Wondering what to do in Kauai with kids? Let me show you how to find the best kid-friendly attractions, activities, restaurants, and more? Scroll to check out this mega list of the best things to do on Kauai with kids!
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I’ve visited Kauai more than 30 times. I started visiting with my family when I was a kid, and now I go back with my own kids.
Because I have so much experience on Kauai, I thought I’d create a huge list of our favorite kid-friendly things to do on Kauai.
Some are favorites from when I was growing up, and others are new favorites we’ve discovered.
Kauai is one of my favorite kid-friendly travel destinations. Keep scrolling to find out what to do on Kauai with kids for any Hawaii vacation budget!
And order a Hawaii Kids’ Adventure Journal so they can keep track of these epic experiences!
Don’t have time to read a bunch of Hawaii blog posts and reviews? Here are some of our top picks for visiting Kauai with kids.
Best Kid-Friendly Kauai Tours/Activities
- Mountain Tubing (this is a low-key adventure for kids ages 5+ and it’s a personal favorite for my kiddos)
- Private Surf Lessons for Kids (this is the BEST way for your kids to learn how to surf in Hawaii)
- Kayaking Tour with Waterfall Hike (this is an awesome half-day adventure for older kids)
- Luau Kalamaku (you can do a little train ride and feed farm animals before the luau)
- Koloa Ziplining (this is the longest zipline on Kauai and a must-do for adventurous families)
- ATV Ride (my kids LOVE this tour because you can do a little fishing, go exploring, and you’ll get DIRTY)
Best Kid-Friendly Kauai Resorts
- Grand Hyatt Kauai (this is a personal favorite for my kids because of the water slide and saltwater lagoon)
- Royal Sonesta Kauai (my kids LOVE the pool here because it’s the largest one in Hawaii)
- Hilton Garden Inn (we like renting the cottages here because you can walk to a massive playground)
Want to Rent a Car in Hawaii?
One of the best places to rent a car in Hawaii is Discount Hawaii Car Rental because they get the best rates from top national companies like Alamo, Dollar, Thrifty, Avis, Enterprise, Budget, and Payless.
Want to skip all the planning and just access my detailed Kauai Itinerary complete with daily schedules, kid-friendly activities, and travel hacks? Click the button below.
75 Best Things to Do in Kauai with Kids
Best Kauai Beaches to Visit with Kids
Kauai is home to some of the best beaches in Hawaii! These are usually less crowded than Oahu beaches, which is great for a fKauai family vacation!
1. POIPU BEACH PARK
Poipu is such a great place to stay in Kauai for families because the weather is usually consistently sunny, making it one of the pristine beaches on the island.
We love Poipu Beach Park! They just installed a new playground structure and renovated their restrooms. Plus, the water is really shallow and calm, which is great for babies, toddlers, and younger kiddos.
I think Poipu Beach Park is one of the best Kauai beaches for kids.
Read my top 25 things to do in Poipu!
2. LYDGATE BEACH PARK
I grew up playing a lot at Lydgate Beach Park in Wailua because it has two lagoons with protected waters, which makes it great for younger kids or those who aren’t strong swimmers.
There’s a nice walking path and Kamalani Playground. This wooden play structure has given my boys many hours of fun!
Heading to Lydgate Beach Park is one of the top things to do in Kauai with a baby!
Plus, it’s not too far from the airport, so it’s a great place to get those last wiggles out before heading home.
3. SALT POND BEACH PARK
This is probably one of my favorite kid-friendly beaches on Kauai. Salt Pond Beach Park is located in Hanapepe on Kauai’s South Shore.
There’s an underwater reef, so the water is really calm for little ones to play in.
And they have a tidepool where kids can see colorful reef fish, moray eels, starfish, sea cucumbers, and more, making it the perfect Kauai things to do with toddlers.
But what makes this Kauai beach unique is that families can see workers make traditional Hawaiian salt. Just be sure to watch from a distance out of respect.
4. HANALEI BEACH
If you are staying up on the North Shore of Kauai, you’ll probably spend a lot of time at Hanalei Beach. This is where you’ll find the iconic Hanalei Pier.
But the beach itself is pretty fabulous. The sand is super soft and perfect for kids who want to dig or build sandcastles. Plus, it is just such a beautiful beach to enjoy.
Because it’s located on Hanalei Bay, the water is very calm, and there’s plenty of beach for families to stay and play all day.
Hanalei Bay is definitely another one of the family-friendly things to do in Kauai, especially since there are so many Hanalei Bay activities to do! It is our favorite beach for sure.
It is also one of the top things to do on the North Shore of Kauai, so be sure to visit at least once!
5. BABY BEACH
Down in Poipu, there’s a little spot called Baby Beach that is perfect for families with babies and toddlers. It has protected waters that make it ideal for little ones to play in the sand or sit in the water.
It’s usually a lot less crowded than Poipu Beach Park, but it can be a little tricky to find. Just look for the yellow pipe on Ho’ona Road in Poipu.
Find out the best beach essentials for babies!
