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15 Apr 2024
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Kauai Activities

Traveling with kids, while it does require some extra planning and packing, is also an extraordinary opportunity to relive the magic of so many first-time feelings we had as children ourselves. Whether it’s the first time on an airplane, the first time seeing the ocean, or the first time we went on a thrilling ride, getting to see our little ones’ eyes light up with pure joy is one of the best gifts we get as parents. If you’re planning your first Hawaiian getaway with children, you’ll want to make the most of every moment. To help, we’ve put together a list of the best kid-friendly activities in Kauai so you can focus on what really matters: soaking up every bit of quality time with your family. From surfing and train rides to horseback trails and mountain slides, it’s all here. Grab the kids and see how many of these incredible activities you can add to your itinerary when you visit!

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Ride the Waves

Little kid learning to surf

At Poipu Beach Surf School, kids as young as 6 can enjoy the thrill of catching their first wave thanks to the skilled instructors and small class sizes. Located at the Sheraton Beach in Poipu, you and your family will enjoy 1.5 hours of dedicated instruction where you’ll learn the basics about your surfboard, how to paddle, how to stand up, and ultimately, how to put all the pieces together to ride your first wave! They offer a variety of lessons from semi-private, which are perfect for families of 2-3 people who want to learn together, to one-on-one private lessons that guarantee dedicated instruction and the most opportunities to practice your new skills. Whichever you choose, you’re guaranteed to have a fantastic time enjoying one of the most popular family activities in Kauai.

Saddle Up with CMJ Stables

Nothing beats getting out and exploring the incredible natural areas of Poipu during your Kauai vacation. For a unique experience that’s sure to light up your child’s face, do your sightseeing via horseback! At CMJ Stables, children 6 years and older can participate in private rides, while group rides are suitable for children 8 years old and up. With multiple tours to choose from, you can craft a visit that’s perfect for your family. Discover gorgeous hideaways most tourists never get to see as you explore the historic Maha’ulelpu area. For their most popular trip, check out the Secret Beach Picnic Ride – a two-hour trip that gives you a chance to explore the pristine beaches and enjoy a catered lunch!

All Aboard the Plantation Train

two children on a kid-friendly train ride

For a different kind of ride, head to Kilohana for an afternoon at the Kauai Plantation Railway. Just 23 minutes from Poipu, you’ll feel like you’re in a whole new world as you make your way through the lush farm. Perfect for children of all ages, this is an ideal kid-friendly activity in Kauai. During your 2.5-mile ride, you’ll weave through 105 acres of sugarcane and taro fields and past dense groves of mango, banana, papaya, pineapple, and even experimental plants like noni and atemoya! Your whole ride is expertly narrated by entertaining conductors who relay the history of this working farm and the island’s relation to these special plants. Halfway through the ride, your kids will be overwhelmed with cuteness as they enjoy meeting the adorable animals who call the farm home. Get the cameras ready and snap pics of your little ones with the cuddly pigs, goats, sheep, and even Stiney, the resident donkey. Choose from their signature train ride or the train and lunch tour and enjoy a day full of fun at this exceptional family activity in Kauai.

Tube the Backcountry

Once home to vast sugarcane fields, the historic Lihue Plantation’s ditch and tunnel irrigation system has since been repurposed to provide epic tubing adventures. This can’t-miss kid-friendly activity in Kauai is perfect for everyone 5 years and older and is sure to be the highlight of your trip.  

Your tour starts with a 4-wheeler ride through the plantation, where you’ll be greeted with stunning views of Mt. Wai’ale’ale, Kauai’s second-highest point, and its cascading waterfalls. Next, you’ll arrive at the launch spot, where you’ll be provided with a tube and headlamp before entering the calm water for your 2.5-mile float down open canals and through 5 different tunnels. See breathtaking ocean expanses, rugged coastlines, and sweeping valleys along the way, and end your trip with a delicious picnic and a swim in a nearby natural pool. Offering a little bit of everything from thrills to relaxing vibes, this is the activity your kids will be talking about long after you return home.

Feast at Local Luaus

fire dancer at a luau

Back at the Kilohana Plantation, in addition to the fun-filled train ride, you can also experience a classic Hawaiian luau! Full of fire dancing, hula, delicious food, and theatrical performances, your kids will be awestruck by the entertainment and totally immersed in the island’s rich culture and history. Your luau includes a stroll through the grounds as you view unique “made in Kauai” products. When the conch shell blows, make your way to the main area for the unearthing of the Kalua Pua’a (pig) in the Imu Ceremony. After your feast, coffee and dessert will accompany the festive entertainment portion of the night and you’ll wrap up with full bellies and hearts as you meet the performers and get a photo with them after the show. A rite of passage for any Hawaiian vacation, this family activity is perfect for kids of all ages. Whether you make a full day of your plantation visit or you attend another luau, you won’t be disappointed with the experience.

Kid-Friendly Accommodations in Kauai

When it comes to finding your family’s ideal accommodations in Kauai, look no further than Suite Paradise and our exquisite selection of Poipu vacation rentals. From private homes to ground floor units, traveling with kids is a breeze when you book directly with us. Plus, you get the peace of mind that comes with knowing you got the best rate on your rental. Unlike Airbnb or VRBO, who tack on hidden fees and taxes to the bottom line, our price is always the best price. So, as you add these kid-friendly Kauai activities to your trip’s itinerary, make sure you’ll be coming home at the end of the day to the best vacation rental on the island. Browse our available properties and book your adventure today!