Raising Kids on Maui

Living on Maui with kids seems idyllic. The ability to be outdoors year-round not only encourages a healthy lifestyle but also gives kids endless opportunities for fun. My two kids were “grown here, not flown here,” meaning they are born and raised on Maui. So when it comes to things to do with kids on Maui, I deem myself an expert.

Beach Babies

First let’s start with the obvious, the beach. For babies and toddlers, Baby Beach in Lahaina is ideal because the outer reef protects the shore from waves. So babies can play without getting knocked down. There’s also a baby beach on the north shore in Paia. As my kids have grown, they are looking for more action. We often find ourselves going to Airport Beach in Ka’anapali, Kapalua Bay, and Ka’anapali Beach when we can.

Surf’s Up

My husband realized early on he may not be my kids’ surf instructor as they would turn on the tears super early with him. So we turned to the experts. Lahaina Surf Shack on Prison Street in Lahaina town offers surf camps and personal instruction. After one day in surf camp, my daughter wanted a surfboard and was surfing “party waves” with her friends. If your kids want to learn to surf, I would highly recommend going there first.

Lahaina Surf Shack

Mahalo to Lahaina Surf Shack for teaching my girls to surf!

We Love to Hike

For 20 years, I have been hiking in Kapalua on the walking trails weekly with a friend. We love the “Duck Pond” which is full of hills and shady for most of the walk. It is a great workout and is always followed up with a coffee at Honolua Store, a Kapalua staple. For many years, we carried or pushed our babies who turned into toddlers and felt like super-moms. There is a duck pond on the top, so it was always motivation to feed the ducks with the kiddos. Now we usually just talk about the kids, and if we are lucky they will join us. There is a much less hilly, but out of this world beautiful coastal walk nearby. You can check out all of the Kapalua walking trails here.

If we feel like getting out of West Maui, our favorite hike is the Makawao Forest Preserve. There are cooler temperatures and eucalyptus trees all around. There are structures all around made out of sticks and leaves that my daughters are pretty sure were built by fairies. So we have dubbed this hike the “Fairy Hike.” We love to go to Makawao or Paia town after our hike for lunch.

Snorkeling and Jumping

As my kids have gotten older, our ocean adventures have evolved. As I stated before, we now seek out beaches with a little more wave action. We have also enjoyed snorkeling as a family. This is a great reason to pack up the car and explore different beaches. Some of our favorite snorkel spots with the kids are Kapalua Bay, Honolua Bay, and Napili Bay. If you are down in South Maui, Ahihi-Kinau Reserve is an easy walk and tons of fish!

For the ultimate snorkeling adventure, the Cliff House in Kapalua is a great place to take tweenagers and older. There’s a short hike to a pristine cove with small, medium, and large cliffs for jumping. You can jump off a cliff and snorkel around the cove. It is truly a Maui gem.

Sometimes it Rains…

Yes, there are rainy days here on Maui. I cannot lie, I kind of love them. Sometimes you just need to get all the sand out of your house, and why waste a sunny day for that? But sometimes we still need to entertain the kids. The Maui Ocean Center has always been a family favorite. A few years ago they added a sphere theater, where you can truly get immersed in the underwater life of the Pacific Ocean.

One of Maui’s newest activities is a trampoline park, Ultimate Air Maui, located in Kahului. This is a great place to meet up with friends, have a birthday party, or get some energy out!

Lahaina, Maui

A favorite ritual is a beach walk at sunset

Lucky We Live Hawaii!

There are so many more things I could mention. From outdoor year-round birthday parties, family bike rides, staycations, sea-glass hunting, there are so many daily events that make raising kids on Maui so special. We have really realized how blessed we are through the Covid-19 years, when we are able to be outside every single day. As they say, #luckywelivehawaii 🤙🏼

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September 9, 2021

Pity the middle school and high school options on Maui are so poor. Education is super important for our children and options on Maui for education are slim. We had to send our kids to school on mainland to prepare for a college education.


September 9, 2021

Pity the middle school and high school options on Maui are so poor. Education is super important for our children and options on Maui for education are slim.

Pamela Reader

September 9, 2021

> Aloha Marco! I hear ya! My family has been fortunate to be able to send my kids to Maui Prep in Napili, which is Preschool-12th grade. My husband is actually the college counselor at the school, so I feel good about them being prepared. 🙂


November 26, 2021

It’s a beautifully place but can you write an article about schools in Maui from pre k to highschool

Pamela Reader

November 27, 2021

> Yasmin here is a blog I wrote about a wonderful PS-12th grade school in West Maui

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