A Guide To Selecting The Best Hawaiian Island For Families

best hawaiian islands for kids Oahu

Planning a trip to Hawaii for your family can be completely overwhelming if you have never been before. The first big decision you’ll have is choosing which Hawaiian island is best for kids.

Before I begin, I should clarify that there is no single “best” Hawaiian island for kids, but there might be a “best” island for your kids. Hawaii is renowned for its ideal weather year-round, cultural ambiance, and vast array of activities. While most Hawaiian islands feature stunning sand beaches and natural beauty, each is unique from the next. When selecting an island, it is as simple as knowing the needs of your family and the interest of your kids. 

There are eight Hawaiian islands, though Niihau and Kahoolawe are forbidden to visit. Of the remaining impressive six – Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Hawaii Island, Lanai, and Molokai- there is no wrong island to select.

In this post, I am going to give an in-depth analysis of each island to help you determine which one or more than one is the best Hawaiian island for kids. I’ve summarized each island, including the benefits and disadvantages of visiting, the best beaches for kids, suggested activities for families, and the different areas to stay in. 

Read on for your guide on the best Hawaiian Islands for kids. Ready get planning!

Before you visit Hawaii with Kids
Best time to go to the Hawaiian Islands for Kids
Oahu for kids
Maui for kids
Kauai for kids
Hawaii Island for kids
Lanai for kids
Molokai for kids
best hawaiian island to vist for kids

Before you visit Hawaii with Kids

When deciding which is the best Hawaiian island to visit for kids, choosing the island that resonates most with your family vacation goals is essential. For first-time visitors to Hawaii, you should first answer these critical questions.  

  • What age-appropriate activities do your kids like to do? 
  • What are your family vacation goals? Relaxation? Adventure? City life? 
  • How much time do you have to spend in Hawaii? 
  • Are you willing to rent a car?

best Hawaiian island for kids

Best time to go to the Hawaiian Islands with Kids

The best time to go to the Hawaiian islands for kids will depend on which island you’ll spend most of your time on and the activities you intend to do. Each island is made up of different microclimates, meaning each island can experience variable weather patterns. 

The best overall weather is in May, June, September, and October. To avoid the crowds, visit during the quietest months in November and May.

Hawaii has two seasons: a dry season and a wet season. The drier months are in summer with average highs of 29-31ºC (June- September). Although summer seems the best time to go to Hawaii, the humid climate is. July is also the busiest month, with families visiting during the school break.

The wetter months fall in winter and are the busiest, with average highs of 26-28ºC (November- March). People visit Hawaii more in the winter to escape the cold, making December the second busiest month. Winter also brings some of the best waves for surfing. However, swimming conditions for kids, particularly on the northern beaches, can be unsafe.

Tips for Families: When choosing the best Hawaiian island for kids, first decide what you want to do and see, then find the best time of the year.

best hawaiian island to visit for kids

Oahu: The Gathering Place

Best For: Families who want culture, history, and the Hawaiian experience. 

Oahu is the best Hawaiian Island to visit with kids if you’re looking for a high-energy vacation. Home to Honolulu, the State capital, this well-known island blends big city with stunning beaches. The island of Oahu mainly offers a little of everything. You will find world-famous spots like Waikiki Beach, Pearl Harbor, and the North Shore.

Tips for Families: Avoid rush-hour traffic in Honolulu between 6 am to 8:30 am and 3:30 pm to 6 pm.

Benefits of visiting Oahu With Kids
  • Honolulu International Airport is the largest and primary airport in Hawaii. Therefore Oahu is the most affordable island in Hawaii to visit.
  • Oahu is probably the only island where renting a car is unnecessary, especially if staying in Waikiki. 
  • Oahu is an excellent island for visitors wanting to experience a little bit of everything from the hustle and bustle of a big island city to the laid-back coastal towns. 
Disadvantages of Visiting Oahu With Kids
  • Oahu is the most populated of all the islands holding roughly two-thirds of the population of Hawaii. In Honolulu, there are almost always crowds and traffic. 
  • The homeless population is the largest on Oahu and much more evident than on the other islands. Never leave your belongings unattended on the beach, especially in Waikiki. 

