22 Best Things to Do in Kauai with Kids: Fun, Family-Friendly Attractions!

Kauai is a tropical paradise and the perfect location for an unforgettable family vacation. Splashing in crystal clear waters, wandering along unspoiled beaches, witnessing magnificent sunsets, and experiencing a vibrant culture are just a few things you can do there.

Here are 22 of the most important things to do in Kauai with kids if you’re organizing a trip to this fantastic location and looking for something to include in your plan.

  1. Visit the Beach

Visit the beach – one of the most simple and kid-friendly things to do in Kauai!

This tropical paradise offers miles of undeveloped coastline, several opportunities to build sandcastles, play in the surf, and even the chance to get up and personal with marine critters in their natural habitat.

  • Hanalei Bay – Although there are many beaches to select from, Hanalei Bay is among the greatest for kids. This crescent-shaped cove on the island’s northern side is ideal for showing your youngsters how to surf.
  • Poipu Beach – Children of all ages can enjoy playing in the calm waters of Poipu, which is near the Grand Hyatt Kauai. Daily, lifeguards patrol the seas, assuring you that your kids will be safe. A playground also increases the fun.
  • Lydgate Shore – This beach is the ideal place to participate in a pleasant, safe swimming session because it has two guarded pools constantly under surveillance. The youngsters will also enjoy playing on some tremendous interactive play structures.
  1. Ride a Train Through Kilohana Plantation

The enjoyment of this activity is not limited to children; adults can also enjoy it.

A 40-minute train journey across the storied Kilohana Estate, a former sugar cane plantation, is provided by the Kauai Plantation Railway.

You’ll enjoy taking in the breathtaking vistas and learning about the history of the plantation while lounging on the charming passenger cars with your family.

You’ll stop and feed some local pigs, goats, and donkeys during the 40-minute train ride, which further enhances the enjoyment of this excursion.

Following the ride, you are free to explore the lovely grounds or stop by the welcoming on-site restaurant, which offers a variety of produce grown right there on the estate.

  1. Island Helicopter Tours

A helicopter trip is one of the most exciting things to do with your kids in Kauai if heights aren’t an issue for you and them.

You’ll have the chance to see the stunning island from the air, including some more difficult locations to get to on foot.

For families, the Jurassic Falls Helicopter Landing Adventure is a fantastic option.

It offers a full-circle tour that circles the entire island in one hour.

Manawaiopuna Falls, shown in the movie “Jurassic Park,” is located just where you land.

Even getting off the aircraft will give you the chance to investigate them.

  1. Captain Andy’s Boat Tour

A Captain Andy’s Boat Tour trip is among the best family activities on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

All the tour choices the firm provides take you down the renowned Na Pali Coast.

There are several sailing options, including a 65′ Star Yacht, a Classic Sailing Catamaran, and even a Wet and Wild Raft Expedition.

The catamaran and yacht rides are highly suggested for smaller kids. However, consider that there are some age limits when making reservations.

For instance, children under three are not allowed on the sunset cruise.

Having said that, whichever route you take, you’ll have the chance to take advantage of snorkeling, delicious cuisine, and never-ending views of the stunning landscapes as you sail along the Na Pali Coast.

  1. Na Aina Kai Botanical Garden

Families may unwind, discover traditional Hawaiian culture, and enjoy the natural flora at the Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens and Sculpture Park.

Because there are so many chances for kids, this is one of the most highly suggested kid activities.

For instance, there is a Children’s Garden with a rubber tree-made treehouse in which children of all ages will enjoy playing.

It has slides, tunnels, kid-sized trains, rope bridges that snap between trees, and even tunnels.

In addition to the Children’s Garden, there is a giant hedge labyrinth that the whole family might enjoy exploring.

You can also feed the fish that inhabit the Ka’ula Lagoon.

The Na Aina Kai Botanical Garden has many activities that can entertain people of all ages for hours.

  1. Horseback Tour at Silver Falls Ranch

Make sure to put a horseback tour at Silver Falls Ranch on your list of things to do while deciding what to do in Kauai with your family.

Children might enjoy the various riding tours that Silver Falls Ranch offers.

The Tropical Trail Adventure is their most popular adventure.

You’ll have a friendly horseback ride while observing Kauai’s lovely foliage, a picnic lunch, and a chance to cool off at Silver Falls while taking in the spectacular Makaleha Mountains on this excursion.

  1. Smith Family Garden Luau and Fern Grotto River Ride

Families worldwide have enjoyed the Smith Family Garden Luau and Fern Grotto River Ride for more than 60 years.

The Smith Family Garden Luau and Fern Grotto River Ride provide the “greatest luau on the island,” according to the Ultimate Kauai Guidebook, and a Fern Grotto Wailua River Cruise and Smith’s Tropical Paradise.

