Best Things to Do in Maui for an Unforgettable Family Trip
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Best Things to Do in Maui for an Unforgettable Family Trip

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Maui, with its breathtaking beaches, lush rainforests, and the majestic Haleakala volcano,  beckons to families looking for a Hawaiian adventure unlike any other.

Beyond the picture-perfect postcards, Maui, Hawaii caters to families of all kinds.

Whether you’ve got tiny explorers eager to build sandcastles or adventurous teens ready to snorkel among vibrant coral reefs, Maui delivers endless ways  to bond and create lasting memories.

This island gem isn’t just about relaxation (although you’ll find plenty of that too!); it’s a place where kids can discover the magic of Hawaiian culture, learn about unique marine life, and embark on exciting outdoor adventures alongside their loved ones.  

Let’s dive into the best things to do in Maui with your family –  this guide will help you craft the perfect Hawaiian getaway, filled with sunshine, smiles, and a healthy dose of Aloha spirit.

Book your family’s flight to Maui with Skyscanner and dive into an ocean of activities, from snorkeling with sea turtles to exploring the lush Iao Valley.

Why Maui is the Perfect Family Vacation Spot

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Maui strikes the perfect balance for an unforgettable family holiday.

While it offers the allure of a tropical paradise, it goes beyond sun and sand to provide an enriching and fun-filled getaway for everyone in your crew.

Here’s why families adore Maui:

  • Whether your family craves outdoor adventures, cultural immersion, or laid-back island vibes, Maui delivers. From snorkeling among vibrant reef systems to ziplining through rainforests and attending authentic luaus, there’s truly something for every interest and age group.
  • Maui’s diverse landscapes captivate all ages. Soaring volcanoes, cascading waterfalls, lush rainforests, and pristine beaches offer constant visual delights. This breathtaking scenery enhances every activity and inspires a sense of awe in children and adults alike.
  • Maui’s welcoming Aloha spirit puts families instantly at ease. Resorts, restaurants, and locals alike are accustomed to catering to visitors of all ages, creating a stress-free and easygoing environment where everyone can relax and have fun.
  • While there’s no shortage of exciting things to do, Maui also encourages a slower pace that’s perfect for families. Kids have space to explore, play, and simply enjoy the moment – a precious gift in a world filled with schedules.
  • The island itself, with its beaches, waterfalls, and accessible hikes, is designed for family exploration, creating a sense of adventure for everyone.

👉Book your stay in Maui where family memories are made, from beachfront resorts with kid-friendly pools to accommodations offering cultural workshops and outdoor adventures.

Hit the Beach!

Family soccer on the beach

Imagine feeling powdery sand between your toes while listening to the gentle sound of waves lapping the shore and feeling warm Hawaiian sunshine kissing your skin – this is the quintessential Maui beach experience.

The island boasts a breathtaking array of beaches, ranging from secluded coves to lively stretches of coastline.

Whether you want to build sandcastles as high as a palm tree, learn to surf, or explore a vibrant underwater world teeming with life, Maui’s beaches offer an adventure for every age and interest.

What makes it great for kids:

  • Calm, protected waters: Many beaches, particularly on Maui’s west coast, feature natural breakwaters or sheltered bays, offering safe swimming areas for young children and beginners.
  • Exciting snorkeling spots: Older kids will thrill at the chance to glimpse sea turtles, colorful fish, and perhaps even a manta ray in Maui’s crystal-clear waters.
  • Endless possibilities: From beach picnics to boogie boarding, sandcastle competitions to sunset strolls, Maui’s beaches provide hours of simple, sun-soaked fun.

👉Let Skyscanner guide your family adventure to Maui, where you can build sandcastles on world-famous beaches and discover the underwater world at the Maui Ocean Center.

