Big Island, Hawaii
Family-friendly Activities

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Our most recommended Big Island, Hawaii Family-friendly Activities

Big Island: Voyagers of the Pacific Luau with Buffet

1. 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. Start the evening with an aloha shell lei greeting, and craft demonstrations. Soon after, feast on a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet with traditional Hawaiian dishes made with local ingredients. Savor authentic island entrees such as honey soy braised beef, and fresh-catch fish. Be treated to Big Island flavors with sides like Hawaiian sweet potatoes, coconut rolls, macaroni, and Lomi Lomi salmon salad. Enjoy stir friend vegetables and 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.

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Kailua-Kona: Whale Watching Cruise

2. 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.

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Big Island: Eco-Friendly Snorkeling Expereince and BBQ

3. Big Island: Eco-Friendly Snorkeling Expereince and BBQ

You will need to arrive at 7:30 AM for your 8 AM departure and cruise through protected marine sanctuaries. Cruise ten miles down the Kona Coast to the snorkel destination, a protected marine sanctuary. Relax, you will have over two hours of water time to enjoy the marine life, underwater topography, and coral reef. Cruise in comfort! The boat’s main lower deck features a large shaded cabin with cushioned seating, tables, a premium bar, three restrooms, and freshwater showers. You won’t go hungry. Enjoy a light breakfast of tropical fruits, assorted pastries, bagels, juices, teas, and Kona coffee. While you're taking in the fun, the crew prepares lunch. After snorkeling, belly up to a full-service premium cash bar, featuring a large selection of liquors, mixes, and local brews. This boat hosts one of the only blenders on the Kona Coast. Your mask, fins, snorkel, and prescription masks will be provided to you. For beginners, a friendly “Snorkel 101 Class” is available from the lifeguard-trained crew. A host of flotation toys, including noodles, vests, inner tubes, and even “Sea View Boards” for those who don’t want to get their face wet. They even include the use of stand-up paddleboards and an array of other flotation devices at no additional cost. Kids of all ages love the 20’ waterslide and high dive platform. If you want to kick back and do nothing, check out the floating “relaxation station”, the crew will swim you out refreshments. More adventurous guests can rent a GoPro or wetsuit.

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Big Island: South Kona Snorkeling and Coastline Exploration

4. 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.

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Big Island Twilight Volcano and Stargazing Tour

5. Big Island Twilight Volcano and Stargazing Tour

Enjoy a fully narrated 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, go to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Tour the Chain of Craters Road for the “mountain to sea” experience. Stop by and learn about volcanic eruptions and flow sites, the park coastline, and the Holei Sea Arch. Visit Kilauea Iki Lookout, steam vents, Halema’uma’u Crater, and crater rim trail. After enjoying dinner at a local café near the park, visit a secluded location for stargazing. Depending on weather conditions, observe stars, planets, galaxies, and more.

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MaunaKea Stellar Explorer From Kona

6. 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. 

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Big Island: 3-Hour Kohala Canopy Zipline Adventure

7. 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.

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Big Island: 1-Hour Eco-Friendly Glass Bottom Reef Tour

8. Big Island: 1-Hour Eco-Friendly Glass Bottom Reef Tour

Step aboard Marian, a unique glass-bottom boat. Enjoy the comfortable and a spacious cruiser that will take you on an exciting journey exploring Kona's fantastic reef. Your tour begins as you board the vessel at Kailua Pier. Onboard naturalists share their love of the sea as you cruise over the reef. See and learn about the vibrant tropical fish, coral colonies, and other underwater wonders. Have your camera ready as the boat approaches Shipwreck Rock, so named because most ships or boats would stay clear of it. The Marian was custom-made to glide right over the rock, making for unique photo opportunities. finally, head out to the drop off where you see the bottom plunge to over 100 feet deep. Look for frolicking dolphins, or even whales.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Big Island, Hawaii

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What people are saying about Big Island, Hawaii

Aaron was an amazing tour guide and tried to make our experience great. He had snack bars ready, took us to amazing spots for pictures and touring, and willingly went out of his way to bring us to great places outside of the tour. He even brought us to a warmer area for star gazing

It was a smooth easy boat ride to three different snorkeling locations. One of the locations we saw sea turtles as well as thousands of fish and other sea life. We stopped a few caves and saw lava tubes, and also a dolphin sighting.

We took this tour the day we left the island as 1 last thing to do before heading to the airport It was beautiful on the water and Eden was very knowledgeable with the fish and everything in the under the sea world.

Ms. Eve was great! Extremely knowledgeable of marine life, and cultural Hawaiian historical meaning of ocean life to the people connection with marine ecosystem.

The tour guide was very knowledgeable about the history of the Islands. The restaurant chosen for our dinner was a great place.