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Family-Friendly Activities On The Big Island, Hawaii

Family-Friendly Activities On The Big Island, Hawaii

Published: June 18, 2024

The Big Island of Hawaii offers tons of family-friendly activities, making it an ideal vacation spot to take your whole crew.

The Big Island stands out for multiple reasons. It has 11 out of 13 world climate zones. It’s home to the world’s most active volcano. And it’s the birthplace of King Kamehameha (known for uniting Hawaii).

There’s also so many activities on the island that even your most restless, easily bored family members will find something to fall in love with.

The sky's the limit when it comes to having fun on The Big Island (literally, if you decide to opt for zip lining or hang gliding), but we’ll get you started with a few 100 Collection-approved ideas.

1. Water Activities

Aerial View of Kona Beach Big Island Hawaii

We can’t write about Hawaii without mentioning the beaches, along with all the water activities available.

Warm water temperatures, abundant marine wildlife, and distinctive black sand beaches make The Big Island an ideal place for laid back beach days.

There’s more to do than swim, though: if you’ve always dreamed of SCUBA diving, you can get certified on your trip at a beginner level.

Plus, many dive tour companies are focused on sustainability and ocean preservation– a win-win for both your family and the environment. Or opt for snorkeling, surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, dolphin swims, and whale watching tours. 

And of course, if you’d just prefer a beach chair on the shore with a fruity drink, we fully support that too!

2. Supporting Local Hawaiian Businesses

Big Island Hawaii Fruit Stand

Massages… fresh pineapple... bright, airy island clothing… traditional luaus… Hawaiian barbeque… cute souvenirs for everyone who didn’t make the guest list…

Everything in Hawaii is better when you shop local!

Support The Big Island’s community businesses to make meaningful memories with your family, meet new people from all walks of life, and enjoy the most authentic island experience possible.

It’s easier than ever to plan your itinerary with local shops, spas, and restaurants in mind.

Websites like the Native Hawaiian Business Directory, Shop Small Hawaii, Kuhikuhi.com, and the Kama’Aina Directory exist to connect you with everything you could possibly want on The Big Island– brought to you by the people that know the area best.

3. Hiking, Zip Lining, and Volcano Tours

View of Akaka Falls Big Island

For an explosively fun time for the whole family, check out the Hawaii Volcano National Park (an International Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site).

There are four active volcanoes on The Big Island: Kilauea, Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, and Hualalai. When conditions allow, you can view eruptions and take guided tours of the park, or choose a trail to hike at your own pace.

Akaka Falls State Park is another must-visit Big Island hiking stop– the main trail is paved, making it a good choice for both beginner and advanced hikers, and you’ll be able to gaze in awe at two glorious waterfalls (Kahuna Falls and Akaka Falls).

These parks are perfect options for families because they offer an engaging way to connect with nature– and they’re educational without feeling educational, so the little ones won’t resist.

For those in your travel party who love a good adrenaline rush, there are also multiple options for zip lining and hang gliding on The Big Island. Some tours even include swimming and kayaking additions.

4. Explore Museums and Learn About Hawaiian Culture

View of Kailua Kona Village from Water

Hulihe’e Palace originally served as a vacation home for Hawaiian royalty. Located in the Historic Kailua Village, it has been converted into a museum focused on Victorian-era Hawaii.

The palace is an ideal starting point for a day downtown since other significant sites are nearby (including a royal residence of King Kamehameha I). Also make sure to investigate the Kona Coffee Living History Farm, the Lyman Museum and Mission House, and Parker Ranch. Each museum highlights a different aspect of Hawaiian history, and all are worth a visit.

For the science lovers in your group, plan a trip to the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center. You’ll learn how Polynesian sailors traditionally navigated, and explore the study of astronomy on Hawaii today. Other science museums on The Big Island include the Pacific Tsunami museum and the Mokupapapa Discovery Center, which focuses on Hawaii’s coral reefs and rich aquatic life.

Best Place To Stay On The Big Island With Families

View of Big Island Resort Pool

The 100 Collection™ is proud to partner with The Big Island Vacation Rentals by Paradise In Hawaii Luxury Homes.

The Big Island Vacation Rentals have resort-style amenities like pools, covered lanais, and outdoor lounging areas, plus thoughtful details like bikes, games, toys, and beach gear.

If you’re just traveling with immediate family, book a cozy oceanside 2 bedroom condo– or if you’re including extended family or planning a reunion, consider reserving a 4 or 5 bedroom home with yard space.

The Big Island has something for everyone: boutique shopping, outdoor adventures, local spas, museums, and an excess of natural beauty wherever you are.

Plus, there are ample opportunities to keep curious minds engaged and athletic bodies active, which means your group will end each day pleasantly tired, with plenty of new stories to bond over.

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