Best Beaches in Oahu for Families

  • Waikiki Beach:  Arguably, the most famous beach in Oahu. There are two miles of beach connected by a boardwalk. Waikiki Beach is perfect for visitors who want to swim and surf without having to leave the city. 
  • Kuilima Cove: Kuilima Cove is situated next to the Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku. With calm waters, the bay is protected from the wind and the waves, making it a great place to learn how to snorkel. Kids can enjoy the quiet sandy beaches, while adults will love the comfortable lounge chair rentals. 
  • Lanikai: The word Lani Kai translates into a heavenly ocean. This beach is perfect for families with small children with tranquil calming blue waters. However, popular among tourists it can get quite crowded and parking can become a nightmare. Try to get there early to secure a parking spot and space on the beach. 
  • Sunset Beach: Situated at the birthplace of big wave surfing on the North Shore is Sunset Beach. As its name implies, Sunset Beach offers a sandy shore with beautiful blue waters and spectacular sunsets. Swimming is not recommended in winter when the waves are at their biggest.

Things to do in Oahu for Families

Oahu is an excellent choice for kids of all ages, particularly babies and toddlers. Families with babies can find calm waters at Lanikai, while those with toddlers can explore the cultural center or Honolulu Zoo. There are also plenty of family-friendly activities for every member, such as the Luau and cultural center.

  • Attend a Luau: The Luau at Diamond head is at the historic Waikiki Aquarium. This family-friendly luau offers a traditional Polynesian show, a mouth-watering dinner, and different cultural games. 
  • Visit the Polynesian Cultural Center: Voted as the #1 attraction in Hawaii. Spend the day traveling through six different island villages. The set-up is very much Disney-themed. However, it’s a great way to learn about the culture and history of the islands through hands-on games and presentations. 
  • Explore Kualoa Ranch: More suitable for older kids and teens, Kualoa Ranch is a must-do for those looking for adventure. Once a filming location for Jurassic Park and several other movies and tv-shows, visitors can explore by horseback, ATV tours, or zip-lining.  
  • Visit Pearl Harbor Memorial: The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and USS Arizona Memorial are popular free activities for kids. Here you can learn about the events that launched the United States into World War II.  
  • Watch big wave surfing on the North Shore in the winter months.
  • Hike Waimea Valley: With a fully paved trail, the hike to Waimea falls is a nice easy walk suitable for kids of all ages. You will not be disappointed as you stroll through beautiful plants and flowers. When you arrive at the falls, you can grab a life -jacket and swim at the bottom.
  • Visit the Honolulu ZooWithin walking distance from Waikiki beach, the Honolulu zoo is a family activity to learn about Hawaii’s indigenous species. You can visit the entire zoo in about two-three hours. 

Best Area to Stay in Oahu for Families 

  • Waikiki is best for families looking for city life mixed with the beach. You can avoid renting a car if you stay within walking distance of attractions and activities. But be mindful of the crowds. A great Budget-Friendly option is the Captain Cook Resorts, a vacation rental agency that offers a lot of great affordable condos in Waikiki. I recommend renting in the Ilikai building; it is steps away from the beach and the Hilton Lagoon, perfect for families with small children. 
  • The North Shore is best for families if you prefer a quiet, more relaxed getaway. The laid-back surf town of Haleiwa offers a great variety of food trucks, restaurants, and boutique shops. If you are looking for more luxury, the iconic Turtle Bay Resort is worth consideration. 
  • Ko Olina is a master-planned community best for families who want to stay at a resort the entire time. The Family Themed: Aulani, a Disney Resort, is the place to stay to immerse yourself in the Hawaiian culture through the special Disney magic. The downside of staying in Ko Olina is that it is very isolated. You will be an hour at least from other activities on the island.

