Maui for Kids

Big surfboard for surfing lessons in Lahaina on Maui. Maui for kids? What are the best Maui free things to do with kids and best Maui activities for kids?

The list below is my choice for Maui activities for kids, activities where kids can be active and touch and feel and experience, rather than just read or reflect.

At the same time, as a parent I am sneaking in some active learning and appreciation for nature and ecology and Hawaiian culture.

My final criterion is an eye towards safety, especially when the ocean is involved.

Maui Ocean Center for Kids

Maui Ocean Center Green Sea Turtle. The Maui Ocean Center near Ma'alaea in central Maui is your best first step in introducing kids in a very hands on way to a lot of what you will be doing on Maui.

This marine park lets you experience in a few hours what takes days on different Maui tours and trips - marine life such as reef fish and porpoises and seals and humpback whales that you may encounter during your ocean activities.

Maui Ocean Center Map Use the Maui Ocean Center to both entertain and educate your kids and yourself with a variety of indoor and outdoor aquariums and exhibits and live ocean creatures.

According to the Zagat survey U.S. Family Travel Guide, this marine park was voted the top-rated Hawaii attraction and one of the 50 top-rated attractions in the U.S.

Best Maui Rides for Kids

You know those theme park rides for kids where they act like they are at some exotic location? When you are on Maui, you are at that exotic location. And here are some real live Maui rides for kids.

The Lahaina Sugar Cane Train is popular with small children and railroad enthusiasts. Step back in time on the Maui Sugar Cane Train (CLOSED AUG 2014). Your kid will be learning about Maui history while enjoying the clanking ride in a choo choo train with the wind blowing in through the open air window during a relaxing six mile ride between Lahaina and Kaanapali.

The Maui submarine Atlantis is based at Lahaina harbor, Excluding the theme park wannabes, have you every been in a real submarine? The Maui submarine - Atlantis is a real ocean submersible that goes on real ocean dives that let you view the ocean floor, reef fish and a sunken whaling ship.

Yellow glass bottom boat Reef Dancer berthed at Lahaina Harbor The Reef Dancer glass bottom boat looks like a yellow submarine with an underwater viewing cabin that runs under the entire length of the vessel. Kids love to view coral and underwater creatures on both sides of the boat as the Reef Dance smoothly glides along the surface on this easy ride.

Best Maui Ocean Activities for Kids

Kapalua Bay Beach on Maui in Hawaii Kapalua Bay Beach is a safe beach in the northern part of west Maui that is good for families with small children. Snorkeling is popular here. If you are not staying at one of the many condos surrounding this beach, access is tough - parking is scarce.
1991 Best Beach in America

Many beginners take surfing lessons just outside the breakwater at Lahaina Harbor. The outdoor classroom for groups of students from local Lahaina surf shops is just outside the breakwater at the south end of Lahaina Harbor. Our Lahaina surfing lessons here let us learn to surf in two hours.

Best Free Maui Museum for Kids

Whalers Village Museum at Kaanapali includes one of the largest scale models of a whaling ship in the world.Open daily from 9:30 am to 10 pm, the Whalers Village Museum offers free admission to over 200,00 visitors a year. Inside they have everything you ever wanted to experience about whales and whalers in Maui during the mid 1800's.

Best Maui Luaus for Kids

I define the best Maui luau for kids as a luau where:
  • There are discounts. Luau tickets for a whole family can be expensive. Some luaus charge a reduced rate for children (teenagers are generally charged as adults), or even let children under a certain age attend for free.
  • There are familiar foods for kids that don't want to taste anything new or different from their few favorite foods. The Hawaiian word for 'child' is 'kikei' - child friendly luaus will include 'kikei' foods like hot dogs.
  • The show and entertainment includes parts that kids like, such as fire dancers.
  • There are lots of other kids and teenagers - kids and teenagers like that!

Free Maui hula shows vary in quality - the best is the show at Whalers Village at Kaanapali. Want to see a luau show, but not spend any money? The best free Maui hula shows (Polynesian hula and Tahitian dance) are on an outdoor stage at Kaanapali's Whalers Village. And some kikei (kids) dance in the show.

Hula lessons on stage at the Royal Lahaina luau on Maui. The Hyatt Maui Luau in Kaanapali offers a discount rate for teenagers (teenagers are often charged the same amount as adults), in addition to the more common 'kids' (12 or under) discount.

The Royal Lahaina Luau in Kaanapali often offers one free child with each paid adult, and the luau fills up with families.

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