Consistent sunny weather and lots of family fun activities makes summer a great time to travel to Maui. Toddlers to teens will enjoy all the fun things to do on this paradise island. And you don’t have to break open the piggy bank- many are free or low cost. Here are just a few suggestions.
The first place to start is your condominium resort. Most of Destination Maui Vacations units have beach gear and beach towels for your use. The only decision that might be a problem is deciding whether to lounge by the pool or head to the beach!
Rather than lug your beach gear from home, you may want to rent affordable gear on-island. Check out the Beach and Baby Gear Rental page. It’s even easier than buying it when you arrive on Maui.
Get the lay of the island when you visit the island overview page where you will learn about the different areas of Maui. From the popular tourist areas of Lahaina and Kihei, to the quaint towns and villages all around the island, you’ll find the right spot to enjoy a meal, relax on the beach, or enjoy a Maui-style shave ice.
Plan your adventures
Here are just a few of the Maui must-do family activities you’ll want to fit into your itinerary.
Be a Maui mermaid – Learn how to swim like a mermaid during special swimming lessons (featured as this article’s cover image). You will also learn more about the myth and mysteries of mermaids across the world, including sailors’ tales and mermaid names, from lifeguard/CPR certified instructors. It’s nearly every sea lover’s dream to live like a mermaid under the sea – find out why. Plus, digital photos from your lesson are free!
Maui Ocean Center – Topping our list is Maui Ocean Center. More than an aquarium, this family favorite takes you on a shoreline journey to the tropical reef and into the deep ocean. The outdoor features of the park overlook the ocean and small boat harbor. The kids will be fascinated with the turtle hatchling program and the acrylic tunnel where they can watch sharks, rays, and other ocean species swim overhead or under their feet. The Maui Ocean Center opened a 3D Sphere Theater in 2019 that is the center’s main attraction. With its incredible visuals and sound, it is like you’re swimming with whales. Visit the Maui Ocean Center early in your vacation to learn more about the ocean, its unique marine life and Hawaiian culture. Note: The center requires advance reservations.
Boat trips – Enjoy marine life up close with a snorkeling tour. There are many companies that offer this personal look at life underwater. Families will want to pack some reef-safe sunscreen and motion sickness remedies for boating adventures just in case. Anyone prone to sea sickness should take remedies an hour before departure.
Explore Maui’s beaches – Relax on the beaches of Maui listening to the surf or take a walk in search of shells and beach glass. If ocean activities are your thing, take surf- or stand-up paddle board lessons. Polynesian voyagers brought surfing to the islands, so it is woven deep into the culture and history of the island. While lounging on the beach, you might catch sight of Hawaiian sea turtles, which look like big rocks until you look closely. Enjoy them from a distance, though, since turtles are protected – don’t disturb, touch, or approach them.
Some of Maui’s beautiful beaches are more child friendly. Look for Baby Beach in Lahaina on our beach guide and map to find it. At one end of Baldwin beach on the Northshore near Paia and near the Whale Sanctuary in Kihei, you will find reef-protected areas. But a word of caution, no matter how calm the ocean looks, be aware of rouge waves which can knock a child down. Always be watchful and safety-minded when in or near the ocean. If you want to be in the water, youth 10 years and older can do a Discover Scuba dive — no certification necessary — with Lahaina Divers.
Submarine ride – If you want to enjoy the underwater sights and stay dry, dive down 100 feet on an Atlantis Submarine Dive. You will see marine life in abundance and even a sunken ship. This is a comfortable and easy way to explore underwater. Children under 36 inches tall will have to stay ashore, though.
Feast at a luau – Get a taste of delicious Hawaiian food, and an introduction to Hawaiian and Polynesian music, culture, and dance at a luau. Before the program and feasting begins, there may be games or crafts for children to do, depending on the luau you choose. Everyone should do a Maui luau at least once in their lifetime, in our humble opinion.
Haleakala National Park – Drive to the top of Haleakala crater, with a world record climb to the highest elevation in the shortest distance – 38 miles. As you drive through different microclimates, you will see the landscape change dramatically. You will think you are in another world or planet as you take in the red, desert-like crater of this dormant volcano. A fun Junior Ranger program offered by national parks makes this a great activity for children.
Maui Tropical Plantation – Nice park-like grounds and a family-friendly zip line gives this attraction something for everyone. Children as young as 5 years old, and 45 pounds or more can also enjoy the zip line. An entertaining 45-minute tram tour of the plantation stops along the way for a coconut husking demonstration, shopping, and dining. Enjoy ice cream, Hawaiian coffee, or a meal in the full-service restaurant.
When it rains – So it’s raining. No problem. Check out Maui Escape Rooms. Find hidden clues to help you make your escape. This activity helps your group think creatively, fosters team building, and is fun for all ages and skill sets. There are five adventure rooms, with different themes and levels of difficulty, for you and a group to navigate. Think outside the box, but most importantly, keep your wits about you, after all, it’s just a game. Right?
Destination Maui Vacations has well over 100 nicely appointed vacation rental condominiums, on the beach or in close proximity. Two units at Koa Resort are particularly popular with larger groups — each has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths! Our newest unit is Koa Resort 4I– with a top to bottom beachy remodel. The other, Koa Resort 1J, is designed for family gatherings inside and out. Check out these and over 100 fully-appointed beach condos on destinationmauivacations.com.
No matter where you choose to stay with us, our goal is for you to have a memorable Maui vacation!