Our Maui family vacation remains one of our all time favorites because if was a great mix of fun and relaxation. Yes, I used the words “family vacation” and relaxation in one sentence and I meant every word.
When we visited Maui, our kids were young (toddler/pre-school age) and we were pleasantly surprised at just how much fun we all had exploring the island!
If you’re planning a Maui family vacation, below are 8 things we did with our kids that made for a fun and memorable trip we still talk about til’ this day!
8 Fun Maui Adventures With Kids
1. The Penguins And Parrots At The Hyatt Maui
While vacationing in Maui, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency as it was recommended to us as one of the best places to stay in Maui for families; and we truly did love it!
In addition to a beautiful pool and beach area, the Hyatt offers some great family dining as well as some adorable penguins, parrots and swans. The parrots and penguins are out every day and their feeding schedule is available at the front desk. My kids loved visiting during feeding time to learn more about the animals and their talents from staff members.
2. Watching The Island “Wake Up”
Traveling from the east coast to Maui definitely caused a little confusion with time, but also had it’s perks. We were up the first few days very, VERY early.
Like 4 am early. Turns out this is one of the most beautiful times to explore the island. We would get up and out early to splash in the quiet beaches and “watch the island wake up” at sunrise. It was gorgeous!
3. Authentic Hawaiian Luau
A Maui family vacation would not be complete without a luau experience. There are many to choose from in Maui. After researching, we chose the Feast At LeLe in Lahaina as it had the best reviews and was touted by many to be the most “authentic luau” on the island.
The Feast At LeLe kicked off by being greeted with a Lei and beverage (non-alcoholic beverages were available for the little ones).
There was a trio band playing live music and some hand crafted Hawaiian items for sale as everyone was seated. The kids loved the welcoming party atmosphere. The show and dancers were amazing, complete with a “fire swallower”– which was the most anticipated moment for Ry (7 years old).
The food is brought out in courses to allow you to experience a variety of Polynesian cuisine and we even got to celebrate our son’s birthday Hawaiian style!
While the food was good, this was the only down fall when traveling with picky eater. My son is a true foodie and loved trying everything, while my daughter on the other hand ate next to nothing. Other Luau’s may have more traditional food or a kids menu. If you have a picky eater in your group, this is just something to keep in mind.
4. Beachside Family Portraits
When traveling as a family, often one person is left out of the group photo as they the role of photographer (this is usually me)- or you ask a stranger, and well… it’s never easy to assess a strangers photography skills as they walk by- right? It’s a 50/50 shot.
I highly recommend hiring a family photographer in Maui and make it your annual family photo. The beaches and sunset backdrop make for gorgeous holiday cards too!
We chose the husband and wife team of Dimitri Photography on the recommendation of friend and fellow blogger, Sarah of The Ohana Mama.
Dimitri and Sandra chose the tucked away, DK Fleming Beach for our shoot. A “secret beach” of sorts that we may have never discovered, had it not been on their recommendation. Our pictures came out phenomenal, and was a beautiful way to remember our Maui vacation for years to come.
5. Surfing Lessons
Maui is the ultimate place to experience a little surfing and there are lessons available for beginners as well as experienced surfers.
James and Ryan took a private lesson for beginners with Tide of Rivers To The Sea. They had a great time learning the basics and Tide was amazing with the kids- he even let Laina (3 yrs old) in on the fun. Rivers to the Sea is just one of many surfing schools on Maui, but we truly loved them and highly recommend! Run by brothers Tide and Kiva, they have taught some Hollywood celebs including: Zac Effron, James Gandolfeni and Amanda Bynes (before she went Cray-cray).
6. The Hawaii Tropical Plantation
The Tropical Plantation is open year round and offers a train ride through the plantation showing off the island’s agriculture and beauty including a gorgeous lake area and fresh coconut-tasting experience.
We visited during spring break/Easter vacation, while Maui was celebrating it’s annual AG Feast at their Tropical Plantation, which was fun! If you are visiting during that time of year as well, definitely look into this festive event.
7. The Lahaina Market Place
The Old Lahaina Market Place is a great place to check out some local handmade craftsmanship. From jewelry to soaps and wood carvings- this cute little village has it all. My kids loved going from shop to shop browsing all the local goods.
This market place is also the central point where many boat tours leave from. So you can make a day of it by booking a boat tour and then touring shops and grabbing a bite to eat!
8. The Road To Hana
This road-side experience was so amazing, I gave it it’s own in-depth post. In short? DO. IT.
Looking for a romantic date night idea while visiting Maui? Check out our oceanside dining experience at the Marriott Wailea Beach.
Maui offers families a great mix of fun, adventure and relaxation while on vacation. Kids love exploring Maui’s nature and learning about the Hawaiian Culture too.
Some family favorites include:
– Taking surf lessons
– Checking out the Lahaina Marketplace
– Visiting Aunt Sandy’s for a bite to eat along on the Road To Hana
– Finding rainbow trees
While known for its beauty and nature, there are still many things to do in Maui with toddlers. Some great activities to do with little ones are:
– Playing in the calm water and beaches early in the morning
– Checking out the Maui Ocean Center
– Attend The Feast Of Lele Luau- they’ll love being greeted with lei’s!
– Visit the penguins and swans in the Hyatt Hotel’s lobby