A customary welcoming ritual kicks off the luau, followed by a typical Hawaiian buffet-style meal and, of course, a classic luau show.

The call to participation signals to the audience that it is time to be ready to participate in the performance.

While cruising past beautiful landscapes on the river, you’ll be delighted by historical legends and songs.

At Smith’s Tropical Paradise, stroll into the heart of the Wailua River Valley and discover more than 30 acres of lush vegetation.

  1. Take a Shelter Dog on a Field Trip

Take a shelter dog on a field trip at the Kauai Humane Society if you want to perform good deeds while spending time with a furry friend, whether you miss your dog at home or you just want to do good deeds.

You’ll have everything you need before starting a walk-up Sleeping Giant or a trip to Mahaulepu Beach.

As an alternative, you may visit one of the many dog-friendly locations the shelter suggests.

This organization hopes to facilitate their adoption into devoted families by increasing public awareness of shelter dogs.

The pets the participants bring home are frequently adopted.

If the puppy you chose is the best fit for your family, check with your airline to learn what you need to prepare for the travel home.

  1. Hanapepe Swinging Bridge

Make sure to stop at the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge if you’re going to Waimea Canyon.

The bridge was initially built in the early 20th century as a means of crossing the river. After Hurricane Iniki made landfall in the early 1990s, the bridge suffered some damage but was later rebuilt.

The short distance and beautiful views make the crossing a worthwhile experience.

Even though it probably wouldn’t be worthwhile to make the extra effort to cross it, it’s worth a look if you’re nearby.

After you cross the bridge, you might want to look around the neighboring village, where you can discover several stores that sell delectable sweets and shops that showcase the works of local artists.

  1. Waimea Canyon

Check out the Waimea Canyon if you’re seeking a breathtaking activity to do on Kauai with kids.

The Waimea Canyon, on Kauai’s southwest coast, has earned the moniker “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific” for a good reason – it is the only natural structure of its kind in Hawaii.

This canyon is spectacular, measuring more than a mile wide, 14 miles long, and 3,600 feet deep.

The Waimea Canyon Lookout, which has expansive vistas that seem to continue forever, should be visited.

Additionally, restrooms are available, and refreshments are offered in the parking lot.

A short distance away is Kalalau Lookout, which provides breathtaking views of the Na Pali Coast.

After exploring the canyon, head to Kokee State Park, which has a ton of trails for hikers of all skill levels, located at the end of Waimea Canyon Drive.

  1. Eat Shave Ice

Who among children – or adults – does not enjoy shaved ice? It refreshes you, gives you energy, and simply tastes good.

On the Island of Kauai, shave ice is a specialty that You may find in various locations.

Wailua, JoHos, Ono’s, Waikomo, and Wishing Well are the most well-known places to get shaved ice.

Whatever location you pick, you’re sure to find a variety of exciting flavors, including, to mention a few: bubblegum, papaya, pineapple, coconut, mango, and rainbow.

  1. Mountain Tubing Tour with Kauai Backcountry Adventures

Mountain tubing at Kauai Backcountry Adventures should undoubtedly be on the list of things to do for thrill seekers asking what to do in Kauai with family.

You may tube down here to access the irrigation system of an old sugar plantation, which contains canals and even hand-dug tunnels dating back to 1870.

There are other activities besides tubing here.

On a zipline course, you can also soar through the air.

Seven lines that run through a bamboo grove and along a mountainside make up the course.

Additionally, there are educational opportunities as guides educate visitors about Kauai’s natural environment, culture, and history.

  1. Koloa Ziplines

Kola Ziplines, a zipline company, provides even more thrilling excursions.

On this excursion, which offers the island’s longest zipline course, you and your family will undoubtedly experience an adrenaline rush.

The thrills and the scenery will leave you breathless as you soar above the Waita Reservoir and a lush forest on more than 1.5 miles of ziplines located at Koloa on the south side of Kauai.

Several zipline tours are available, including regular tours, sunset tours, and even zip aerobatics for family members seeking the tremendous rush.

At Koloa Ziplines, you’re guaranteed to have the adventure of a lifetime, no matter which choice you select.

  1. Napali Sunset Cruise with Holo Holo Charters

Hawaii’s islands are renowned for their beautiful sunsets.

Although you can see a beautiful sunset from any place on Kauai, Holo Holo Charters recommends taking a Napali Sunset Cruise for an unforgettable sunset experience with your family.

One of the most beautiful coasts on the island is the Napali coast, which can be seen while taking a sunset cruise with Holo Holo Charters.

It takes around 3.5 hours and leaves Port Allen.

You’ll be able to witness more than just the sunset from the cruise: there’s a strong chance you’ll also see some breaching whales.

The ship is charming, and it also offers a variety of drinks, appetizers, and dinners.

