40 Places to See in Hawaii Before Your Kids Grow Up

Written by Chantae Reden
Updated on
Our travel recommendations are based on our personal experiences and research, written by locals and travel experts with deep familiarity with the destination. When you book a hotel or tour that we link to, we may earn a commission.

If adventure, natural beauty, and wildlife is what your family enjoys, then Hawaii is the ideal vacation destination for you. Hawaii is a chain of eight main islands each with unique landscapes and personalities. Mountains with lush rainforests, waterfalls, and thousands of animal species tower high above sea level while thriving coral reefs exist below. Everywhere you go, there are hiking trails, untouched beaches, and canyons to discover. Your children will love the freedom of learning and exploring without the restraints commonly found in big cities.

If it’s luxury, relaxation, and pampering that you’re after – no worries, Hawaii has that too. The rich culture centered around a beach lifestyle complete with dancing and food means that even if you park your family at a pristine beach for a week, you’ll never be bored.

These are the 40 places to see in Hawaii before your kids grow up:

1. Waimea Canyon State Park

Waimea Canyon State ParkSource: MNStudio / shutterstock
Waimea Canyon State Park

Waimea Canyon State Park, Kaua’i

Why you’ve got to go: Those who have been here often compare Waimea Canyon to the mainland’s Grand Canyon. It’s free to enter and there are two beautiful trails that weave through the vibrant gorge of Waimea Canyon. Kids will love seeing the contrast between Hawaiian beaches and inland nature.

What to do: Go wildlife watching and trekking on the Iliau Nature Loop Trail or the Kukui Trail, snap pictures from the viewpoint of Ni’ihau Island, and watch for wildlife. There are many places to stop and rest for a picnic. The Iliau Nature loop is less than half a mile long and takes you through beautiful vistas and native vegetation. Meanwhile, the Kukui Trail is a five mile there-and-back trail that will be quite the challenge for even the most in-shape kids.

Get there when kids are: All ages.

More info: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/kauai/waimea-canyon-state-park/

2. Papohaku Beach

Papohaku Beach, MoloKai, HawaiiSource: norinori303 / shutterstock
Papohaku Beach, MoloKai, Hawaii

Western Molokai

Why you’ve got to go: If you’ve come to Hawaii in search of sand and sun, then Papohaku Beach is bound to be your safe-haven. This beach is three miles long and nearly one mile wide – large enough to accommodate the entire island’s population and still have enough room to build sand castles!

What to do: Host sandcastle competitions, go for a swim or SUP paddle, walk along the beach, and search for dolphins jumping on the horizon. There is camping, indoor and outdoor showers, and picnic benches. You can even view Oahu from the distance.

Get there when kids are: All ages

More info: https://www.to-hawaii.com/molokai/beaches/papohaku-beach.php

3. Road to Hana

Road to HanaSource: Kelly Headrick / shutterstock
Road To Hana


Why you’ve got to go: Picture lush rainforests, waterfalls, untouched beaches, and more. All along this drive, there are cultural sites that were once places of worship or battlegrounds. At the end of the 65-mile drive is the small town of Hana, a sweet reward at the end of the drive (that includes 617 turns and over 50 one-way bridges).

What to do: Join a van tour, or drive this legendary road yourself. All along the Hana Highway are hiking trails that lead to all types of vistas and peaceful pools. There are also stalls selling freshly made leis, coconuts, and sweet treats along the road. You can print off a map of the sights along the way and stop at whatever attraction catches your eye.

Get there when kids are: All ages.

More info: http://www.mauiinformationguide.com/road-to-hana.php

4. Akaka Falls State Park

Akaka Falls State ParkSource: Susanne Pommer / shutterstock
Akaka Falls State Park

Hilo, Island of Hawaii

Why you’ve got to go: Akaka is known for its beautiful waterfall, that pours 442 feet into a gorge. The falls are the main feature of a half-mile loop that starts in an easy to get to parking lot.

What to do: Pack a picnic and embark on a short hike to see the Akaka and Kahuna Falls. Take pictures and look out for wildlife – including hundreds of birds – that call the park home. The route is quite easy, but is not stroller or wheelchair accessible.

