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Island of Hawaii Family-friendly activities

Our most recommended Island of Hawaii Family-friendly activities

Big Island, Hawaii: Night Manta Ray Snorkel Experience

1. Big Island, Hawaii: Night Manta Ray Snorkel Experience

Snorkeling with manta rays is a must-do while in Hawaii! Enjoy this amazing opportunity to see manta rays up close. Feed and interact with other ocean creatures on this cruise trip. After a safety briefing, gear up with the snorkeling equipment and wet suits provided. Relax and enjoy the cruise with drinks and snacks on board. Bring your underwater camera for photos and capture memories that will last a lifetime.

Big Island: Voyagers of the Pacific Luau with Buffet

2. Big Island: Voyagers of the Pacific Luau with Buffet

Visit the Royal Kona Resort to experience an interactive luau show celebrating the rich cultural history of Hawaii with seating on the glimmering shores of Kailua Bay. Feast on a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet with traditional Hawaiian dishes made with local ingredients. Savor authentic island entrees such as teriyaki beef and freshly-caught fish. Be treated to Big Island flavors with sides like, coconut rolls, sweet potato-macaroni salad, and Waipio Valley Poi. Enjoy stir fry vegetables, kalua-style pork and cabbage. Finish off your culinary experiences with tasty favorites like Hawaiian haupia pudding and coconut cake. Sip Mai Tais, wine, beer, and soft drinks as you embrace the local culture and radiant sunset. Then, as drumbeats build, the sensational Voyagers of the Pacific Luau show unfolds on stage. Be captivated by a dramatic show inspired by Polynesian stories told through live music, song, and dance, culminating in the exciting Samoan fire knife dance finale.

Kailua-Kona: Whale Watching Cruise

3. Kailua-Kona: Whale Watching Cruise

Hawaii is the only state in the United States where humpback whales mate, calve and nurse their young. Humpbacks may find Hawaii suitable because of the warm waters, the underwater visibility, the variety of ocean depths and the lack of natural predators. Mothers can be seen breaching alongside their calves and males can be seen competing with one another for females in fierce head-to-head battles. Join a 2.5-hour cruise as you follow these magnificent sea creatures and listen to their singing using the underwater hydrophones. Snacks and beverages will be available during your cruise providing a unique and memorable experience for the whole family.

From Kona: Big Island Underwater Submarine Adventure

4. From Kona: Big Island Underwater Submarine Adventure

Take the ride of a lifetime beneath the waves in this adventure aboard a comfortable submarine. Explore a 25-acre magical world of marine life and colorful coral reefs. Get up close and personal with some of Hawaii's most exotic inhabitants. Descend more than 100 feet and see the sights from a fish-eye view. Board the famous submarine via a special ladder and get ready for a journey to the center of Hawaiian sea life. Marvel at the flora and fauna in their natural habitat. Enjoy free public parking in downtown Kona or at King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel for a discounted rate for 4 hours. The excursion is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, weather permitting. Actual underwater time is 45 minutes.

MaunaKea Stellar Explorer From Kona

5. MaunaKea Stellar Explorer From Kona

For an out-of-this-world experience, check out Maunakea Stellar Explorer. The in-house stellar explorers are the best and most experienced in Hawaii, with one having created the Mauna Kea Visitor’s Center and operated it for a decade. Staff have written noted articles and reviews for well-known astronomy magazines and have worked at world-class observatories. Next, you’ll travel across Saddle Road between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, two of the tallest and most massive volcanoes on Earth. Your National Park Service trained guide will discuss the volcanology, geology, and history of these monstrous wonders, as well as providing in-depth narration on the various lava flows and flora and fauna that you’ll be passing by. While you’re taking in the breathtaking terrestrial views, your guide will prepare some heavenly views just as stunning. Setting up a state of the art solar telescope for your viewing pleasure, your specially trained guide will let you safely watch the sun come alive in true color with vibrant solar flares, sunspots, prominences, and any other current activity, weather permitting. Lastly, your guide will take you to one of the preferred locations on Mauna Kea for nighttime stargazing. You’ll observe deep sky and planetary objects through a large aperture Dobsonian telescope under one of the darkest and most pristine skies on planet Earth. The Dobsonian telescopes are a true purist’s experience to view the night sky. Their fast focal ratio enables you to see sprawling wide field views of objects that simply aren’t possible with the types of telescopes used by other tours. Depending on what is visible in the current sky and weather permitting, you’ll observe galaxies, nebula, star clusters, planets, double star systems, the moon, and much more; all the highlights and showpiece objects like you’ve never seen before. 

Big Island: 3-Hour Kohala Canopy Zipline Adventure

6. Big Island: 3-Hour Kohala Canopy Zipline Adventure

Start your adventure in Hawi, and get geared up and ready to jump into the Pinzgauer for your oceanfront trek up the zipline. The 8 lines, 6 sky bridges, and a rappel make this the only full canopy tour on Hawaii Island. This significant forest reserve is part of the Halawa Lands of King Kamehameha.  Certified canopy guides will inspire you with stories and legends of Kohala while you zip from tree to tree in a completely natural setting. Rely on unique interpretive elements, innovative course design, expert guides, and compliance with the highest level of safety standards to make this adventure extremely safe, accessible and engaging. Stop for a re-energizing snack and drink break. Watch your fellow zippers fly through the trees as you catch your breath and prepare for round two! Finally, repel back down to land! Jump back into the Pinzgauer along the coastline back to the meeting point.

