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38 Best Hawaii Tourist Attractions for Families

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!

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 38 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!

Want to skip all the planning and just access my detailed Hawaii Itineraries complete with daily schedules, kid-friendly activities, and travel hacks? Click the button below.

38 Kid-Friendly Hawaii Tourist Attractions

Are you thinking about going on a Hawaiian family vacation? Here are some of the best Hawaii tourist attractions on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island that kids will enjoy!

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 Memorial

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.

Pearl Harbor is one of the top Oahu places to visit for families. Image of the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial.
USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor.

But, it’s also home to several other Oahu Hawaii tourist attractions, including the Pearl Harbor Pacific Aviation Museum, U.S.S. Bowfin submarine, and the U.S.S. Battleship Missouri.

Do a bit of research to see if any of these options might be interesting for your family at this national historic landmark from World War II. Pearl Harbor is a Hawaii must do for many families as it offers one of the best Honolulu sightseeing tours. Check out the latest prices and more details.

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.

The Dole Plantation is one of the top tourist attractions in Hawaii. Image of the front of the Dole Plantation visitors center with shrubs in front spelling out the word DOLE.
Dole Plantation on 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!

3. Polynesian Cultural Center

I think one best things to do in Hawaii for kids is to take them to the Polynesian Cultural Center in North Shore Oahu.

The Polynesian Cultural Center is one of the best Hawaii tourist destinations for families. Image of a Fijian performer wearing paint on his face.
Fijian performer at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

The Polynesian Cultural Center is where you can experience 7 different Polynesian cultures with hands-on activities, performances, food sampling, and more. You can read our full review HERE.

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.

Plus, they have a luau and a really impressive theatrical show. I think the Polynesian Cultural Center is a must do in Hawaii with kids. Check out the latest prices and more details.

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, including Jurassic Park.

Kualoa Ranch on Oahu is a great stop when Honolulu sightseeing. Image of a green mountain with jagged cliffs.
Kualoa Ranch on Oahu.

The views from Kualoa Ranch are simply stunning, but that’s probably not going to be the reason your kids will want to visit.

They have a bunch of adventurous activities, like zipliningjungle trekshorseback riding, and more! Check out the latest prices and more details.

Read my full Kualoa Ranch ATV tour review HERE.

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.

Bishop Museum is one of the top kid-friendly Oahu attractions for families
The Bishop Museum features Hawaiian history/culture and so much more. Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

While it may seem boring to visit a museum in Hawaii, I promise this one is seriously cool. Read our full guide to Bishop Museum HERE.

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.

6. Sea Life Park

One of the best things to do in Oahu, Hawaii, with kids who love sea animals is exploring Sea Life Park.

Sea Life Park in Oahu review featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Sea Life Park is a top Oahu attraction for kids
Photo credit: Sea Life Park

This outdoor Oahu attraction is where families can learn more about sharks, sea lions, penguins, stingrays, 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. Read my full guide to Sea Life Park HERE.

7. Honolulu Zoo

While there are a lot of Waikiki tourist attractions, the Honolulu Zoo is a fast favorite for many families.

The Honolulu Zoo is one of the best Honolulu Hawaii tourist attractions for kids. Image of a giraffe at the Honolulu Zoo.
Giraffe at the Honolulu Zoo with trees and tall grass.

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.

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    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 one of the best Hawaii tourist attractions for families. Image of two kids sitting in front of a round window into an aquarium exhibit.
    Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

    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!

    10. Waikiki Beach

    One of the top tourist spots on Oahu is, of course, Waikiki Beach. Take a lovely stroll along the Waikiki Beach Walk, go shopping at the shops nearby, get some shave ice, and just enjoy your Hawaiian vacation.

    Waikiki Beach

    It is one of the gorgeous beaches with plenty of scenic spots, especially during the sunset.

    As one of the Honolulu tourist spots, be sure to head to Waikiki Beach and enjoy the calm waters, plenty of shops, and other things to do here.

    11. Waimea Valley

    At Waimea Valley, you can explore some of the best natural sights on the entire island. There is a pretty easy, paved hiking trail that leads to a waterfall you can swim in! Plus, you can enjoy a luau when you are finished too.

    Waimea Valley Waterfall

    It is one of the most stunning waterfalls in Hawaii to see!

    Check out our ultimate guide on Waimea Valley

    12. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

    Enjoy snorkeling at Hanauma Bay! This is another one of the beautiful beaches and one of the top places to snorkel on Oahu. There are hundreds of different marine life to enjoy.

    Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

    First, you’ll learn about snorkeling and all the safety measures you’ll need to take at the Hanauma Bay Education Center. Then, enjoy all the amazing fish and abundant marine life here!

    It is another one of the best Hawaii attractions!

    13. Diamond Head State Monument

    One of the most famous hikes on Oahu, Diamond Head State Monument is another one of the places you’ll want to visit on this island.

    Diamond Head Hike

    While it is not incredibly easy, it is a fun hike to do with the entire family. It is definitely one of the hiking trails I recommend!