Things to do:

#2 of Catching Air

  • Kapalua Bay: This crescent-shaped haven offers calm waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling, especially at the bay’s northern end.
  • Baby Beach: Nestled in Lahaina, this shallow cove lives up to its name – it’s a favorite with toddlers and families seeking extra calm waters.
  • Keawakapu Beach: This scenic beach near Wailea has soft sand, good swimming areas, and snorkeling spots, making it ideal for various activities.

Explore the Underwater World

Snorkeling at Molokini Crater, Maui

Picture yourself effortlessly floating in the warm, crystalline waters of Maui, with the sunlight reflecting off the sandy seafloor below.

You’ll be surrounded by a rainbow of fish, some no bigger than your finger, while a graceful sea turtle glides serenely by.

This isn’t a scene from an aquarium, but the magic of snorkeling in Maui. It’s an experience that unlocks an awe-inspiring world for children of all ages.

Snorkeling allows kids to become explorers and discover the hidden ecosystems just below the surface, fostering a lifelong appreciation for the ocean’s wonders.

What makes it great for kids:

  • Unveiling a Hidden World: For many children, snorkeling is their first glimpse of the vibrant life teeming beneath the waves, sparking a sense of curiosity and respect for marine creatures.
  • Adventure without Limits: Even non-swimmers can enjoy snorkeling with the right gear and guidance. Flotation devices help kids feel confident while exploring reefs in safe, shallow areas.
  • Unforgettable Encounters: The thrill of encountering sea turtles, spotting an octopus, or witnessing schools of fish swirling in unison will stay with kids long after their Hawaiian vacation ends.

👉Find family accommodations in Maui close to the island’s best snorkeling spots, hiking trails, and cultural sites, ensuring a comfortable and convenient base for your explorations.”

Things to do:

Snorkeling in Honolua Bay, Maui

  • Molokini Crater: This partially submerged volcanic crater is a snorkeling paradise. It boasts crystal-clear visibility and boasts a staggering variety of marine life.
  • Family-friendly Tours: Tour operators specializing in family adventures offer comfortable boats, all the necessary equipment, and trained guides to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
  • Shore Snorkeling: Maui has plenty of accessible beaches for snorkeling right off the sand. Excellent spots include Honolua Bay, Black Rock in Ka’anapali, and Ulua Beach.

Beyond the Beach

Hana Highway

Maui’s beaches are undoubtedly a popular attraction, but the island has much more to offer beyond its coastline.

Exploring further reveals lush rainforests, rolling hillsides, and charming towns.

By heading upcountry, you can experience a different side of Maui’s beauty, or take a journey along the legendary Road to Hana to discover cascading waterfalls, hidden beaches, and local culture.

These adventures offer children the opportunity to break away from their routine and experience the island’s rich natural and cultural diversity.

👉Use Skyscanner to plan your family’s exploration of Maui’s natural wonders, including a visit to the Maui Tropical Plantation and ziplining through the West Maui Mountains.

What makes it great for kids:

  • The Thrill of Discovery: Driving through Maui’s diverse landscapes offers constant intrigue. Each bend in the road may reveal breathtaking views, a roadside fruit stand bursting with exotic treats, or a tucked-away swimming hole perfect for splashing.
  • Experiencing a Different Hawaii: Exploring beyond the beach gives kids a bigger picture of Maui – as a living island where fertile volcanic soil yields delicious food, local artisans craft beautiful items, and nature reigns supreme.
  • Opportunities for Exploration: Whether it’s a short hike to a waterfall, a visit to a working taro farm, or spotting rainbows among the clouds, Maui’s upcountry and the Road to Hana provide ample room for discovery.

👉Secure your flight with Skyscanner to Maui for family fun under the sun, including a memorable drive along the Road to Hana and picnics at Haleakalā National Park.