6. ANINI BEACH
Another awesome kid-friendly beach is Anini Beach up in Princeville. It has a super long fringing reef, and the water is quite shallow.
You’ll see a lot of families with young kids, wind-surfers, snorkelers, and more.
It’s also one of the few places you can camp on Kauai. If you are wondering what to do in Princeville, head to this beach!
We almost always see tons of chickens and roosters here, which can delight (or terrify) small kids.
Fun Things to Do with Kids in Kauai
7. VISIT KAUAI FOOD TRUCKS
Kauai has been doing food trucks long before they were trendy. They were called lunch wagons and were primarily for workers.
But in the past few years, the food truck scene has exploded, and the quality of food is incredible.
Grab a picnic lunch at any of these food trucks and continue on in your Kauai adventure activities.
8. GET SOME SHAVE ICE
Another one of the fun things to do in Kauai for families is to grab some shave ice.
My absolute favorite shave ice on Kauai is The Wishing Well up in Hanalei.
Wishing Well Shave Ice has both organic and traditional options. You can order one of their recommended combos or create your own! Plus, they offer fresh fruit!
Families with younger kids will appreciate their kid-size options for a cheaper price.
They also sell a bunch of trendy clothing, stickers, and swag, making it an awesome shave ice stop for families with teens and tweens.
Another awesome place to shave ice on Kauai is Wailua Shave Ice in Kapaa.
They also offer kids sizes, which is perfect for families who don’t want to share a large one. They offer fresh fruit and haupia (coconut) foam, which is fantastic!
It’s located next to other food trucks and restaurants, so it’s an easy dessert option!
They also have locations in San Diego, California, and Portland, Oregon!
One of the most unassuming shave ice spots on Kauai is Waikomo Shave Ice in Poipu. They offer all-natural shave ice, and it’s incredible!
Something fun is that you can get a souvenir coconut bowl, a wooden spoon, and straw for your shave ice!
It’s located in a strip mall with limited seating, but it’s totally worth it!
Getting some shave ice is just one of the things to do in Kauai Hawaii during your trip!
Find out more about the best shave ice on Kauai
9. GET FREE SAMPLES AT KAUAI KOOKIE
One of my favorite Hawaiian cookie brands is Kauai Kookie. They have their factory in Hanapepe/Eleele, and they offer free samples of their cookies.
The best part is that they often have samples of new flavors they don’t sell outside of their factory store!
But, they also have lots of yummy cookies and other fun treats (like amazing cinnamon toast) and other locally made food items.
10. TRY MALASADAS
Malasadas are Portuguese doughnuts that have been a breakfast staple in Hawaii for decades. They are kind of like oversized doughnut holes that are rolled in sugar.
You can find them at local Kauai bakeries, and even some stands outside of shops. Sometimes they are even filled with tropical flavors like coconut, mango, and guava.
They are best eaten warm (or at least the same day), but you can also reheat a bit in the microwave if you have leftovers.
Find out all the Hawaiian foods you need to try!
Best Kauai Attractions to Do with Kids
11. WAIMEA CANYON
Known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” the Waimea Canyon is one of the top attractions on Kauai. You’ll drive up a windy road in Waimea, where you’ll see tons of bright red dirt and lovely views of the ocean and Niihau.
Once you arrive in the parking lot, it’s just a short walk to the Waimea Canyon lookout viewing platforms, where you’ll get an amazing view of the canyon.
For adventurous families, you might want to dedicate some time to hiking too.
It’s one of the best things to do on Kauai with toddlers as you can drive all the way to the top of the canyon and then get out to explore.
12. SPOUTING HORN
Spouting Horn in Poipu is always a hit with kids!
It’s a place where you can watch water shoot up a natural blowhole. It’s best when the tide is in because the water is truly spectacular!
There’s also a bunch of souvenir stands set up, which kids love looking at. It’s a great place for them to pick out souvenirs at the end of your trip.
13. KOKEE STATE PARK
One of the “coolest” places on Kauai is Kokee State Park. And by cool, I mean sometimes it’s downright COLD.
It’s located past the Waimea Canyon, and it offers a natural history museum, great views of the Kalalau Valley, and tons of hiking trails. It’s also a great place for bird watching.
There are tons of forest areas filled with native Hawaiian plants, and they even hold an amazing hula festival up there each year.
It’s another great camping spot, too!
If you want to continue your sightseeing in Kauai after seeing the Pacific Grand Canyon, this is another great choice.
14. FERN GROTTO
Fern Grotto is on my list because it’s a unique thing to see on Kauai. Years ago, we used to be able to go inside the grotto.
Now, they have a platform set up where you can see it from a distance.
But, the cool thing about Fern Grotto is that you get to take a boat ride to get there! They have live music and hula dancing on board too along the Fern Grotto River Ride. It’s a hit with kids! Find the best rates here.
As one of the most beautiful places in Kauai, this is an incredible destination and deserves a visit.
Book a Kauai tour of the Waimea Canyon and Fern Grotto
15. SEE A WATERFALL
There are so many waterfalls on Kauai! Part of the reason is because Kauai is home to Mt. Waialeale, the wettest spot on Earth. You can see them on a helicopter tour, while kayaking, on a hike, or simply drive up and park.