Get there when kids are: All ages.

More info: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/hawaii/akaka-falls-state-park/

5. Waikiki

Waikiki, OahuSource: aines / shutterstock
Waikiki, Oahu

Honolulu, Oahu

Why you’ve got to go: Waikiki is one of the most iconic beaches in Hawaii. Bordering top-end stores and resort complexes is a white sand beach with friendly waves and tens of places to rent a surfboard. It’s a place to fully embrace the tourist stereotype for a day while enjoying classic Hawaii.

What to do: Take surf lessons, go for a swim, shop in the nearby area, try the local seafood, and build sandcastles. One side of the beach is ideal for surfing while the other offers completely flatwater perfect for beginner swimmers.

Get there when kids are: Ages 3 and up.

More info: https://www.gohawaii.com/oahu/regions-neighborhoods/honolulu/waikiki/

6. Wailua River

Wailua RiverSource: Kamille Stanger / shutterstock
Wailua River

Wailua River, Kauai

Why you’ve got to go: The Wailua River is one of the most popular rivers in the state for a reason. It’s easy to reach via car or by boat, and families will love spending their time on the water surrounded by tropical forest.

What to do: Rent a kayak or canoe and paddle along the 20-mile river to search for waterfalls and ancient temples. The two most popular cascades, Opaekaa Falls and Wailua Falls, are some of the best in the state. You can also go on a guided tour of the Fern Grotto, a lava tube, or take a boat tour. There are many trails that lead from the river to hike along the way as well.

Get there when kids are: 5 and up.

More info: https://www.gohawaii.com/kauai/regions-neighborhoods/east-side/wailua-river/

7. Waipi’o Valley

Waipi’o ValleySource: lkonya / shutterstock
Waipi’o Valley

Waipi’o Valley, Island of Hawaii

Why you’ve got to go: Waipi’o Valley was once the resting and leisure place of ancient Hawaiian royalty. Today, it is an important agricultural site with taro fields, waterfalls, and incredible vistas. You can easily spend an entire day (or two) with the kids going on horseback rides, hikes, and seeing the beach.

What to do: Pack some snacks and go on a horseback riding tour, hike through the many fingers of the valley to find gushing waterfalls, hang out on the black sand beach, and take pictures at the Waipi’o Valley vista.

Get there when kids are: Ages 5 and up.

More info: https://www.lovebigisland.com/waipio-valley/

8. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Hawai’i Volcanoes National ParkSource: Amy Nichole Harris / shutterstock
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Volcano National Park, Island of Hawaii

Why you’ve got to go: Where else on earth can you get so close to hot lava? Volcanoes National Park is an expansive reserve with hiking trails, lava tubes, and wildlife not found anywhere else. Children will love having the freedom to explore a land that’s unique to the Big Island.

What to do: Admire the magma boiling inside of the Halema’uma’u Crater, hike through lava tubes, and visit the Jaggar Museum – where you can learn all about how the national park formed and feel different types of lava. Bring a pair of binoculars and come back at night to see the lava put on a spectacular performance.

Get there when kids are: All ages

More info: https://www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm

9. Maui Ocean Center

Maui Ocean CenterSource: John-Morgan / Flickr
Maui Ocean Center

Wailuku, Maui

Why you’ve got to go: The sea surrounding the Hawaiian Islands hosts thousands – if not millions – of tropical fish. The Maui Ocean Center displays many species of sea life endemic to this great state. Children will love getting an up-close view of turtles, sharks, stingrays, and tropical fish. It will stoke their imagination and love for the ocean.

What to do: Go on a guided tour, listen to an educational talk, learn about all types of sea life, and participate in hands-on programs that are dedicated to conserving the ocean. There’s a mix of indoor and outdoor exhibits that show everything from jellyfish to sharks.

Get there when kids are: Ages 3 and up.

More info: http://mauioceancenter.com

10. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Hanauma Bay Nature PreserveSource: I. Noyan Yilmaz / shutterstock
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Honolulu, Oahu

Why you’ve got to go: This nature preserve is where you’ll find all types of marine wildlife and be able to see the best of Hawaii under the sea. You can relax under a palm tree and build sandcastles in between dips to the sea. Best of all, the coral is shallow so children can see fish without having to swim out too deep.

