Maui With Kids

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Labor Day 2015, we went to Maui, Hawaii. Dave and I had a goal of seeing all the states together and this was our 49th. We are just missing Alaska now!  We went with friends, who have a son Milana’s age and they are best buddies.

Our friends have a time share at the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas, so we stayed with them.  The hotel has several awesome pools and a splash park/ship area for kids, making it a popular choice for families. Milana’s favorite was the water slide, which she did over and over again every day!

Video of Milana using the big slide at the hotel:

Big slide at the hotel

We had a rental car (highly recommended) so we explored quite a bit.  Neither of us was interested in the road to Hana, however I really wanted to see the bamboo forest on the other side of the island, so we went to find it one day. Definitely a must see, but so easy to miss.  If you’re driving on the road to Hana, you will see an opening on the right hand side between mile marker 6 and 7. Walk into that opening, and you will find bamboo paradise!


Another place we visited was the Leilani Farm Sanctuary.  This woman rescues animals and they live on her farm, which is amazing. However, she doesn’t seem to like or tolerate small humans so if you have young kids, be aware of that!  Milana loved seeing all the animals but the fun ended when she got head butted by a goat  haha


When in Hawaii, you have to do a luau.  We chose the Old Lahaina Luau, which was nothing spectacular.  The food was bland and the show was pretty boring.  There are so many to choose from, I’d skip this and pick a different one!

There are so many hiking trails on the island. We stumbled upon one in Honolua, which was the perfect thing for kids. Not too long and lots of opportunities to splash in the water.  Milana is all about mud and dirt and the outdoors, so this was the perfect thing for her!


Food. Let’s be honest, we travel for food and seek out the best spots wherever we go!  Maui was really underwhelming in that department, some of the worst food on our travels.  The only place that stood out was Mama’s Fish House, which had really good food and amazing views from their property.

My husband loves whole fish, and theirs didn’t disappoint.


Their kid meals were great as well, not your typical fried chicken or mac and cheese. Milana is a huge lobster fan, so she got the lobster kid meal which she really liked.


Just down the street from the hotel was our favorite shaved ice place, Maui’s Beach House. We tried a few others, and none compared to this one.  We went back 3 days in a row!


A fun place for breakfast with the kids is Slappy Cakes.  You pick your batter and make pancakes at the table, Milana loved the concept but poor dad had to pay for breakfast and cook it himself!

slappy cakes.jpg

Maui is a very quiet, slow-paced island. If you’re looking for relaxation and a family-friendly atmosphere, this is definitely the place for you!


  • wanderingwagarschristina

    I have not visited Maui and it is very high on our family bucket list. Thanks for all the suggestions here. I am very shocked about the underwhelming quality of the food. Our kids love lobster too so when we go we will definitely check out Mama’s Fish House.

  • Marta - Learningescapes

    I’d love to go to Hawaii, it’s a big bucket list place for me – only about a 20 hours hours flight from here 😉 Interesting to read about less than great experiences: I guess it happens in places with a lot of tourism, I must remember your advice when we finally go

  • Vyjay Rao

    First of all congratulations on completing 49 states. Hawaii is really like a paradise on earth and Maui is no exception. I can see that Milana had a great time, especially with the animals. Lovely family getaway indeed.

  • Kevin Wagar

    We’ve visited Oahu and the Big Island, but Maui is next on our list. We hadn’t checked out a Luau yet, so thanks for the tip on one to avoid. The food trucks in Oahu are worth visiting if you love great, roadside food.

  • Brianna

    Sounds like a fun trip! I like your perspective on Maui, because most of the time you read about it as a romantic honeymoon destination. This was a great new way to learn about Maui. The bamboo forest looks like the most fun 🙂

  • Julie Cao

    Shaved ice is my favorite staple in Hawaii. I dont know you can make your own pancakes at a restaurant. Missed Road to Hana during my last trip and that is one of the reason I need to go back there. And by the way, I highly recommend Alaska. It is one of the most beautiful state in the USA in terms of natural wonder.

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