Some of the most popular Kauai waterfalls are Wailua Falls, Opaekaa Falls, and Kipu Falls.
What is nice about many of these are that they have easy hiking trails, making them fun things to do in Kauai with toddlers!
Find out more about the best Kauai waterfalls
16. HISTORIC MENEHUNE DITCH
Head to Waimea Valley to check out the historic Menehune Ditch and the Waimea Swinging Bridge.
The Menehune Ditch has been on the list of the National Register of Historic Places since 1984.
Legend has it that the Menehune (ancient Polynesians) gathered stones from miles away to construct this irrigation ditch, AND it only took them one night to build.
Right across from the Menehune Ditch is the Waimea Swinging Bridge that crosses over the Waimea River. It’s one of the things to do in Waimea, Kauai, especially for kids!
17. KAUAI’S HINDU MONASTERY
If you’d like an up close and personal look at Hinduism, head to Kauai’s Hindu Monastery in Kapaa.
They offer public, guided tours that are great for families looking to learn more about Hinduism, speak with monks, and explore their beautiful gardens, ponds, and waterways.
To participate, you’ll need to make an advanced reservation.
It’s just one of the awesome things to do in Kapaa too!
18. EXPLORE CAVES ON KAUAI
If you are heading up to Ha’ena State Park or Ke’e Beach all the way up North, you might as well stop off at these caves.
The Maniniholo Dry Cave is across from Ha’ena State Park. Kids love using flashlights to explore the inside of the cave!
Then, there are the Ha’ena Caves, which are wet caves with deep, cold water. It’s not super easy to explore these caves, but they are still cool to look at.
While it may not be one of the things to do in Kauai for toddlers, older kids and adults can enjoy these caves during your Kauai vacation.
19. KILAUEA LIGHTHOUSE
Another fun place to stop on Kauai with kids is the Kilauea Lighthouse. It’s easy to spot from the coast, and it’s a nice place to get out of the car and let kids run around a bit.
This historic Kauai lighthouse is more than 100 years old. Plus, it’s also a wildlife refuge, and it’s one of the best places to go birdwatching.
Read more about birdwatching on Kauai
20. HANAPEPE SWINGING BRIDGE
This is a super easy attraction to do on the South Shore of Kauai. This little pedestrian bridge is tucked away near the Banana Patch Studio in Hanapepe.
While the bridge doesn’t swing as much as it did when I was a kid, your kids will definitely want to run across it a few times!
The bridge connects local residents to Hanapepe town, so please be respectful when you cross over to the resident side.
It is another one of those fun activities in Kauai kids love!
21. WAIOLI MISSION CHURCH
When you drive up through Hanalei on the North Shore of Kauai, you’ll see a gorgeous green church with stained glass windows. This is the Waioli Mission Church, and it’s absolutely stunning.
This iconic Hawaiian church has been featured in tons of artwork, and it’s a popular Kauai photography spot. There’s plenty of parking nearby, and it’s right off the side of the highway, so you can’t miss it!
It’s also still an active church, so you can join the service if you like as well for one of your Kauai North Shore activities.
22. HANAPEPE TOWN
If you are looking for a quaint town to do some window shopping or find something unique, you’ll want to spend an hour checking out Hanapepe Town.
Banana Patch Studio is a great place to shop on Kauai with kids. They have their own line of Hawaiian children’s books that make a great souvenir or bedtime reading.
The main draw of Hanapepe is all their art galleries, which can be fun to check out with kids. They even do an Art Night where there’s live music.
What I love about Hanapepe Town is that it’s super quiet, and you won’t find any chain stores here. Everything has an artsy feel, and you’ll even spot Disney’s Lilo & Stitch on the wall!
Be sure to get a picture with your kids as one of the Kauai fun activities here!
Best Kauai Activities to Do with Kids
If you’re looking for an easy, kid-friendly Kauai activity, Kauai mountain tubing is calling your name! This half-day Kauai excursion from Kauai Backcountry Adventures takes you up in the mountains and launches you on a lovely float down old sugar cane canals.
You’ll wear a lamp on your head so you can see where you’re going as you float through tunnels. The photo above is from the only “exhilarating” part of the adventure.
Most of the time, you’ll be leisurely floating and taking in the beautiful sites of Mount Waialeale (one of the wettest spots on Earth.) It’s definitely one of the most fun things to do in Lihue, Hawaii!
This is one of the Kauai kid friendly activities the whole family will love to do during your Kauai family vacation!
Read all about our Kauai Mountain Tubing experience
24. GO TO A LUAU
I always recommend that families go to an authentic Hawaiian luau no matter which island they visit.
At Smith Family Garden Luau, you’ll have the option of doing a boat ride on the Wailua River to see the popular Fern Grotto. And the luau grounds are gorgeous, and you can take a little tram or walk around before the festivities begin.
This Kauai luau highlights Polynesian and Asian cultures, and it’s been our family favorite for 25 years. Check latest rates and availability.