What to do: Strap on your snorkels and prepare to see technicolor fish living among vibrant corals. Children and visitors will first be educated on how to conserve marine life before spending the day exploring this natural wonder. Along with snorkeling, you can swim, sunbathe, standup paddle, and kayak.

Get there when kids are: Ages 5 and up.

More info: https://hanaumabaystatepark.com/

11. Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum

Bernice Pauahi Bishop MuseumSource: thtbln / Flickr
Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum

Honolulu, Oahu

Why you’ve got to go: The Bishop Museum is over 125 years old and holds the largest number of Hawaiian artifacts in the world. There are over 24 million historical and cultural pieces housed in this large museum. There are daily tours and hands-on activities that are sure to offer unique insight into Hawaii’s intriguing past.

What to do: Go on a cultural tour, watch a show, listen to ancient Hawaiian stories, and admire the many exhibits. Venture into the botany, archaeology, zoology, and library to get a full picture of the history of Hawaii.

Get there when kids are: Ages 5 and up.

More info: http://www.bishopmuseum.org

12. Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace, HawaiiSource: Jeff Whyte / shutterstock
Iolani Palace

Honolulu, Oahu

Why you’ve got to go: In 1882, King Kalakaua built the elaborate Iolani Palace. It served as the residence to his royal successors and stands today as one of the most important Hawaiian cultural sites. It is registered as a National Historic Landmark and is open to all who want to learn more about Hawaii’s interesting past.

What to do: Take a tour of the palace and walk through the many different rooms featuring the monarch’s bedrooms, jewelry collections, kitchen area, music room, the imprisonment room, and more.

Get there when kids are: Ages 5 and up.

More info: http://www.iolanipalace.org/

13. Manoa Falls

Manoa Falls, Oahu, HawaiiSource: AdrianoK / shutterstock
Manoa Falls, Oahu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Oahu

Why you’ve got to go: Hawaii is renowned for its stunning waterfalls – and few are beautiful than Manoa’s. Active children will love exploring the trails leading to Manoa Falls and seeing all the wildlife along the way.

What to do: Walk the 1.6-mile round-trip trail among banyan trees to Manoa Falls and admire the cascades. This hike is perfect for any families interested in wildlife and nature. Signs warn not to swim due to bacteria in the water – but many visitors risk it and jump in anyways.

Get there when kids are: Ages 3 and up.

More info: https://www.hawaii.com/oahu/things-to-do/hiking/manoa-falls-trail/

14. Napili Beach

Napili Beach, MauiSource: Marco Koerner / shutterstock
Napili Beach, Maui

Lahaina, Maui

Why you’ve got to go: If you came to Maui for its incredible beaches, then Napili Beach is a must-see destination for you. This beach has clear blue water that is usually calm thanks to the outer reefs that are beyond the shoreline.

What to do: Children can swim, snorkel, beach comb, and look for all types of wildlife around the bay. The bay is thriving with many corals and tropical, multicolored fish. Stay until sunset before walking up the beach to dine at one of the many restaurants.

Get there when kids are: All ages.

More info: https://mauiguide.com/napili-bay-beach-review/

15. Kaiolohia Beach

Kaiolohia BeachSource: norinori303 / shutterstock
Kaiolohia Beach


Why you’ve got to go: Kaiolohia, also known as “Shipwreck Beach” (named after a visible shipwreck) is a beach unlike any other in Hawaii. From here, you can view the island of Molokai and take pictures of an old lighthouse.

What to do: Though this beach is not ideal for swimming – especially for children – you can easily spend the day beachcombing (treasures often wash ashore), scouting the offshore shipwreck, fishing, going on photo excursions, and walking.

Get there when kids are: All ages.

