Thinking about planning a trip to Hawaii and want to know the best Hawaii tourist attractions for families? Keep scrolling for some of our favorite things to do in Hawaii with kids!
This list of the best Hawaii tourist attractions for families contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
Whenever I start thinking about my next family vacation destination, I always do a bit of research to see what types of kid-friendly activities are available.
That way, I know whether or not it’s the right place for our family.
Since you came to this post, you’re probably wondering what to do in Hawaii with kids. I’m happy to report that there are SO many family-friendly Hawaiian activities!
I narrowed it down to 25 highlights of Hawaii, including Hawaii National Parks, historical sites, Hawaii museums, and some of the best activities in Hawaii.
Keep scrolling to find out the best kid-friendly tourist attractions in Hawaii!
Hawaii Attractions FAQ
The answer depends entirely on what you want to get out of your vacation. If you want to do a lot of tourist attractions (like Pearl Harbor or Dole Plantation), activities, etc it’s hard to beat Oahu. And Maui has the famous Road to Hana and Haleakala Crater. To really get away from it all, Kauai and the Big Island are really amazing.
There’s something magical on all of the islands. Some of the top things to do in Hawaii include seeing lava at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, watching sunrise from Haleakala Crater, driving the Road to Hana, visiting Pearl Harbor, seeing Waimea Canyon, and so much more.
Hawaii is super unique in that it’s truly a melting pot of many Polynesian and Asian cultures. This comes through in the food, language, and celebrations in the islands. Plus, it’s home to the only royal palace in the United States!
25 Kid-Friendly Hawaii Tourist Attractions
OAHU TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
Most of these Oahu tourist spots are outdoors, but I threw in a few options for the times when you need to enjoy a little A/C!
1. Pearl Harbor
This is hands down one of the most famous Honolulu tourist attractions. Most people think it’s just because of the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial and they are worried their kids might be too young. Depending on the age of your children, it’s totally worth visiting Pearl Harbor with kids.RESERVE NOW
There are also several awesome private Pearl Harbor tours worth booking!
2. Dole Plantation
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Hawaii for families with little kids is Dole Plantation in North Shore Oahu.
Here, you can explore one of the few pineapple plantations left in Hawaii. They also have a fun pineapple maze for kids and a little train ride around the property. And lots of cute photo ops!
Plus, this is where you can get authentic Dole Whip!
I think one best things to do in Hawaii for kids is to take them to the Polynesian Cultural Center in North Shore Oahu.
This is where they can experience 7 different Polynesian cultures with hands on activities, performances, food sampling, and more.
It’s a super immersive experience and it’s a great way to learn more about the cultures that make Hawaii what it is today.RESERVE NOW
4. Kualoa Ranch
Kualoa Ranch is one of the most recognizable tourist spots in Hawaii. That’s because it’s been the location of many movies and TV shows filmed in Hawaii.
The views from Kualoa Ranch are simply stunning, but that’s probably not going to be the reason your kids will want to visit.RESERVE NOW
5. Bishop Museum
If you need something to do in Oahu on a rainy day (or if you need a break from the sun), head to Bishop Museum.
While it may seem boring to visit a museum in Hawaii, I promise this one is seriously cool.
They have interactive exhibits about archeology, cultural tours, Hawaiian storytelling, fun shows, and tons of cool hands on activities and events that are fun and educational! Find the best prices here.RESERVE NOW
6. Sea Life Park
This outdoor Oahu attraction is where families can learn more about sharks, sea lions, penguins, sting rays, and other amazing sea animals. Find the best prices here.
It’s also one of the best places to swim with dolphins on Oahu. They have programs for kids of all ages (and even adults) where you can interact with dolphins and other sea mammals.RESERVE NOW
7. Honolulu Zoo
While there are a lot of Waikiki tourist attractions, the Honolulu Zoo is a fast favorite for many families.
Here, you’ll find giraffes, zebras, hippos, rhinos, chimpanzees, elephants, and more.
It’s pretty small, so it’s easy to do in just a couple of hours and toddlers and preschoolers can walk around on their own.
Plus, it’s an easy stroll from the East side of Waikiki. This is one of the best tourist attractions in Hawaii for little kids.