At Luau Kalamaku, you can take a train ride around the plantation and feed the pigs before the luau begins. They offer more of a theatrical experience than a traditional luau.
If your kids love Disney’s Moana, they might appreciate this story of a voyager looking for a new land. The costumes are impressive, and they do it in the middle of the room, so there’s not a bad seat. Buy discounted tickets for Luau Kalamaku.
Luaus are the top things to do in Kauai at night and will definitely make for a memorable vacation.
25. DO A KAUAI FOOD TOUR
Our family loves to eat when we travel. Even though I’ve visited Kauai more than 25 times, I can’t always keep up with the trendiest food spots.
We did a Tasting Kauai food tour up on the North Shore, and we can’t wait to do their other tours soon! Check latest rates and availability.
The sample portions are large enough to share with kids, and there was plenty of space for our kids to run around at each stop.
We were so impressed that we actually went back to about half of the stops to eat later in our trip. I’m still dreaming about the pizza from a gas station!
It is another one of the family things to do in Kauai that was a lot of fun.
Read all about the Tasting Kauai Food Tour
26. GO KAYAKING
Kauai is a great place to go kayaking. There are several great rivers all over Kauai (the Wailua River is the most popular for kayaking), as well as the ocean.
There are kayaks that can fit an adult and a child, or you can let older kids paddle their own kayaks. Just be sure everyone wears a life vest, just to be safe.
27. ENJOY A BOAT RIDE
It’s always nice to see Hawaii from the water to get a different perspective. Plus, it gives kids a chance to see some cool marine life. Check out the latest prices and more details.
A lot of them come with snacks or a meal, so it’s a great way to get an epic view while you eat.
These boat tours are definitely some of the cool things to do in Kauai.
It’s also one of the best ways to take in a Kauai sunset!
If you love coffee as much as I do, you’ll definitely want to check out the Kauai Coffee plantation. They have free walking tours, and they also have a cool Kauai coffee farm tour for kids ages 8 and older.
Kids will love all the fun photo ops as well as exploring the grounds.
They have a little coffee museum set up in the back, and they have an amazing gift shop filled with made-on-Kauai products.
Plus, they offer lots of free samples of Kauai coffee! It’s definitely one of the best things to do on Kauai under $10!
If you are looking for cheap activities in Kauai, this is one of them!
29. LYDGATE FARMS CHOCOLATE AND ISLAND FRUIT TOUR
If your kids like chocolate as much as mine do, you’ll want to book this Kauai chocolate and fruit tour at Lydgate Farms.
It’s a 3-hour tour through their pretty botanical gardens. You’ll get to taste Kauai honey and local vanilla beans and try all kinds of Hawaiian fruit.
But the big draw is tasting locally made Kauai chocolate. You’ll learn all about the plant, taste the fruit, and find out exactly how they turn the raw fruit into finished chocolate. Read my full Kauai chocolate farm tour review.
It’s one of the best chocolate tours in Hawaii and one of the family activities in Kauai you can all enjoy.
30. GO HORSEBACK RIDING
Did you know Hawaii has a long cowboy history? Hawaiian cowboys are called paniolos, and they are on all the Hawaiian islands.
Book a Kauai horseback riding tour to learn more about the paniolos and see some epic Hawaiian landscapes.
Older kids can do an array of tours around Kauai. And there are even pony rides for younger kids not quite old enough to do an extensive tour.
These horseback tours are great Kauai activities for families of all ages!
31. RIDE A TRAIN
Younger kids will LOVE doing a train ride on Kauai. The easiest one to do is at Kilohana Plantation. It’s always a hit with my boys.
You’ll hop on the train and take a leisurely ride around the plantation, where you’ll learn about the different Hawaiian fruits and crops. And you’ll get to hop off and feed animals mid-way through.
Another option is the Sugar Cane train. You’ll have to check to see if it’s operating during your trip.
Train rides are great Kauai kids activities for young kids!
32. VISIT LIMAHULI GARDEN
There’s a reason Kauai is called the “Garden Island.” It’s because it rains frequently which results in breathtaking, lush beauty everywhere you turn.
Limahuli Garden is part of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens in Hawaii, and it’s located in one of the most bio-diverse valleys in Hawaii.
They offer a self-guided tour where you can go on forest walks, hike to see a stunning ocean view, and learn what is being done to protect the beautiful plants and wildlife in this garden.
You will love the lush forest and easy hiking trails here.
Read our full Limahuli Garden review HERE.
33. GO SNORKELING
There are plenty of awesome places to snorkel on Kauai for all ages and abilities.
For younger kids and first-time snorkelers, I suggest practicing at Poipu Beach. The water is calm and clear enough to see all kinds of fish. Plus, you might even see Monk Seals or Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles!
Teens will love heading to Tunnels Beach, which is a top Kauai beach for snorkeling.
You can join a kid-friendly Kauai snorkeling tour or rent/buy snorkeling gear and go on your own. With the tours, you will head to calm waters where you can see some sea caves and stunning coral reef. Check out the latest prices and more details.