More info: https://www.to-hawaii.com/lanai/beaches/shipwreck-beach.php

16. Kualoa Ranch

Kualoa RanchSource: Stephanie A Sellers / shutterstock
Kualoa Ranch

Kualoa, Oahu

Why you’ve got to go: This 4000-acre ranch is a mecca for families who love adventure. The ranch stretches from mountain cliff edges all the way to the sandy beaches of Kaneohe Bay. Many areas of the ranch are only accessible by 4WD, horseback, hiking, or bicycle. If you’re a movie buff, you and your children might recognize it from scenes in Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, LOST, and Godzilla.

What to do: There’s no shortage of things to do! Go ziplining, ATV riding, take a tour of popular movie sets, hike, swim, bike ride, and more. Whatever you and your children are into, there is sure to be an activity that aligns with your interests.

Get there when kids are: All ages.

More info: http://www.kualoa.com/

17. Poipu Beach

Poipu Beach, KauaiSource: Jeff Whyte / shutterstock
Poipu Beach, Kauai

Koloa, Kauai

Why you’ve got to go: Poipu Beach is a peaceful bay famous for its shallow coral reefs and picnic pavilions. With white sand, clear water, palm trees, and plenty of places to relax, there is no better place to experience the Hawaiian beach life.

What to do: Aside from all the typical beachgoer activities like beachcombing, swimming, sunbathing, and sandcastle building, you can do many other types of things at Poipu Beach as well. There are adventure activities like boat rides, sailing, ziplining, ATV riding, snorkeling, surfing and more. For cultural activities, go to a luau and watch a Polynesian dance performance take place.

Get there when kids are: All ages.

More info: https://poipubeach.org/

18. Ni’ihau

Ni’ihau IslandSource: Robert Spriggs / shutterstock
Ni’ihau Island


Why you’ve got to go: Ni’ihau is known as Hawaii’s forbidden island, where there are no cars, stores, restaurants, police, or any other form of modern infrastructure. It relies totally on solar power and is reserved solely for Ni’ihau residents. The Hawaiian language is preserved and it’s one of the only places in the world that has preserved an old-style way of living so immaculately.

What to do: One of the only ways to visit Ni’ihau is on a helicopter tour, where you’ll be shown the island as a guest and see a side of Hawaii that so few others get a chance to see. Children will love getting this bird’s eye view and gaining such a new experience.

Get there when kids are: Ages 10 and up.

More info: http://www.niihauheritage.org/niihau_today.htm

19. Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center

Hawaii Childrens Discovery CenterSource: facebook.com
Hawaii Childrens Discovery Center

Honolulu, Oahu

Why you’ve got to go: Kids will love spending a day at this hands-on discovery center where they can bounce around from exhibit to exhibit touching and exploring all that there is to offer. There are a variety of things to do ensuring that no child – no matter their interests – will ever utter the words, “I’m bored.”

What to do: Explore the many exhibits like the “Tot Spot” for toddlers, “Fantastic You” that teaches about the human body, “Your Town” where children can practice driving firetrucks and roleplaying community members, “Hawaiian Rainbows” about the great state, “Rainforest Adventures” about wildlife, and much more.

Get there when kids are: Up to 12 years old.

More info: http://www.discoverycenterhawaii.org/

20. Honaunau Bay

Honaunau BaySource: MH Anderson Photography / shutterstock
Honaunau Bay

Honaunau, Island of Hawaii

Why you’ve got to go: Honaunau is not only one of Hawaii’s most important cultural sites, but also a paradise for snorkelers. Honaunau was once a place of refuge for those who broke kapu, sacred laws of ancient Hawaii. Hawaiians who broke kapu would find peace at Pu’uhonua, a safe space. Inside the bay are coral reefs with tons of sea life including spinner dolphins, sea turtles, reef sharks, and more.

What to do: First, walk around the cultural site of Pu’uhonua O Honaunau and learn about the history. Then, snorkel, SUP, kayak, or swim around the bay. There are picnic benches for lunch and large rocky areas ideal for sunbathing.

Get there when kids are: All ages

More info: https://www.nps.gov/puho/index.htm

21. Diamond Head State Monument

Diamond Head State MonumentSource: Michael Gordon / shutterstock
Diamond Head State Monument

Honolulu, Oahu

Why you’ve got to go: The best view of Oahu is at the Diamond Head State Monument, 761 feet above sea level. Though the hike is semi-strenuous and takes around 1.5-2 hours to complete, it’s worth it for the experience and the view. From here, you can see all of Waikiki and downtown Honolul.

