23 Exciting Things to Do on Kauai with Kids

10 min read
Turquoise sea water with a beach, greenery, and greenery-covered mountain surrounding
Your kids will love going on vacation to Kauai!

If you’re looking for a great family vacation location, you must consider Kauai! Located in the United States in the state of Hawaii, this tropical destination features breathtaking surroundings and lots of exciting outdoor activities.

Things to do on Kauai with kids include snorkeling, dolphin watching, and riding ATVs to waterfalls. No matter what you and your children enjoy doing on vacation, you’re sure to find lots to do in beautiful Kauai!

  • 23 Kauai things to do

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23 Best Things to Do with Kids in Kauai, Hawaii

Kauai Things to Do Map

A map of Kauai. Use the map to explore all the things to do.

A wooden suspension bridge over a river with grass and mud on the banks
Running across the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge is a fun activity for kids

Run across the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge

An exciting place to visit on your Kauai family vacation is the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge. This landmark is a swinging suspension bridge that crosses a small river.

Many tourists come to the bridge to enjoy the thrill of running across it. When visiting, your kids can take turns attempting to get to the other side of the unique and fun Hanapepe Swinging Bridge.

Go tubing through an old sugar cane plantation

You can find lots of fun outdoor activities in Kauai and tubing is a great one for kids. With Kauai Backcountry Adventures, you can go on an exciting mountain tubing adventure.

On the eco-adventure, you’ll tube through water-filled tunnels between lush green mountains that were dug for an old sugar cane farm. Do note that this experience is only for children aged five or older.

One of many things to do on Kauai with kids is spending a day at Poipu Beach Park
Spending a day at Poipu Beach Park is one of the fun things to do on Kauai with kids

Hang out at Poipu Beach Park

Poipu Beach Park is another ideal family-friendly spot, and spending a day here is one of the fun things to do in Kauai with kids. This South Coast beach has beautiful white sand shores. Your kids can play on the sand as you relax and enjoy the warm weather!

The swimming, surfing, and snorkeling conditions are good here too. The calm waters of Poipu Beach are ideal for children looking to try some water sports.

Have a picnic at Lydgate Beach Park

You can’t visit Hawaii without going to a few beaches, and Lydgate Beach Park is a great one for families. The calm and peaceful tree-lined beach is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic and play games.

If your kids like being in the water, the swimming and snorkeling conditions are good here too. You can also find some playing field areas by the beach, which are great for letting the kids run around.

A stone grotto with green hanging ferns covering it
The Fern Grotto is reminiscent of something out of a fairy tale

Explore the Fern Grotto

If your kids like fairy tales and magical stories, you have to visit the Fern Grotto. Located on the Wailua River, the grotto resembles an enchanting cave surrounded by green ferns.

The Fern Grotto is only accessible by boat, but many guided tours will get you there. A recommended tour to join in the Best of Kauai tour. You’ll be taken to a range of attractions, including the Fern Grotto, by boat and car. You can also add on a helicopter experience if you desire!

Learn about sugar growing at a sugar farm museum

Sugar farming is a significant industry in Hawaii and was introduced to replace whaling in the 1800s. A fascinating and educational way to learn about this industry is by visiting the Grove Farm Sugar Plantation Museum in Kauai.

The 80-acre site the museum sits on was formerly a sugar farm, but today can be explored by visitors. At the museum, you’ll learn about this specific farm and the sugar growing industry in Hawaii. If interested in visiting, make sure you book ahead of time to arrange a tour.

A white lighthouse with a red top on the grass with a coastline in the distance
You can take in amazing views of Kauai from the Kilauea Lighthouse

Visit the Kilauea Lighthouse

The Kilauea Lighthouse is a Kauai landmark located on the North Shore in the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. The quaint lighthouse sits on a cliff 180-feet above the ocean.

When visiting, you can climb to the top of the lighthouse and enjoy the stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. There aren’t too many stairs to climb, making it easy for kids, and they’ll love the excitement of being in a real lighthouse!

