Best Family-Friendly Events in Maui

Planning a Maui trip for yourself or you and a partner can lead to a range of interesting sights and visits. Maybe you’re attending a wedding, or maybe it’s yours. With children, the dynamic changes to “family-friendly.”

There is plenty to enjoy during your visit to the Valley Isle, with something for everyone. Fortunately, Maui is a family-friendly place with lots of fun activities for keiki (children.)

Surfing And Surf Lessons

Maybe you learned to surf but your kids haven’t. Now is a great time for you to pass on your love of surfing, and for them to learn for themselves.

Make reservations for your children to learn surfing with one of the many teachers and surf schools that work with younger students as well as adults. Some teach at the beach, some at oceanfront resorts, during the morning or early afternoon hours. You can reserve private lessons, or learn in small or large groups. Family surf lessons can be an enjoyable bonding experience for everyone while learning a fun and challenging sport.

The Beach

A trip to Maui almost requires some beach time. While all public beaches are free and open to the public, these are best for families:

  • Hana Bay and Hamoa Beach, East Maui
  • Secret Beach, Wailea
  • Baby Beach at Baldwin Beach Park and Ho’okipa Beach Park, North Shore
  • Kamaole I, II and III, Kihei
  • Ka’anapali Beach and Kahekili Beach, Ka’anapali
  • Big Beach, Makena

Bring your hats and sunglasses, snacks, plenty of sunscreen, along with floatation for family members who aren’t adept at swimming. Our beaches are beautiful and welcoming to every member of your family.

Snorkeling

Maui’s underwater world is beautiful, and snorkeling can bring it to you and your children. It’s easy, and doesn’t require much equipment beyond a mask and breathing tube. Once they’ve learned the basics, children and adults can enjoy Maui’s beautiful beaches and see the world under it. Here are two popular places for families to enjoy.

  • Molokini Crater–it’s the crescent-shaped islet that protects many of Maui’s species from the current and high winds, giving them a “safe space.” Snorkelers can see over 250 species of Maui’s native aquatic wildlife, along with calm, clear waters that allow visibility as far as 150 feet. Molokini offers nine “dive spots” where you can find the best snorkeling and diving in the area. Because of the boat tours and visitors, the wildlife has become accustomed to people around, and aren’t skittish. 
  • Turtle Town—less crowded than Molokini, Turtle Town is located at Maluaka Beach, about 20 minutes south of Kihei. It’s one of Maui’s best-kept secrets, and is also a great spot for visiting and snorkeling, as well as take a private tour in a canoe. Swimming with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles can be fun. But they are also federally protected because they are “threatened,” which means do not touch them, ever.  They need to surface occasionally to breathe, so give them at least six to ten feet of space when they’re near. Turtles also have strong jaws and will give a powerful bite, especially if they’re stressed around a group of snorkelers, or you get too close.

Surfing Goat Dairy Farm

Before you ask—goats don’t actually surf. But in Maui’s Upcountry, they do produce handmade soaps, award-winning cheeses, and give a hands-on tour of local agriculture at the Surfing Goat Dairy.

You can take a quick 30-minute tour, a full tour lasting 2.5 hours, or drop by for an Evening Chore & Milking Tour  where you and your children can actually learn to milk goats, see how their goat cheeses are made, and sample the farm’s many cheeses.

Animal lovers will also enjoy the Leilani Farm Sanctuary, a nonprofit in Haiku that features rescue animals who are given a second chance at life. Children can visit with the animals and learn more about their histories. Admission fees are tax-deductible donations that are used to help care for the animals.

Luau

What better way to let kids learn more about Maui—and Hawaii—than a luau?

It’s the “dinner and a show”  night that is fun as well as educational. When making your reservation, search for one that is both educational and family-friendly. You’ll learn about the history of the Islands, as well as learn the right way to hula.

Other Maui Activities For Families

Maui has lots more activity for everyone to enjoy, including:

  • Ziplining
  • Hiking
  • Whale watching
  • Sunrise bicycling down Mount Haleakala
  • Horseback riding
  • The Maui Ocean Center, an aquarium to visit during the hotter part of the day
  • Atlantic Submarine Tours that take you 100 feet down inside a pressurized submarine to visit schools of fish and other undersea life. (No diving required)
  • The Maui Chocolate Tour, where kids under 12 are free

Always contact venues ahead of time to verify hours and availability, and to make reservations where required.

Make Hana Kai Maui Part Of Your Hawai’ian Adventure

Maui has a wide variety of activities for the whole family to enjoy—you just have to decide what you want before you go. Hana Kai Maui’s comfortably designed beachfront condos on Waikaloa Beach are a quiet, relaxing stay while on the island of Maui. Hana Kai Maui is both a journey and a destination for a night, a weekend, or longer.

Call to book your next reservations at 1-800-346-2772, or book directly online. We’re open 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Hawaii time to answer all of your questions.

Maui Water Sports To Enjoy

Coming to the Valley Isle will nearly always meantime at the water. With so much beach and water available, your Maui trip can include any number of year-round water sports. Most people think about the beautiful beaches all around Maui, but there is so much more to enjoy. Here are some of the many water sports we enjoy all year long.

Surfing

It’s one of the most popular activities throughout the Islands, but especially on Maui. Surfing’s history goes back to the arrival of Polynesians from Indonesia, and first documented by Captain Cook in 1778. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro surfer, people come to Maui from all over the world just for surfing.

Surfing is a fun and relaxing activity enjoyed by people of all ages. Maui’s location makes it ideal for those just starting out with the largest number of places for beginners to learn in the entire state.