8. Waikiki Aquarium
Most people don’t realize this, but Oahu actually has the 2nd oldest public aquarium in the United States.
Waikiki Aquarium is where you’ll find Hawaiian monk seals, green sea turtles, tropical fish, coral, crustaceans, and other sea life.
Plus, it’s also one of the cheap things to do on Oahu with kids. Tickets for adults are $12, kids 4-12 are $5, and kids ages 3 and younger are free!
9. Children’s Discovery Center
Sometimes it’s helpful to add an indoor activity on your trip to Oahu with kids. That’s why families with little ones should put Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center at the top of their list!
This is a super fun indoor play space that’s perfect for rainy days or when you need to get a break from the sun.
In fact, it’s one of the top things to do with toddlers in Oahu!
MAUI TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
Some of the best outdoor attractions in Hawaii are on Maui. Some of these are cool Maui day trips and others are easy half-day adventures.
10. Road to Hana
Driving the famous Road to Hana is one of the top ten things to do in Hawaii.
If you haven’t heard of it, it’s basically a super windy road to get to a remote town in East Maui. However, it’s not about the destination.
It’s a full day adventure on Maui with tons of Hawaii sightseeing or you can opt to spend the night in Hana so you can really take your time. Plus, there are tons of kid-friendly Road to Hana stops!
Get all my top Road to Hana tips!
11. Haleakala National Park
Hawaii has a ton of cool parks, but Haleakala National Park is one of the most unique places on Maui. There’s a reason it’s one of the best tourist attractions in Maui.
Kids will think it looks like they have landed on Mars and will want to get out and explore. There are tons of hikes, so that’s a great option.
Watching sunrise from Haleakala is definitely one of the best things to see in Hawaii. People plan their whole trip around it.
Get my top Haleakala tips!
12. Molokini Crater
You’ll need to take a boat tour to get out there, but that’s half the fun! Many of them have water slides and serve yummy food.
But, the real attraction is when you dive into the water to see Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and gorgeous tropical fish.
Families of all ages claim this is one of the best activities to do in Hawaii.
See my full guide to Molokini Crater!
13. I’ao Needle
I think this is one of the most underrated Maui tourist spots. It’s located in the I’ao Valley State Park and it’s one of the best Maui hikes for kids.
It’s 0.6 miles long on an easy path with cool things to look at along the way. It ends with a bunch of stairs to climb to get to the top of the needle.
I’ao Needle is really close to the airport, so it makes a good activity on a travel day. Or, you can pair it with the Maui Swap Meet.
14. Maui Swap Meet
I know the term “swap meet” might make you think of garage sales, but this is more like shopping local boutiques.
There are a bunch of tents set up selling all kinds of unique Hawaii souvenirs, clothing, decorations, food items, and more.
Give you kids some cash and let them pick out something special. They will learn a bit more about money and you will be supporting local artisans.
This is one of the most popular Maui Hawaii tourist attractions for families. It’s the only aquarium on Maui and it’s perfect for a half-day adventure.
It’s a great mix of indoor and outdoor exhibits. They also have cultural presentations and hands on activities throughout the day.
There’s even a cool tunnel you can walk through a tank to feel like you’re under water.RESERVE NOW
KAUAI TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
While a lot of people assume that Kauai doesn’t have many attractions, they are wrong. Most of the Kauai attractions and activities focus on the scenery and outdoor exploration.
16. Spouting Horn
Hawaii has lots of blow holes, but one of the most famous ones is located right in Poipu on the South Shore of Kauai.
This is where families can see water shoot up through the rocks. Sometimes you’ll need to be patient, but it’s totally worth it when there’s a big wave!
Spouting Horn is also a pretty fun tourist spot for kids. There are even souvenir stands where kids can look at cute trinkets.
17. Waimea Canyon
I think the Waimea Canyon is probably the most famous place to see on Kauai. It’s nickname is the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” and it’s easy to see the resemblance.
It’s super easy to drive up the winding road to get to the scenic lookout. Plus, there’s usually someone selling fresh fruit or snacks, which is a hit with kids.
You can also do some Kauai hiking around Waimea Canyon or continue up the road to the impressive Kalalau Lookout.
