Are you traveling to Maui with kids or toddlers? Wondering what the best things to do and eat are? We recently traveled there with a 3 1/2 year old and a 5 month old, and did the work for you (lucky us!) We had an amazing time and want to share all the details with you so you can make the most of your vacation to Maui with kids. This list isn’t exhaustive, but it provides some good references of places we found to be convenient and super kid-friendly.
Where are the best kid-friendly beaches on Maui?
If I had to guess, I bet you’re planning on spending a lot of time at the beach. Depending on how old your kids are (ours our pretty small) the beach can provide that perfect balance of relaxation for the parents, and play-time for the kiddos. It doesn’t get much better than that. We opted to stay beach-front, so that we could reduce the need to “pack” for the beach. That said, there are plenty of great beaches on Maui for kids, whether you’re staying close by or not. We stayed right on Napili Beach, so I’m partial to this one.
Napili Beach is a great beach for families with kids, given its relatively consistent calm waters and the crescent shaped bay that it sits on. The sand is silky soft, very clean, and full of tiny little shells and pieces of coral to sift through and discover. The beach itself is more sloped on the north side, near Napili Kai Hotel, and has a flatter surface on the south side. On very calm days, the water is waist high and you can easily stand in the water and hang out while your toddler splashes next to you.
There are two reefs at this beach, one about 50 feet out and the other about 200 feet out, making sea turtle sightings very common. This is also a really great beach for snorkeling, since the reefs produce plenty of food for the abundant sea life. Another huge plus about this beach is that there are quite a few nice palm trees that provide shade, so you don’t have to pack an umbrella.
- Calm, clean water most days
- Soft, clean sand
- Palm trees that provide shade
- Crescent-shaped beach, small enough to keep everyone in sight, but big enough to explore
- Limited parking
- No lifeguard (most beaches don’t have lifeguards on Maui)
More Kid-Friendly Beaches on Maui
Baby Beach Lahaina
Kid-Friendly Restaurants in West Maui
This is a very casual take-out fish place that serves delicious, local seafood.
What to order:
- Fish and chips
- Fish tacos
2. Star Noodle
Waterfront restaurant in Lahaina that has an awesome variety of noodles, chicken, and seafood. Asian inspired with something for everyone.
Casual restaurant near Napili Bay with indoor and outdoor seating.
What to order:
- Kalbi ribs
- Garlic chicken
- Fish special with Risotto
- Brussel sprouts
This is an upscale restaurant just south of the Montage with amazing views of Molokai. It is “kid-friendly” if you opt for a table out on the patio. There is plenty of space for little ones to move around without getting in the way of the servers.
Kid-Friendly Restaurants in South Maui
What to order:
- Chicken strips
- Crab Cakes
- Mango Cheesecake
A delicious bakery serving fresh, locally sourced baked goods.
What to order:
- Pineapple poppyseed bread
- Cinnamon Rolls
Where to stay during your Maui vacation with kids?
We stayed at The Mauian, an awesome little boutique hotel right on Napili Beach. Because we had a 3 year old and a 4 month old, we opted to literally be steps from the beach, so that we could walk out on door and enjoy the sand and the water. The Mauian is exactly that, and also has the most beautiful landscaped grounds for little ones to explore as well. The two waterfront buildings both look onto a meticulously mowed grassy lawn that is perfect if you want to be at the beach but not on the sand, or if you’ve got crawlers who would rather eat the sand than play in it!
There are a good number of other beaches along this beach, and you really can’t go wrong with any of them. However, the #1 reason why I think this is the best beach for families to stay is because you are literally right on the beach, and the hotels are all smaller vs the high-rise hotels at Kaanapali or the huge resorts in south Maui. Those can be nice, but for our family this location was perfect. Who wants to lug all your beach gear down stairs or an elevator, only to have to return for the inevitable forgotten item?!
Things to Do Besides the Beach
If you get tired of the beach (it’s possible!), here are some other fun adventures to do on your Maui vacation with kids:
- Visit Lavender Farm in Maui’s Upcountry: Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm
- Visit Maui Ocean Center
- Eat shaved ice at Ululani’s, the BEST shaved ice on Maui! There are several locations, one in Kaanapali, Lahaina, and Kihei.
- Play at Kalakupua Playground
- Visit Surfing Goat Dairy Farm
We hope you find this list helpful as you gear up for your Maui vacation with kids. Although you really can’t go wrong in Maui, navigating the island and finding places that are kid-friendly, have good food, and keep everyone happy can be a challenge. Let us know if you try any of these out, and of course we’d love to hear any tips that you find as well!