Snorkeling is one of the top tourist attractions on Kauai and one of the best things to do in Kauai with kids!
Read my full Kauai snorkeling guide
34. PLAY MINI GOLF IN KILAUEA
One of the newer Kauai attractions for kids is the mini golf course at Anaina Hou Community Park up on the North Shore of Kauai.
It’s a full 18-hole with water hazards and other obstacles to keep the whole family on their toes! Plus, it’s surrounded by a beautiful botanical garden, making it the top North Shore Kauai activities to enjoy in the area.
And, kids ages 3 years old and younger are free! It is another one of the things for kids to do in Kauai!
35. VISIT NA AINA KAI BOTANICAL GARDEN
Out of all the Kauai gardens, this one is probably the most fun for kids. That’s because they have an official Children’s Garden with 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. Kids can play in the fountain, explore a tree house, and run around the Children’s Garden.
It is another one of the great things to do in Kauai with children.
36. KAUAI MOVIE TOURS
If you watch a lot of movies, chances are you’ve seen one filmed on Kauai. And if you love Jurassic Park, you’ve definitely seen one!
You can book a Kauai movie tour to see where some of the most famous scenes in movies were filmed on Kauai. Check out the latest prices and more details.
This is especially fun to do if you’ve done a Kauai movie marathon before your trip. That way, the scenes are fresh in your mind before you visit the spots. They usually show you a clip at each location, but it’s more fun if you’ve seen the whole movie.
Book your discounted Kauai movie tour
37. ATV ADVENTURES
Older kids and teens will go nuts for this Kauai activity. Kauai is famous for its red dirt, so throw on some old clothes and shoes and then go for an epic Kauai adventure.
Hop in a 4×4 and explore the mountains of Kauai while seeing some amazing views of the island and the water. It’s great for families who want to drive fast and get muddy!
These are some of the best ATV rides Kauai has to offer!
38. SURFING LESSONS FOR KIDS
Did you know surfing was born in Hawaii? It’s now a worldwide sport! Learn how to surf from locals who have been surfing on Kauai for generations. Check out the latest prices and more details.
Kids will love learning how to balance on their board and catch some easy waves. Plus, then they can brag to all their friends back home that they learned to surf in Hawaii!
These would be great for things to do in Kauai with teens.
39. RIDE BIKES ON KAUAI COASTAL PATH
If you visit the East Shore of Kauai, you’ll want to take advantage of its coastal bike path. It’s a great spot for a morning sunrise walk or an extensive bike ride with kids.
The path goes up and down Kauai’s famous Coconut Coast. The path is fairly new, but it’s already stained by red dirt.
There are several bike rental places on Kauai and some of them even have trailers for babies/toddlers. It’s also a great place to push a stroller if you are going to Kauai with a baby.
The East Shore is definitely one of the best places in Kauai to go bike riding!
40. TAKE A HIKE
Kauai is any hiker’s ultimate dream. There are so many amazing places to hike on Kauai, from short strolls to treacherous adventures.
One of the most famous hikes is along the Na Pali Coast. This section of Kauai isn’t accessible by car, so the only way to see it is on foot or by boat.
There’s a trail to Hanakapiai Beach and a waterfall that makes a fantastic half-day trip. Or, you can commit to the full hike to Kalalau Valley, which requires an overnight stay.
Here are some of the best hikes in Kauai for families!
41. KAUAI HELICOPTER TOUR
Kauai has some of the best scenery in Hawaii and some of it can only be seen by helicopter. You can take a helicopter ride over many areas of Kauai, but the most popular are the Waimea Valley and the NaPali Coast.
Hop in a helicopter to explore Kauai’s jungles and see secret waterfalls and lush greenery like you’ve never seen before. And you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take amazing videos and photos along the way. Check out the latest prices and more details.
42. SIGHTSEEING FLIGHT
If you are worried about getting airsick in a helicopter, another option is to take a scenic flight in an airplane. This is a smoother ride, but you won’t be able to get as close to some of the waterfalls. Check out the latest prices and more details.
But, it’s still a great option if you want to see a bit more than you can from just driving around the island.
Book your Kauai scenic flight
43. TRY STAND UP PADDLING
Stand Up Paddling (also called SUP) is a sport where you stand on a board and use an oar to paddle yourself around on calm water.
It’s fun for younger kids because they have nice balance and find it easy. It can be a bit more challenging for adults (and definitely a workout!)
Hanalei Bay is a popular SUP spot on Kauai. You can rent equipment or join a tour.
44. GO WHALE WATCHING
If you are heading to Kauai during the winter months, you have a great chance of seeing humpback whales. There are a few places to see whales from the land, but if it’s a priority for your family, you’ll want to book a boat tour.
By booking a Kauai whale-watching tour, you have the best chance of seeing whales frolicking in Hawaii. Your crew will know the best places to look and will point out the pods when you get near.
Read all about Whale Watching on Kauai
45. DO A KAUAI FAMILY PHOTO SHOOT
One of my favorite travel souvenirs is booking a professional photo shoot with my family. It takes the pressure off for getting cute family photos during the rest of our vacation.
