With activities for all ages, the Big Island is the perfect destination for families. Ziplines, horseback riding, swimming with dolphins, and much more will make for a vacation that your young ones will never forget.
ATV Tour through Waipi’o Valley
Kids 5 and over can ride an ATV or group buggy to spectacular lookouts over Waipi’o Valley, known as the Valley of the Kings. Offering some of the most spectacular panoramic views on the Big Island, the valley cuts deep into the mountain with 3,000-foot cliffs and waterfalls up to 1,500 feet. Tours are provided by experienced local guides who share their knowledge of the Valley and of Hawaiian culture in a fun and adventurous setting.
Open to ages 8 and up, Kohala Zipline’s Kohala Canopy Adventure features five elevated suspension bridges, soaring tree platforms and nine thrilling ziplines. Guests may also choose a full day Zip and Dip which includes the Kohala Canopy Adventure, lunch, a short hike, and a swim under a private waterfall.
The Big Island offers a variety of fun ways to saddle up for an unforgettable paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) experience, from scenic storytelling tours by horse-drawn wagon to a chance to take the reins for yourself and go on a real cattle drive. Visitors can ride through many different environments including the upcountry pastures of Kahua Ranch, the tropical Waipi’o Valley stream and waterfall trails, or the southern reaches of a historic trail to Kealakekua Bay – complete with swimming and snorkeling. With scenic vistas unfolding at every turn, it’s easy to see why horseback riding on the Big Island is truly unique.
Surfing was literally the “Sport of Kings” in Hawaii, reserved only for the ali’i (royalty). Today, surfing can be tried by almost anyone with proper instruction and guidance. There are a handful of spots on the Big Island that cater to beginners and intermediate-level surfers, including Pine Trees Beach (Kohanaiki) and Kahalu’u Beach. Experienced instructors who are CPR-certified will take first-timers to safe breaks during lessons that last one to two hours.
Swim with Dolphins
Children can touch, play, swim and learn with dolphins on a magical personal encounter. Guided by marine mammal experts, Dolphin Quest is located in the tropical lagoon at Hilton Waikoloa Village. For older children or those wishing to swim with the dolphins in their natural habitat, various guided boat tours will take visitors along the Kona Coast to one of the most accessible areas in the world for watching dolphins in the wild.
Samuel Spencer Beach Park
Located in North Kohala, this beach is perfect for children and families. The park has picnic pavilions, tables, and barbecue grills, and it’s protected by an outside reef which allows for calm swimming and snorkeling waters.