore.

 

Don’t forget to stop at the roadside stands for homemade banana bread!

 

This is an all day drive and can take up to eight to ten hours to complete. The highway is famous for its narrow, winding roads with over 600 curves and more than 50 one-lane bridges. Although fun, it’s important to exercise caution and drive at a comfortable pace. It’s recommended to start the journey early in the day to allow ample time for exploration and avoid crowded traffic conditions.

 

It’s important to respect the Road to Hāna and adhere to local cultural boundaries.

 

We personally recommend booking travel with a professional tour company. Relax and let the professionals handle all those curves while you sit back and enjoy the beauty

Snorkeling on Maui at Kapalua Bay Beach

Kapalua beach bay, Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Kapalua Bay Beach is often considered one of Maui’s best beaches for families. Snorkeling provides an excellent opportunity to teach kids about marine life and the importance of ocean conservation.

 

The crescent-shaped bay provides a sheltered and calm environment, making it ideal for children to explore and snorkel safely. The waters are generally clear and calm, with a gradual sandy entry into the water. This makes it easier for kids to enter and exit the water comfortably. The snorkeling conditions are typically suitable for beginners. 

 

Kapalua Bay Beach is home to a vibrant underwater ecosystem, including the famous humuhumunukunukuapua’a (or just humu humu for short), a triggerfish known as Hawai’i’s state fish. Kids will also be able to spot a variety of tropical fish species, including parrotfish, butterflyfish, and tangs, as well as other marine creatures like sea turtles and eels. Encourage kids to practice respectful snorkeling techniques, such as observing from a distance and avoiding touching or chasing marine life.

 

At Kapalua Bay Beach you will need to bring your own gear. It’s important to ensure that your kids have properly fitting snorkeling gear for a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Many rental shops on Maui offer snorkel sets for children, including masks, snorkels, and fins. Select gear that fits well, allows easy breathing, and offers clear visibility.

 

Take the time to teach them about the significance of respecting and protecting the coral reefs and discuss the different species they encounter and their role in the ecosystem, but most importantly HAVE FUN!

Explore the Maui Tropical Plantation

The Maui Tropical Plantation offers several engaging and educational activities for kids, making it a fun destination for families.  It’s a place where children can connect with nature, learn about agriculture, and create memories. 

 

Kids can enjoy a guided tram tour through the plantation, where they’ll learn about tropical plants and farming practices. They can explore the lush tropical gardens, feed friendly animals, participate in coconut husking demonstrations, and even try zip lining for an exciting adventure. With family-friendly dining options and occasional events and festivals, the Maui Tropical Plantation provides a fun and immersive experience for kids to connect with nature, learn about agriculture, and create lasting memories in the beautiful surroundings of Maui. 

 

Maui is a place that offers a combination of educational experiences, natural beauty, and engaging activities for kids. It’s a place where children can connect with nature, learn about 

animals and agriculture, and create wonderful memories while exploring the tropical wonders.

Visit Haleakalā

maui rainbow

Haleakalā is a massive shield volcano that stands 10,023 feet above sea level. It is considered one of the most prominent and iconic natural landmarks in Hawai’i. The name “Haleakalā” translates to “House of the Sun” in the Hawaiian language, which is fitting as it is known for its stunning sunrises and sunsets. It’s an impressive sight for everyone, but especially kids!

 

Apart from the stunning views, Haleakalā National Park provides plenty of opportunities for adventure and exploration. There are numerous hiking trails suitable for all ages and skill levels, allowing kids to experience the unique volcanic landscape up close. They can discover volcanic cones, cinder cones, and lava formations, sparking their curiosity about geology and the natural world. Additionally, the park is home to rare plant and animal species, offering the young ones a chance to learn about Hawai’i’s unique biodiversity and conservation.

 

Haleakalā also provides a chance for kids to engage with Hawaiian culture and history. The volcano holds immense significance in Hawaiian mythology and is considered a sacred site. The House of the Sun got it’s name from the story of Hina, the demigod Maui’s mother. Hina’s skill was creating cloth out of pounded kapa (bark), but lamented that the sun moved across the sky too quickly for her cloth to dry. So Maui headed to the peak of Mt. Haleakalā & lassoed the sun in an effort to slow it down & lengthen the day.

 

Learning about the cultural heritage associated with Haleakalā can be an educational and enriching experience for children, fostering an appreciation for different traditions and perspectives.

 

Overall, Haleakala offers a combination of natural beauty, adventure, and cultural exploration that can make it a fun and educational destination for kids. It provides a unique opportunity for them to connect with nature, learn about volcanic activity, and create lasting memories in one of the most awe-inspiring locations in Hawaii.

 

When visiting Haleakalā, it is important to mālama (respect) the environment, follow park regulations, and engage in sustainable practices to preserve the delicate ecosystem. The experience of witnessing the raw beauty of Haleakalā is truly unforgettable and offers a glimpse into the volcanic wonders of Hawai’i.

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things to do at the Maui Ocean Center​

Living Reef

How many corals can you count? Our Living Reef showcases 40 unique and rare species of Hawaiian corals, ranging from shallow to deep-sea ecosystems.

Kaho‘olawe: History and Healing

Discover a sacred and storied island, a powerful testament to the human capacity for destruction and regeneration.

Hawaiians and the Sea

Celebrate the culture and traditions of the first Hawaiians.

Turtle Lagoon

Say aloha to the honu, our charismatic Hawaiian green sea turtles!

Humpbacks of Hawaiʻi Exhibit & Sphere

Explore the realm of the whales in our virtual sphere experience.

Open Ocean

Take a stroll through the 35-foot long acrylic tunnel as sharks soar above your head. Watch elegant stingrays turn backflips in our 750,000-gallon Open Ocean tank—a slice of the pelagic sea.