A fun way to get the kids extra excited is to end your shoot by giving them a treat like an ice cream cone or Hawaiian shave ice! Those usually make for some of our best photos! Check out the latest prices and more details.
Book a Family Photo Shoot
Whenever we travel to Hawaii, we almost always book a family photo shoot with Flytographer. They are super easy, affordable, AND it guarantees that I’ll be in some photos. You can get $25 off if you book through this link or use the code HAWAIITRAVEL.
46. SEE A HAWAIIAN VILLAGE
If your family is interested in learning more about Hawaiian culture, you’ll want to stop at the Kamokila Hawaiian Village.
They have everything set up so you can see how ancient Hawaiians lived. And, they offer outrigger canoe tours, Fern Grotto tours, and even access to a private swimming hole.
So, you can walk around the grounds and then go swimming or paddling to finish your Hawaiian adventure.
47. CHECK OUT THE KAUAI MUSEUM
When it comes to visiting museums on vacation, it can be hit/miss depending on your family. The Kauai Museum is pretty cool because they have a lot of things on display that highlight Kauai’s old sugar cane plantation history.
Plus, they have a really cool gift shop filled with locally-made Hawaiian products. And they host a lot of cool cultural events throughout the year.
This is one of the Kauai indoor activities and best things to do in Kauai when it rains!
48. LEARN TO PLAY THE UKULELE
The quintessential Hawaiian musical instrument is the ukulele. It’s now become one of the trendiest instruments to learn to play for both kids and adults.
Why not spend a few hours of your vacation learning how to play?
The Coconut Marketplace in Kapaa has a ukulele class every weekday at various times, which is another one of the things to do in Kauai for kids.
49. MAKE A FLOWER LEI CROWN
If you scroll Instagram looking at cute Hawaii pictures (I know I’m not the only one), I’m sure you’ve seen people wearing Hawaiian flower lei crowns in their Insta-worthy photos.
Believe it or not, these flower crowns have been around for quite a long time. They are called haku leis (or sometimes le po’o), and you’ll frequently see them on hula dancers and musicians.
There are a few places on Kauai where you can learn how to make your own. Do it early in your trip, and then you can wear it out to dinner, to a luau, and even do a cute photoshoot wearing it!
Book your haku class on Kauai
50. GO FISHING
Kauai is a great island to go fishing. Meet up with a local guide who can take you to a favorite fishing spot. You won’t need to bring any gear, as everything will be provided.
You’ll get an authentic Kauai fishing experience, rain or shine.
Book your Kauai fishing excursion
51. NATIONAL TROPICAL BOTANICAL GARDEN
There are several beautiful botanical gardens on Kauai. Two of the most popular are the Allerton and McBryde Gardens down in Poipu. And they are located right next to each other.
The Allerton Garden is cool for kids because you can see Morton Bay fig trees that were featured in Jurassic Park.
The McBryde Garden is especially good for families because there’s a tram ride, a living laboratory, and a Hawaiian Life Canoe Plant Garden.
These are some of the best places on Kauai to see all the beautiful flowers and to understand more about why this is called the Garden Isle.
52. GO ZIPLINING
Ziplining has become the quintessential Hawaiian activity. And one of the best places to zipline in Hawaii is the island of Kauai. That’s because it’s full of gorgeous jungles!
It is another one of the top Kauai tourist attractions by far, perfect for a family vacation.
There’s something about feeling like you are flying that appeals to to kids, teens, and adults! Strap in for the ride of your life!
There are plenty of Kauai ziplining excursions available, depending on what you are looking for. Check out the latest prices and more details.
Book this discounted Kauai ziplining tour
53. GO HIKING WITH A RESCUE DOG
One of the coolest programs on Kauai is through the Kauai Humane Society. They will let you take one of their rescue dogs out for a day of adventure.
The most popular thing to do with the rescue dog is go hiking. There are tons of dog-friendly hiking trails on Kauai.
And, if it’s love at first sight, you can request to adopt your dog. I mean, that’s a pretty awesome Kauai souvenir, right?
Learn more about the Kauai Humane Society Field Trip Program
54. TAKE A KAUAI PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR
If you are interested in learning more about photography, Kauai makes a stunning backdrop. There are several different Kauai photo tours you can choose from.
What’s cool about them is that a local guide will take you to places you may or may not visit on your own. And, they will also show you where to stand and how to frame awesome photos.
This is a great activity to do with your kids because younger kids can pose, and older kids can learn right alongside you. Check out the latest prices and more details.
Book your private Kauai Photography Tour
55. DO A PRIVATE FAMILY YOGA CLASS
Have you ever wanted to learn yoga? Or maybe you are a total yogi who is looking to learn a few new techniques?
You’ll want to book a private yoga class on the beach for your family. What a great way to get in touch with your body and the spirit of the Hawaiian islands. Check out the latest prices and more details.
Plus, you might pick up on a few new ways to relax your mind, body, and soul.
Book your private Kauai yoga class
56. LEARN POLYNESIAN FIRE DANCING
If you’ve been to a luau, chances are you and your family have been wowed by the Samoan fire knife dance. It’s thrilling and has become a popular way to end shows.
