Hawaii is a dream destination for many families, with its sandy beaches, clear blue waters, and tropical climate all year round. It’s no wonder why so many families make their way to this island paradise every year seeking adventure, relaxation, and fun!

Are you planning your family’s next vacation in Hawaii but don’t know where to start? Are you looking for tips on the best islands, activities, and accommodations for your family? Look no further.

This comprehensive guide will take you through the essential steps to plan a perfect Hawaii Family Vacation, from choosing the right island, to picking the best accommodation option, and planning the perfect itinerary to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Hawaii Islands

Hawaii comprises eight main islands, each with its unique beauty and charm. However, not all islands are created equal when it comes to family travel. Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island, in particular, offer the most kid-friendly attractions and accommodations.


Oahu is the third-largest of the Hawaiian islands and home to the state’s capital, Honolulu. It’s known for its stunning beaches, excellent surfing conditions, and notable landmarks such as the Pearl Harbor National Memorial and the Diamond Head State Monument. Additionally, Oahu also has several attractions for families, such as the Polynesian Cultural Center, the Waikiki Aquarium, and the Kualoa Ranch, among others. The island also has many family-friendly restaurants and hotels.


Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian islands and sits in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It’s renowned for its pristine beaches, lush greenery, and stunning natural landscapes. The island boasts of several attractions suitable for families, such as the Road to Hana, the Maui Ocean Center, and Haleakala National Park. Maui also has many family-friendly resorts and condos that cater to families’ needs, such as swimming pools and kid’s clubs.

Big Island

The Big Island is the largest of the Hawaiian islands, and it’s known for its active volcanoes, pristine beaches, and marine life. The island has several attractions for families, such as the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the Pu’uhonua o H┼Źnaunau National Historical Park, and the Waipio Valley Beach, among others. Additionally, the island also has many family-friendly hotels and condos with amenities like pools and child-care services.

Kid-Friendly Activities and Attractions

One of the best things about Hawaii is the endless array of activities and attractions that cater to both kids and adults. Here are a few kid-friendly activities and attractions that should be on your list when planning a Hawaii family vacation:


From sandy shores to calm waters, Hawaii’s beaches are perfect for the whole family, especially your little ones. Some of Hawaii’s most popular child-friendly beaches include Waikiki Beach, Kaanapali Beach, and Launiupoko Beach Park. Be sure to check the ocean conditions before hitting the sand.

Theme Parks and Water Parks

If you’re traveling with kids who love theme parks, then Hawaii has plenty of options. Oahu has the Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawaii Water Park, while Maui has the popular Maui Ocean Center aquarium. Moreover, the Big Island has the popular Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, which has many water play areas for kids.

Nature Hikes

The Hawaiian Islands are home to some of the world’s most beautiful natural landscapes and wildlife, and the best way to explore them is through a guided nature hike. Some of the popular trails include the Manoa Falls Trail, the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden Trail, and the Koko Head Crater Trail, among others.

Suggestions for Making Activities More Enjoyable

No matter what activity or attraction you choose, the key to making it more enjoyable for your family is to prepare and plan for the adventure. Here are a few tips:

  • Pack plenty of snacks and drinks to keep the family energized throughout the day.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, especially for hiking and walking tours.
  • Arrive early to avoid crowds and have more room to explore and enjoy the activity.
  • Book in advance to avoid last-minute rush and disappointment.

Best Times to Visit Hawaii

The best time to visit Hawaii is during the fall season, September to November, or the spring season, March to May. These periods have lower crowds, lower room rates, and excellent weather conditions. However, Hawaii’s peak season is between December and April, and prices are high, and the attractions are crowded.

Seasonal Events and Festivals

Hawaii is also home to several seasonal events and festivals that may align with your family’s vacation time. For example, there’s the Aloha Festival in September and October, the Maui Whale Festival in February, and the Hawaii International Film Festival in November, to name a few.

