Thousands of families take their annual vacation to the exotic Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Some come to have a luxurious getaway and spend their time at one of the big island vacation rentals from Luxury Retreats. Others find a resort along the coastline. Fortunately, you’ll find dozens of family-friendly accommodation. But what about activities? Check out these fun things to do in Hawaii with your kids including the best beaches, learning how to surf and taking a helicopter ride over an active volcano.
Relax on the tropical beaches
Palm trees line the soft shores in Hawaii. And the hundreds of kilometers of coastline are consistently rated among the best in the United States. The sun shines almost every single day creating the perfect conditions for a beach vacation. Some of the beaches attract both local and foreign families. Others cater more towards the surfers. Ask at the reception of your resort or vacation rental to recommend where to go. If you want to go swimming, you should avoid the northern parts where huge waves roll in. And after a day at the beach, indulge yourself in the countless seafood restaurants lining most of Hawaii’s beaches. If you’re visiting Waikiki Beach, stick around to witness the sunset.
Make the most of the water sports
Water sports are one of the highlights of visiting Hawaii. Aside from surfing (which we’ll discuss next), tourists can go snorkeling, diving and swim with sharks. If your kids are young, stick to the beach and get an inflatable. Older ones and teens will leap at the opportunity to see the rich marine world beneath the waves. It’s a good idea to join a tour to get the most out of the snorkeling. Boats will pick you up and take you to the best sites around Hawaii.
You can also enroll your teenagers on a PADI-course. This is an acclaimed course that teaches you the basics and can then be used to go scuba diving anywhere in the world. Pro tip: Book your place on the course months before you visit Hawaii. Search the different companies and read recent reviews to find the best company to suit your needs and interests.
Learn how to Surf
Surfing originates in Hawaii. And surfers from around the world flock to the waters to take part in competitions. This gives you two options. Either you can teach your kids how to surf at one of the dozens of schools. Or plan your trip to coincide with one of the competitions. Learning how to surf can be an amazing experience for teenagers. You can take younger kids to the gentler water to practice under the supervisor of instructors. Embrace the chance to at least try this sport when you’re in Hawaii. And you’ll almost guarantee it’s one of the best family vacations ever. However, you need to keep safety in mind. Some of the waves are several meters high. Falling the wrong way can break bones. If you want to have surfing lessons, make sure your insurance covers you.
Spend the day at Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium
It doesn’t matter how old your kids are, the whole family will enjoy a day at Honolulu Zoo. Inside the complex, visitors can see a range of both familiar and endemic creatures. Snap photographs of the giraffes and rhinos. Stroll through the reptile enclosures. But the real highlight is the chance to see the endemic species of birds that live in Hawaii. The aviary has hundreds of colorful birds found only on the Pacific archipelago. Grab a guide to learn more about their ecology and life cycle.
After the zoo, head to Waikiki Aquarium. This is the marine version of Honolulu Zoo. Visitors can stand next to tanks filled with thousands of species of fish. Some are over 2 meters long and probably weigh more than you. Explore the different sections and find various types of marine life from giant starfish to sharks to turtles. The information boards paint a detailed account of the marine life and provides the perfect opportunity for an impromptu biology lesson.
If you start early, you can visit both Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium on the same day. You might want to consider finding a tour to make the day even more convenient. And the insight from a guide will make the experience even more valuable and memorable.
Ride in a helicopter (over an active volcano)
What can be more amazing than flying in a helicopter over Hawaii? Just imagine soaring over the small archipelago and having a bird’s eye view of the stunning landscape below. You can have this experience by joining one of the tour groups on Big Island. Trips usually last an hour and fly over the interior before looping out over the Pacific. If your kids are old enough, this will be the experience of a lifetime.
More adventurous tourists can take a helicopter tour over Mount Kilauea. This is an active volcano in the heart of Hawaii. Expect to fly a few hundred meters above the open crater. And in the right conditions, you’ll see molten lava bubbling in the depths below. Only a handful of places on Earth allow you to see inside a volcanic chimney. Pro tip: Places on this tour are limited. Book at least a week in advance to secure your spot.
Top things to do in Hawaii for families
Hawaii provides stunning beaches, countless water sports and the chance to fly in a helicopter over an active volcano. Follow these recommendation and this promises to be a trip of a lifetime for you and your family.