What to do: Grab a water bottle, snacks, and sturdy shoes and trek the 1.5-mile hike to the summit of Diamond Head State Monument. Children will love the view and looking at the sea, city, and inland forests from this stellar viewpoint.

Get there when kids are: Ages 8 an up.

More info: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/oahu/diamond-head-state-monument

22. Banzai Pipeline

Banzai PipelineSource: Michael Hillman / shutterstock
Banzai Pipeline

Pupukea, Oahu

Why you’ve got to go: Known for being one of the biggest waves in the world and a site for many iconic surf contests, the Banzai Pipeline is a must-see for families interested in surf culture. There is plenty of sandy space and a grassy area to post up at for the day.

What to do: When the waves are huge, head to Banzai Pipeline and watch some of the world’s most skilled surfers risk their lives for the ride of their lives. If the water is calm, strong swimmers will enjoy swimming and relaxing on the beach. Plan your trip during a surf contest to really see the wave at its full potential.

Get there when kids are: All ages.

More info: http://www.aloha-hawaii.com/oahu/beaches/pipeline

23. Polynesian Cultural Center

Polynesian Cultural CenterSource: Michael Gordon / shutterstock
Polynesian Cultural Center

Laie, Oahu

Why you’ve got to go: Polynesian culture is lively and rich with storytelling. The Polynesian Cultural Center is divided into six sections with each exhibition representing one of the Polynesian islands. Local dancers and artists put on an authentic display of how the Polynesian Islands once were.

What to do: Take a ride on the canoe, visit the villages and learn about Polynesian culture and the nuances between the islands, learn how to play the ukulele, watch an IMAX movie, feast at the luau, and watch the fire and dance performance. Children are sure to be amazed all while learning more about the land they’re visiting.

Get there when kids are: All ages.

More info: http://www.polynesia.com/

24. Molokini Crater Marine Sanctuary

Molokini CraterSource: Mikawele / shutterstock
Molokini Crater

Molokini Crater, Maui

Why you’ve got to go: The Molokini Crater is just one of three volcanic calderas in the world – with most of it hiding underneath the ocean. The crater was formed nearly 150 thousand years ago and today attracts all types of divers, swimmers, and snorkelers from around the globe who come to see the sea life that thrives here. Visiting Molokini Crater is ideal for families with a strong love of the ocean and sense of adventure.

What to do: Take a boat to Molokini Crater and look for pods of dolphins and whales along the way. Once you’re at the crater, throw on your snorkel and fins to see what lies beneath. Children will love learning about the different types of fish who live here and can interact with animals in a natural habitat.

Get there when kids are: Ages 5 and up.

More info: https://www.prideofmaui.com/destinations/molokini/

25. Na Pali Coast State Park

Na Pali Coast State ParkSource: Maridav / shutterstock
Na Pali Coast State Park

Na Pali Coast, Kauai

Why you’ve got to go: Completely away from any semblance of urban life, the Na Pali Coast is a completely wild area of Kauai where the only access to some beaches are by boat or on foot. The combination of rugged cliffs, waterfalls, rivers, coastline, and dense forest make Na Pali one of the most beautiful places in the state. At the Na Pali Coast State Park, you’ll be living freely with just the bare necessities.

What to do: Camp inside the state park (permits are limited), go for a day hike, kayak to remote beaches, and see where Hawaiians once harvested taro root. Children will love feeling in touch with the wild and getting the chance to explore nature freely.

Get there when kids are: Ages 5 and up.

More info: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/kauai/napali-coast-state-wilderness-park/

26. Ka’anapali Beach

Ka’anapali BeachSource: Joe West / shutterstock
Ka’anapali Beach

Lahaina, Maui

Why you’ve got to go: Live the resort life at Ka’anapali Beach, a mile-long stretch of sand lined with luxury hotels, fine dining restaurants, and souvenir shops. Kids will love the variety and creature comforts offered all along the beach.

