What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you think of Maui?
Long stretches of golden beaches are what comes to my mind first! How about you?
Our best Maui holiday memories happened during a visit to the beach. The sound of the waves, the kids playing, the sun giving me that much-needed vitamin D (and unfortunately a couple of sunburns, ouch!) Even with the sunburn and sand everywhere, the beach is always our favourite place when we visit Maui. It’s the best!
There is nothing better than relaxing on a beach chair watching a turtle swim by, or humpback whales jumping in the distance or simply watching in awe as your kids play and swim together without fighting.
But unfortunately, we can’t stay at the beach all day, or we end up not feeling so hot! Well, too hot. We’ve had enough sunburns and bouts of sunstroke in our house to know that it’s essential to spend some time during our tropical holiday out of the sun.
If you need a break from the beach, here are a few ideas of fun places we love to visit in Maui. These places are great for keeping the kids happy, active, learning and gives them a break from the hot Hawaiian sun!
1) Maui Ocean Center
Our kids love the Maui Ocean Center!
They want to go back on every time we visit Maui, and we don’t mind. It’s so neat to see such a variety of sea creatures up close! Over our many visits to this fascinating aquarium, we have learned so much about the ocean and marine life. Often I’m amazed by how many fish species the kids can point out to me and name.
The aquarium is great for little guys and girls who LOVE sharks! Check the times for special programming before you go. The shark feeding is a must-see! Our kids love this presentation!
They usually have several shark species and huge manta rays that you can get an up-close view of through the glass of their huge aquarium or when you walk through the glass tunnel.
Another bonus is that most of the aquarium is indoors; this way, you can stay out of the heat or rain.
Tip from our Family: You can easily save some time waiting in line by buying your tickets online before you go. We highly recommend purchasing the Aquarium Plus pass for access to a fantastic 3D film of Humpback whales that the whole family will love!
2) Maui Golf & Sports Park
Play a few holes of mini-golf and then hit the bumper boats to cool off!
Located in Ma’alaea near the harbour, this is a kids paradise! It’s right next to the Maui Ocean Center, so if you can easily hit both spots in one day.
With 36 holes of mini-golf, an Xtreme trampoline, bumper boats and a rock-climbing wall, it is a great way to spend an afternoon.
Open daily from 10 am till 6 pm. You can golf as many holes as you would like, it’s unlimited!
There is a variety of packages available, so you can include all of these fun activities during your visit or pick one activity if you’d like!
For more details on pricing and packages, you can view their website here. You can also pre-purchase your tickets online.
3) Maui Tropical Plantation
There is something here for everyone!
We visit Maui Tropical Plantation every time we are on the island. Our kids love it there! It is such a fun place.
They have beautiful gardens to wander through, a train tour through the plantation, ziplining, a huge gift shop, a tropical fruit stand, coffee shop, snacks, and the excellent Mill House Restaurant!
The Tropical Express Tour is a 45-minute tram ride that takes you around the plantation. During your tour, you will view a variety of tropical fruits, plants and flowers, plus see a demonstration on how to open a coconut.
I would recommend booking the tour online before you go. They only run at certain times during the day, and they do book up fairly quickly.
The Maui Zipline was perfect for our youngest! He has wanted to go ziplining the past couple of years but didn’t weigh enough. It’s great because as long as you’re over 45 lbs and five years, you’re good to go!
From kids as young as five to adults who may be a bit nervous, it’s a great beginner course and very family-friendly. Also, the staff was super friendly and a lot of fun!
And while you’re there, be sure to try the Mill House for lunch or dinner. The food here is delicious. It’s for sure worth stopping at!
Be sure to reserve your table ahead of time! It’s a popular place, and they may not be able to accommodate you without a reservation. https://www.opentable.com/the-mill-house
4) Maui Swap Meet
Are you ready to do some shopping?
Another fun place for the family to visit is the Maui Swap Meet. It is a must-see if you’re looking for some Hawaiian themed souvenir’s to bring home.
Located in Kahului, it’s a huge market of almost every kind of souvenir you can imagine. Hats, t-shirts, wood carvings, blow dart guns. Yes! I said blow dart gun. This is something my husband let my nephew buy; needless to say, his parents were not impressed!
There is also a wide selection of food, flowers and treats. The tropical fruit alone is worth the trip!
Open Saturday’s from 7 am until 1 pm admission is $0.50 for adults and kids under 12 are free. Try to arrive early, because it can get pretty hot close to noon.
5) Atlantis Submarine
See the beauty under the sea in a real submarine.
Leaving from Lahaina harbour, this tour lasts just under two hours. You’ll first be taken out to sea on a boat where you then board the submarine. As you descend 100 feet under the water, you’re provided with an unobstructed and spectacular view (there’s not a bad seat!) of the ocean floor, coral reefs and a variety of marine life and a shipwreck! You might also get lucky and see sea turtles or even a shark. This will surely be a place your kids will remember as one of the most fun places on Maui.
You can easily book online through their website. With six departure times daily, there are lots of options to make this fun activity fit within your holiday schedule.
Maui is such a beautiful vacation destination and one of our favourite places in the world! It is easy to spend a week soaking up the sun on the beach. Sometimes the hot Hawaiian sun can get to be a bit too much and, it’s time to look for activities and fun places to visit on Maui to keep the kids happy and active and out of the sun during the hot afternoons.
We have visited these five places multiple times and always feel like we are finding something new and exciting each time!
So whether you need a break from the sun or are experiencing a rare rainy day, we’re sure you and your family will love these five fun places to take kids when on Maui!
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Taking a trip to Oahu? You might be interested in our photo journal from Disney’s Aulani Resort.