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Best Things to Do on Hawaii’s Big Island for Kids

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Relaxing in paradise… Ahhh!  Okay, that was nice. What’s next?

As far as my family is concerned, that “relaxing” lasted about a half day and then we just had to find family fun activities to add to our Hawaiian vacation. If your family is made up of movers and shakers, like mine, then I’m pretty sure you guys will find fun with our list of the best things to do on Hawaii’s big island, too. Enjoy!

Hawaiian Luau

Is any trip to Hawaii really complete without attending a luau? Legends of The Pacific Luau at Hilton Waikoloa Village is a wonderful family-friendly event. From Hawaiian musicians and hula dancers to tribal dancing, fire dancers and even Hawaiian cowboys, the entertainment is more than fantastic!

All of the traditional Hawaiian luau delicacies, in addition to a number of other authentic and flavorful dishes, were available for the feast such as Poke, Poi and Kalua Pua’a (whole roasted pig). They also offered delicious frozen drinks (virgin or with alcohol) and even a separate kids buffet for the picky eaters that would rather have chicken fingers, fries, noodles or fruit. All in all, a great experience. (You do not need to stay at the hotel to attend.)

Delicious food we enjoyed at Legends of the Pacific Luau, Hawaii

Some of the delicious food we enjoyed at Legends of the Pacific Luau.

Kilauea and Volcano National Park

There are just some things in life you can’t miss, especially if you are visiting Big Island, and visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is one of those things. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is made up of over 70 million years of volcanism, migration and evolution in the Hawaiian Island chain and walking the landscape while taking in all of the views is utterly amazing. You can experience steam vents, lava tubes and a myriad of beautiful scenery to say the least. Kilauea is also the most active volcano in the world. So, if you’re lucky, you just might get to see the awesome power of lava too. We did!

Glowing lava at the Halemaumau Crater!

Glowing lava at the Halemaumau Crater!

Aloha Beach Day & Aloha Sail

If you are staying in the Waikoloa resort area then participating in a “full” Aloha Day (including the sail) is a great way to experience some beautiful, Big Island beaches. Ocean Sports on Anaeho’omalu Bay Public Beach in Waikoloa offers both of these great activities.

Aloha Beach Day runs from 10 am to 2 pm and allows your family access to all of the most awesome beach toys including snorkels, masks, fins, kayaks, water-bikes, paddleboards and even a glass-bottom boat tour. Very fun!

The Aloha Sail, from 2 pm to 4 pm (purchased at a discount if you participated in the Aloha Beach Day), was the perfect way to finish off the fun-in-the-sun day. Leaving from the same location, the sail got you access on a fabulous catamaran that sails out for 30 minutes, drops anchor in the crystal blue Pacific for you to swim, snorkel or check out a small black sand beach, and then sails 30 minutes back. All with delightful refreshments and adult beverages that are included in the price. Aloha!

Getting the "full ocean-view" on our Aloha Sail!

Getting the “full ocean-view” on our Aloha Sail!

Zip Lining

Zip lining in Hawaii is a perfect fit for the adventurous family. And, adding it to the beautiful Hawaiian scenery, including waterfalls, makes it even more awesome!  We zipped (and dipped in waterfalls) at Umauma Falls & ZipLine Experience in Hakalau which is a very scenic and fairly short drive (about 1.5 hours) from Waikoloa. This was a great, family-friendly place that accepts zip liners age four and up and has nine lines that cover over two miles of Hawaiian landscape. Can you say adrenaline rush?

I'm zip lining...Upside-down!

Zip lining…Upside-down!

Dolphin Quest at Hilton Waikoloa Village

I have to say that swimming with dolphins completes the picture of tropical paradise perfection. Situated in a gorgeous location, the Dolphin Quest at Hilton Waikoloa Village is an awesome animal-human interaction activity. In addition to learning about dolphins we were also able to swim with, feed, kiss and pet the playful creatures. We also had one-on-one interaction and were even instructed on how to get them to perform tricks. Truly an unforgettable experience and one that my kids CAN NOT stop talking about! (You do not need to stay at the hotel to attend.)

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Belonging to the rare breed known as native Floridian, Mary Ellen is a wife, mother and freelance writer, currently living in Sarasota, on Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast….

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