Maui: The Famous Island

Best For: Families who are looking for adventure and relaxation. 

Maui is the best Hawaiian island to visit for kids if you’re looking for the perfect mix of stunning beaches, scenic drives, and little tourist towns. Maui is the island to help you slow down by boasting some of the best beaches in the world. Stroll through historic Lahaina or drive the famous road to Hana. 

Benefits of visiting Maui With Kids
  • Some of the best beaches with plenty of safe spots for kids.
  • The world-class Whale watching season is from December to May.
  • With the state’s second-biggest airport, flying to the Maui airport is pretty affordable. 
Disadvantages of Visiting Maui With Kids
  • Maui is the most visited Hawaiian island. Especially touristy in resort areas of Kaanapali and Wailea. Expect large crowds. 
  • There is minimal public transportation. You will need to rent a car and parking at reports is expensive. 
  • Maui is one of Hawaii’s more expensive islands. Maui may not be your best option if you’re on a budget. 

Best Beaches in Maui for Families

  • Lahaina Baby Beach: Mostly visited by local families with young children, the waters here are shallow and safe for little kids. 
  • Kaʻanapali Beach: Similar to Waikiki Beach, Kaʻanapali is extremely popular for tourists due to its location among many Kaʻanapali resorts. With three miles of sand and crystal clear water, it is home to resorts, shopping, and various water activities. 
  • Kapalua Beach: This northwestern beach has beautiful sand and calm waters, making it a favorite for families with kids. The protected bay offers excellent swimming, snorkeling, and tide pools. 

Tip For Families: Maui weather is notoriously windy due to its location near the equator. Go to the beach first thing in the morning. 

Things to do in Maui for Families

Maui is great for children of all ages but particularly babies and toddlers. Easy to explore by car, visit nearby beaches or relax by the pool.  

  • Brave the Road to Hana: The road to Hanan is a winding scenic drive featuring amazing views and hiking spots. If your little one doesn’t mind long trips, then I recommend you drive yourself and plan your stops ahead of time. 
  • Attend a Luau: If you’re after an authentic luau, the Old Lahaina Luau is voted the most famous island. The food and drinks are plentiful, and the children will enjoy the show.  
  • Hike Iao Valley: Iao Valley is an easy and short trail accessible for anyone. This hike takes you to where you can take photos of “the needle,” known as Kuka’emoku. 
  • Go on the Atlantis Submarine: This is a fun and unique way for families with toddlers 36″ and above who want to see the depths of the ocean floor inside a submarine.
  • Visit the Maui Ocean Center: If your little one is interested in aquatic life, visiting the Maui aquarium is a great way to see and learn about Maui’s sea life. The center is small, so you will only need about three hours. 

Best Area to Stay on Maui for Families 

  • Kaanapali is best for first-timers visiting Maui looking for a “typical” Hawaiian vacation. Kaanapali is located at the center of activities and is a populated family-orientated area. With a 30-minute shuttle from the old whaling town of Lahaina, you are close to the museums on the front street, Whaler’s Village for shopping, and the harbor. Here you will find your specific name brands luxury accommodations such as the Hyatt, the Weston, and the Sheraton. I recommend the Kaanapali beach hotel, which was voted the most authentic hotel in Maui. 
  • Kihei is best for families interested in being centrally located to main attractions such as the road to Hana, and Lao Valley. The accommodation here is more budget-friendly. However, some are more conducive to long-term stays. The condos at Maui’s Banyan offer good value at affordable rates and are within walking distance to the beach. Kihei is perfect if you’re looking for a laid-back feel, as it is not as touristy as other parts of the island. 
  • Wailea is best for families after high-end luxury. Tucked away with less access to activities, Wailea is private and intimate, perfect for those to want to stay at the resort the whole time. It is a great place to find excellent golf courses suitable for whale watching and kayaking. 

best hawaiian islands for families kauai

Kauai: The Garden Isle

Best For: Families looking for an ideal getaway centered around outdoor experiences.

