For travelers and those looking to relocate, the Big Island of Hawai’i certainly offers some of the very best in entertainment and scenery to be found anywhere in the world…but, having said that, planning an excursion with your keiki (children) in tow can present a bit more of a challenge at times, as they’re often too small (or fussy!) to hang in there for that lengthy hike you had planned. Never fear—today we’re here to share a few of our favorite kid-friendly activities and places on the Big Island to help you plan your next island getaway! Without further ado:
- Hit the Beach! If you’re curious where to go, make sure to check out our recent blog post highlighting a few of our favorite beaches here on the island. There’s plenty of locales that are perfectly suited for some family-friendly fun in the sun! Bonus item: be sure to stop in on Kahalu’u Beach Park for some of the very best snorkeling and beachside amenities on the entire island!
- Check out Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park: As one of only two national parks in the entire state (the other being on Haleakala over on Maui), this scenic attraction abuts the area right around Kilauea, a still-active volcano on the Big Island. Making a stop at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park truly comprises the best of both worlds: a fun time for everyone that is also highly educational for the keikei. With over 520 total square miles—and a number of short hikes that are only around a mile long to be enjoyed—this is one stop you definitely don’t want to miss.
- Make a stop at Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens: one of the Big Island’s premier attractions, this tropical rainforest reserve has over 80 total species of animals to be appreciated, including a Bengal tiger (!) and other exotic creatures. They’re open everyday from 10 AM to 3 PM except for Christmas Day and New Years Day. Unfortunately, their petting zoo is currently closed due to Covid-19 precautions, according to their website—but check back and make sure to add this one to your to-do list regardless!
- Explore the local, historic sites of the island: The Big Island is not only home to some of the world’s most breathtaking natural beauty, it also holds its own rich history around nearly every turn. From Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site (which holds the ruins of King Kamehameha’s temple) to Kaloko Honokohau National Historic Park (and its ancient fish pond formations), the island of Hawai’i is rich in culture and historical sites to be explored for an experience that’s as educational as it is fun—and frequently awe-inspiring!
Swim with the dolphins! That’s right—although many of these popular programs were shuttered during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, many of them have now begun to open back up again with enhanced safety measures to keep everyone in your ‘ohana safe. There are a number of reputable outfits on the island standing at the ready to help your keiki to take a dip alongside these magnificent creatures—check out Hawai’i Dolphin Quest at the Hilton Waikoloa Village as an example of just such a program.