7 Things To Do With Your Family On Maui
Aloha friends! 🌺 My heart is reaching out to my favorite island of Maui as the people and wildlife there deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Lane! Our family recently visited the beautiful island and had a remarkable time – it’s truly one of the most wonderful places I’ve ever visited! Sending all the good/safe vibes I can in their direction!
While I was planning to share this post under better circumstances, I didn’t want to cancel posting it because I know how important tourism is to supporting the communities like these! Hawaii has endured this rough patch and they will still need you to visit – I know it. I hope this post encourages someone to book a trip or, if your trip is already booked, to book some fun, local activities!
Hawaii is a bit far from the east coast, but once you step off the plane, you know it’s immediately worth it from wherever you are – The sights and sounds and culture of the islands are truly brilliant. You really feel the aloha vibes in the air as soon as you arrive!
During our recent trip, we were accompanied by family from all over, including my three young nephews and older sister/brother-in-laws. And, while the vacation wasn’t planned down to the minute, we did make sure to include some fun activities for everyone. I wanted to share some of my favorites here:
7 AMAZINGLY FUN FAMILY ACTIVITIES ON MAUI!
The culture. The stories. The dancing. The FOOD! It’s all amazing and well-worth it to experience a traditional luau while you’re visiting Hawaii! The Maui Nui Lū’au at the Sheraton in Kaanapali is a must-see while visiting the island. If you’ve seen the movie Moana (if not, what are you waiting for?), you will have heard the story of the demigod, Maui. This event takes you through the story of Maui as well as some other incredible legends and island culture!
Starting last year, my nephews really got into fishing, so while we were surrounded by the amazing ocean, we figured we’d take a trip out to sea! Makai Adventures was the perfect group to help us with that! We got up early and met the two man crew off the pier in Lahina and went out to catch some lunch (literally)! The crew was fun and knowledgable of the waters and local wildlife, teaching us about bottom fishing practices but also letting us just do our thing. We bopped around a little but found a few spots and caught enough to eat!
Once we returned to Lahina, we thanked the crew and took our bounty down the street to an adorable restaurant called Down the Hatch, where they took our bag of fresh fish and COOKED IT FOR US! That’s right – fresh off the boat! And it was delicious!
Stroll through the Lahina shopping district
Speaking of Lahina, this little area is the perfect place to spend a day or afternoon shopping and eating! If you’re missing the city bustle, Front Street (and some small streets that branch off) is filled with adorable shops, galleries, music venues, bars, restaurants, and more! Some of my favorites places to visit in Lahaina are:
- The Maui Pineapple Store – Adorable new shop with tasty pineapple treats and cute gear (lots of cute stuff for babies/toddlers!)
- Ono Gelato – Best gelato I’ve ever had! Seriously, so good! Plus they have a back deck you can eat on and watch the tide roll in!
- Down the Hatch/Breakwall Shave Ice – Great for a good cocktail, yummy food (try the lava lava shrimp or mermaid tenders!) and a perfectly-Hawaiian shave ice treat!
- Island Sole – If you need sandals, go here (obviously) but also stop in for some cute, one-of-a-kind gifts like wooden coasters, ornaments and frames!
- Hale Zen – Super cute store off the beaten path!
- Tilly Tim’s – Great for Hawaii gear!
- Billabong, Volcom, Quicksilver, RipCurl, Hurley Surf Shops – Great for all your surf & sun needs + they often have Hawaii-specific prints!
- And, of course, stop by the big banyan tree! It’s beautiful tree (system) off the pier – one of the biggest in the entire country!
I have to admit, I’m afraid of heights so I was a little nervous about this one…but in the end, it was one of my favorite adventures! We joined Kapalua Ziplines in Maui for a 7-line tour and flew literally over the hills and valleys of Maui! Kapalua is fun because you can ride on two lines at once, meaning you can glide (or race!) with your family and friends! Kids as young as 10 can start ziplining at Kapalua and we saw some brave girls who were celebrating their 10th birthdays – so fun!
Enjoy beach time + snorkeling
Of course, you can’t miss the beautiful beaches of Hawaii – they’re kind of hard to miss. One of the interesting things about the beaches off the island is that there is coral and wildlife right in the wave break!
We’ve snorkeled before, but this year we upped our game with a GoPro and full-face masks. (These have ups: including a much easier/clearer view of things when you’re floating, but also downs: including labored breathing when swimming intensely.) With the ability to float around the wildlife, we took our nephews out to explore the reefs. We saw tons of amazing fish and animals including sea turtles, yellow tangs, pufferfish, eels and even an octopus (well, my nephew claims he did)!
You should ALWAYS be respectful of the local wildlife anywhere you go, but with everything so close and ecosystems so delicate, I’d ask that you pay extra care in the islands!
Ok, so this one isn’t ALL family-friendly…but they do have experiences for the family, and delicious food! Conveniently close to the airport in Kihei, the Maui Brewing Company Brewery and Restaurant are a fun stop. Start with a tour of the brewery – it’s a beautiful, interesting new facility (and yes, some kids can join too – guided tours are available for ages 10 and up, accompanied by an adult).
For those 21+, the tour ends with a tasting of their most popular beers (my favorite is the Maui Coconut Porter!). If you have time after, I’d advise stepping into their brand-new Maui Brewing Restaurant for lunch! They can roll up one whole side of the restaurant so you’re out in the Maui air while enjoying delicious foods and beer right from the source!
So, while we didn’t do this during this trip, it’s 100000% worth including Haleakalā National Park in any list of things to do on Maui! At 10,023 feet above sea level, the dormant volcano crater is a breathtaking scene for all the senses. Haleakala means “house of the sun” in Hawaiian and, if you wake up early enough, you can travel to the summit and watch the sun rise! It’s truly one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever enjoyed! Mark Twain described it as “the most sublime spectacle I have ever witnessed.”
When we visited, we joined a tour that drove you up the mountain and brought you a bike to ride down – SO FUN! If you plan to view the sunrise by yourself, make sure you get the appropriate tags and reservations for your vehicle – it get’s crowded up there and you do not want to be turned away!
TIP: For a sunrise trip, wear layers! You’re up 10K feet so, before the sun comes up, you’re cold!!
This is just a small taste of the amazing things you can do on Maui!
If/when you visit, please come back and share your other favorites!