Kauai’s impressive foliage and lush greenery have earned it the nickname “the Garden Isle.” The oldest of the Hawaiian islands has aged gracefully with valleys, mountains, and cliffs, making it one of the best islands for outdoor activities. Though Kauai does get a bit more rain than the other islands, Kauai may be the most beautiful Island in Hawaii. 

Kauai lacks nightlife, dining, and shopping. But, as laid-back as Kauai may sound, there also are numerous playgrounds and kids’ activities to accommodate families. 

Fun Fact: Kauai is home to surfing legends like the late Andy Irons and Laird Hamilton. 

Benefits of visiting Kauai With Kids
  • Not as crowded and touristy as other islands like Oahu and Maui.
  • Despite being underdeveloped, there are several large resorts and golf courses. 
  • With no city life, Kauai is laid-back and exceptionally beautiful.  
Disadvantages of Visiting Kauai With Kids 
  • You definitely need to rent a car on Kauai; traffic can be heavy during certain times of the day.
  • Many of Kauai’s beaches are rocky or narrow; therefore, there are not a lot of surfing and swimming options on the island.
  • Lush and green for a reason, Kauai receives a lot of rain. 

Best Beaches in Kauai for Families

  • Poipu Beach: Often voted one of the best beaches in America, and known as one of the safest beaches on Kauai. Poipu Beach is perfect for families with small children. Lifeguards are on duty daily, with calm waters, and a playground. 
  • Hanalei Bay: As the largest bay on the north shore, Hanalei Bay, is located in what may be the most picturesque location. The summer months are perfect for surf lessons and boogie-boarding for school-aged kids.
  • Lydgate Beach: A favorite beach among families, Lydgate has two ocean-enclosed pools with lifeguards on duty. Ideal for families or first-time snorkelers. Aside from designated safe swimming areas, there is good parking and clean facilities.

Things to do in Kauai for Families

When it comes to this Kauai, families will find the island more suitable for older children. For children under 5, there are limited activities available to them.  

  • Search for Monk Seals at Poipu Beach: Poipu beach is a favorite basking spot among the most endangered creatures in Hawaii. If you’re lucky enough to see one, it’s illegal to approach them, so admire them from a distance. 
  • See Waimea Canyon: Nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” by Mark Twain, Waimea Canyon doesn’t disappoint. Waimea Canyon stretches 10 miles, dropping as deep as 3600 feet, making it a must-see for first-time visitors.
  • Hang out in Hanalei Town: This soul-surfing town is full of cute shops and restaurants. Put your little one in the pram and walk around, grab a bit to eat, or browse the boutique shops. 
  • Take a train ride at Kilohana Plantation: The 40-minute conductor-narrated train ride through 105 acres of a former sugar cane plantation is fun for adults and children. On the train, you will learn about the history of the estate and various types of produce grown on the land. The parade will stop along the ride so you can have a chance to feed the wild pigs, goats, and sheep. 
  • See Wailua Falls: Kauai’s most famous waterfall. Easily accessible, you can practically drive up to this 85-foot waterfall, making it a popular tourist spot. It is also the backdrop to the opening sequence of the TV show Fantasy Island. 

Best Area to Stay on Kaui for Families 

  • The North Shore is best for families if you want stunning beaches, gorgeous backdrops, and luxury. With lush, beautiful landscapes, this side of the island gets a bit more rain than the rest. The north shore is home to the surf town of Hanalei, which is easily walkable to the beach with kids.         
  • The “central” East Shore is best for families looking for an affordable option and a convenient central base to explore the island. Sometimes the east side is referred to as the Royal Coconut Coast, not just because of the vast coconut grooves covering much of the landscape. But because this region was sacred to the royalty of the Hawaiian kingdom. The east side is the center of activity and a significant area of commerce on Kauai. Here you will find the towns of Kapaa, Lihue, and Wailua. Unlike the north, you won’t have the stunning view or the beaches of the south. Most of the beaches on the east side are not swimmable because of the reefs. An option would be to stay at a hotel with a fantastic kid-friendly pool, such as the Waipouli Beach Resort.
  • The South Shore is best for families wanting sunny and dry weather, a resort feel, and easily accessible beaches. Poipu is a resort area with diverse accommodations, though many are limited budget options. For a quieter laid-back option, look into the Waimea Plantation Cottages.

