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  • Elle Sten

7 *Best* Big Island Spots For Kids.


Spending 10 days on the big island with our 1.5 and 3.5 year old meant a lot of variety in our daily activities. Here's what we found to be the best for their age and older kids of our travel companions!


For our full itinerary, click here.


Hawaiian Airlines was THE BEST for flying with kids. From friendly kind flight attendants to kid-friendly food options and yummy tropical drinks, I'll never go to Hawaii any other way! For specials or to book, click here.

1.Kamakana playground

An absolute must visit and lifesaver on our trip! We loved hitting this stop first to get the kids' energy out before a day of driving and sightseeing.


We attempted a final visit before our flight, however the saturday we went happened to be a community service project day in which a group cleaned and resealed all the wooden equipment. It was awesome they do that, but boo for us.













2. Mokupāpapa Discovery Center

Very fun and rewarding after the cross-island drive to Hilo. Packed with hands-on activities for kids, this was fun. And free! (Donations encouraged.)












3. Waip'o Valley Fruitshack

Another must stop and walk around if you have kids! Especially if you dragged them all the way up to the lookout.


The bright colors, room to wiggle and explore, and fruit treats or sugar cane juice were enough to make us stop! But the butterfly coccoons under the brightly colored benches was a fun nature surprise. The kids enjoyed playing with the trucks in the sand pit and climbing on the jeep.



Bright colors and beautiful skies here!










One of many butterfly cocoons, so cool for the kids to see!



Made in the shade here at the fruit shack!





4. Pana'ewa Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Another must-do in Hilo, also Free! (Again, donations encouraged.)


The only zoo in the world in a natural rainforest. Lush beautiful plants sprawl throughout with fun animal exhibits, cute photo ops, and an INCREDIBLE playground. Kids will love this experience.



5. Black sand (Punaluʻu) beach

Unique black sand is a must experience for kids. They'll love to play in it as it's unlike any other sand on the island (or likely that they've ever seen!) And, they'll be able to get 20 feet away from sunbathing turtles. Head out early or just before sunset to find parking.




The rad black sand beach t-shirt shack! Also sells coconuts


6. Old Kona Airport tidepools:

I recommend this again near sunset as you might catch a rainbow! Fun for the kids to see some sea life in the tidepools. A short walk down from the parking is a natural swimming pool which would be good for older kids!






7. Kahalu'u Beach for kid-friendly Snorkleing

Here you will encounter many yellow and striped fish, maybe even a turtle! The water is shallow enough kids can wade in, we brought our two toddlers in to wade and see lots of fish by looking down. Definitely a trip highlight!






Want to know what to pack or some midsize outfit ideas? Check out my guide here.

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