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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!

  7. So I have always wanted to go to Hawaii but I’m not sure I could handle the plane ride!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Are you afraid of flying? I hate flying too (I know, ironic for a travel blogger), but the flight is so worth a trip to Kaanapali, Maui!

  8. Claudia Krusch says

    I cannot wait for this party! We love traveling to Hawaii, but I’ve never been to Kaanapali! Loved your pictures!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      You’ll learn so much about Kaanapali and all its family-friendly offerings tomorrow, Claudia! 🙂

  9. Victoria Heckstall says

    What great fun and great experience you had. I never really thought about going to Kaanapali before, it looks beautiful though. May need to add it to my want to do list.

  10. Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes says

    So funny – I just got back from Hawaii! We actually stayed at the Hyatt Regency Maui and it’s beautiful. I love Hawaii!

  11. Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place says

    This made me miss the beach. It’s beautiful out there and you won’t regret it. It’s pretty awesome that you shared where we can stay with the kids! I’m sure mine will have an awesome time there!

  12. This place looks absolutely stunning! Holy cow! This is a travel bucket list place for sure!

  13. Your photos are gorgeous!! I would love to travel to Maui one day!!

  14. What a fantastic Twitter party and I love the prizes! Hawaii has always been on my must travel list! So much so that my middle child says he’ll take me there on his first pay check! lol

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Ha! He’ll probably need that money for rent but I like the sentiment! My son’s biggest dream was to visit Hawaii and he LOVED it. I hope your family can visit soon!

  15. Joely Smith says

    I have never been to any of the Hawaiian islands but would love to visit any of them! I love the feel of a laid-back lifestyle for sure. Kaanapali sounds awesome and it’s one I have heard very little about so thanks for the great insight!

  16. This sounds like a great twitter party and giveaway! Nothing is more exciting than Hawaii. It’s so gorgeous there.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      This party is kind of making me wish I’d scheduled a trip to Hawaii over spring break…even though we’ll be going to France, which I love too!

  17. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says

    Kaanapali looks so incredible! It’s one of the most beautiful places on earth. I should know. I used to live in Hawaii!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Lucky you, Stacie! My son says he wants to move to Maui when he grows up. I said he can only go if he takes me along!

  18. David Widger says

    Would love to visit!!

  19. Mama Munchkin says

    I cannot wait for this party! We love traveling to Maui and specifically Kaanapali as it has so much to offer families. The dining scene is amazing too!

  20. Robert Kelty says

    Wow.. Kaanapali looks like a fun place to explore!!
    Adding it to my bucket list.. Thanks for sharing Colleen ????

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Thanks for your comment, Robert. Hope you can join us for the Twitter party and a chance to win some great Kaanapali prizes!

  21. Wowza what an amazing experience to have in Maui! I’m loving the review it’s making me so excited to travel with my family to Kaanapali.

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