Tips for Families: Air-conditioning is not as standard in Kaui, especially if renting a condo. Check with the owners ahead or look at staying at one of the resorts.

best hawaiian islands for families big island

Hawai’i Island: The Big Island

Best For: Families who want to experience the ultimate Hawaiian adventure.

The big island, also called Hawaii, is the best Hawaiian island for kids and families seeking a variety of climates and landscapes. Double the size of nearly all the other islands combined, there is much to explore. Families can experience stunning waterfalls, black sand beaches, and snow-capped mountains within driving distance. 

The Big Island offers a less crowded vacation experience. The best way to see Hawai’i island is to drive around it. But be prepared for a lot of “are we there yet.” 

Tip: Kona Airport consists of open-air terminals. Dress appropriately for outdoor weather.

Benefits of Visiting Hawai’i Island With Kids
  • There is a variety of accommodations to fit within any budget.
  • Only 13% of the state’s population lives on the Big Island. Therefore most of the beaches and attractions are less crowded.
  • The Big Island has 11 of the world’s 13 climate zones. There is a wide range of landscapes offering plenty of activities.
Disadvantages of Visiting Hawai’i Island With Kids
  • It is a BIG ISLAND. That means you will need more time to see it. I recommend staying at least a week with two weeks being ideal. 
  • You will need to rent a car, and a lot of travel time is required to take full advantage of what the island offers. 
  • There are only a handful of beaches in Hawaii island because of the volcanic rock.

Tip: Fly into one of the major airports at Hilo (ITO) or Kailua-Kona (KOA) and then fly out from the other. You may ensure a rental car fee for turning in your car at a different location, but it is worth cutting down on driving time.

Best Beaches in Hawai’i Island for Families

  • Kauna’oa (Mauna Kea) Beach: Sitting directly in front of the Mauna Beach hotel is one of Hawaii’s prettiest white sand beaches. A favorite among families, Kauna’oa beach, has changing facilities, calm waters, and soft white sand sloping gently into the water. In the summer, the water conditions are perfect for snorkeling with two small coral reefs on either side of the beach. 
  • Hapuna Beach: Hapuna white sand beach is the perfect beach for families with children of all ages visiting the Big Island. There is a lifeguard on duty year-round, a shaded picnic pavilion, and public facilities. This beach can get quite crowded during the summer months, so ensure you arrive early. 

Things to do in Hawai’i Island for Families

The Big Island in Hawaii is best to visit with older children. Days can be a bit more adventurous and intense, so make sure your kids are the appropriate age to cope.

  • Dine at the Kona Brewing Company:  I said it; take your kids to a brewery! This kid-friendly brewery caters to both children and parents. Parents can sample some unique beers the Big Island offers, while there is a selection of kids’ meals. 
  • Snorkel with the Manta Rays:  If your kids are old enough, I highly recommend swimming with the Manta Rays. Adventurous families with teens can swim with these gentle giants at nighttime. I recommend doing extensive research on the tour group. You want to ensure you can swim and see more than two Manta Rays.
  • Explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: The most popular attraction on the Big Island, Volcanoes National Park encompasses two active volcanoes: Kīlauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, the world’s largest volcano. For families with kids interested in volcanic eruptions, a visit provides the opportunity for an educational experience as well as fun.
  • Hike to Akaka Falls: Akaka Falls State Park is about ten miles from Hilo. The trail is a paved loop path with handrails that take you through the beautiful lush jungle. This hike is easily doable for families with babies and toddlers.  
  • Attend a Luau: Watch a traditional ceremony focused on family-friendly activities and entertainment. Although attending a luau can be a bit touristy. Kids of all ages can enjoy the delicious buffet and beautiful Hawaiian dance music.  Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa is one of the most popular on the island, so I recommend booking ahead of time.

