Remember that time you caught your first wave at the start of your Maui surf lesson?
Or the silence, peace, and sense of calm from high in the seat of a parasail?
Maui is an island where memories are made — the type that ends up on Christmas cards — and there’s little wonder why families have named it the best island in the world.
With all the attractions, activities, and excursions that are offered around the island, one of Maui’s best family activities is simply a day at the beach.
Bodysurfing, after all, doesn’t cost a dime, nor does building a massive sandcastle or scouring the tide pools for fish. For a few extra bucks you can rent some snorkels and maybe a couple of boogie boards—just don’t forget the reef-safe sunscreen since nobody wants to get burned.
For family-friendly beaches in Maui, Kapalua Bay has easy access, showers, restrooms, and snorkeling, and Ka‘anapali Beach is an island classic for snorkeling and jumping off “Black Rock.”
If the family is staying in South Maui, there’s plenty of parking at Keawakapu Beach and a park at Kamaole III, or choose to hop from beach to beach while strolling Wailea’s boardwalk.
To see all the action that’s happening underwater without even getting your hair wet, head to the Maui Ocean Center—Maui’s best spot for families.
Watch in wonder as rays and sharks go swimming above your head, and learn about turtles, coral reefs, and ways that Ancient Hawaiians survived by living in tune with the sea.To up the adrenaline and soar through the trees, strap on a helmet, clip in a harness, and watch the family jump off a cliff while attached to a thin metal zipline.
Every operator is a little bit different, and which company you choose to go with depends on the age of your children. Some companies, like Flyin’ Hawaiian, have a minimum age of 10, whereas others like Maui Zipline Company take children as young as 5 years old as long as they’re with an adult.
For the chance to zipline side-by-side, Kapalua Ziplines has tandem lines where siblings can zip together, and Piʻiholo Ziplines often runs offers where children can zipline for free.
To spend the day on another island—as well as go sailing and snorkeling—book an all-day tour to Lāna‘i aboard Trilogy Excursions, a family-run company that’s been making memories on Maui for 45 years. Snorkel the reef at Hulopo‘e Bay, or even upgrade to Snuba, and the cruise between islands doubles as a whale watch when visiting Maui in winter.
Or, for a budget-friendly cruise to Lāna‘i where the snorkeling is done off the boat, Pacific Whale Foundation often has deals where children snorkel for free.