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!
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!

First trip to Hawaii? Get my step-by-step planning guide!

Click here to plan your Hawaii trip like a pro!

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 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 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.

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 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. Pearl Harbor is a Hawaii must do for many families. Check out the latest prices and more details.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 ziplining, jungle treks, horseback riding, and more! Check out the latest prices and more details.

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.

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.

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

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, 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.

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.

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!

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.

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!

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.

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 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!

12. Molokini Crater

If you want to know the best Maui snorkeling spots, Molokini 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!

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.

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 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.

15. Maui Ocean Center

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.

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 under water.

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

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.

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. 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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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 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 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 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.

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.

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.

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!