Volcanic rocks with water spouting out of them and the ocean in the background
Your kids are sure to enjoy seeing the fascinating Spouting Horn blowhole

Tour the geologically fascinating Spouting Horn Park

Spouting Horn Park is a coastal area that's home to the Spouting Horn Blowhole. The interesting geological feature sprays water out of the rocks up to 50-feet in the air.

This is definitely an attraction that will fascinate kids and adults alike! You can visit the area alone or consider a Kauai tour that will take you to Spouting Horn, Poipu Beach Park, and Waimea Canyon State Park.

Sail through Port Allen

Going on a sailboat is an exciting experience for both kids and adults. A great way to see the Kauai coast is on a sailing tour that your whole family will enjoy.

Once aboard the sailboat, you and your children will be served a delicious breakfast as you set sail from Port Allen. On the journey, you can take in the stunning views of sparkling water and tall mountains. You can also get in the ocean to snorkel and may spot whales, dolphins, and turtles from the boat.

A twin waterfall flowing into a pool below, surrounded by lush greenery
There are many waterfalls on the Wailua River, like Wailua Waterfall

Hike to waterfalls near the Wailua River

If you like hiking, one of the adventurous things to do on Kauai for families is taking a hike around the Wailua River. A waterfall hiking adventure allows you to hike through lush forest to a stunning waterfall. At the falls, you can take scenic photos and swim in the pool below.

This experience also includes kayaking on the Wailua River. While in the area be sure to check out the Wailua twin falls too.

Spend the evening at a Hawaiian luau

One of the most exciting Kauai family activities is attending a traditional Hawaiian luau. The most popular luau in Kauai is Kalamaku Luau, which is held at the historic Kilohana Plantation.

At the event, you can enjoy a delicious buffet dinner with lots of Hawaiian dishes. Of course, you’ll also get to enjoy the show, complete with Polynesian dancing and fire dancing. Your kids will love the unique performance held in a stunning tropical location.

Three dolphins in the blue ocean water
Your kids will love getting to see dolphins while in Kauai

Set sail on a whale and dolphin watching boat tour

Kauai is home to some amazing marine animals, like humpback whales and various species of dolphins. If your children like animals, going on a whale and dolphin boat tour is a must.

Once aboard, you’ll sail to areas known to be home to majestic humpback whales and beautiful dolphins. Your guide will also offer information on the marine animals’ habitats and “lifestyles”, so your kids can learn more about these cool creatures.

Participate in a chocolate tasting at Princeville Botanical Gardens

Princeville Botanical Gardens are one of the numerous gorgeous botanical gardens in Kauai. A unique thing about these gardens is that cacao is grown in them, and chocolate is produced on-site.

After wandering around the pretty tropical gardens, you can taste some freshly made chocolate. You and your kids can try fruit and honey too, which are both also produced in the gardens. To avoid long lines, get a Princeville Botanical Gardens skip the line pass before arriving.

A beach with a small hut in the water and greenery mountains surrounding
Kayaking at Hanalei Bay is a great thing to do if your children like water sports

Kayak at Hanalei Bay

One of the best Kauai attractions to visit for those that want to see marine life is Hanalei Bay. The amazing beach is the ideal place to snorkel and kayak.

Joining a Hanalei Bay kayak tour is highly recommended. Kayaks are provided, and a guide will lead you and your family out to the best snorkeling spots in the area. You can then hop in the ocean to snorkel and spot exotic fish and sea turtles.

Taste local Kauai dishes on a food tour

One of the interesting things to do in Kauai with family if you like sampling local cuisine is going on a food tour. On a Kauai food tour, you’ll explore local neighborhoods and try the best dishes on the island.

Along the way, your guide will also offer history on the areas you pass. At each eatery, you can even meet the owners or chefs and learn more about the dishes you’re eating.

Aerial view of green land with the ocean to the side under a blue sky
Taking a Kauai helicopter tour will amaze you and your kids

Take a helicopter adventure flight

Seeing Kauai from up high is an amazing experience that you and your kids will remember forever. Taking a Kauai helicopter adventure tour is the perfect way to take advantage of incredible island views. Once in the air, you’ll see Kauai’s most stunning natural features.

