6 Excursions in Kauai For the Family


Of all the Hawaiian islands, Kauai may be the most family-friendly. You could spend days hanging out on the beach and splashing in the surf. But if you need more to keep your kiddos occupied, there are plenty of activities to entertain everyone. Here are six of the top family-friendly activities for your trip to Kauai.

Kayak to Fern Grotto

Views of this unique fern-covered lava cave are only accessible by a boat trip up the river. If your kiddos aren’t at an age where they’ll appreciate a kayak trip, you can also take a motorboat tour. But going by kayak lets you make stops along the way where you want to, spend as much time as you like at the viewing platform near the cave, and time your visit so you can have more time and space to enjoy the view without a whole tour group there with you. The paddle takes about four hours, and it is sure to be a memorable part of your vacation.

Field Trip with a Shelter Dog

When you leave your beloved furry family members at home, it can be hard on the kids during vacation time. The Kauai Humane Society operates a program where you can take a dog on a field trip for the day. Give them all the love and snuggles they need, take them on walks, and get them out and about to potentially find a forever home (the shelter provides the vest that tells the world the pup is adoptable). Don’t worry if you fall in love with the pooch: the humane society can help you adopt and get them back home if you just can’t say goodbye.

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Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, holds big views that any age can enjoy. This can be a great trip for tired little travelers who need some rest time in the backseat. You can easily make this a driving tour with a few scenic stops along the way that don’t take you far from the car. Or you can take a longer walk or hike if you and the crew are up for it.

Chocolate Farm Tour

Sweet treats are a big draw, and understanding where your favorite flavors come from can add even more to the experience of eating them. Lydgate Farms offers a branch-to-bar farm tour and tasting, showing off the cultural and culinary significance of this unique bean. And Garden Island Chocolate offers an extensive tasting including 20 different types of Hawaiian-made chocolate. Hawaii is the only state where the chocolate tree grows, growing on the island since they were introduced in the 1830s.

Take the Kauai Plantation Railway

Even if your little ones aren’t railway-obsessed, they can still appreciate the ride with views of the historic Kilohana plantation. The plantation dates back to the 1890s when it was first used for cattle ranching. The highlight for many young visitors will be the stop where they can pet and feed the plantation animals, including sheep, pigs, goats, and a donkey.

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Experience a Luau

A Luau is an important cultural experience for adults and kids visiting the Hawaiian Islands. Voted the best luau on the island, Smith’s Garden Luau is a great option for families traveling with kids. The Smith family has been operating on Kauai for over 60 years, offering tours and experiences from their garden paradise. Expect a hearty meal, lots of music, and traditional dancing in a garden setting.

The bedtime routine after a day of adventure can be tricky. But a homey vacation rental can make rest easier for your little ones. See what accommodation Starry Night Lodging has to offer on the Garden Isle, and enjoy your time on the island as a family.