What to do: Shop for souvenirs at Whaler’s Village, a shopping center with many types of trinket and souvenir shops. Do all your typical beach activities like sandcastle building, swimming, snorkeling, and more before heading to the restaurants for a feast.

Get there when kids are: All ages.

More info: https://www.gohawaii.com/maui/regions-neighborhoods/west-maui/kaanapali-beach/

27. Mauna Kea Summit

Mauna Kea SummitSource: Mason Lake Photo / shutterstock
Mauna Kea Summit

Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii

Why you’ve got to go: Mauna Kea is one of the only places in the world where you can go from the beach to the top of one of the largest mountains in less than a few hours.

What to do: Hike sections of Mauna Kea all along the way to the Visitor Information Station and learn about Mauna Kea’s interesting geological past. Some children love a personal challenge, and teenagers might enjoy hiking up to Mauna Kea’s summit. There is a free star gazing program where visitors of all ages can come and look through telescopes.

Get there when kids are: Ages 5 and up to the Visitor Information Station — ages 16 and up to the summit.

More info: http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/vis/visiting-mauna-kea/visiting-the-summit.html

28. Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National ParkSource: MH Anderson Photography / shutterstock
Haleakala National Park

Makawao, Maui

Why you’ve got to go: Haleakala National Park is a shield volcano that makes up nearly 75% of Maui’s landmass. Here, your family can enjoy watching the sun come up over the island at the summit. If your children aren’t keen hikers, you can drive up to the top. There are waterfalls, rainforest trails, bamboo forests, and plenty of places to enjoy a picnic. You can also admire cultural artifacts and structures from ancient Hawaiians.

What to do: Watch the sunrise from the summit, hike, and explore the unique landscape of Haleakala National Park. Kids will also love looking at all different types of lava.

Get there when kids are: Ages 5 and up.

More info: https://www.nps.gov/hale/index.htm

29. Kailua Beach

Kailua Beach, OahuSource: Joakim Lloyd Raboff / shutterstock
Kailua Beach

Kailua, Oahu

Why you’ve got to go: Many people cite Kailua Beach as being the most beautiful beach on Oahu. It tends to be less crowded than Lanikai Beach and Waikiki, yet still has all the same appeal. This beach is over two and a half miles along, which means there’s plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the scenery.

What to do: Spend the day enjoying the warm water, white sand, and peaceful atmosphere. Kailua tends to have calm water, which makes it perfect for families with children still building their swim skills.

Get there when kids are: All ages.

More info: http://www.best-of-oahu.com/kailua-beach-park.html

30. Dole Plantation

Dole PlantationSource: Mark Pitt Images / shutterstock
Dole Plantation

Wahiawa, Oahu

Why you’ve got to go: Dole Plantation was once just a fruit stand and now offers an entire “Pineapple Experience” for anyone interested in visiting one of the world’s most famous pineapple plantations. The plantation is also a massive farm for strawberries, grapes, and bananas.

What to do: Families can take a train ride, visit the plantation garden, and dine at the plantation grill. Kids will love the sweet and tangy taste of DoleWhip, a pineapple sorbet, and meandering through the plantation maze. Kids can learn how to slice a pineapple and even how to grow one from scratch.

Get there when kids are: All ages.

More info: https://www.doleplantation.com

31. Wet’n’Wild Hawaii

https://www.wetnwildhawaii.com/gallery/Source: www.wetnwildhawaii.com
Wet’n’Wild Hawaii

Kapolei, Oahu

Why you’ve got to go: Kids and adults alike will have a great time exploring this 29-acre water park complete with 25 rides, tropical trees, and natural cliffs. Thanks to Hawaii’s great year-round weather, there is no bad time to head to Wet’n’Wild waterpark for a day of fun and splashing.

What to do: Thrill seeking children and parents will love slides like the Shaka, a slide complete with a 36-foot drop or the Tornado, a catapult that shoots riders through a funnel. Of course, there are other mellow slides, lazy rivers, and wave pools for everyone to enjoy at once.

Get there when kids are: Ages 5 and up.