Things to do:

Near Pua'a Ka'a State Park, Maui: Swimming Hole

  • Explore Upcountry Maui: Visit the scenic town of Makawao for its art galleries and shops, wander the beautiful grounds of the Kula Botanical Garden, or experience breathtaking views from the slopes of Haleakala volcano.
  • Embark on the Road to Hana: This iconic drive isn’t about the destination; it’s about the journey. Pack snacks, stop at waterfalls for a quick dip, sample local banana bread, and watch the landscape change before your eyes.
  • Seek Out Local Culture: Visit a traditional taro farm, browse a farmer’s market, or savor the flavors of the island at family-friendly restaurants offering local specialties.
  • Lounging by the hotel pool: Relax and recharge with some quality downtime by the pool, soaking up the sun and enjoying a refreshing drink.

Immerse Yourselves in Culture

Keiki o Hālau o Kekuhi perform hula at the 2013 Hawaiian Cultural Festival, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

Maui has a rich history and vibrant Hawaiian traditions that offer families an opportunity to connect with the island on a deeper level.

From the hustle and bustle of historic towns to the interactive exhibits of cultural centers, you can discover the stories, artistry, and unique spirit that define Maui and the Aloha way of life.

These experiences leave a lasting impression on kids, fostering a sense of wonder and appreciation for cultures different from their own.

What makes it great for kids:

  • Hands-on Learning: Maui’s cultural experiences go far beyond reading plaques in a museum. Kids can watch hula performances, try their hand at lei making, or learn Hawaiian words and traditions, immersing themselves in the culture in a fun and engaging way.
  • Understanding the Island: Learning about Hawaiian history and culture adds another layer of meaning to a Maui trip. Kids will better understand the significance of the natural landmarks they see and the respect islanders show their environment.
  • Memories Beyond Sun and Sand: Cultural experiences offer a unique element to a traditional beach vacation, crafting memories that will resonate long after the suntans fade.

👉Secure a family-friendly retreat in Maui that offers spacious suites, children’s programs, and easy access to the island’s top attractions, from the aquarium to the national parks.

Things to do:

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  • Explore Lahaina: This former whaling village is now a vibrant hub of galleries, shops, and restaurants. Stroll along Front Street, enjoy free hula shows, and experience the energy of a historic Hawaiian town.
  • Attend a Luau: Witness the beauty of traditional Hawaiian dance and music, learn about the significance of this age-old celebration, and feast on delicious Hawaiian cuisine.
  • Visit the Maui Ocean Center: Discover the wonders of the Pacific! The Maui Ocean Center showcases an array of marine life, offers interactive exhibits, and emphasizes conservation education.

Variety of Activities for All Ages

Maui Ziplining

Maui is an excellent destination for families with kids who love adventure, nature, or history.

The island offers a wide range of activities to suit every age and interest, from thrilling zipline adventures to leisurely train rides through lush tropical landscapes.

Strike a perfect balance between exciting activities and relaxation by combining them with beach days and pool time.

Your entire family is sure to be thrilled and engaged, making unforgettable memories together.

👉Find the perfect family getaway to Maui with Skyscanner, where you can learn to surf together in the warm Hawaiian waters and attend a traditional luau.

What makes it great for kids:

  • Variety: Maui’s activity scene ensures no one will utter the dreaded “I’m bored!” From exploring pineapple fields to soaring through jungle canopies, there’s something for every kid (and kid at heart).
  • Safe Adventures: Reputable tour operators put safety first, offering age restrictions and guidance for activities like ziplining to ensure the fun is safe for everyone.
  • Bonding Experiences: Sharing these adventures fosters family togetherness, whether it’s conquering fears on a thrilling rappel or giggling through a bumpy train ride.

👉Plan your Maui getaway with family accommodations that make travel easy, including kitchens for home-cooked meals, laundry facilities, and on-site recreational activities.

