You’re planning a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii with the kids. But what are you going to do to keep them occupied? Here are a few family-friendly things to enjoy.
1. Swim with the Dolphins — Dolphin Quest, located at the Hilton Waikoloa Village offers an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. Spend half an hour with the Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins in their lagoon,
2. Atlantis Submarine — Departing from Kailua Pier in Kona, Atlantis offers a variety of tours to a depth of up to 100 feet to view a 25 acre natural coral reef, without getting wet!
3. Parker Ranch — Take a 40 minute drive from Kailua-Kona up to Waimea and visit the Parker Ranch. You’ll find the Puuopelu Gardens, ATV Tours and Horseback Rides, among other things at this 150,000 acre working cattle ranch.
4. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park — Visit one of the world’s most active volcanoes. You can drive the Crater Rim Drive, explore the East Rift and coastal area of the Park via Chain of Craters Road, or hike one or more of the many trails. The Park also offers a Junior Ranger Program just for kids from age 7 to 12.
5. Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park — Located south of Kailua-Kona, this was a Place of Refuge for the ancient Hawaiians. If you broke a law, the punishment was death, unless you could reach the safety of this place, in which cause you would be forgiven. You can take a self-guided walking tour of the Royal Grounds and Place of Refuge, hike the Park’s back-country trails, fish, have a picnic or go snorkeling.
6. Punalu’u Beach Park — This black sand beach is home to the endangered green sea turtle. There is a pond with exotic ducks, and a natural freshwater wading pool at the far end of the beach.
7. Beaches — The Big Island offers many beaches suitable for swimming and snorkeling with kids, among them Anaehoomalu Bay (A-Bay) and Kua Bay at Kona Coast State Park on the Kona side and Richardson Ocean Park and Onekahakaha Beach Park on the Hilo side.
As you can see, the problem with visiting the Big Island of Hawaii with kids isn’t finding something to do, it’s deciding what to do during your all too short stay!
By Bonnie J Peterson
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