  1. Go Snorkeling

In Kauai, snorkeling is one of the most significant family activities thanks to the island’s clear, turquoise-blue seas and an abundant coral reef home to a wide variety of marine life.

Numerous beaches provide dedicated snorkeling areas.

The Na Pali Coast has the most excellent places, but remember that you can’t drive to them.

A snorkeling tour is an ideal method to get there.

There are a few businesses in the region that provide snorkeling excursions.

The cruises typically last 4 to 6 hours and include numerous snorkeling stops.

Most cruises provide equipment and beverages; some even go to the Niihau Island, dubbed the “Forbidden Isle,” which is privately owned.

You’ll witness an unlimited variety of vibrant fish, and you might even get to view dolphins and sea turtles.

  1. Hike the Trails

Fun fact: Most of Kauai’s island cannot be reached by car.

Therefore, you should include a climb (or several) in your itinerary if you genuinely want to take in all the island offers.

The island is covered in several hiking routes that meander through verdant rainforests, productive valleys, stunning waterfalls, and unspoiled coasts.

Trails are available for families with children of various ages and levels of experience.

Just be sure to get ready in advance.

Wear the proper footwear, and bring food, lots of water, towels, bathing suits, and a change of clothes.

Some of the best hikes for families are Iliau Nature Loop Trail, Kuilau Ridge Trail, Kalalau Trail, and Mahaulepu Heritage Coastal Trail (which passes through the famed Shipwrecks Beach).

  1. See Marine Creatures in the Wild

The aquatic life of Kauai, which is one of the island’s other famous features, will astound the kids (and you, too).

These funny critters swim around the seas surrounding the island all year long, so there’s a good chance you’ll see one if you visit the island at any time of year.

The ideal place to watch their activities from land is the Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge, located in a magnificent area.

The best chance of seeing this marine animal is by taking one of the many boat cruises.

Since Blue Dolphin Charters guarantees you’ll see dolphins, or they’ll give you a refund, they’re a great choice.

Another pretty sight is Hawaiian Monk Seals, which frequently bask at Poipu Beach beach.

As one of the most endangered marine species in the world, seeing these seals is obviously exciting, but you should respect them and keep as far away from them as you can.


  1. Look for Waterfalls

The Garden Isle is dotted with waterfalls.

While some are simple to get to, many do need some work.

On the island, one of the most well-known and accessible waterfalls is the two-tiered Wailua Falls.

Another reasonably accessible waterfall in the Wailua River Valley is Opaekaa.

Both waterfalls are accessible without a trek, attracting families with young children.

Each one is close to the adjacent parking lots and is only a short distance away.

  1. See the Spouting Horns

One of the most well-known sites on the island, Spouting Horn, is located next to Poipu Beach, one of Kauai’s busiest beaches.

Large surf waves crash into the natural blowhole carved out of an old lava flow tube. Water pours through the hole as they do so.

The spray can cover as much as 60 feet.

You might even be able to see rainbows in the spray, depending on the angle at which the sun is rising and where you are standing.

Ensure you’re listening when the waves smash since a secondary blowhole produces loud hissing noises.

  1. ATV Adventure

An ATV journey is sure to be exciting for the whole family and a fantastic opportunity to view the island’s beauty and varied terrain.

Many businesses provide ATV trips throughout Kauai.

ATV Adventure Kola Plantation is one of the most well-known businesses.

A sugar cane plantation, a verdant jungle, a dormant volcanic crater, a lava tube, and even an old movie location are all included in their 3-hour tour.

A lengthier tour that lasts between three and four hours is also available. It includes everything described above and a swim in the waterfall featured in the Jurassic Park movie.

  1. Kayak in Wailua River

You can find numerous rivers in Hawaii. However, all except one – the Wailua River – are impassable.

On a kayak, you may experience this river’s majesty and the surrounding beauties to the fullest.

Numerous businesses provide kayak trips, which typically last 4 to 5 hours and incorporate short hikes.

Some even provide swimming in waterfalls and picnic lunches.

You might also try paddling the river by yourself.

Stand-up paddleboards and single, double, and triple kayak rentals are available.

The river is relatively easy to navigate because it has little to no current.

  1. Explore the North Shore

The calm landscapes on Kauai’s north shore seem to go on forever.

One of the most picturesque locations on this side of the island is the Hanalei Valley Overlook, which features countless taro fields and abundant vegetation.

Visit one of the beaches or take one of the many trails for a close-up look at the beauty of this part of the island.

Another excellent location is the Hanalei Bay region, which is tranquil, lovely, and laid back.

Driving along the coast is one of the best and easiest ways to see Kauai’s north side.

There are various viewpoints where you may stop and soak in the scenery as you pass underneath the canopy of vibrantly colored trees.


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