Things to do:

Maui Tropical Plantation

  • Ziplining and Rappelling: Older kids who crave adrenaline will love soaring through the trees on a zipline tour or the challenge of rappelling down a beautiful waterfall.
  • Maui Tropical Plantation: Take a historic train through lush fields of pineapples and other tropical crops. Kids will enjoy spotting familiar and exotic fruits while learning about the island’s agricultural past.
  • More to Explore: Other family-friendly activities include horseback riding, stand-up paddleboarding lessons, whale watching tours (seasonal), and visiting the Maui Bird Conservation Center.

Don’t Forget the Fun!

Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice

On a family vacation, it’s often the simple pleasures that create the most lasting memories.

Maui is a prime example of this, with its relaxed atmosphere and delicious local treats that will keep you smiling throughout the day.

By partaking in these quintessential Hawaiian experiences, you can add a sweet and unforgettable touch to your island adventure.

What makes it great for kids:

  • Shave ice and pineapple, in all its forms, are delicious entry points for kids to discover the unique flavors of Hawaii. The vibrant colors and fun toppings make these treats an instant crowd-pleaser.
  • Sampling local specialties adds an extra layer of excitement to a day at the beach. These simple treats become mini-excursions filled with giggles and sticky fingers!
  • Sharing a giant shave ice or exploring a pineapple farm together are simple rituals that become treasured memories of a Hawaiian family vacation.

👉Choose a stay in Maui where the whole family can relax and recharge, with options ranging from private villas to resorts featuring water slides and luaus.

Things to do:

Pineapple Patch - Olinda, Maui

  • Shave Ice Quest: This cool, fluffy treat topped with a rainbow of syrups is a Hawaiian classic. Seek out local favorites with unique flavor combinations for a taste-testing extravaganza.
  • Pineapple Delights: Visit a pineapple plantation for a fascinating look at where this iconic fruit grows! Sample fresh pineapple, try pineapple-infused treats, and maybe even take home a juicy souvenir.
  • More Island Goodies: Explore farmers’ markets to discover other Hawaiian specialties like banana bread, coconut candy, or locally made tropical popsicles.

Planning Your Maui Family Trip

Surf maui

Proper planning can make your Maui vacation a smooth and unforgettable experience for the entire family.

Apart from the exciting adventures, it is important to consider practical aspects to ensure that your trip is successful and that every member has the best time possible.

Where to Stay:
  • West Maui Resorts: Ka’anapali and Kapalua offer a wealth of beachfront resorts with amenities like kids’ clubs, multiple pools, and easy beach access. Fantastic for those who want everything in one place.
  • South Maui Condos: Kihei and Wailea feature spacious condo rentals, often with kitchens and living areas. This offers flexibility for families who want to spread out, prepare some meals, and enjoy a more home-away-from-home experience.

👉With Skyscanner, journey to Maui for unforgettable family hikes through bamboo forests and to hidden waterfalls that promise adventure and bonding moments.

Additional Tips
  • Age-appropriate Activities: Tailor your itinerary to your kids’ ages and interests. Mix in laid-back beach days with active adventures to keep everyone happy.
  • Balance Adventure and Relaxation: Don’t overschedule! It’s tempting to cram in every activity, but downtime for naps, pool play, and spontaneous fun is crucial, especially for younger kids.
  • Embracing the Aloha Spirit: Hawaii has a unique, welcoming culture. Encourage kids to learn simple Hawaiian words, be respectful of the locals and the environment, and slow down to embrace the island’s laid-back rhythm.

FAQs: Your Maui Family Trip Questions Answered

Found Kodachrome Slide -- Sheraton Maui Resort Hotel, Ka'anapali, Hawaii

Are there any resorts in Maui that are particularly family-friendly?

Yes! Maui boasts several fantastic resorts that go above and beyond for families. When choosing a resort, consider:

  • On-Site Amenities: Look for resorts with multiple pools (including kids’ pools with slides and splash zones), dedicated kids’ clubs with engaging activities, and beachfront locations for convenient access to the sand and water.
  • Kid-Friendly Dining: Many resorts offer kid-friendly menus, buffets, and even fun character dining experiences to keep mealtimes exciting.
  • Spacious Accommodations: Depending on your family’s size, larger suites or connecting rooms can provide more space for everyone to spread out and relax.
  • Well-Known Options: Popular choices include the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort, Sheraton Maui Resort, the Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, Honua Kai Resort and Spa, and the Grand Wailea. Always research the options and compare amenities to find the perfect fit for your family’s needs and budget.
What are some fun things to do in Maui with young kids?