Our waves begin thousands of miles away from weather activity throughout the Pacific, including Alaska and New Zealand. Because of wave-blocking from the Big Island Lanai, and Molokai, the waves don’t become as large as they do elsewhere. And Maui isn’t as crowded as Waikiki.

Before you say, oh, I don’t surf,” it’s clear that you need to take surfing lessons. Maui is the ideal place to learn with a surf instructor. Because the inherent dangers around Maui include shallow reefs with sharp edges, sea life, and strong currents, a surf instructor can help you avoid them. You’ll also learn the proper etiquette of surfing, such as the right of way on a wave and treading water instead of stepping on a reef.

Windsurfing

It’s a little surfing and a little sailing. If windsurfing more your style, head to Maui’s northern shore and visit Hookipa Beach. Known as the windsurfing capital of the world,” Hookipa Beach is where you can ride the waves with experts and enter (or watch) competitions. If you’re interested in learning, Kanaha Beach Park is the place to start. For windsurfers with a little experience, Spreckelsville Beach (aka “Specks”) is less crowded and busy with a slightly higher chop to the swell. Make sure to book your lessons in advance.

Paddleboarding

Whether you prefer the standard paddleboard or the newest incarnation, stand-up paddleboards (SUP), Maui is an ideal place. Both sports are becoming very popular all around the world, and have a short learning curve.  

It’s simple: lie flat on your surf or paddleboard and paddle as if you were swimming. You can also kneel or stand to swim and propel the board through the water. Unlike surfing, you don’t need waves. You can practice it in a lake, or even a large swimming pool. Learning paddleboarding can give you a relaxing ride on the water you won’t get from surfing. It’s also a full-body workout, which is an added bonus.

SUP was created in Maui, and it’s the fastest growing water sport for every age group. It’s easy to learn and easy to do, as well as a low-impact workout. SUP developed as a way for surfing instructors to keep watch over their students, aided by a paddle from an outrigger canoe.

Maui’s calmer beaches are ideal for learning and practicing your paddleboarding and SUP skills. You can get a birds-eye view of schools of fish, turtles and sometimes even humpback whales at the same time.

Canoeing and Kayaking

If you want to enjoy the water but don’t swim, scuba or snorkel, these are for you. You’ll still get wet, but you’ll stay above water as you paddle your way around Maui’s beautiful waterways. Both are also ideal for families with children over 6. Depending on the tour you book, you may also have the option of snorkeling while you’re there.

Wooden outrigger canoes are the traditional Hawaiian style of boat used for thousands of years for fishing, travel and other needs. Today’s sleek, streamlined fiberglass designs and open decks gives it more stability that’s ideal for touring. Canoes are also used for all manner of water travel, from sightseeing to competitive sports. Modern canoes are easy to paddle due to their stability, and glide right through Maui’s calmer waters using a single-bladed paddle. They’re also ideal for visiting Molokai and Turtle Town, as well as during whale watching season. 

Kayaks are similarly built, but with a closed deck and require a double-bladed paddle. Paddlers sit on the hull and paddle alternately on each side in unison. They’re more suitable for rougher waters than canoes, so it’s essential to have some knowledge before you go.

Snorkeling, Scuba, And SNUBA

Maui has a whole other world under the surface of the water. The best way to experience this world is to visit and see it right up close. Scuba aficionados know about Molokini Island, the small islet that’s home to over 250 species of fish, many of them native. But not everyone who visits is certified for scuba, and there are other ways to see it.

Water Sports in Maui

The easiest and fastest way to get started is snorkeling. You wear a mask with a breathing tube and fins to swim face-down to see everything in the clear Maui waters. No certification or other equipment is necessary. It takes just a few minutes to learn, and you can be visiting our undersea world in no time. Snorkeling in the Molokini Crater offers visibility as far as 150 feet.

Scuba diving is an involved water sport that requires training, certification, and underwater equipment that lets you go much farther under the surface than snorkeling. You’ll need:

  • A mask
  • A scuba tank
  • Fins
  • Weights
  • A buoyancy regulator, or BC
  • A wetsuit

Scuba diving means you can visit the areas as far as 300 feet down, or more.

An easier option is SNUBA, a hybrid of scuba and snorkeling. Like snorkeling, it’s easy, quick to learn and you don’t need certification. You’ll go farther than you would with a snorkel, but are limited to a maximum of 20 feet below the surface. Your breathing tanks float on the surface with a 20-foot line. You won’t need a certification, just a safety briefing, nor carry as much equipment. You’ll also need fins, a weight belt, and a regulator.

Parasailing

It’s the closest you’ll ever get to experiencing true flight on your own. Parasailing only happens in Maui during the summer months because of whale-watching season during the winter. That doesn’t stop it from being one of the most popular activities in Maui.

Parasailing involves riding behind a boat, similar to skiing. Before leaving, the parasailer is fitted with a parasail canopy. When the boat takes off, the person takes flight—as high as 50 feet in the air, depending on conditions. There’s no control on the way down, either. You’ll fly and coast back down to earth (usually in water) to be picked up by the boat.

The “season” is from May 16th through December 14th every year, with June and July the most popular months. Make sure to use sunscreen, since you’ll be on the boat for at least an hour.

Make Hana Kai Maui Part Of Your Hawai’ian Adventure

Maui’s wide range of water sports give you a lot to choose from when you’re visiting Maui. After a day of diving, snorkeling, sailing, or just hanging out on the beach, Hana Kai Maui’s comfortably designed beachfront condos on Waikaloa Beach are a quiet, relaxing stay while on the island of Maui. Hana Kai Maui is both a journey and a destination for a night, a weekend, or longer.

Call to book your next reservations at 1-800-346-2772, or book directly online. We’re open 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Hawaii time to answer all of your questions.

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