More info: https://www.wetnwildhawaii.com

32. Papohaku Beach Park

Papohaku Beach ParkSource: Bob Pool / shutterstock
Papohaku Beach Park

Molokai, Maui

Why you’ve got to go: Why spend time amidst the other tourists when you can have a private getaway on one of the least-crowded sides of the island. This three-mile long beach is perfect for lounging and watching the waves roll in – which can often be heavy at times.

What to do: Walk along the shore and admire the remote appeal and waves rolling in. Families will love feeling as though they’ve washed ashore on Gilligan’s Island and will enjoy beachcombing, picture taking, and relaxing on the shore.

Get there when kids are: Ages 5 and up.

More info: http://www.co.maui.hi.us/Facilities/Facility/Details/193

33. Honolulu Museum of Art

Honolulu Museum of ArtSource: Jeff Whyte / shutterstock
Honolulu Museum Of Art

Honolulu, Oahu

Why you’ve got to go: Be inspired at the Honolulu Museum of Art, where children will love looking at all types of art pieces and walking through sculpture gardens. The museum houses thousands of pieces and there are weekly tours and talks that center around the latest exhibitions.

What to do: Spend time together as a family wandering around the museum in search of your favorite pieces. Some children might enjoy participating in the monthly “Slow Art” days that emphasize on looking at specific artworks in-depth.

Get there when kids are: Ages 5 and up.

More info: https://www.honolulumuseum.org/

34. Kealakekua Bay

Kealakekua BaySource: Vlad Turchenko / shutterstock
Kealakekua Bay

Captain Cook, Island of Hawaii

Why you’ve got to go: Kealakekua Bay, also known as Captain Cook’s Bay, is the site of the Captain Cook memorial and where he was killed. Out in front of the monument is a thriving coral reef home to manta rays, tropical reef fish, sea turtles, and spinner dolphins. You can access the bay with a kayak, motor boat, standup paddleboard, or by taking a strenuous hike down.

What to do: Kayak, swim, snorkel, standup paddleboard, or snuba in the bay. Children will love seeing the sea life and will even have a strong chance of interacting up-close with the local pod of spinner dolphins.

Get there when kids are: Ages 3 and up.

More info: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/hawaii/kealakekua-bay-state-historical-park/

35. Wai’anapanapa State Park

Wai’anapanapa State ParkSource: Shane Myers Photography / shutterstock
Wai’anapanapa State Park

Hana, Maui

Why you’ve got to go: Wai’anapanapa State Park is a wild and rugged part of Maui that offers beautiful experiences for the whole family. It’s part of the road to Hana, and hosts hundreds of bird species, religious sites, and other natural features. Your whole family is sure to love the remoteness and escape from urban living.

What to do: Go for hikes, look for birds, look through caves, and admire the natural wonders like the park’s blow holes, sea stacks, and black sand. Active children will love hiking and exploring the natural terrain that is solely unique to this part of Maui.

Get there when kids are: All ages.

More info: https://camping.ehawaii.gov/camping/all,details,1684.html

36. Black Rock Beach

Black Sand BeachSource: Laura A. Markley / shutterstock
Black Sand Beach, Maui

Kaanapali, Maui

Why you’ve got to go: This stunning white sand beach has a black rock point formed by an old lava flow. It was once the site of Hawaiian royalty. Every evening, there is a cliff diving ceremony where a diver puts on a performance with lights, precision, and pure talent that depicts the story of King Kahekili.

What to do: Snorkel, swim, and explore all that lives underneath the sea at the lava rock point of Black Rock Beach. When you’ve had enough water time, walk along the shore to Whaler’s Village or grab something to eat at the nearby resort restaurants. Older children and skilled swimmers can also go cliff jumping. Of course, at the end of a long day outside, wind down by watching the beautiful cliff diving ceremony.

Get there when kids are: All ages.

More info: https://www.gohawaii.com/maui/regions-neighborhoods/west-maui/kaanapali-beach/

37. Grove Farm Homestead Museum

Grove Farm Homestead MuseumSource: Joel Bradshaw / Wikimedia
Grove Farm Homestead Museum

Lihue, Kauai

Why you’ve got to go: For over 150 years, sugar cane was Hawaii’s most important crop that reigned over the agricultural industry. Today, the Grove Farm Homestead Museum is a one-hundred-acre homestead that still hosts the main plantation house, cottages, and workers’ housing camp. The homestead still uses the same farming practices with its animals and crops that it did in the 1870s.