When sightseeing in Kauai, you’ll definitely want to include a stop at Waimea Canyon.
18. Na Aina Kai Botanical Garden
Out of all the Kauai gardens (and there are several cool ones), the Na Aina Kai Botanical Garden is probably the most fun for kids.
That’s because they have a dedicated Children’s Garden that has awesome bridges, tunnels, slides, a train, log cabins, a covered wagon, a maze and more.
And they have Keiki Day once a month that is basically a huge outdoor playdate for families. Kids can play in the fountain, explore a tree house, and run around the Children’s Garden.
It’s definitely one of the best botanical gardens in Hawaii.
19. Kilauea Lighthouse
Another fun place to visit on Kauai with kids is the Kilauea Lighthouse. You will be able to see it as you’re driving up the North Shore.
This beautiful and historic Kauai lighthouse is more than 100 years old. And they usually offer tours to see what it’s like inside.
Plus, it’s also a wildlife refuge and it’s one of the best places to go birdwatching on Kauai.
Definitely add a quick stop to Kilauea Lighthouse while sightseeing in Hawaii.
20. Kilohana Plantation
Kilohana Plantation is a 36-acre estate with shops, activities, and dining. Plus, this is also where you can taste Hawaiian rum at Koloa Rum Company.
Younger kids will LOVE doing a train ride on Kauai. The Kilohana Plantation Railway does a little loop around the plantation with a stop to feed the animals.
You’ll also recognize Kilohana Plantation from the 2021 Disney movie Jungle Cruise!
21. Anaina Hou Community Park
One of the newest playgrounds on Kauai is at Anaina Hou Community Park up in Kilauea on the North Shore of Kauai.
It’s seriously amazing and it’s an awesome way to get some wiggles out while driving around Kauai.
The park has the theme of Hawaiian culture, with play equipment featuring volcanoes, a sugar cane train, canoe, Hawaiian houses, etc.
Plus, they promote the concept of reduce, re-use, recycle.
BIG ISLAND HAWAII TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
Whether you want to do some Big Island sightseeing or are looking for cool things to do in Hawaii, the Big Island is pretty awesome.
22. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
If your family is interested in seeing lava in Hawaii, you’ll definitely want to stop at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a top Big Island attraction because there are so many places to explore.
Visit with the park rangers to learn about the daily programs, find out the best kid-friendly hikes, and where the best chance to see lava is.
Or, take a scenic drive around the park. It’s pretty incredible and it’s no wonder why this is one of the best Hawaii tourist spots.
Read my full guide to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park!
23. Mauna Kea
Another cool thing to do on the Big Island with kids is go stargazing at Mauna Kea. You can start by watching an incredible Big Island sunset and then stay for the stars.
Mauna Kea is actually the tallest mountain in the world (it’s 33,496 feet tall from the peak all the way down to the ocean floor.)
That’s what makes it so great for astronomy. Plus, there’s the International Astronomy Visitor Information Station where families can learn a bit more and stay for free nightly stargazing experiences.
I think this is one of the most under-rated Hawaii tourist places.
24. Pu’uhonua o Honaunau
One of the most unique places on the Big Island is the Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park.
Back in ancient Hawaii, people who broke the law were punished by death. The only way to survive was to reach Pu’uhonua o Honaunau, which was a place of refuge.
Kids will find the history behind this place pretty fascinating and they can learn more at the visitors center.
Plus, it’s one of the best places to see tiki statues in Hawaii.
25. Mokupapapa Discovery Center
If you’re looking for free things to do on the Big Island with kids, plan a stop at the Mokupapapa Discover Center, which is part of the Papahanaumokuakeo Marine National Monument.
It’s one of the world’s biggest marine conservation areas and families can learn about what’s being done to preserve Hawaiian sea life.
They recently expanded and they have tons of interactive exhibits and a 3,500 gallon saltwater aquarium.
It’s one of the best Hilo tourist attractions worth checking out.
Ok, so now you have some awesome Hawaii tourist attractions to add to your bucket list.
These are some of the best attractions in Hawaii and you’ll probably need to plan multiple trips to Hawaii to see them all!