And the best luaus light the Maori poi balls on fire for a spectacular dance.
You can learn to do both (first without fire) and then opt to light them on fire for a once-in-a-lifetime experience you’ll be talking about for years!
57. MAKE A HAWAIIAN NOSE FLUTE
The ancient Hawaiians made nose flutes out of bamboo, and now you can learn how to make one yourself. You’ll get to trek into the jungle to harvest bamboo and then drill holes and burn them to create a one-of-a-kind Hawaiian musical instrument.
Along the way, you’ll get to learn more about Hawaiian culture and history.
Book your Hawaiian nose flute class
58. GO ON A KAUAI SCAVENGER HUNT
Whether this is your first trip to Kauai or your 20th, you’ll definitely discover new things about Kauai on this magical Kauai Scavenger Hunt up in Hanalei.
You’ll learn about the culture and history as you check out unique things in Hanalei. You’ll feel like the ultimate sleuth as you crack the clues.
It’s the ultimate way to make memories on Kauai with your family!
Book your Kauai Scavenger Hunt
The Best Free Things to Do on Kauai with Kids
59. GREET THE SLEEPING GIANT
One of the best Kauai legends for kids is about the Sleeping Giant. It’s a really interesting story, but basically, he ate a bunch of food, got tired one day, and laid down. That’s what formed the Sleeping Giant Mountain.
I recommend reading this Sleeping Giant children’s book first and then doing the hike with your kids to make it a richer experience.
You can also splurge for a private Sleeping Giant hiking tour.
60. PLAY AT ANAINA HOU COMMUNITY PARK
One of the best playgrounds on Kauai is at Anaina Hou Community Park up in Kilauea on the North Shore of Kauai.
It’s super new, and they are still adding playground equipment. They do an awesome job of incorporating Hawaiian culture and promoting the concept of reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Plus, it’s very “Kauai” and includes a play volcano, sugar cane train, canoe, Hawaiian houses, and more. And there’s plenty of seating for adults to hang out while the kids play.
My kids played for hours, and we had to drag them away!
61. SEE A KAUAI SUNRISE
There really is something so peaceful and magical about experiencing a stunning sunrise in Hawaii. With the warm air and the quiet beach, it’s a great way to kick off your day.
With the time difference from the Mainland, it’s especially easy to catch a sunrise on your first morning on Kauai.
While the East Shore is the best side to see a Kauai sunrise (I mean, that’s where the sun rises), you can actually see a spectacular sunrise from the South Shore, too.
62. LOOK FOR RAINBOWS
This is one of the top things to do on Kauai when it rains!
While Kauai has a reputation for being a rainy island, it’s actually a blessing in disguise. That means you’ll have the opportunity to see rainbows multiple times during your trip!
In fact, you might even get to see a double rainbow or the rare triple rainbow!
We like to make it a car game and see who can spot a rainbow for the first time. They are such a treat to see, especially if you don’t usually see a lot of rainbows at home.
63. VISIT A STATE PARK
Kauai has 5 state parks: Wailua River State Park, Waimea Canyon State Park, Kokee State Park, Polihale State Park, and the Ahukini State Recreational Pier.
Some of these are great places to go hiking or do outdoor adventures like kayaking.
64. FREE HULA SHOWS
If you don’t want to splurge on a Kauai luau or you want to see as much hula as possible, you are in luck! There are several places to enjoy free hula shows on Kauai.
In Kapaa, you can enjoy free hula shows by the students of Halau Hula O Leilani every Wednesday at 5pm and Saturday at 1pm at the Coconut Marketplace.
National Tropical Botanical Garden
In Poipu, you can partake in the free hula show by Halau Ka Le Mokihana O Leina’ala every Thursday at 2 pm at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens.
Poipu Shopping Village
Again at Poipu, you can see hula dancing, Tahitian dancing, and fire knife dancers every Monday and Thursday at 5 pm at the Poipu Shopping Village.
65. SEARCH FOR TREASURE AT GLASS BEACH
Kauai has a really cool beach called Glass Beach, where you can find all kinds of colorful beach glass. We used to go as kids and it was like a real life treasure hunt!
See who can collect the most glass of a certain color in a set time!
Please be respectful and leave the glass there or just take a few pieces.
66. GO TO A PLAYGROUND
One of the easy things to do in Kauai for free is to visit a playground.
Out of all the playgrounds on Kauai, Anaina Hou Community Park is one of my favorites.
It’s located on the North Shore in Kilauea, and features play structures, a skateboard ramp, miniature golf, and a hiking trail.
The new playground structure is partly built with reused milk jugs. How cool is that?
There are also restrooms, picnic tables, food options, and a gift shop. It makes a nice stop when paired with a trip to Kilauea Lighthouse, too!
67. LOOK AT ART GALLERIES
While looking at art galleries might not seem like a kid-friendly Kauai activity, it definitely can be a lot of fun! Take a look around and ask your kids what their favorite pieces are and why.