Sites to fly over include Waimea Canyon and Na Pali Coast State Park. Manawaiopuna Falls, which featured in the movie Jurrasic Park and are only accessible by helicopter, will also be flown over. If flying with children over 23 months, they must each have their own seat.

A shoal of silver and orange fish swimming around an underwater coral reef
On a snorkel tour, you'll see turtles, exotic fish, and more

Discover marine life on a guided snorkel tour

Hawaii is home to some incredible sea creatures. The perfect way to see these pretty marine animals is on a guided snorkeling tour. The tour takes place in the waters of Kauai’s south shore reefs.

Creatures you can expect to see include tropical fish, Hawaiian green sea turtles, and sea urchins. Before getting in the water, you and your kids might also spot nesting turtles and sunbathing Hawaiian monk seals.

Zipline through tropical forests

Going ziplining is definitely one of the best things to do in Kauai with kids. This adventure activity is perfect for adults too!

A Kauai zipline experience takes place near Koloa, and will see you fly above the jungle-like forests surrounding the Waita Reservoir. Once at the zipline center, you can try eight fun and thrilling courses, all offering breathtaking views.

A greenery-covered mountain with ocean surrounding under a blue sky
Your family can enjoy many activities on the Na Pali Coast, like rafting

Experience a rafting adventure on the Na Pali Coast

Another of the many Kauai activities for kids is going on a rafting adventure within the beautiful Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park. This tourist hotspot features lush forests and lots of stunning turquoise coastline; it’s the perfect place for water-based activities.

On the Na Pali Coast raft adventure, you’ll get to go out on the water and get in to snorkel. You’ll spot lots of marine creatures too, like spinner dolphins and sea turtles.

Get some beautiful photos with a Kauai photography session

You’re bound to want to take lots of pictures on your family trip to Kauai, so why not get some professional quality images taken? With a Kauai adventure photography session.

Your family will go with the photographer to various Kauai attractions within Poipu, Princeville, and Kapa’a. At each stop, incredible photos will be taken of you and your kids. This experience is a great way to have lasting reminders of your trip. The breathtaking pictures can be framed and given as gifts too!

Ocean water with rocks in it and mountains and palm trees in the distance
If you want to surf, Shipwreck Beach is a great place to do so

Surf at Shipwreck Beach

Located in Poipu, Shipwreck Beach is another incredible destination found near the Grand Hyatt Kauai. If looking for things to do in Kauai for kids, a trip to Shipwreck Beach is a must!

Along with just hanging out on the shore, you can try a variety of water activities here. Due to a strong surf, surfing and bodyboarding conditions are great here. It’s the perfect place for kids to try out surfing for the first time! Swimming, however, is not recommended. You can also discover some easy hiking trails to follow.

Ride an ATV on a waterfall tour

Kauai has a lot of waterfalls, and a cool way to see them is on an ATV adventure. On the tour, you can ride your ATV down a range of tracks which will lead to a stunning waterfall.

Once at the falls, you and your children can take pictures and swim in the pools below. Other sites to see on the ATV route include Wilcox Tunnel and the Waita reservoir.

Red rock mountains with some greenery on them stretching into the distance
Biking at Waimea Canyon State Park is the ideal thing to do for active families

Bike around Waimea Canyon State Park

Waimea Canyon State Park is one of the most beautiful Hawaiian landmarks and has been called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” If your kids enjoy riding their bike, exploring the area on a Waimea Canyon cycling tour is the perfect activity for your family.

On the tour, you’ll follow a few scenic downhill paths that offer the most amazing views of the canyon. Once you’ve reached the bottom of the mountain, you can watch the glorious sunset. Do note that your children must be 4’11” or taller to participate.

In Summary

Kauai is one of the best Hawaiian Islands to visit when traveling with children. If you’re planning to visit and have been wondering what to do in Kauai with kids, hopefully, this list has given you some inspiration!

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Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell WRITER Currently based in Canada, I've also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and travelled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. I love finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever I go!


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