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Tips for Kaanapali with Kids on Maui

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People often ask me to name my favorite travel destinations and Hawaii always makes my shortlist. With six islands, each with its own character and offerings, it can be hard to choose which is best for your family. I have been to all of Hawaii's visitable islands and love Maui's wonderful blend of laid-back lifestyle and lively adventures. In fact, when we first became parents, my husband and I were seriously considering buying a condo in Kaanapali on Maui. (Oh, how I wish that dream had panned out!) Read my tips for kid-friendly things to do in Kaanapali, Maui to make the most of your visit to the Valley Isle.

Maui Nui Luau at Black Rock, hosted by the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa ~ Kaanapali with kids
Maui Nui Luau at Black Rock, hosted by the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Hotels in Kaanapali for families

If you've been to Maui, you've probably been to Kaanapali. This gorgeous three-mile stretch of beach is where you'll find many of the island's best hotels. Choose from such options as Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa for its incredible pools and tropical birds, Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa with its oceanfront lazy river, or Kaanapali Alii, a condominium-style resort that's fabulous for families. Then there's the Royal Lahaina Resort, set on 27 tropical acres along a half-mile stretch of Kaanapali Beach!

Hyatt Regency Maui with kids ~ Kaanapali with kids
Hyatt Regency Maui is one of the many beautiful resorts for families in Kaanapali, Maui (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Kaanapali for active families

Active families will love the array of things to do in Maui with kids. Book a whale-watching tour, go snorkeling or scuba diving, try windsurfing or parasailing, or take a family surf lesson. The fun doesn't end at the beach, though. There's also zip-lining over Maui's lush landscape.

"Nalu" means wave in Hawaiian ~ Kaanapali with kids
“Nalu” means wave in Hawaiian (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Hawaiian culture and history

Interested in experiencing some of Hawaii's rich heritage during your stay? Be sure to attend a luau, featuring traditional Hawaiian dancing, music, and foods. Then embark on the free Kaanapali Historical Trail & History and Legends Tour. For an interactive cultural experience, some hotels even offer classes in lei-making, hula, ukulele playing, and more.

The beautiful oceanfront Kaanapali Golf Course ~ Kaanapali, Maui with Kids
The beautiful oceanfront Kaanapali Golf Course (Photo credit: Peter Liu)

Kids play while parents relax

Many Kaanapali resorts also offer kids clubs with all sorts of fun activities, from arts and crafts to games and outings. While the kids are busy playing, mom and can relax with a spa treatment or hit the links at the beautiful Kaanapali Golf Course.

View of Kaanapali Beach from Hula Grill at Whaler's Village ~ Kaanapali, Maui with kids
View of Kaanapali Beach from Hula Grill at Whaler's Village (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Whalers Village

In Kaanapali, you'll also find Whalers Village Shopping Center. This hub of activity is home to 90 shops and several dining options. The oceanfront shopping area is also home to Whalers Village Museum, where adults and kids can learn about Maui's whaling history. At Hula Grill be sure to try local specialties like the Macadamia Nut Crusted fresh fish of the day, Coconut Seafood Chowder and Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with Caramel Rum Sauce.

Kaanapali, Maui with Kids

Save These Kaanapali with Kids Tips

For future reference, be sure to keep this list of things to do in Kaanapali. Just pin the image above to Pinterest. Go ahead and follow Travel Mamas on Pinterest while you’re at it!

Are you dreaming of a vacation in Maui? Want to share more kid-friendly things to do in Kaanapali? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Travel Mama: This story is sponsored by Kaanapali Beach Resort

About Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama

Colleen Lanin, MBA, is the founder and editor-in-chief of the popular travel blog, She is an expert in travel with kids and without. As the author of the book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents how to make the most of traveling with babies and children. Colleen loves sharing tips on hotels, cruises, spas, theme parks, and global lifestyle topics. When she is not traveling the world, she lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

  1. @eseattlemama says

    Can’t wait to party! It’s been 7 years since we enjoyed Maui. Love the west coast and Kaanapali!

  2. Cherri Megasko says

    I’ve been to 49 states and yes – Hawaii is the only one I haven’t visited yet. It’s on my list and I’ll get there eventually, but it’s such a big world! You certainly have convinced me it’s a great place to bring the kiddos – something I would not thought to be the case prior to reading this.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Cherri – Hawaii is such an incredible state. It’s very American, but it feels worlds away from the Mainland in many ways with its own rich culture and history. I hope you will visit soon!

  3. This looks absolutely amazing. I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii.

  4. Cathi Crismon says

    Awesome Twitter party with unbelievable prizes!! My bags are packed and I’m ready to go!!

  5. Heather Lindell says

    I would love to take myh family to kaanapali! It sounds amazing and I know it would be the trip of a lifetime makikng memories in Hawaii!

  6. Lisa Marie Heath says

    I haven’t been there in years, but I so want to go back. This post alone is making me itch to go back! So gorgeous there

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      I hear you. Writing this story and hosting the Twitter party today has me absolutely longing for a trip back to Maui!

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