You can even make it into a scavenger hunt to see who can find a painting featuring a plumeria flower or surfer. It’s a great way to get kids interested in art!
68. KAUAI FARMERS MARKET
Kauai has some amazing locally-grown produce and baked goods. There are farmers markets all across Kauai, and it can be a fun experience to taste the difference between organic produce in Hawaii versus what you get at your grocery store back home.
Give your kids some cash and let them choose their own Hawaiian fruit or treats to taste.
69. KAUAI CULINARY MARKET
This is not your typical farmers market, which is why it gets a separate entry. Plan on spending some time at The Shops at Kukuiula to explore their Kauai Culinary Market.
Every Wednesday from 3:30 pm – 6 pm, guests can see live cooking demonstrations and take a look at locally grown food and treats.
And afterward, you can browse the adorable Hawaiian boutiques and enjoy Happy Hour or dinner at one of the many restaurants.
70. SEE FARM ANIMALS
Believe it or not, Kauai actually has a lot of farms. They grow a ton of organic produce and raise lots of animals.
While you can see roosters everywhere on the island (I’m serious), you can also see traditional farm animals at specific farms.
One of the easiest is off the side of the road in Kilauea. You can park on the Mauka Side (mountain side) of the highway to see pigs, shetland ponies, and other 4-legged animals near Kilauea Farms between the 20-21 mile marker.
This is definitely one of the free things to do in Kauai that your toddlers will love!
71. GO BIRDING
Kauai is an awesome island to look for rare and tropical birds. There are several solid spots to birdwatch on Kauai and you really just need a pair of binoculars and some patience.
Whether it’s an activity you already enjoy at home, or you are looking to try something new in Hawaii, it can be a fun, kid-friendly thing to do in Kauai.
72. VISIT AN ANCIENT HAWAIIAN HEIAU
The ancient Hawaiians created lots of temples and sacred places to honor their gods and goddesses. You can still find the ruins, and it can be an interesting thing for kids who are curious about the Polynesian culture or history.
Up in Haena, you can see the place where hula is said to have first started. And in Kapaa, you can see the place where Kauai royalty gave birth.
73. SEE A MONK SEAL
If your family likes seeing animals in their natural habitat, you might get a kick out of seeing a real Hawaiian Monk Seal.
They are often hanging out at Poipu Beach, working on their suntan. Just be sure to give lots of space, and definitely don’t try to touch them.
74. FREE MOVIE SCREENINGS
This is another one of the free activities in Kauai that is so much fun for little ones!
On the last Saturday of every month (weather permitting), there’s a free outdoor movie at the Coconut Marketplace.
Every few months, the National Tropical Botanical Garden has a free outdoor movie night with food trucks.
They also offer them throughout the year at Poipu Beach Park and the All Saints Episcopal Church. Most of these places sell food and drinks, or you can bring your own picnic dinner or movie treats.
75. E KANIKAPILA KAKOU
Each year, the Garden Island Arts Council presents 10 weeks of amazing Hawaiian musicians, artists, storytellers, and hula dancers.
There are even free ukulele and hula dance lessons.
The Best Places to Stay on Kauai with Kids
This Poipu Grand Hyatt Kauai resort is awesome for families. The pool area is fabulous (and it includes a saltwater lagoon), plus there are restaurants and even an on-site luau.
Royal Sonesta Kaua’i Resort Lihue (formerly Kauai Marriott)
On the East Shore, the Royal Sonesta Kauai Resort is another great Kauai resort for families. It’s located on Kalapaki Beach, which is super kid-friendly. Plus, there are kid-friendly restaurants and activities so you never have to wonder what to do in Lihue.
On the North Shore, The Cliffs at Princeville offers one-bedroom suites and two-bedroom/loft floor plans, which is awesome when traveling with kids. And they have kitchens, so you can cook in your unit.
Kauai with Kids FAQs
Both are pretty awesome Hawaiian vacation destinations for families. Maui has more kid-friendly resorts, but Kauai has a more laid back vibe for families who want to have some outdoor adventures, eat incredible food, relax at the beach, and go exploring.
When visiting Kauai with kids, your best bet is to stay on the East Shore if you want a condo or on the South Shore if you want a resort. Both those locations are great hubs for day trips, and both have access to kid-friendly beaches, restaurants, and activities.
Definitely. Unless you truly aren’t planning on leaving your resort, you will need to rent a car to get around the island. Kauai doesn’t have great public transportation, and many places aren’t on the bus route.
Kauai is a very laid back place to visit, so it is perfect for kids when visiting the Hawaiian islands. There are plenty of fun things to do in Kauai with kids, making it the perfect family vacation spot!
You will want around 7 to 10 days to fully explore this Hawaiian island and enjoy all the Kauai activities for kids while taking time to relax and not rush.
Things to do in Kauai with Kids Wrap-Up
From all the Kauai free activities to outdoor adventures, these are some of the best things to do in Kauai with kids!
Head to the beach, go on island helicopter tours, visit the Canyon, or the historic Kilohana Plantation, these are some of the top kid-friendy activities in Kauai.