The Best of Hawaii for Kids

Children pet a starfish at the Maui Ocean Center Smart Destinations/Flickr
Hawaii was made for family vacations. Read on to see our picks for the experiences that will make your next trip even more special for your children (and you!).
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A woman snorkeling in Hawaii Caitlin Marr/Flickr
Everyone can enjoy the dazzling display of marine life here on a Fair Wind cruise, which offers inner tubes and underwa underwater viewing boxes for little ones (or older ones) who don’t want to get their faces wet. Two water slides and a spacious boat with a friendly crew also make this a treat.
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People at the entrance of the Dole Pineapple Plantation Ben Stiefel/Flickr
Get the kids (and yourself!) a Dole Whip and fresh pineapple, and then take them through the main attraction: part maze, part scavenger hunt. They’ll also enjoy the Pineapple Express, a short train ride on a single-engine diesel locomotive around the plantation’s grounds.
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People on a beach with kayaks Jun Seita/Flickr
This gorgeous beach is kid-friendly, with sand that slopes gently into the water. The waves vary in spots—perfect for the young ones to splash around and older kids to boogie board. The broad stretch of sand is also great for building castles.
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Disney's Aulani Resort and Spa in Hawaii Anthony Quintano/Flickr
Disney built this high-rise hotel and spa (with timeshare condos) on 21 acres on the beach less than an hour’s drive from Waikiki. It’s a great destination for families, with a full children’s program, plus areas and activities for teens and tweens. For a full photo slideshow of what Disney's Aulani is like, click here.
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Children gaze at a giant stingray at the Maui Ocean Center Rumolay/Flickr
Kids can book a sleepover in the Maui Ocean Center, staying up into the wee hours to watch glowing jellyfish and other nocturnal animals.
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A playground at Lydgate Park in Hawaii Roy Luck/Flickr
If kids tire of snorkeling in the protected swimming area of Lydgate Beach, a giant wooden fantasy play structure and bridge to the dunes await, along with grassy fields and several miles of biking trails.
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People boarding the blue train at the Kilohana Plantation Joe Baz/Flickr
At Kilohana Plantation on Kauai, families can enjoy an inexpensive, narrated train ride through fields, forest, and orchards, with a stop to feed sheep, goats, and wild pigs.
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