family activities on Maui: children with snorkel masks on beach

Family Things To Do On Maui

Maui is a wonderful destination for families, and a Maui family vacation is sure to create treasured lifelong memories. Summer is the most popular family travel season on Maui, but there are plenty of family activities on Maui year-round. You won’t run out of options to keep everyone entertained, from toddlers to teens. It’s more likely you’ll have a hard time deciding which activities to squeeze in to your limited time on the island. Following are a few of my suggestions for fun family activities on Maui.



Families at a pool in Grand Wailea Resort, Maui, Hawaii


FIRST THING! Check out the activities offered at your accommodations. You’ll find some of the best family activities on Maui right where you’re staying. Most accommodations on Maui are family-friendly, and they make an effort to offer fun, creative activities and programs specifically for children or for families to enjoy together. Many also offer “day camp” programs where the kids can enjoy supervised fun while parents have a few hours to themselves. So, as soon as you arrive at your accommodations, familiarize yourself with the family-friendly activities right there in your own backyard.


Maui Ocean Center in Maalaea is a great place for a family outing. It is the largest tropical reef aquarium in the Western Hemisphere and boasts more than 60 exhibits— from touch tidepools to historical displays— suited for both keiki and adults. All ages are captivated by the aquarium’s walkthrough glass tunnel, where sharks, stingrays, and giant Trevally glide overhead. Another noteworthy feature of the center is its planetarium-like sphere, which features a 3D film about humpback whales filmed in Maui’s waters. It is an awesome experience — as if you’re swimming with whales! Maui Ocean Center is a fun, fascinating place for kids AND adults, and one of the top family activities on Maui.


• Boat trips like snorkeling tours and winter whale watching excursions are great family adventures. Don’t forget to keep reef-safe sunscreen handy throughout the day and take something to prevent seasickness if you or the kids are prone to motion sickness. More Maui boat tours.


Kids on a whale watch off Maui, Hawaii


Looking to spend some time on the sand or in the sea? There are endless opportunities for family beach days and ocean activities— from exploring tide pools or building sand castles to more active adventures like surfing, snorkeling, or parasailing. Keep your eyes peeled for sea turtles, which are often mistaken for rocks when they come up on the beach to rest. Just remember, sea turtles are protected by law, so don’t touch, approach, or disturb them in any way. Just appreciate them from a distance.

There are plenty of beaches and protected coves around Maui that are considered more child friendly than others. These beaches usually have calmer conditions than other beaches. Some of our favorites include Baby Beach in Lahaina and the western edge of Baldwin Beach in Paia. If you have little ones with you, you can also ask your accommodations if there is a “baby beach” nearby. They will point you to the safest, family beach in your area. However, please be mindful of safety whenever you are in or near the ocean, even if it looks calm. Stay alert. The sea is beautiful but can be unpredictable and dangerous. Here are some Maui beach tips


Submarine rides are a fun and easy way to explore Maui’s coral reefs in lieu of a snorkel tour. Submarine rides are available at Lahaina Harbor and are a mellow adventure for families who want to view the underwater world without getting wet! Children must be at least 36 inches tall for these  submarine tours.


View through submarine porthole of tropical fish off Maui, Hawaii



A luau is great fun for families! You’ll be treated to a decadent feast of Hawaiian and Polynesian food (with plenty of kid-friendly options), as well as top-notch cultural entertainment. Most luaus usually offer games or crafts for kids before the show starts. Definitely plan to include a luau in your family activities on Maui.



Kids dancing hula at a luau in Maui, Hawaii



Haleakala National Park is a fascinating and beautiful destination, but it also offers some great activities for kids and families, including a fun Junior Ranger program. You can also take the keiki on a fun nature walk at Hosmer Grove, which is located just past the entrance to the park on the left hand side. The easy trail winds through conifers, eucalyptus, and native trees, and there are plenty of opportunities to look for brightly colored native birds. Nature loving kiddos will love it. 



• Explore beautiful Upcountry Maui, on the slopes of Haleakala, and make sure you include a stop at Surfing Goat Dairy where children can pet (or feed) the goats while adults sample delicious gourmet goat cheese. Sign up for one of their tours— fun and interesting for all ages. Alternatively, you can book an alpaca feeding tour at Maui Alpaca— one of the most unique farms in Upcountry. Kiddos will love meeting the friendly alpacas and angora bunnies. 



Iao Valley State Park in Central Maui offers a scenic and easy walk for all families. Here you can also view one of Maui’s most famous landmarks: the Iao Needle (pictured here— a columnar rock formation that resembles a needle). There’s also a ton of informational signage throughout the park that details the historical significance of the valley— which was the site of an important battle between Hawaiian warriors in 1790. Iao Valley State Park is closed through April 2023 for parking lot improvements and slope stabilization. 


View of Iao Needle at Iao Valley State Park in Maui, Hawaii


Maui Tropical Plantation in Central Maui is home to a family-friendly zip line. (Most Maui zip lines are too intense for young children.) This one was designed specifically with kids in mind, and is offered to children as young as 5 years old, with a minimum weight requirement of 45 pounds. The 45-minute tram tour of the plantation is also fun and interesting, including a coconut husking demonstration. 


Girl on a zipline in jungle


• Meander through Maui’s small towns, like Paia (North Shore) and Lahaina (West Maui). These are fun little towns with countless shops and eateries. Make sure to treat the family to some shave ice, which is similar to snow cones. If you’re in Paia, plan to also drive to nearby Hookipa Beach. It’s a great place to watch surfers and windsurfers in action, and you might catch a glimpse of sea turtles there, too–especially in late afternoon.


Looking over Hana Highway in Paia Town, Maui, Hawaii


• Pick up a copy of one of our local newspapers and check the calendar of events section for upcoming family activities on Maui. Also ask the staff at your accommodations for current event information. There might be special festivals, town parties, fairs or other fun family events taking place when you’re here. If so, go! You’ll experience an authentic slice of Maui life.



  • Looking for great places for your family to stay on Maui? You’ll save by BOOKING DIRECTLY with the owners/managers of these accommodations.
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Happy Travels!


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