    Check out our guide to hiking Diamond Head with kids

    14. Haleiwa

    Haleiwa is a popular tourist city along the North Shore of Oahu. While visiting Hawaii, you will love exploring this cute historic town.

    Haleiwa Sign

    This is where you will find Matsumoto Shave Ice and other great things to do in Haleiwa.

    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.

    15. 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.

    The Road to Hana is a top Maui attraction. Image of a woman wearing an orange backpack standing in front of a waterfall with her arms up.
    Waterfall along the Road to Hana.

    Along the Road to Hana, you’ll find tons of fun things to do in Hawaii, like seeing amazing waterfalls, going on scenic hikes, and tons of roadside stands.

    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 all along the Hana highway!

    Get all my top Road to Hana tips!

    16. 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.

    Visiting Haleakala Crater is a top thing to do on Maui with kids. Image of some cacti in the dirt with bright blue sky.
    Haleakala Crater on 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 the sunrise from Haleakala is definitely one of the best things to see in Hawaii. People plan their whole trip around it.

    You can even rent bikes to ride down the mountain after watching the sunrise. You can explore on your own or join one of the many Haleakala tours.

    Get my top Haleakala tips!

    17. Molokini Crater

    If you want to know the best Maui snorkeling spotsMolokini Crater is high up on that list.

    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.

    Image of Molokini Crater, a top Maui snorkeling spot that is shaped like a crescent.
    Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

    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!

    18. 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.

    Exploring Iao Needle is one of the best things to do on Maui with kids. Image of a green mountain with a steep peak.
    Iao Needle on Maui.

    It’s 0.6 miles long on an easy path with beautiful exotic flowers and 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.

    Advance reservations to enter I’ao Valley State Monument are now available online. The parking fee is $10 per vehicle. The additional non-resident entrance fee is $5 per person with no charge for children under three years old.

    19. Maui Swap Meet

    I know the term “swap meet” might make you think of garage sales, but this is more like shopping at local boutiques.

    There are a bunch of tents set up selling all kinds of unique Hawaii souvenirs, clothing, decorations, food items, and more.

    Give your 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.

    20. Maui Ocean Center

    The Maui Ocean Center 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.

    The Maui Ocean Center is one of the top Maui attractions for families. Image of a couple standing in an aquarium tunnel.
    Maui Ocean Center. Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tommy Lundberg

    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 underwater.

    If you’re looking for fun things to do in Maui with kids, add the Maui Ocean Center to your Maui itineraryCheck out the latest prices and more details.

    21. Lahaina Banyan Court Park

    One of the top Lahaina tourist attractions is to see the largest banyan tree in Hawaii. This tree is over 150 years old and has spider-like branches that stretch out wide over the park that your kids will love to explore.

    Lahaina Banyan Tree Park

    It’s a nice little park to spend some time at and then continue on with other things to do on the Hawaii island.

    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.

    22. Spouting Horn

    Hawaii has lots of blowholes, but one of the most famous ones is located right in Poipu on the South Shore of Kauai.

    Spouting Horn in Poipu is an awesome free thing to do on Kauai with kids
    Spouting Horn in Poipu.

    This is where families can see water shoot up through the rocks as one of the beautiful natural wonders. 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.

    23. Waimea Canyon State Park

    I think the Waimea Canyon is probably the most famous place to see on Kauai. Its nickname is the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” and it’s easy to see the resemblance.

    Waimea Canyon is one of the top Kauai attractions for families. Image of a canyon with blue sky and clouds.
    Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

    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, one of the most famous places in Hawaii.

    24. 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 and is another must see places in Hawaii.

    The Na Aina Kai Botanical Garden is perfect for Kauai sightseeing. Image of a gorgeous garden with the ocean in the background.
    Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tommy Lundberg

    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 which is basically a huge outdoor playdate for families. Kids can play in the fountain, explore a treehouse, and run around the Children’s Garden.

    It’s definitely one of the best botanical gardens in Hawaii.

    25. Kilauea Lighthouse

    Another fun place to visit on Kauai island with kids is the Kilauea Lighthouse. You will be able to see it as you’re driving up the North Shore.

    The Kilauea Lighthouse is a top Kauai attraction for families. Image of a lighthouse surrounded by blue ocean.
    Photo credit: Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

    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.

    26. Kilohana Plantation

    Kilohana Plantation is one of the places of interest in Hawaii as a 36-acre estate with shops, activities, and dining. Plus, this is also where you can taste Hawaiian rum at Koloa Rum Company.

    Image of a green train at Kilohana Plantation on Kauai.
    Kilohana Plantation Railway on Kauai.

    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.

    Kilohana Plantation is also home to the Luau Kalamaku, a storytelling luau presentation that is a lot of fun for families. Check out the latest prices and more details.

    You’ll also recognize Kilohana Plantation from the 2021 Disney movie Jungle Cruise!

    27. 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, a canoe, Hawaiian houses, etc.

    Plus, they promote the concept of reducing, reusing, and recycling.

    28. Na Pali Coast

    One of the best places to go in Hawaii is the Na Pali Coast. It is the most beautiful place on Kauai island, where you will see stunning sea cliffs with lush greenery.

