View Full Version : ISO Kid-Friendly Things To Do In Maui
12-19-2006, 03:23 PM
We've been to Maui before on our honeymoon, however, this time we are taking our soon-to-be two year old. Somehow I think it will be a little less romantic with a 2 yo. Does anyone have any recommendations for kid-friendly activities to do in Maui? Also, any good restaurant recommendations? We are going to take her to Mama's Fish House, but would love some other suggestions.
Thanks so much!!!
12-19-2006, 04:02 PM
We took our 2.5 yo DS and 9 mo DD to Maui. Lots to do. There's the Maui Aquarium, sugar train in Lahaina. My son *loved* the luah we went to. Take the road to Hana but go start early and go slow - get the little dvd from the kiosk store, it will show you places to stop along the way. DS loved walking on black lava rocks and throwing them into the water at one of the stops. There's always the beach too - just sitting in the sand building sand castles was a fun time. Also our hotel had an indoor kids play area that DH was able to take DS too at times DD was napping. Also in the same Marina that has the Aquarium, you can go on glass bottom submarine type boat tours. Since if you're eating at Mama's fishhouse, you may also want to check out Bubba Gump's Shrimp company its on the far eastern part of Lahaina.
So, no, you won't be able to do something aggressive like snorkeling or scuba diving, but you can still enjoy yourself. Just try not to schedule too much and enjoy a nice break with your DC!
12-19-2006, 06:59 PM
not sure which side you stay on, so my comments reflect the western side of the island (lahaina/kaanapali area) since that's where we always stay.
the aquarium is great and is in the 'middle' between the resort areas of kaanapali on the north west and kehei to the south east. it is at maalea harbor area.
don't forget about the 'free' stuff too... DS (was about 15mos when we were there in august) loved loved loved the free hula shows, especially the music and the drumming.
- the cannery mall (sits between front street and honoapilani highway just a tiny bit north of lahaina town - has a longs drugs on one end and safeway on the other with the mall in between) has free shows with adults and kids frequently.
- the whalers village has a ton of shops - ds loved the kite/toy store downstairs and a free hula show regularly in the evenings and is also a good place to go for dinner. hula grill is out on the end of the village shops, by the beach and has both a barefoot cafe and sit down restaurant. the restaurant, used to be a favorite of ours, but we were all (dh, my parents, his parents) not as impressed on our most recent visit with the food - good but not great. the barefoot cafe has equally good food imo, just a more casual aptmosphere and much better prices and is great with a toddler - it's first come first serve - so it's a good place to go with a toddler who eats an early dinner, especially before you've acclimated to the time change. and if he needs a break, you can go take a quick walk on the beach for some diversion. even if you don't eat there, just go grab a seat on the grassy burm around sunset and enjoy the free music and/or dancing.
baby beach (aka keiki beach) on the lahaina side (i think there may be one over on kehei side too) is a favorite of locals and regulars like us for kids. it has an offshore reef that lets the waves break a hundred yards off shore, so that by the time the waves get into the beach, they just lap softly. it's the perfect beach for a little kiddo, no big waves (well maybe a little bigger since you're going in winter, but still probably your best bet for tame water with a toddler). it's a pretty long stretch of beach, with lots of access points - the easiest to describe is to park at mala (not maalea, but mala) wharf and walk to your left over by the old pier. you drop down to the beach there and walk around the trees and then you'll see a long stretch of white sand beach. you can also get there from front street just north of town at several points. you can park on kai pali place or puunoa place just off of front street and follow the beach access signs.
don't remember the age limits, but several of the larger hotels have kids (keiki) camp programs. my young SIL's went when we had them there at about 7 years old and had a blast. if memory serves, the hyatt, the sheraton and the ritz all run kids day camp programs, which might be a fun way for you and DH to get one day for some adult fun.
i have this page bookmarked from our trip:
my DS is a pretty good diner, especially for a toddler, so we could take him with us to most places - most of these probably would be a little more difficult if you have a really exuberant diner. 'vino' up at the kapalua golf course was new for this trip and is outstanding, but pricy. sensei if you like asian fusion is really neat too. lahaina fish co and kimo's on front street are always good and were pretty tolerant of my young diner. my advice, call before you leave for the islands and make your reservations. i always do this because early sunset reservations, especially if you want something out on the deck, fill up fast. lahaina coolers in town makes this thing called 'evil jungle pasta' which is out of this world if you like peanut sauces. in think in the bigger areas like lahaina, kaanapali and kehei, the restaurants have to be pretty used to families with small children. maybe not quite as much up at the high end places at kapalua.
anyway, hth, if i think of more, i'll add. lori
ETA: shoot, looks like most of the kids camps go 5-12 y. o. some as young as 3. anyway, here's a great link with lot's of options if somebody with older kiddo's is looking: http://hawaii.babyzone.com/parentresources.asp?prid=392
also, for your 2 year old for the pool and beach, my DS loved this thing: http://www.swimways.com/product-detail.asp?cid=4&pid=AA8396D5-75F2-400B-92F5-012165D237C4&pg=1
the house we stay at has one and it makes it so easy at the pool and beach - its the best swim float i've ever found. of course 1 parent has to stay with at all times b/c it is not a life preserver and if it happened to flip, it would trap kiddo upside down, but the one we had was very stable and the best part, was you can put shells and toys and things on the mesh between the two rings to keep them occupied for a few minutes. we have some great pics of DS in his big sun hat floating at baby beach in this thing. anyway, you can get one once you're there, i know i saw them at the toy stores at both cannery mall and i think whalers village too and i'm sure they stock them other places.
Sam 5/19/05 How lucky I am that you chose me.
