Maui enjoys the distinction as no ka ‘oi, or the best, not just because of its extraordinary beaches, five-star resorts, critically acclaimed restaurants, lush rainforests, towering waterfalls, or Haleakala, the 10,023-foot, behemoth volcano that looms above it all. No, an enormous part of its appeal is that the second-largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago is as dreamy for kids as it is for adults.
Admire Maui’s exquisite marine life at Kama‘ole Beach Park III
Snorkeling is a beloved Hawaiian pastime, as natural to children who were raised in this Pacific island chain as sledding is for kids in the snowy parts of the mainland. And for a good reason: the waters surrounding Maui brim with vibrant tropical fish, immense Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles (or honu), sleek dolphins, and, from mid-winter to late spring, colossal North Pacific Humpback whales.
Your children can see several of these wonders while snorkeling at one of the many lovely spots on the south shore, but our vote is for Kama’ole Beach Park III. As the southernmost Kama‘ole Beach — a string of glorious, white-sand beaches in South Kihei — Kama‘ole III is a child’s paradise. In addition to calm, sparkling waters ideal for dunking under and observing sea creatures, the beach park features a large, grassy hill, swing sets, barbecue pits, and a playground. Translation: happy all around.
Hang ten at Cove
Whether your kids are five years old or 15, no Hawaiian vacation is complete without a surfing trip, and Kihei happens to be one of the leading places on the island to learn how to longboard. Cove Beach Park’s small, slow-rolling waves, coupled with the town’s impressive assortment of gifted surf instructors, is the perfect setting for children who are keen on trying Hawaii’s most famous and delightful sport.
Roller skate at Kalama Park
Kalama Park is impossible to miss: It’s the verdant, makai (ocean)-side oasis with the Humpback Whale statue in front. Meander deeper into Kalama, and you’ll find a skateboarding park, a jungle gym, and a rollerskating rink that comes alive on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Skate rentals are available, just in case you didn’t toss a pair of rollerblades into your luggage.
Slip into the deep Pacific for a whale watch
Whale season on the Valley Isle is hotly anticipated by locals and visitors alike. Starting in November, North Pacific Humpback whales — which weigh in at 40 tons and stretch as long as a school bus — migrate from Alaska to Hawaii to birth, calve, and feed in the aquamarine waters that comprise Maui Nui. While their acrobatics can easily be savored from shore, witnessing them up close will linger in your children’s memories for decades.
Discover hours of excitement at The Canyon Activity Pool at the Grand Wailea
The Grand Wailea immediately earned a reputation as the most exhilarating playground for keiki upon its opening in 1991. Since then, it has undergone multiple renovations, resulting in a masterpiece of a resort flourishing with stunning restaurants, phenomenal artwork (to wit: a Sistine Chapel-Esque ceiling in their opulent lobby bar), a chapel complete with stained glass windows, and a multi-tiered pool booming with an abundance of ultra-fun adventures.
Tee off under the sun at Maui Golf & Sports Park
Maalaea rests on the far northern edge of Kihei on the way toward Lahaina and exists as a small, windy, and gorgeous sanctuary for both children and adults. Maui Golf & Sports Park is one of its biggest attractions. Here, children have a fabulous assortment of activities from which to choose, including miniature golf, bumper boats, an extreme trampoline, and rock climbing. Lively and well-kept, this popular local gem is also mere yards away from the ocean, which amplifies its fun-in-the-sun energy.
Witness a splendid shark show at Maui Ocean Center
You may not want to encounter a shark when playing in the waves at Keawakapu or Wailea Beach, but watching their sleek shapes through a pane of glass is positively mesmerizing. Ma‘alaea’s Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii, provides children with this opportunity and more. As the largest tropical aquarium in the nation, the spellbinding, three-acre facility features a 750,000-gallon tunneled tank where various sharks, manta rays, and fish dart through the reefs. The center’s turtle lagoon, located just outside, is also a treasure to behold.
Savor shaved ice at Ululani’s in North Kihei
There’s no better way to cool off on the island than with a bowl of handcrafted, artisanal shaved ice with a scoop of Roselani’s gourmet vanilla ice cream at the bottom. This is precisely what you and your children will find at Ululani's Shave Ice, a picturesque parlor directly across the street from the renowned Kihei Canoe Club and one of the longest stretches of golden sand on the South Side. With flavors ranging from Leche and coconut with azuki beans to “Sunset Beach” with guava, mango, and liliko‘i, everything at Ululani’s tastes like paradise.
Moving to Kihei? Work with ‘Ohana Real Estate Team
Intrigued by all that Kihei has to offer in the way of family fun? This is just a quick glimpse at the wonderful quality of life the perennially-warm beach town affords its residents. If you’re interested in exploring Kihei homes for sale, the ‘Ohana Real Estate Team is the group of professionals to have by your side. Between their expertise in Kihei real estate and their welcoming, aloha spirit, they never fail to provide their clients with an impeccable experience.