    Na Pali Coast

    There are some beaches by the Na Pali Coast that your family might enjoy, and some hiking as well. The Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park has plenty of hikes you can go on to explore this beautiful coastline.

    Kids might also enjoy going whale watching along this beautiful coast too! If you are visiting with older kids, you might like the helicopter tours that take you to see the Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park more than ever before.

    29. Wailua River State Park

    Another one of the Hawaii top attractions on the island of Kauai is Wailua River State Park. It is a beautiful river and park with plenty of great things for kids to enjoy. You can go hiking, picnicking, camping, kayaking, and some other fun activities.

    Wailua River

    Here you can also see the Wailua and Opaeka’a Falls!

    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.

    30. 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, one of the top Hawaii tourist destinations. Here your kids will love to see this active volcano!

    The Ultimate Guide to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Hawaii lava tourist. Tourists taking photo of flowing lava from Kilauea volcano around Hawaii volcanoes national park, USA.
    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island.

    This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a top Big Island attraction because there are so many places to explore.

    Visit with the park rangers at the visitor center to learn about the daily programs, find out the best kid-friendly hikes, and where the best chance to see lava with the active volcanoes 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!

    31. Mauna Kea

    Another cool thing to do on the Big Island with kids is to go stargazing at Mauna Kea. You can start by watching an incredible Big Island sunset and then stay for the stars.

    Mauna Kea Observatories Hawaii taken in 2015
    Mauna Kea Observatory on the Big Island.

    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 underrated Hawaii tourist places.

    32. Pu’uhonua o Honaunau

    One of the most unique places on the Big Island is the Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park.

    Wide Angle Tikis at Place of Refuge (Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park) in Kona Hawaii
    Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park on the Big Island.

    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. It is one of the most fun historic sites.

    Plus, it’s one of the best places to see tiki statues in Hawaii.

    33. Mokupapapa Discovery Center

    If you’re looking for free things to do on the Big Island with kids, plan a stop at the Mokupapapa Discovery Center, which is part of the Papahanaumokuakeo Marine National Monument.

    It’s one of the world’s biggest marine life 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.

    34. Coffee Farm Tour

    One of the top Kona tourist attractions is to go on coffee farm tours. There are plenty of Kona coffee farms you can visit too! One of the best for kids to visit with you is Mountain Thunder, located in Kailua Kona.

    This farm has a Nature Trail Walk where your family can enjoy seeing how coffee is grown and made, along with a fun lava tube and observation deck.

    You might also enjoy the Kona Coffee Living History Farm. It is located in Captain Cook on the Kona Coast and is one of the only living history farm for coffee in Hawaii. Kids will love to explore the grounds and do some of the activities at this Coffee Living History Farm.

    35. Punaluʻu Beach

    One of the best tourist places in Hawaii is on black sand beaches, and Punalu’u Beach is one of them.

    Punaluu Black Sand Beach

    Your kids will love to spend some time at this famous beach, soaking up all the sun and playing in the water.

    36. Kona Luau

    You can’t visit any Hawaiian island without going to a luau. This luau is one of the best Kona Hawaii tourist attractions.

    It is a kid-friendly luau, with a lei greeting, dinner buffet, and fun Polynesian show. There are a few pre-luau activities your kids will love to do!

    We love going to this luau on the Big Island.

    37. Panaewa Rainforest Zoo

    Located in Hilo, the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo will be tons of fun for your whole family! It is a free zoo and garden to enjoy the tropical plants and animals.

    Sometimes they have some pretty fun events, too, like Tiger Day or animal encounters.

    38. Waipio Valley Lookout

    The Waipio Valley used to be a home for thousands of Native Hawaiians. However, there are less than 100 currently living on the valley floor.

    Waipio Valley Lookout

    It is a stunning lookout you can drive right up to or get out to enjoy the Waipio Valley Lookout.

    Hawaii Attractions FAQ

    What’s the best island to visit in Hawaii for the first time?

    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.

    What should you not miss when visiting Hawaii?

    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 the sunrise from Haleakala Crater, driving the Road to Hana, visiting Pearl Harbor, seeing Waimea Canyon, and so much more.

    Why is Hawaii so special?

    Hawaii is super unique in that it’s truly a melting pot of many Polynesian and Asian cultures. This comes through the food, language, and celebrations on the islands. Plus, it’s home to the only royal palace in the United States!

    Where should I go in Hawaii for the first time?

    For your first visit to Hawaii, head to Oahu and visit these must-visit attractions: Waikiki Beach, the Polynesian Cultural Center, Pearl Harbor, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, and Kuaola Ranch.

    What is the number 1 attraction in Hawaii?

    The top tourist attractions in Hawaii are usually the Diamond Head State Monument and Waikiki Beach Walk.

    Hawaii Tourist Attractions Wrap Up

    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!

    Looking for more fun things to do in Hawaii with kids? Check out my mega list of things to do on Oahu, Maui, and Kauai! And get answers to your top Hawaii questions!