You’ve got the family packed up and are going to Maui! In an ideal world, you’d lay on the beach and suntan all day? The kids may get a little bored. Here are some of my favorite kid activities for Maui.
La Perouse hike
Hiking at La Perouse bay was one of our favorite kid activities when our kids were young. Okay, so ‘hiking’ is a little overstated. We walked til we felt we should probably turn around to make it back to the car before kids got grumpy.
La Perouse is on the southern end of the old lava flow just past Makena. You drive to what seems like the end of the earth (literally ~ the road simply gets narrower and narrower with crazy lava rock on either side), then park in the parking lot at the very end. Parking can be tricky, last time we went, we couldn’t get a spot, so we changed our plans. Get out and start walking south through the rocks. Our kids loved climbing and throwing the lava rock. Sometimes we’d see goats, spinner dolphins, always lots of fun. Bring decent foot wear (lava rock is sharp) and water. There is a port-o-potty, but that’s about it.
Maui Ocean Center
Maui’s aquarium is well done! The Maui Ocean Center have a great collection of all the local reef fish, turtles, some sharks and a great humpback whale exhibit (complete with Imax-style movie). Check my blog post here.
Iao Valley is a fun easy hike just past Wailuku. It’s filled with history and has lots of place to run around. The Kepaniwai Heritage Gardens are right here also. Here is a blog post I wrote a couple years ago.
The Maui Golf and Sports Park has long been a favorite in our family. We’ve held countless birthday parties here. The best part ~ the bumper boats with water guns, hands down. The climbing column, x-treme trampoline and, oh, the two 18 hold mini golf courses are also a lot of fun. A little parental advice…. save the bumper boats for last. And bring towels. It gets really windy in Maalaea, and minigolfing is just not that fun when cold and wet. See my blog post here.
Beach and pool time
The best entertainment on Maui is…. you got it…. free! Earlier mornings are usually calm, but the wind does pick up late morning/afternoon. Sometimes it calms down again the later afternoons. Certain beaches are better when windy, for instance Ulua Beach in Wailea is more sheltered than others. Enjoy the beach when you can, then switch to the condo pool when the wind starts blowing (who likes to be sandblasted, after all). FYI not all beaches have life guards. In Kihei Kamaole 1, 2 and 3 beaches and Big Beach in Makena are life guarded. Going into the water at Big Beach is recommended only for swimmers experienced with strong rip currents. Life guard stations typically close around 4pm.
By the way, the ABC stores and most grocery stores carry sand toys, but check the condo first, in case a previous guest left some behind.
A few kid activities for your older kids
Maui has several zipline courses. The Maui Tropical Plantation has what I’m told is an easier, more beginner zipline. There are others in both West Maui and upcountry.
Maui Adventure Park
The Maui Adventure Park is a giant outdoor climbing facility located in Lahaina, just off the bypass.
Please remember, don’t go snorkeling unless you are a strong swimmer. There are a number of snorkel tours you can go on. However, you can also rent gear at places like Snorkel Bobs or buy them at Costco. See this blog on the dangers of snorkeling (who knew).
There are numerous places to take surf lessons, in Kihei a popular spot is at The Cove near Kalama Park. However, we don’t typically get much surf in Kihei, and the water quality is often questionable in that location due to some cess pools. Along the Pali Hwy on the way to Lahaina is another popular beginner surf spot. Definitely get good advice from surfers as to water conditions for beginners before going out.