What to do: Take a tour of the Grove Farm Homestead Museum, take a ride on the plantation’s train, and listen to stories on all that happened here. Children love the kitchen area, where a docent serves tea and cookies baked inside a woodburning stove.

Get there when kids are: Ages 5 and up.

More info: https://grovefarm.org/

38. Pearl Harbor National Park

Pearl Harbor National ParkSource: Ppictures / shutterstock
Pearl Harbor National Park

Pearl Harbor, Oahu

Why you’ve got to go: Pearl Harbor National Park is the only naval base in the country to be named a National Historic Landmark. This site is one of the most important places in U.S. history, due to a devastating attack that killed over 2,000 people and lead to the U.S. entering WWII. Kids will gain insight into this history by visiting the five historic site that surrounds Pearl Harbor.

What to do: Take a boat shuttle to the USS Arizona Memorial and watch an educational video at the Visitor’s Center. Children will also be interested in the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, the Pacific Aviation Museum, and the USS Oklahoma Memorial.

Get there when kids are: Ages 8 and up.

More info: http://www.pacifichistoricparks.org/phh_park_info.php

39. USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park

USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and ParkSource: Jeff Whyte / shutterstock
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum And Park

Honolulu, Hawaii

Why you’ve got to go: The USS Bowfin is just one of fifteen submarines that survived past WWII. This museum documents the submarine’s history as well as the culture that surrounded its existence at the time. The museum even has a child-friendly audio tour created and written specifically for kids, so that they can understand the interesting history behind the USS Bowfin Museum.

What to do: Enroll your child in the Junior Submariner program after going on the child-friendly audio tour. In this program, kids will learn even more about the submarine and museum by completing two age appropriate worksheets as they navigate through the building. Once completed, your child will be rewarded with an iron-on patch they can proudly display anywhere they wish.

Get there when kids are: Ages 5 and up.

More info: http://www.bowfin.org

40. Lanai Cat Sanctuary

Lanai Cat SanctuarySource: KnelsenPhoto / shutterstock
Lanai Cat Sanctuary

Lanai City, Lanai

Why you’ve got to go: More than 500 cats call the Lanai Cat Sanctuary home – all who have been rescued and can now live their lives in peace at the refuge. The sanctuary not only helps the feral cat population but also the wild birdlife, which often suffers when feral cats need to hunt for their own food. Here, children can interact with the cats and learn more about how the sanctuary is helping Hawaii.

What to do: Spend a day volunteering at the sanctuary – which is free to the public, though donations are welcome. Bring your own food and have a picnic near the cats who can be found lounging under shady trees and on cat trees.

Get there when kids are: All ages.

More info: http://lanaicatsanctuary.org/

40 Places to See in Hawaii Before Your Kids Grow Up:

  • Waimea Canyon State Park
  • Papohaku Beach
  • Road to Hana
  • Akaka Falls State Park
  • Waikiki
  • Wailua River
  • Waipi’o Valley
  • Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
  • Maui Ocean Center
  • Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
  • Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum
  • Iolani Palace
  • Manoa Falls
  • Napili Beach
  • Kaiolohia Beach
  • Kualoa Ranch
  • Poipu Beach
  • Ni’ihau
  • Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center
  • Honaunau Bay
  • Diamond Head State Monument
  • Banzai Pipeline
  • Polynesian Cultural Center
  • Molokini Crater Marine Sanctuary
  • Na Pali Coast State Park
  • Ka’anapali Beach
  • Mauna Kea Summit
  • Haleakala National Park
  • Kailua Beach
  • Dole Plantation
  • Wet’n’Wild Hawaii
  • Papohaku Beach Park
  • Honolulu Museum of Art
  • Kealakekua Bay
  • Wai’anapanapa State Park
  • Black Rock Beach
  • Grove Farm Homestead Museum
  • Pearl Harbor National Park
  • USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park
  • Lanai Cat Sanctuary