Are you planning a trip to Hawaii during winter and want to get some kid-friendly Hawaii activity ideas? Keep scrolling to find out 15 awesome activities to do during winter in Hawaii with your family!
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Hawaii is the only state in the tropics and this unique location keeps the weather relatively warm throughout the year.
However, Hawaii also experiences mild winters, and temperatures dip during this period. There is more rain in December in Hawaii and temperatures may drop to around 60°F. This cold season lasts up to March.
Despite the drop in temperature, the islands are still extremely popular as people free other states where temperatures drop to sub-zero.
Compared to other states in the US experiencing extreme cold, Hawaii feels like paradise for outdoor lovers during winter.
If you let your kids tag along, there are many fun things they can do in Hawaii during winter and this article highlights some of these activities.
But, before we dive in, let me address a few common questions I get from readers.
Winter in Hawaii FAQs
Most people consider November through March to be winter in Hawaii.
I think so, but it really depends on what you’re looking for.
Hawaiian winter is an awesome season to witness the humpback whale migration, sing Hawaiian Christmas carols, and enjoy warm temperatures and sandy beaches.
But, it also tends to rain a lot which can wrack havoc on a detailed Hawaii itinerary.
It usually doesn’t get much colder than 60 degrees in most places in Hawaii.
However, if you head up to the mountains (like Haleakala or Mauna Kea), it has been known to snow there!
Top 15 Fun Things to do with Kids in Hawaii in Winter
1. Whale Watching
Between January and March, you get to witness whales in the shallow waters of the Pacific Coast as they do their annual migration.
The best place to spot these whales is in Oahu at the Makapuu lighthouse or in Kauai’s Poipu Beach.
Waipio Valley lookout and Hapuna beach are also good locations to spot whales.
2. Go Surfing or Watch a Surfing Competition in Oahu
You can let your kids try their hand at surfing. There will be guides and pro-surfers to guide them all along.
Oahu experiences some of the largest waves in the world and during the winter season, you cannot miss a surfing contest going down in this location.
If you are contented with just enjoying the surfing contest, head over to Sunset Beach and watch as pro surfers battle it out on massive waves.
Find out where to go surfing on North Shore Oahu
3. Visit Haleakala National Park in Maui
This is a location you must visit with your kids when in Hawaii. This is a preserved park that contains a dormant volcano (from which it gets the name Haleakala).
The locals have a myth that the demigod Maui hid the sun inside this forest so that the days in Hawaii would be longer than nights.
If you want to experience beautiful sunrises or sunsets, you have to head to the summit of the Haleakala crater.
You can either drive through scenic surroundings or take a hike to this summit.
4. Experience the Local Hawaii Cuisine and Culture
If you want your kids to experience the best and unique local experiences, avoid the tourist traps and do what the locals do.
The locals know where you can get the best local meals.
Festivals and events happen in the streets of Hawaii during winter all the time. Your kids might get the chance to experience and even participate in one.
5. Go Swimming in Sharks Cove
Sharks Cove is a popular beach in North Shore Oahu.
Do not worry, the chances of seeing a shark here are very low. You will see other marine life instead and get to enjoy the pristine waters on this beach.
6. Attend a Hawaiian Luau
One of our favorite things to do in Hawaii with kids is taking them to a Hawaiian luau.
There are so many kid-friendly luau activities, Hawaiian food for even the pickiest of eaters, and an entertaining show.
7. Visit Honolulu City Lights
Hawaii is a bright place and in December the island of Oahu gets lit up to celebrate the holidays.
There are many festivities your kids can enjoy here including the Electric lights parade and taking strolls around dancing lights and decorations near the statues of Santa.
Pose for memorable family photos here.
Note: For 2020, only the drive by viewing events are happening, not any in-person festivities.
8. Snowboard at Mauna Kea
Hawaii might be in the tropics but the “white mountain” (Mauna Kea) is one of the tallest mountains in the region at over 13,500 feet.
You can find snow at the summit as the temperature here is much lower because of the altitude.
You can access this summit by taking hiking trails in the mountain or driving up through rough terrain only a four-wheel vehicle can handle.
Mauna Kea is a volcanic mountain that is considered the tallest sea mountain worldwide.
9. Snorkeling, Swimming and Scuba Diving
The temperatures might be cooler during winter in Hawaii but they are still conducive for water sports.
Professional divers are also available to teach you and your kids how to scuba dive. There is no shortage of scuba diving places in Hawaii.
10. Visit the Popular Waikiki Beach
This beach is very popular, even in winter. There are amazing and colorful hotels lining up the beach and the sandy shores would be a great relief for your toes.
There will be fewer crowds than in the summer.
11. Hop on a Boat Tour in Waikiki
If you want to experience the amazing beauty of the surrounding, you can get tickets for a boat tour near Waikiki Beach.
There’s a sunset boat tour will take you through places with stunning beauty.
The sunset at Diamond Head will be something spectacular.
Or join a snorkeling cruise where you’ll be able to see Hawaiian green sea turtles!
12. Eat Shave Ice
You can find authentic Hawaiian shave ice on every island in Hawaii. It’s one of our favorite things to do on every trip!
They make these ice shavings in different shapes and colors and your kids will love eating them.
13. Go on a Helicopter Tour
Hawaii is a gorgeous island. You might not be able to experience all its beauty on the ground.
If you have some money to spare, treat your kids to a helicopter tour of Kauai and its surrounding. You will experience the stunning beauty of Na Pali Coast, Jurassic Falls, and Mount Waialeale.
Hire a Kauai ECO adventure helicopter tour for a 50 minute tour that hits the highlights!RESERVE NOW
14. Mountain Tubing in Kauai
Starting at the Old Lihue Plantation in Kauai, guests are set to float through the tunnels and canals of the old irrigation system.
This is a guided tour where you can expect to pass through dark tunnels and beautiful landscapes.
Read my full Kauai mountain tubing review
15. Take a Bike Ride on Maui
There are many biking trails and rental bikes are always available for willing guests.
If you want to go mountain biking, you can follow trails that lead down from Haleakala Crater.
Read my full Maui bike rental post