From Hawaii: Eco-Friendly Snorkeling Experience with BBQ

7. From Hawaii: Eco-Friendly Snorkeling Experience with BBQ

Join a morning snorkeling and dolphin-watching cruise with paddleboards and kids' activities from Kailua-Kona and explore the underwater world off the coast of Hawaii. Enjoy a light breakfast, a barbecue lunch, and a full-service premium cash bar throughout your trip. Start with an early-morning departure and cruise ten miles down the spectacular Kona coastline to reach your snorkeling destination for the day, a protected marine sanctuary. As you travel, enjoy a light breakfast of tropical fruits, assorted pastries, bagels, juices, teas, and Kona coffee. Then, sit back and enjoy the boat's comfortable amenities, including a large shaded cabin with cushioned seating, 3 restrooms, and freshwater showers. Once you arrive at your snorkeling spot, get kitted out with your mask, fins, and snorkel. Prescription masks are also available. If you're new to snorkeling, take advantage of a short introduction to snorkeling offered by the lifeguard-trained crew. You'll also have access to a host of flotation toys, including noodles, vests, inner tubes, and more. Or, make use of the stand-up paddleboards available on board at no additional cost. A waterslide and high-dive platform also provide endless entertainment for the kids. Or, if you just feel like kicking back and doing nothing, check out the floating "relaxation station". Your crew will even swim your refreshments out to you at your station. And while you're exploring, having fun, or just unwinding, the crew will be preparing lunch. Once you're done snorkeling, belly up to a full-service premium cash bar, featuring a large selection of liquors, mixes, and local brews. Your Kona snorkeling cruise comes to an end with a return transfer back to the harbor in Kailua-Kona.

Big Island Twilight Volcano and Stargazing Tour

8. Big Island Twilight Volcano and Stargazing Tour

Enjoy a guided adventure starting with a stop at a Kona Coffee Farm. Walk through a lava tube and orchards with your guide to learn about the harvesting and milling process while sampling a warm cup of Kona-grown coffee. Continue through the scenic view of the Kealakekua Bay and South Point, the southernmost point of the United States. Relax at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach to spot marine life, like Hawaii’s green sea turtles, from the shore. Next, head to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Drive on the Chain of Craters Road. Learn about volcanic eruptions and current and past lava flow sites. Visit the Kilauea Iki Lookout, Lava Tube, steam vents, Halema’uma’u Crater, and the crater rim trail. After enjoying dinner at a nearby cafe, return to the park to view the lava glow at night and stargaze. Depending on weather conditions, observe stars, planets, galaxies, and more.

Big Island: South Kona Snorkeling and Coastline Exploration

9. Big Island: South Kona Snorkeling and Coastline Exploration

Prepare for a thrilling day exploring 3 unique snorkeling locations in South Kona with time to take a break from swimming for lunch with breathtaking views. Begin your snorkeling adventure by heading to the turquoise waters and vibrant reef of the 315-acre marine sanctuary of Kealakekua Bay, with your crew members highlighting interesting sights along the way. Once there, experience a vibrant reef filled with coral and schools of tropical fish. On occasion, even catch glimpses of spinner dolphins swimming nearby. After snorkeling, savor a gourmet deli lunch in the shade of the canopy with the monument to Captain Cook as a backdrop and the cliffs of the bay soaring above you. Next, jet off to a new location with visually spectacular snorkeling opportunities and cultural significance, Pu’uhonua O Honaunau, the “Place of Refuge.” Beautiful Honaunau Bay is fronted by large, smooth, and lava rock flats and fascinating gardens of coral.  For your third snorkeling stop, let your expert captain transport you a location that even island locals have yet to see. At this remote location, snorkel at a remote black sand beach, marvel at a stone arch, or maybe admire a spectacular lava rock formation created thousands of years ago. Explore sea caves and lava tubes in a safe, exciting, and maneuverable vessel designed to get you up close and personal with the coast. Rest assured that the local operator is proudly part of the Hawaii Ecotourism Association and seeks to create a culture protecting and promoting healthy oceans through many sustainability efforts.

West O'ahu: Swim with Dolphins Catamaran Cruise

10. West O'ahu: Swim with Dolphins Catamaran Cruise

Go on an exciting cruise on the lookout for dolphins. Board a double-hulled catamaran and enjoy a comfortable and stable ride as you enjoy the scenery and look for the sea creatures. Relax aboard the vessel and take in the breathtaking views of the ocean and the mountains. Luxuriate on the clear waters of West O’ahu, and look for the wild dolphins swimming gracefully in small or large groups Search also for Hawaiian green turtles, tropical island fish, and other rare wild sea creatures. During the winter months, you also might catch sight of the annual migration of humpback whales as they playfully swim the West O’ahu ocean waters. On your return journey, view the majestic cascading views of the Waianae Mountain range as you voyage back towards port.

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What people are saying about Island of Hawaii

The luau was the crown jewel of our Christmas in Hawaii. The experience, hospitality, food, and entertainment were all perfect. Even though we were a large group, we were treated very well. The food was delicious; every part of it was so tasteful. The entertainment was top notch. It is apparent the dancers rehearse in order to give us the best experience possible. Lastly, the venue was breathtaking. The views were 360 degrees of amazing beauty.

This trip was amazing!!! I saw a manta ray, 3 whales, an entire mega-pod of dolphins, flying fish, and coral fish. And the crew was incredible; they went above and beyond to ensure an excellent experience. I have never snorkeled before, but they were very patient, gave me a ton of guidance, and make the entire experience wonderful. I highly recommend this trip!

We sent our four kids to experience this adventure. The oldest two are 20 and the youngest is 11. They had a blast. Had such a great experience. They saw a lot of Manta Ray. They documented it on a go pro. We were amazed at how amazing the footage was when they showed us. Very Impressed

Spectacular show with the setting sun in the background, yummy free cocktails and a great buffet with Hawaiin cuisine staples. We loved the representation of the various island cultures and the Samoan fire display is a can’t miss.

Simon and the crew are amazing!!! Great time and saw plenty of manta rays.