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The idyllic island of Kauai provides a stunning setting for a memorable family trip. You can go swimming in pristine waters, stroll along undeveloped beaches, watch spectacular sunsets, and enjoy a rich culture, to name a few things. The island is a top travel destination for kids. From dolphin watching to witnessing the landscapes of Jurassic Park, they will definitely have the adventure of a lifetime. Here are eight of the best things to do in Kauai with kids.

8 things to do with kids on kauai

1. Visit the Beach

One of the easiest kid-friendly activities to do in Kauai is to visit the beach. This tropical paradise offers miles of undeveloped coastline, providing opportunities to build sandcastles, play in the surf, and even get up close and personal with marine critters in their natural habitat.

These are some of the best Kauai beaches for kids:

Hanalei Bay Beaches

The best area to teach your kids how to surf is in this crescent-shaped bay on the island's northern side.

Poipu Beach

Children will love playing in the calm waters of Poipu, near the Grand Hyatt Kauai. Lifeguards monitor the waters every day, providing you with the reassurance that your children will be secure. An onsite playground adds to the enjoyment.

Lydgate Coast

This beach features two life-guarded pools, making it the ideal location for a pleasant, safe swimming session. The excellent interactive play structures will also be a hit for the kids.

Poipu Beach
Poipu Beach is a kid-friendly destination in Kauai.

2. Ride a Train through Kilohana Estate

Both adults and children will enjoy this amazing rail adventure. The Kauai Plantation Railway takes you through the storied Kilohana Estate, a former sugar cane plantation, for an enthralling 40 minutes. You and your family will enjoy taking in the breathtaking sights from the comfortable passenger vehicles as you hear about the history of the plantation. This journey is made even more fun by a stop to feed some local pigs, goats, and donkeys during the train ride.

After the ride is finished, you are free to explore the lovely grounds or stop by the welcoming onsite restaurant for a meal. The restaurant provides a variety of produce that is grown right there on the plantation.

Kilohana Plantation
Tour Kilohana Estate on the Kauai Plantation Railway.

3. Island Helicopter Tours

If heights aren't a concern for you and your children, this helicopter trip is one of the most exciting Kauai family activities you can do. You'll have the chance to enjoy a birds-eye perspective of the lovely island, including some of the more challenging locations to get to on foot.

A fantastic option for families is the Jurassic Falls Helicopter Landing Adventure. It includes a full-circle tour that takes you around the island in one hour. It also features Manawaiopuna Falls, a highlight of “Jurassic Park” movies. And, you'll get the chance to get off the helicopter and explore these incredible sights.

Jurassic Valley
Explore the lush greenery that was the backdrop of Jurassic Park via the Jurassic Falls Helicopter Landing Adventure.

4. Captain Andy's Boat Tour

An adventure on Captain Andy's Boat Tour is among the best things to do with kids on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The company's tour options take you down the renowned Na Pali Coast where numerous adventure options are available. There are a variety of sailing excursions, such as a 65-foot Star Yacht, a Classic Sailing Catamaran, and a Wet and Wild Raft Expedition.

The catamaran and yacht rides are highly recommended for smaller kids. However, keep in mind that there are some age restrictions when making reservations. For example, children under 3 years old cannot access the sunset cruise.

Whichever choice you select, you'll have the chance to take advantage of snorkeling, fantastic food, and several opportunities to take in the gorgeous scenery as you sail along the Na Pali Coast.

Na Pali Coast
Explore the Na Pali Coast by boat with Captain Andy's Boat Tour.

5. Na Aina Kai Botanical Garden

The Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens and Sculpture Park is the ideal chill-out location. You will discover native Hawaiian culture, learn about the indigenous flora, and completely unwind with your family. With so many kid-friendly activities on site, this is one location you don't want to miss. For example, your children will love playing in the Children's Garden's rubber treehouse. Its highlights include slides, tunnels, kid-sized trains, and even rope bridges that span between trees. A full-sized hedge labyrinth is also present, which would undoubtedly be entertaining to explore with the family in addition to the Children's Garden. Another fun activity is feeding the fish that live in the Ka'ula Lagoon.

Numerous activities in the Na Aina Kai Botanical Garden promise to provide hours of amusement for both young and old.

Na Aina Kai Botanical Garden
Explore the grounds of Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens and Sculpture Park is a great way to spend a day with kids on Kauai.

6. Horseback Tour at Silver Falls Ranch

Make sure to put a horseback trip at Silver Falls Ranch on your list of things to do in Kauai with family when making your itinerary. Children will revel in the variety of riding tours available at Silver Falls Ranch. One of the most well-loved tours for families is the Tropical Trail Adventure. On this excursion, you'll ride a friendly horse through Kauai's verdant landscape, eat a picnic lunch, and take a relaxing swim in Silver Falls while admiring the magnificent Makaleha Mountains.

Silver Falls Ranch
There are a variety of horseback tours at Silver Falls Ranch.

7. Look for Waterfalls

The Garden Isle is awash in waterfalls. Though several require some effort to visit, some are relatively easy to access. The two-tiered Wailua Falls are one of the island's most well-known and easy-to-get-to waterfalls. And the Wailua River Valley contains Opaekaa, another accessible and stunning waterfall.

These two waterfalls are an easy walk from the car park areas. So you can avoid the hassle of hiking. And if you're traveling with young children, these natural wonders are a particularly enticing option.

Wailua Falls
Wailua Falls is a breathtaking spot — and it's one of the many fun things to do with kids on Kauai.

8. See Marine Creatures in the Wild

The youngsters will be amazed by Kauai's other claim to fame, its abundant marine life. Whatever time of year you visit, there's a good chance you'll meet the island's playful dolphins. These incredibly entertaining animals frolic in the seas surrounding the island all year long.

If you're observing from land, the Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge (a stunning location in and of itself) offers a good opportunity to watch their antics. Going on one of the various boat tours will give you the best chance of spotting these marine species. An excellent option is Blue Dolphin Charters. They even promise if you don't spot any dolphins, they'll give you a refund.

Hawaiian Monk Seals, which frequently lounge on Poipu Beach sand to sunbathe, are another adorable sight. While witnessing these seals is undoubtedly a thrill because they are among the most endangered marine creatures in the world, do respect them and keep as far away as you can.

Humpback whales migrate to the waters around Kauai between November and April to breed and give birth to their young. Make plans to view these lovely creatures if you're going during these months. Numerous tour boat operators provide tours to see humpback whales.

Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge
When you visit the Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge, you'll spot a variety of wildlife.

Conclusion

The variety of activities available for kids to do on Kauai is vast and will keep you occupied for your entire trip. Including these eight must-do activities means many happy adventures lay ahead. Get set to make memories and experiences of a lifetime!

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