12-19-2006, 08:19 PM
what hotel did you stay at???
12-19-2006, 08:21 PM
No specific recommendations but I found this site to be super helpful when we were looking into a vacation in Hawaii! I emailed an agent and she was super nice (had kids herself). She recommended some hotels that are great for toddlers!
12-19-2006, 08:33 PM
We were at the Grand Wailea. Spendy but so nice for the kids.
12-19-2006, 08:46 PM
Wow, you should work at the Maui bureau of tourism. Fantastic information. We are staying at the Ritz again, which is turning out to be surprizingly friendly. Glad you mentioned Front St. Many of the places along here are good for kids. We have dined at Kimos and i'o (sp?) and you're right about making the reservations at sunset. Thanks again for the info. Really helps me out a lot.
12-20-2006, 11:39 AM
We stay at Kapalua every year, so we've seen and eaten almost everywhere.
Roy's has a great keiki (kid) menu and the noise level makes it very child friendly. Maui Tacos is great, and there's always Subway. Napili Market and Star Market both have prepared foods. Leilani's and Hula Grill are great for lunch. Lahaina Coolers used to be good, but we didn't go this year. And don't forget the General Store for breakfast. We usually end up at Ruby's at the Queen's Mall in Kahalui as soon as we land, and usually on our way back to the airport.
We took DS1 on a catamaran cruise last year, and he did really well, and loved wearing the lifevest and swimming on the boogie board with the viewing port cut into it.
We usually take the kids to Kapalua beach in the afternoon, when there's more parking available. I've never liked the beach at the Ritz, but we're always there in winter. We also go to Fleming's or to the next beach over to watch the surfers.
We also arrange for a nanny several half-days during our trip. That allows the adults to go diving without burdening the grandparents too much.
Both boys golf (DS2 is just learning) and we've always been able to use the putting green for the boys in the afternoon.
We load up on toys at ABC and Long's, so we don't have to pack them.
We feed the birds every morning, go to the library under the banyan tree, hang out at Starbucks at the Cannery when they wake up at 5am on the first morning.
I'o Valley is pretty accessible if your kids will walk.
My sister paddles, so we try to watch the teams practice by the Hyatt. Sometimes we'll go over to Ho'okaipa to watch the windsurfers.
If you have one, bring your local zoo membership card for a discount at the Aquarium.
12-20-2006, 01:09 PM
where oh where did you find a half day nanny that you trust? i'd love the contact info for future trips if you don't mind posting or pm'ing me? we did take both sets of grandparents in august so that we'd have babysitters for diving :P. altho, one set is non-diving and my mom only likes to dive one or two days a week, so it all worked out.
totally off topic, but i'm sure if you are regulars over there, you have your favorites as far as diveboat operators go, but i can't recommend Eric Stern and Chris and their crew at Extended Horizon's highly enough - their lanai trips (and if you get really lucky, schooling hammerheads at molokai) are fantastic! a close second would be heading over to the back wall of molokini with Bird and his crew on Ed Robinson's.
Sam 5/19/05 How lucky I am that you chose me.
12-20-2006, 01:10 PM
ack, duplicate, sorry!
12-20-2006, 03:45 PM
I too would love to hear more about the 1/2 day nanny that you used. Would be wonderful to have that option available. Thanks!
12-20-2006, 07:12 PM
I've been diving with Eric for 15 years, I think! I've even had the unforgettable experience of diving Molokai with EH, which only happens about 3-4 times a year. Until DH, I was always a little in love with Eric :P
We've gone out with Ed Robinson and Mike Severns, too, but we're true EH loyalists. One year, my sister and I started chatting with one of the dive masters, and we realized we all went to high school together. She's doing activity bookings now, but she keeps us up to date on the changes around West Maui.
For nannies, we used The Nanny Connection http://www.thenannyconnection.com/index.htm and were very happy. The nanny (we had the same one all four days b/c we reserved ahead) was a older French woman who'd lived on Maui for years. She brought a ton of stuff for the kids to do, and fed them and got them to nap. We had a 3.5 yo, a 1.5 yo and an 8 mo, and she handled everyone. We will definitely use them again in February. There's another service that I looked into, but I was happy with Nanny Connection.
If there's any chance you can switch, I really *strongly* recommend a condo with a kid, rather than a hotel. Being able to do meals and snacks, and to have a door to close at nap/bedtime makes for a much more pleasant experience for everyone. We stay at the Golf Villas, but there is also the Ridge, the Bay Villas and Coconut Grove at Kapalua.
Our usual schedule is to play in the mornings and sometimes swim at one of the 4 pools, go out to lunch, back to nap, go to the beach, and have dinner in. We'll do take out or easy to prepare stuff from Costco. We travel in a pack - this year we're 10, last year was 13 -- so it's much easier to eat in.
Feel free to PM me.
12-20-2006, 07:25 PM
oh yay! always so glad to hear there are other EH die hards out there. i've been diving with him for 12 years now. i finally got back in the water again (after a 2yr hiatus for DS) in august and had such a great time diving with victoria again. out of the 5 or 6 days we dove with them in august, we missed the clear crossing for molokai by one day twice (major bummer), but our trip a few years back is one of the most memorable dives in my life! if you stay with that big of a group, you guys might want to consider the Walkus House. ask Eric to get a brochure from Tanna for you. it is a large 5 bedroom house right on front street with a pool, right around the corner from baby beach, the price can't be beat! oh drat, now you've got me thinking about all my favorite dives over there, barge harbor, lighthouse, sharkfin. sigh. i need to go diving again.
sorry to hijack,
Sam 5/19/05 How lucky I am that you chose me.
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.