Your itinerary is going to depend on the ages of your kids. The number-one rule is don't plan too much, especially with young children, who will be fighting jet lag, trying to get adjusted to a new bed (and most likely new food), and possibly dealing with excitement to the point of exhaustion. The 7-day itinerary below is a guide to the various family-friendly activities available on Maui. Pick and choose the ones everyone in your family will enjoy.
Day 1: Arriving & Enjoying Pool Time
If you have young kids who are not used to the waves, you might consider taking them to the swimming pool at your hotel. They'll be happy playing in the water, and you won't have to introduce them to ocean safety after that long plane ride. Plan an early dinner, with food your kids are used to. If you're in Lahaina, go to Cheeseburger in Paradise; if you're in Kihei, consider either Shaka Sandwich & Pizza or Stella Blues Cafe. Get to bed early.
Day 2: Going Up a 10,000-Foot Volcano & Down Again
Your family will likely be up early, so take advantage of it and head up to the 10,000-foot dormant volcano, Haleakala. Depending on the age of your children, you can either hike in the crater, speed down the mountain on a bicycle, or just wander about the national park. On your way back down, stop and tour the upcountry communities of Kula, Makawao, and Paia. Plan to visit the Surfing Goat Dairy, stop and look at the strange flowers at the Kula Botanical Garden, or take the 40-minute narrated tram tour at Maui Tropical Plantation. Grab an early dinner -- try A. K.'s Café in Wailuku.
Day 3: Seeing Sharks, Stingrays & Starfish Without Getting Wet
After a lazy breakfast, wander over to the Maui Ocean Center in Maalaea so your kids can see the fabulous underwater world without having to get wet. Plan to spend the morning immersed in the 5-acre oceanarium. Eat something fishy for lunch. Then head out to Lahaina, where you can take the kids underwater in a Jules Verne-type submarine at Atlantis Adventures; or, if they are too small, hop aboard the Lahaina/Kaanapali Sugar Cane Train, or rent some snorkel equipment and hit one of the terrific beaches in west Maui. Book ahead for the Old Lahaina Luau in the evening.
Day 4: Sailing to Lanai
Now that the kids have seen the underwater world, take them sailing to Lanai. Trilogy offers the best sailing/snorkeling trip in Hawaii, so don't miss it. In the afternoon, wander around Lahaina and see the giant Banyan Tree, the old Lahaina Courthouse, and the old prison.
Day 5: Driving the Hana Highway
Pack a lunch and spend the entire day driving the Hana Highway, the world's most scenic tropical road. Pull over often and get out to take photos, smell the flowers, and jump in the mountain-stream pools. Wave to everyone, move off the road for those speeding by, and breathe in Hawaii. Plan to spend at least 2 nights in Hana.
Day 6: Spending a Day in Heavenly Hana
You have an entire day in paradise and plenty of things to see. Take an early-morning hike along the black sands of Waianapanapa State Park; then explore the tiny town of Hana. Be sure to see the Hana Cultural Center & Museum, Hasegawa General Store, and Hana Coast Gallery. Get a picnic lunch and drive out to the Kipahulu end of Haleakala National Park at Oheo Gulch. Hike to the waterfalls and swim in the pools. Splurge on dinner in the dining room at the Hotel Hana-Maui. Spend another night in Hana.
Day 7: Seeing the World from a Dragonfly's Point of View
Check to see if the road past Hana is open; if it is, continue driving around the island, past Kaupo and up to the Ulupalakua Ranch and the Tedeschi Vineyards and Winery. Stop at Grandma's Coffee House for a cup of java and head down the mountain, with a stop for lunch at Haliimaile General Store. Spend the afternoon at the Hawaii Nature Center and the Iao Valley State Park next door. If the road past Hana is closed, go back along the Hana Highway the way you came, stopping for lunch at Haliimaile.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.