Hawaii is one of our most vacation-friendly states, and it makes a great break for families as much as honeymooners or couples. There’s plenty to keep the kids entertained and you don’t even have to leave the Big Island – meaning fewer flights and more vacation time! This post about Hawaii was provided and sponsored by Lebara.
Aside from the obvious adventures, like playing on the beach, here are some activities to try out when the kids have tired of the sun and sea:
For active families, volcanic, mountainous Hawaii is a dream. On the Big Island, there are 150 miles (240 kilometers) of trails to tackle in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you can see the volcanic fields and hike through lava tubes, even camping overnight if you fancy extending the trip. In North Kohala, there’s also the Pololu Valley Lookout hike that finishes on a black sand beach, where you can enjoy a picnic in the sun. Make sure you pack all the required gear for hiking in Hawaii, from solid hiking boots to a cell phone, in case of emergency – if you’re traveling from abroad, you can buy SIM cards with Lebara, which are great for inexpensive international calls.
Horseback riding is very popular in Hawaii and a big part of the islands’ culture. The paniolo are Hawaii’s cowboys, and there are plenty of trails you can embark on, which are a fun way to take in the scenery and for the little ones to learn a bit about the old traditions of Hawaii. Dahana Ranch near Waimea is a great place to start.
Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens is a popular place for local moms and their kids, where animal-obsessed youngsters can see the rare white Bengal tiger, Namaste – something of a celebrity in these parts. There are also primates and a petting zoo, plus a lovely picnic site for lunch.
The Mokupapapa Discovery Center is museum about the natural science, culture and history of the remote, far northwesterly islands of Hawaii, with an aquarium with a robotic arm that the kids can use to explore the underwater world. Other museums and learning centers include the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center and the Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center – ideal for kids with space aspirations!
If you’re looking for a great hotel for families, the Hilton Waikoloa Village is one of the largest, with three pools, a spa program for children, a dolphin pool where kids can play with the friendly mammals, and a kids’ club for children between five and 12. The hotel’s ideal if you’re the type of parent that need some time to yourself while on vacation, as there’s plenty to keep kids occupied while you catch up with family and friends from home with the hotel’s WiFi and useful overseas call packages from www.lebara.co.uk.