Tips For Families: Although the volcano at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has erupted since 1983, don’t expect to see lava shooting in the air.

Best Area to Stay on Hawai’i Island for Families 

  • The Kona (west) side of Hawai’i Island is best for families wanting more time to explore sights, beaches, and cultural activities. Here you can find upscale restaurants, shopping, and gorgeous beaches. Kona, a lively seaside town, is always dry and sunny. However, it is difficult to find condos on the beach. You will find the more expensive hotels in Waikoloa Village just north of Kona. 
  • The main reason to stay on the Hilo (volcano) east side is its proximity to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Hilo is best for families looking for smaller crowds, fewer tourist attractions, and to visit the National Park. I recommend staying at the first hotel built in Hawaii and recently renovated Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, sitting right in front of Hilo Bay. Further up from Hilo is the Volcano House and several other bed and breakfasts and smaller properties found on Air Bnb. 

 Tips for Families: The drive from one side of the Big Island to the other can take up to four hours. You will need to stay in both areas to see the entire island. 

best hawaiian island for kids
Lanai: The Private Island

Best For: Families looking for a secluded luxury escape or day-trippers from Maui. 

As Hawaii’s smallest inhabited island, Lanai has a wholesome simplicity feel. With only 3,000 people on the island, you won’t even find a parking meter or a traffic light. Lanai once served as the world’s largest pineapple plantation. It is now an isolated, rugged paradise, but the real draw is the luxurious five-star resorts and remarkable golf courses. 

While the island isn’t that big, Lanai can feel like two different places. South Lani is where you will find luxury resorts and incredible beaches. The other is a rustic off-roading side with cooler temperatures. 

Tip for Families: If you are on a budget, families might be better off visiting as a day trip from Maui. The ferry runs between Lahaina Harbor on Maui and Manele Harbor on Lanai seven days a week. It is an hour each way.

Benefits of VisIting Lanai With kids
  • Lani is best if you want an all-inclusive luxury resort.
  • You can be entirely off the grid. The cell reception is not that great in many places on the island. 
  • With fewer crowds, Lanai is the place to slow down and unwind.  
Disadvantages of Visiting Lanai With kids
  • There are limited activities for younger children.
  • Luxury comes with a price, and it’s not cheap. 
  • You will need a four-wheel-drive rental to explore much of the island.

Best Beaches in Lanai for Families

  • Hulopoe Beach Park: In front of the Four Seasons Resort, Hulopoe Beach Park is the most popular swimming and picnic beach. Younger children can splash around in the protected tide pools, while older children can boogie board the shore break. There are restrooms and public facilities available, but no lifeguards.

Things to do in Lanai for Families

Lanai is suited for older kids unless you plan to spend your entire time at one of the luxury resorts.  

  • Kids For Seasons at Four Seasons resort is for kids aged 5-12 to spend the day learning and exploring the culture of Hawaii. These activities include hula lessons, storytelling, and coconut weaving.
  • Cuddle Cats: At the Lanai Cat Sanctuary, families can spend time helping care for hundreds of cats. 
  • Visit the Lānaʻi Culture and Heritage Center: Here is where you can explore maps, displays, and exhibits about the cultural history of Lanai.
  • Watch a movie at the historic Hale Keaka Lanaia Theater
  • With older children, rent a 4×4 jeep and explore the island’s off-roads. 

Best Area to Stay on Lanai for Families

  • South Lanai is warm, sunny, and where you will find luxury and serenity. If you’re after luxury, you will likely stay at the famous Four Seasons Resort.  
  • For a more rustic feel, stay in Central Lanai where you will find cooler temperatures and the island’s epicenter, Lanai City. Centered around historic Dole Park, you’ll be within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and galleries. 

best Hawaiian islands for kids molokai

Molokai: The Untouched Island

Best For: Families wanting to get off the beaten path. 

