15 Family-Friendly Activities in Maui

15 Family-Friendly Activities in Maui


When you think of Maui, honeymoons and romance might come to mind. But did you know Maui is actually a great vacation spot for the whole family? It has picturesque beaches, fun road trips, and stretches of vast forest to explore. Here’s our list of five family-friendly activities in Maui!

1. Spend the Day at a Family-Friendly Beach

Affordable Family Activities Maui Shaka Guide

Hawaii is known for it’s big swells, and while those are great for surfing, they’re not ideal for families. Maui has some family-friendly beaches with soft white sand and barriers from harsh waves. Two popular spots are Kapalua Bay and Baby Beach (aka Pu’unoa beach). Kapalua Bay is a scenic beach with a gradual slope into the ocean. Baby Beach is nice for — you guessed it — young kids. Its shallow water is filled with marine life making it an ideal snorkel spot too! 

2. Tour the Maui Ocean Center

Affordable Family Activities Maui Shaka GuideMaui Ocean Center; Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Daeja Fallas

Maui Ocean Center is the largest tropical aquarium in America. Walk around the outdoor sea turtle sanctuary, the Hammerhead shark pool, and spot the Hawaiian Tako otherwise known as the octopus. The indoor shark tank contains Hammerhead sharks, Tiger sharks, White Tips, Grey Tips, and deep-sea fish. Not only it is an interesting and fun family activity in Maui to see what’s really under the water, but it is a great learning experience especially for kids! The entrance fee is between $18 and $26 per person.

3. Hike to the Iao Valley State Monument

Affordable Family Activities Maui Shaka GuideIao State Valley Park; Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Blake Bronstad

Iao Valley State Monument is a short and easy hike, allowing easy access for all ages, including younger kids! The hike takes you to a viewpoint to see the peak, otherwise known as Kuka’emoku. It also has a bit of historical significance. It was known as the phallic stone of Kanaloa, the Hawaiian god of the ocean. It was once a sacred place that only royalty could enter and use as a burial site.

4. Drive the Road to Hana with Shaka Guide

Affordable Family Activities Maui Shaka Guide

Still looking for other fun family activities in Maui? Drive from Kahului to Hana through 68 miles of villages beaches, and forest. You can pick and choose stops along the way depending on what you want your day to look like. We have three options available including the classic route, the “loop” road, and the “reverse” road. One stop along the way is the Pipiwai Trail and for a $15 entrance fee, you can walk through the bamboo forest, see waterfalls and views of the ocean including seven sacred pools of water!

5. Watch the Sunrise at the Haleakala National Park

Affordable Family Activities Maui Shaka GuideSunrise atop Haleakala

Haleakala is Maui’s tallest point. The best time to go is at sunrise or sunset because the views overlooking the crater at 10,000 ft are breathtaking. Keep in mind that a reservation is needed if you’re going between 3 AM-7 AM to watch the sunrise! It’s only $1.50, but make sure you make the reservation in advance. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Haleakala National Park. There is also a park entry fee — you have to pay this on top of the reservation fee. It costs $30 per car, $25 per motorcycle, or $15 per pedestrian/bicycle.

Each of these activities will give you a true sense of Maui’s beautiful scenery and unique history. 

When you’re in Hawaii, we ask that you act respectfully towards the locals, land and wildlife. Please pick up your trash; never touch any marine life, plants, or other animals; and avoid spots that are unsafe. Hawaii’s natural resources are precious, it’s up to all of us to help preserve these resources.

6. Check out Ho’okipa Lookout

Hookipa_Beach_Maui_Hawaii - family friendly beach dronepicr, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ho’okipa lookout is a viewing area overlooking Ho’okipa Beach - a great place to sit and watch the skilled windsurfers and board surfers show off their stuff. While the beach may not be especially kid-friendly, everyone can enjoy seeing experienced surfers in action!

7. Walk the Waikamoi Ridge Trail

Waikamoi_Ridge_Maui - Family Friendly Forest & Kim Starr, CC BY 3.0 US, via Wikimedia Commons

The Waikamoi Ridge Trail is a short and simple nature walk, found past mile marker 9 on the Road to Hana. Along the trail through the tree canopy, there are both manmade stairs and natural roots to help you along your way.

8. Taste some of Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread

Support a local business and get some of the best fresh oven baked banana bread on the island! This well-known restaurant was even featured on Gordon Ramsay’s show Uncharted. This scrumptious banana bread is a wonderful place to stop for snacks along the Road to Hana!

9. Explore the Hana Lava Tube

hana_lava_tube_maui- family friendly places maui dronepicr, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Explore a nearly millenia old lava tube that’s easily accessible from the Hana Highway! All along the route, there are signs and handrails guiding you through this historic formation. Within, there’s even a fallout shelter - still stocked with food! The fee to enter is $11.95 per person (kids under 5 are free). The whole walk takes around 40 minutes, and flashlights are provided!

10. Hike to Twin Falls

twin_falls_maui_ Family Friendly Things to doPhoto by Rina Miele on Unsplash

Although it may be overcrowded, this is definitely worth a stop if there’s a parking spot. The hike is 1.8 miles long, with an easy grade. There are two different waterfalls along the way, so don’t forget your swimwear if you do decide to stop. 

11. Picnic on Koki Beach

Koki_Beach_ - Family Friendly Beach MauiPhoto by Adam Seckel on Unsplash

Although not so safe for swimming (the nearby Hamoa beach is good for that), this beach is a great spot for a picnic, or even just for playing in the sand. There’s a grassy area that’s an awesome place to sit and eat. It’s also a great spot to watch some local surfers strut their stuff! It may not be the best swimming beach, but it’s perfect for surfing.

12. Wander the Garden of Eden Arboretum

Garden_of_Eden_Arboretum_Maui_-Family friendly places in MauiJanine Sprout, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This sprawling 30 acre garden has a spider web of trails criss-crossing through it. The arboretum is aptly described as a ‘paradise’ - with everything covered in lush and varied greenery, and with a stunning view of the ocean. This garden is definitely worth spending a couple of hours at.

13. Visit the famous Wai'anapanapa Black Sand Beach

Waianapanpa Black Sand BeachImage by dronepicr, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

This black sand beach, nestled in a cove and pounded by the surf, is unparalleled in terms of its beauty. The dark sand immediately next to the glistening ocean is stunning, and the green of the surrounding trees makes it an unforgettable sight. 

14. Take a Tour of Surfing Goat Dairy

Surfing_Goats_Maui_- Family Friendly Places MauiPhoto by Max S. on Unsplash

At this unique goat dairy farm, learn about how life on a goat farm works! There are normally two tours of the property - one casual tour, and one longer, more in-depth tour. Due to COVID the longer tour is unavailable. However, the casual tour is still available to visitors wanting to know more about dairy, and even to meet some goats!

15. Eat at Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop

Leoda’s serves sandwiches, hotdogs/burgers, salads, and all sorts of pies - both sweet and savory! Although the lines can be long (because of the good food!), it moves quick, and it’s never too long of a wait. If you’re craving some pies, this is the place to go.


Each of these activities will give you a true sense of Maui’s beautiful scenery and unique history. 

When you’re in Hawaii, we ask that you act respectfully towards the locals, land and wildlife. Please pick up your trash; never touch any marine life, plants, or other animals; and avoid spots that are unsafe. Hawaii’s natural resources are precious, it’s up to all of us to help preserve these resources.

Headed to Maui? Download Shaka Guide Maui Tours Now!


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