Family-Friendly Accommodation Options

One of the critical factors in planning a successful Hawaii family vacation is selecting the perfect accommodation option. Hawaii offers plenty of options, including hotels, resorts, and vacation home rentals. Here are a few family-friendly accommodation options based on the recommended islands:


  • Disney Aulani Resort and Spa: This oceanfront resort has kid-friendly amenities such as a massive water park, onsite playgrounds, and kid’s clubs.
  • Turtle Bay Resort: This resort offers beach activities for families and has two pools, including the popular Takia Swimming Pool.
  • Vacation home rentals: Many home rentals are spacious with features like private pools and play areas, which work well for families with kids.


  • Grand Wailea Resort: This resort has one of the best swimming pools in Hawaii with waterslides and a Tarzan rope swing.
  • Wailea Beach Resort: This resort has an expansive beach, and the kids’ club has activities like hula and lei-making.
  • Vacation home rentals: There are plenty of vacation home rental options equipped with family-friendly services such as cribs and high chairs.

Big Island

  • Hilton Waikoloa Village: This resort is popular with families and has amenities such as Dolphin Quest and a massive beachfront swimming pool.
  • Four Seasons Resort Hualalai: This exclusive resort has plenty of beach activities and features a kid’s club with surfing lessons, among other activities.
  • Vacation home rentals: There are plenty of home rentals that can cater to different family sizes and needs, some with ocean views and beach access.

Planning a Perfect Hawaii Family Vacation Itinerary

Planning the perfect Hawaii family vacation itinerary can be overwhelming with so many activities and attractions to choose from. Here are a few tips to make it easier:

Traveling Between Islands

If you plan to visit multiple islands, there are several inter-island airlines such as Hawaiian Airlines and Mokulele Airlines, which can take you between islands. Alternatively, you can also opt for a cruise ship, which can be a fun way to visit multiple islands in one go.

Saving Money on Dining Out

Hawaii can be an expensive destination, and dining out is no exception. However, there are ways to save money on food. Consider eating at food trucks or local markets instead of high-end restaurants. Also, look for happy hour deals or discounted meals offered by local establishments.

Finding Deals on Popular Activities

There are several ways to find discounted activities and attractions on the Islands. You can look for Groupon or LivingSocial deals, or visit the attraction’s website for promotions and seasonal offers. Many hotels and resorts also offer packages that bundle activities and tours.

Keeping the Itinerary Flexible

While it is essential to have a well-laid-out plan for your family vacation, remember to be flexible and open to spontaneity. Allow plenty of time for relaxation and choose a few must-do activities to enjoy.

Cultural Aspects of Hawaii

Finally, Hawaii has a rich history and culture that is worth experiencing. Here are a few ways to get a glimpse of the state’s cultural aspects:

Events, Tours, and Experiences

There are several events, tours, and experiences that offer insight into the local customs, cuisine, and history. For example, the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu offers a unique experience of learning Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures. The Kona Coffee Living History Farm on the Big Island offers a glimpse of the coffee-growing industry and how it has shaped Hawaii.

Local Cuisine

Finally, Hawaii’s cuisine is a fusion of different cultures, which makes it unique. Be sure to explore the local cuisine by trying dishes such as Poke, Kalua Pig, and Spam Musubi. Engage with locals and ask for recommendations on the best places to try local dishes.


Planning a perfect Hawaii family vacation is a dream come true, and with this comprehensive guide, it can be a stress-free experience. Remember to choose the right island, pick kid-friendly activities, and find family-friendly accommodation options. Also, plan a flexible itinerary that allows for spontaneity and include cultural experiences that make Hawaii unique. With these tips, your family is sure to have an unforgettable vacation experience in Hawaii.

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By Happy Sharer

Hi, I'm Happy Sharer and I love sharing interesting and useful knowledge with others. I have a passion for learning and enjoy explaining complex concepts in a simple way.

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