If you’re looking for real Hawaii, this is it. Molokai remains untouched primarily compared to the other islands. Almost half of its population are Native Hawaiians embracing the true Hawaiian spirit. Truly a uniquely Hawaiian experience, Molokai boasts one of Hawaii’s most extensive white-sand beaches and the region’s highest sea cliffs. 

Molokai is the best Hawaiian island for kids and families who want to slow down and experience old Hawaii and its culture. There are no traffic lights and no malls. It is rural and peaceful, like stepping back 50 years in time.

Benefits of VISITING Molokai with kids
  • You get to experience authentic Hawaiian culture. 
  • There are no crowds of tourists on Molokai.
  • Ultimate uninterrupted relaxation. 
Disadvantages of Visiting Molokai with kids
  • There is no strong tourism structure, such as resorts. 
  • Molokai is not for everyone. It is very rural, quiet, and lacks modern amenities. 
  • Cell service on Molokai is spotty at best. 

Best Beaches in Molokai for Families 

  • Kapukahehu Beach is a protected cove with calm waters, making it a popular spot among families and locals. There are a few shaded spots and picnic tables available. Check the forecast beforehand; the waters can become muddy after heavy rain.
  • One Ali’i Beach Park is a long flat beach great for young kids year-round. There are restrooms and shower facilities, but no lifeguards.
  • Halawa Beach Park is unspoiled beauty. The drive through Halawa valley is equally about the journey, where windy roads mix with breathtaking vistas of the Molokai Mountains. A popular swimming spot, there are two beaches located in the bay. There are picnic pavilions and restrooms, but no portable drinking water. 

Things to do in Molokai for Families

  • Post-A-Nut at Hoolehua Post Office: The post office provides free coconuts for kids to decorate and mail to anyone worldwide. 
  • Learn how to crack open macadamia nuts: Purdy’s Natural Macadamia Nut Farm is a free activity for kids to teach them all about macadamia nuts.  
  • Visit Molokai Museum And Cultural Center:  If you want to learn about the history of Molokai, a visit to this fully restored sugar mill is the place to start. This small museum focuses on the 1980 restoration of the sugar mill and the people of the Kalaupapa Peninsula- where leppers once lived. 

Best Area to Stay on Molokai for Families

  • Kaunakakai is Molokai’s most significant town and the center of local life. Just five minutes south of Kaunakakai, you will find the island’s only actual hotel on the island, Hotel Molokai. 

Island Hopping 

Finally, if you can’t decide on just one island, many people choose to island-hop. The predominant method of inter-island travel is flying. Hawaiian Airlines operates most flights, where you can easily visit up to three separate islands on a single trip. But that doesn’t mean it’s cheap. Expect to budget around $150 round-trip. Ferry services are only available between Maui, Lanai, and Molokai islands.

What Is The Best Hawaiian Island For Families 

Choosing which Hawaiian island is the best to visit for kids is no wrong choice. All the islands offer kid-friendly activities, amenities, and accommodation options. 

The south or west sides of the Hawaiian islands are the best areas to stay for families. The north tends to get more giant waves and less-than-ideal swimming conditions, especially in winter. 

In summary:

Oahu is the best Hawaiian island for kids who like culture, history, and the whole Hawaiian experience.

Maui is the best Hawaiian island for kids who prefer the beach and swimming pools. 

Kauai is the best Hawaiian island for kids who love nature and exploring the great outdoors.

Hawaii is the best Hawaiian island for kids who want to experience various landscapes and climates. 

Lanai is the best Hawaiian island for kids if you want a secluded luxury escape or a day trip from Maui. 

Molokai is the best Hawaiian island for kids if you want to get off the beaten path.

If you had to take away only one aspect from this post, it is necessary to know your family’s vacation expectations before choosing an island. 

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