When it comes to things to do on Kauai, there are practically an endless number of options, including kid-friendly activities. You’ll have no worries about the kids getting bored on this island paradise that is known for family fun with its easily accessible beaches, paved bike trails and small size that makes it easy to navigate.
Swimming and snorkeling beaches
There are several beaches that offer access to calm waters and are ideal for kids to swim or snorkel, including Poipu Beach Park on the South Shore with its natural ocean wading pool, a shallow bay for swimming and an area for snorkeling. On the North Shore, Anini Beach and Hanalei Bay Beach Park are good options, while Salt Pond Beach Park on the west coast, Lydgate State Park, Kalapaki Beach and Anahola Beach Park on the east coast all offer the opportunity for kids to safely take a dip as well.
The Fern Grotto Boat Tour is a favorite with children and adults. This cruise takes guests through Hawaii’s only navigable river, the Wailua. The waterway winds its way through dense tropical jungle, past rich historic sights and brilliant flora with guides sharing fascinating legends of the river. The final destination is Fern Grotto, a lava rock grotto covered with ferns where performers demonstrate the near perfect acoustics of the cave with their beautiful singing voices.
Luaus are fun for all, even families with young children can enjoy them with dancing and music that can keep everyone entertained for hours. Smith’s Tropical Paradise Luau at the Wailua River on the east coast is especially popular with families, offering the opportunity to start the evening with a tram ride and a tour of the garden.
Other top luaus include the Grand Hyatt Kauai Luau on the oceanfront at Poipu Beach, the Sheraton Kauai Resort’s Surf to Sunset Oceanfront Luau and the Luau Kalamaku at Kilohana Plantation.
Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens
These beautiful gardens include a children’s garden that features a tropical jungle gym, tree house, maze, Jack and the Bean Stalk Giant and a train ride. There are many beautiful spots to take family pictures too, such as the Wild Forest Garden or the Shower Tree Park and Ka’ula Lagoon.
These gardens lead to picturesque Kaluakai Beach where visitors can relax at the edge of the surf or meet some of the island’s indigenous and exotic birds.
Zipline tours are offered throughout the island, with Outfitters Kauai in Koloa offering several different types, including tours that are suitable for younger children; kids as young as seven years old are able to zip. Their Safari tour includes a two mile kayak trip as well as the chance to take a dip in a pristine, freshwater pool and zip across the forest canopy, taking in the breathtaking views.
Ride the Kauai Coastal Path
The Kauai Coastal Path is a great place for a family bike ride, running along the island’s magnificent shoreline with beautiful views of the ocean. Bike rentals are available at several shops and include a variety of sizes for children aged six through 12; for those with smaller children, trailers that attach to an adult bike can also be rented.
The path is fairly flat and stretches for miles along the coast with humpback whales sometimes seen putting on a show from December through April. Dolphins and turtles often spotted year round, primarily at Kapaa Point.
Of course, this is just a short list of the many activities available for families; horseback riding, dolphin watching, surfing and boogie-board lessons and hiking are just some of the other possibilities.