Maui offers a fantastic array of activities perfect for little ones. Here are a few ideas:

  • Explore Tide Pools: Seek out tide pools at low tide and let your kids discover an aquatic world teeming with tiny crabs, snails, and other creatures.
  • Maui Ocean Center: This excellent aquarium features interactive exhibits, a touch pool where kids can see marine life up close, and daily presentations focusing on the diverse marine life of Hawaii.
  • Maui Tropical Plantation: Take a scenic tram ride through fields of tropical crops. Kids will enjoy spotting pineapples, bananas, and more while learning about how they’re grown.
  • Playground Time: Many of Maui’s beaches have playgrounds nearby, offering a break from the sand and sun while kids burn off some energy.

👉Experience the ultimate family vacation in Maui by booking accommodations that cater to all ages, offering everything from babysitting services to adventure clubs for kids.

What are some of the best beaches in Maui for families?

West Maui road to Lahaina

Consider these factors when choosing a family-friendly beach:

  • Calm Waters: Look for beaches with natural barriers like reefs or breakwaters that offer protected areas for swimming, especially for young children.
  • Soft Sand: Choose beaches with powdery sand that’s perfect for building sandcastles.
  • Facilities: Bathrooms, showers, and nearby snack vendors make beach days easier with kids.
  • Excellent Choices: Baby Beach in Lahaina, Kapalua Bay, Kamaole Beach Parks (I, II, and III) in Kihei, and Napili Bay are all fantastic for families.
Are there any tours in Maui that are good for kids?

Absolutely! Tour operators in Maui understand the importance of family-friendly experiences. Here’s what to look for:

  • Short Duration: Opt for shorter tours (2-4 hours) to avoid overtired or bored kids.
  • Comfortable Boats: Look for larger boats with plenty of space and shade for a more comfortable trip.
  • Knowledgeable Guides: The best tours have guides who can share information about the island, its wildlife, and culture in a kid-friendly way.
  • Specific Options: Molokini snorkeling with experienced operators, whale-watching tours (in season), and cultural experiences involving hula or hands-on demonstrations are often enjoyed by families.
What’s the best time to visit Maui with kids?

The best time depends on your priorities:

  • Ideal Weather and Smaller Crowds: The shoulder seasons of spring (April-May) and fall (September-November) often have fantastic weather, fewer visitors, and potentially better deals on accommodations.
  • Festivals and Events: If you have specific festivals or whale-watching season in mind, plan your trip accordingly.
  • Flexibility is Key: Regardless of the season, be prepared for some rain showers – they’re part of what makes Maui lush and beautiful, and they usually pass quickly!

👉Skyscanner makes flying to Maui for family vacations easy, offering a gateway to exploring pineapple plantations and engaging in cultural activities that educate and entertain.

Conclusion

Surfboards

Maui is a stunningly beautiful destination that offers diverse activities and a warm Aloha spirit, making it an ideal vacation spot for families of all kinds.

It is important to remember that the perfect Maui vacation involves a perfect balance between moments of adventure and plenty of downtime to relax and soak up the sunshine.

Whether you’re exploring the underwater world, learning about Hawaiian culture, or simply making sandcastles by the shore, Maui provides a magical backdrop for creating lasting family memories.

These memories will stay with you long after you leave, serving as a reminder of the special bond forged on your unforgettable Hawaiian adventure.

👉Let Maui welcome your family with open arms, offering stays in areas renowned for their safety, beauty, and proximity to family-friendly dining and shopping.

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