things to do on Maui with your kids – off the beaten path

explore iao valley when you're visiting Maui with your family and kids.
Maui is filled with endless magic and beautiful places to explore. I want to make it easy for you to enjoy chillin at the pool/beach, and explore some of the island’s best spots. check out my top picks of things to do on Maui with your kids. these are perfect for the alternative family who is open to getting off the beaten path.

Iao Valley State Park 

Iao Valley, needle, stream, and surrounding area is mystifying. this sacred place also has a rich history. bring your bathing suits and take a dip in this powerful water! you will emerge a whole new being… it’s for real! the paths are paved so it’s perfect for kids, but I do recommend taking those shoes off  and getting your barefoot on the land and rocks. before or after, check out wailuku town. pop in request music and support our record store and grab a bite to eat at kokopele for healthy kine options or 808 on main for sandwiches.

the needle at iao valley, a great place to explore with your family things to do on Maui with your kidsbest activities for kids on Maui, check out Iao Valleykelli love explores iao valley with her boy.

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Ho’okipa Lookout

watch some of the best surfers at ho’okipa beach park, just outside of paia town on the northshore. there’s a couple of different bluffs you can explore. down on the beach there’s little pools for the kids to play in, and often turtles! turtle etiquette: do not disturb them! admire from a distance.

if you’re hitting ho’okipa on your way back from hana, watch the sunset behind the west maui mountains.

enjoy sunset and watch the surf with your family at hookipa lookout on Maui. enjoy sunset and watch the surf with your family at hookipa lookout on Maui. if you're looking for things to do with your family on Maui, check out ho'okipa lookout

Baby Beach

Baldwin Beach is THE north shore spot for enjoying the sunshine, walking along the beach, and getting a taste of more local style livin’. Baby Beach is located on the far left if you were to park in the main lot. you can walk from there, but with babies, park in the spreckelsville neighborhood lot so you’re not hauling your goods down the beach. it has a protected reef that keeps the waves out and acts like a pool, soooo much fun for the keiki.

pack a picnic from mana foods, they have a salad and hot bar, healthy snacks, and all kinds of tropical fruits.

if you're looking for things to do on maui, have a picnic at baby beach in Paia. things to do on Maui, check out baby beach located outside of Paia town.

if you have little ones, this trip might be a bit of a trek — especially if you’re coming from Lahaina side. but if you haven’t booked your hotel or rental yet, book a night or two! it’s fun to stay in Hana for a night, so you can slow down and soak in what this special place on Maui has to offer. check out airbnb or travasa, and break your trip up so you can get a switch up from the typical tourist thing.

  • leave early – beat the traffic and make the most out of your day.
  • stop at Paia Bay Coffee on the way before the road gets windy.
  • pull over for locals. for real! lots of turn outs.
  • favorite places: Wai’anapanapa State Park and Waioka Pon. Red Sands Beach is great for older kids who can do a short hike.
  • pranee’s thai food for lunch – hit it up early, she sells out.
  • I love hana art boutique – for the BEST local jewels & gifts
  • park the car and set up at hamoa beach, one of my favorite beaches on Maui.

things to do on Maui with your family on Maui that are off the beaten path and perfect for the alternative family. things to do on Maui with your kids - off the beaten pathbeautiful photography in Hana at Hamoa Beach, things to do for families on Maui.


even if your kids aren’t early risers, might be worth convincing them to get their booty’s out of bed and pile into the car. they can snooze on the way! you’ll want to time your drive to make it to the summit well before the sunrises (check what time it is here).


  • haleakala (house of the sun) was used by hawaiian’s for ceremonial purposes and is a sacred place. feel LOVE while you’re up there! it is an honor to be in the crater. the legend tells that the demigod Maui lassoed the sun as it passed overhead, slowing its passage across the sky to prolong its life-giving warmth.
  • get that hot coco and coffee ready, pile on your warmest clothes and pack blankies. BRR! worth every second of teeth-chattering.
  • after you watch sunrise, take a short walk down sliding sands trail. it’s peaceful, quiet, with stunning with any place on earth, leave it more beautiful! bring your reusable water bottle to avoid buying plastic and use reef-safe sunscreen to keep our oceans beautiful. my favorite is raw love sunscreen.
  • UPDATE: you need to reserve sunrise ahead of time! please go to the haleakala website to check availability. if it is all booked during your stay, sunset is a gorgeous time too!

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