So, the decision is made, and the excitement builds every day. Big Island, here we come.
Hawaii, better known as the Big Island, is, of course, the larger of all the islands.
There are likely a few reasons why travelers with kids choose this destination over the other (equally as beautiful) Hawaiian Islands. Is the Big Island different from the others?
They all have their own distinct flavor and personality, with differing places, activities, and ways to soak up the much-awaited escape.
So, what makes the Big Island so special and kid-friendly? Guess you’ll have to come here to see.
Until then, here are a few temptations.
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Did Someone Say Active Volcano?
Doesn’t sound kid-friendly, does it? In fact, it is great for kids to experience this natural environment.
Mauna Loa and Kīlauea are two of the world’s most active volcanoes and continue to add lava to the island.
Kids, as well as adults, will enjoy the accessible flat pathways, and easy-to-navigate marked trails.
There is a lot to take in. From birdlife, steaming vents. Black lava flows on one side, the ocean is on the other. This is such a diverse environment.
Safety precautions have to be followed, of course, but this is not your everyday activity.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is one adventure not to be missed.
Hawaii’s Beaches of Many Colors
One of the best activity is a day at the beach but the Big Island offers beach-going like no other. Hawaii has some of the best beaches in the world.
It’s here that you will find sands ranging from white to green, and even black.
Yes, black sand. No, you’ve not had one too many Blue Hawaii’s, this is the real thing.
This beach is not for the faint-hearted, but perfect for older kids who can understand its environmental relevance, and respect that there’s a reason for it.
A perfect harmony of sun, sand, and calm waters lies Spenser Beach Park in Waimea. These waters are protected by a reef so make it excellent for those with little kids needing protection from larger waves.
Make a plan to visit the beaches surrounding the big island of Hawaii. You won’t even mind finding sand for days afterward, in fact, it’s simply a sign of a good time.
Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm
The most interactive kid-friendly activity on the island, this attraction is one of Hawaii’s most popular.
Take the one-hour tour of this farm with a difference. Be surrounded by thousands of amazing creatures including small and large seahorses, and leafy dragons. The interactive tide pool is a highlight. Yes, you get to touch these amazing creatures!
These people know their stuff. The guides are dedicated naturalists with biology degrees. Their experience and knowledge will be apparent as they discuss what they do, and why it is important to protect sea life.
An educational, and hands-on experience for kids and adults alike.
Moonlight Manta Snorkel Tour
If you have kids 7 years or older, this could be the one you’ll never forget. This nighttime tour has guests snorkeling with manta rays out for their nightly feeding of plankton.
Located off-shore at Kailua-Kona, these creatures can be as large as 16 feet from wing to wing but glide effortlessly and gently. Thoughts of experiencing them in the wild complement the pure anticipation of what you’re about to see.
The best thing about this? If you are not comfortable in the water or have smaller children, you can still partake in this magical experience. The manta show can be seen from the boat as an observer. No one needs to miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
Need a break? In the Heavenly Hamakua region of Hawaii? Do I have a relaxing day out for you.
Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden offers 40 acres of peace and quiet, perfect for those times you want to be outdoors, but not work up a sweat.
Everyone will enjoy the time off.
Kid-friendly in the extreme, there are walking tracks and a bird aviary filled with parrots, macaws, and stunning tropical birdlife. They truly entertain guests, showing off for all those who take an interest.
There’s plenty of places to sit, rest, and breathe in all that natural beauty, not to mention the stunning views of Onomea Bay along the Hamakua Coast.
Bring a packed lunch, whilst you take a seat among over 2000 species of plants. Definitely worth the drive and a great activity for when you’re nearing the end of your Big Island escape.
Ahhh. Fresh air...
What a way to wind down.
Let’s Go Shopping
A must-do is loading up on Hawaiian souvenirs, and of course, the obligatory t-shirt that reads “My BFF Went to Hawaii and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt” is essential. Worth it for the smile factor, at the very least.
Spending money is the ultimate in kid-friendly activities, right… and not a bad way to spend an afternoon.
Need some retail therapy?
Local markets are a great place for the kids to pick up a keepsake. Something to treasure and talk about, likely hand-made by a local.
Don’t forget to pick up that dashboard Hula dancer. Keep your memories forever. Oh, I mean your kids’ memories.
We were all kids once, right?
No judgment here.
Need Some Tips?
Choose a Side
The big island is just that. There’s a lot to see and do, but don’t spend too much time traveling around if you only have a few days.
Many visitors pick the western side of the island but check out what you think is best for your escape.
That’s a No-No
Remember, bring your own reusable shopping bags for you and the kids, as plastic bags are not permitted on the Big Island.
Consider Car Hire
This is a very big island, and if you have the luxury of spending more than a few days, there are some sites where driving is likely the best option. Accommodation personnel will lead the way for advice as will the best online guides for pre-planning.
Diversity is probably something not experienced in many parts of the world but is certainly celebrated on the big Island. With so much to do and see you are spoilt for choice.
Looks like we might have found the island for you.
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