Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Family Friendly Maui

Nearly a quarter of all visitors to Maui are families, and businesses on the island recognize that fact. There are plenty of roadside attractions, beach activities and community events to entertain the kids and adults alike. To help parents plan the perfect family vacation on Maui, we’ve compiled a short list of some of the island’s top kid-friendly things to do.

Guaranteed to inspire the little marine biologists in your family, a snorkeling excursion is easily one of the best (and most affordable) family outings to be had on Maui. Check out our guide to Maui’s top snorkel spots.

Maui Ocean Center
Ranked among the best aquariums in the country, Maui Ocean Center features a variety of Hawaii’s sharks, turtles, stingrays and thousands of vibrant tropical fish. It is also home to the world’s largest collection of live Pacific corals.

‘Iao Valley State Park in central Maui offers hiking trails for all skill levels. The children will love the waterfalls and swimming holes. Explore this lush landscape and play a little Maui flora and fauna bingo!

Perfect for those little dare devils, parasailing is an exciting addition to any family day at the beach. Local companies such as UFO Parasail boast competitive rates and impressive safety records. Be sure to call ahead to verify height and weight restrictions.

Helicopter Tour
Our preferred vendor’s Hana Landing Tour is perfect for families. This Maui helicopter tour affords memorable views of the island countryside as well as its remarkable coastlines. The helicopter flight makes a landing at a former taro plantation in the heart of Hana Rainforest, allowing children to explore the lush vegetation and scenic waterfalls.

Leilani Farm Sanctuary
This all-volunteer, nonprofit sprawled across 8 acres of green pastures is one massive petting zoo. The animals, ranging from chickens to donkeys, help to educate visitors as well as inspire compassion. Your family can tour the facilities at Leilani Farm Sanctuary Wednesdays at 4 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m.

Sugar Cane Train
At one time, Maui utilized more than 200 miles of railroad tracks to transport sugar cane from plantations to mills. Most of these rail lines were abandoned by the 1950s. A man by the name of A.W. McKelvey in cooperation with the Makai Corporation created the Sugar Cane Train in 1969 to memorialize this part of Hawaiian history. The views of Pu’u Kukui, Lanai and Moloka’i are breathtaking.

Maui Golf & Sports Park
Two beautiful, 18-hole miniature golf courses complete with volcanos and waterfalls, bumper boats, rock climbing and a bungee trampoline? What’s not to love about Maui Golf & Sports Park? The kids – and let’s be honest, probably the adults too – will have hours of fun at this family entertainment center boasting an idyllic seaside location.

Old Lahaina Luau
According to Frommers, Old Lahaina Luau’s “authenticity, intimacy, hospitality, cultural integrity and sheer romantic beauty have made this Maui’s top luau.” You’ll love the exotic menu, and the kids will love the energetic performances. There’s no guarantee anyone will love the poi.

Sure, you might have to forgo the romantic, moon-lit strolls along the beach. Yeah, you can cross off that wine tasting at the quaint, upcountry winery. But family vacations can be just as rewarding. For more fun facts, travel advice and Maui recommendations, follow VegasDaze on Twitter.

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