Things to Do in Maui With Toddlers

Things to Do in Maui With Toddlers
When traveling in Maui with a toddler, it can sometimes be a chore to find family friendly activities that even the youngest member can enjoy. Outdoor activities are usually a good choice, provided there are interesting things to keep little minds occupied. If you are looking to spend family time away from the beaches of Maui, there are a number of areas that offer hiking and recreational sports fun for everyone.

Maui Golf and Sports Park

This fun place boasts two 18-hole mini-golf courses, with a 30 foot play-through volcano, as well as streams, ponds and caves. Older children will enjoy bumper boats and water fights in the waterfall lagoons, while toddlers begin learning the sport of mini-golf, experimenting with ways to get the ball into the holes. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Plan to stay and play from one to two hours. Remember to bring a change of clothes for the bumper boaters.

Maui Golf and Sports Park
80 Maalaea Road
Wailuku, HI 96793-5926
(808) 242-7818
www.mauigolfandsportspark.com

Haleakala National Park

This park is located on the highest peak in Maui. The summit reaches 10,300 feet above sea level and offers a view of the three-mile deep Haleakala Crater. Sunrise and sunset provide sensational views of the mountain and ocean. The visitor center offers activities to help toddlers learn about the park and encourages them to explore. There are no gas stations in or near the park, so be sure to fill up before going. Bring jackets for everyone, as temperatures at this elevation are considerably lower, and wind and humidity leave it about 30 degrees cooler than the coast. No snacks or dining facilities are available, so bring food in case hunger strikes. And, of course, remember to bring your camera. A full day is recommended to take advantage of the park and hiking trails. Haleakala Visitor Center hours are 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Park Headquarters Visitor Center hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Kipahula Visitor Center hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Haleakala Visitor Center is closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

Haleakala National Park
Makawao, HI 96768
(808) 572-4400
http://www.nps.gov/hale/index.htm

Pacific Whale Foundation

Toddlers will enjoy the boat ride out into the ocean on this whale-watching adventure. Sightings are guaranteed, and the foundation offers a "Just a Fluke" coupon, good for a free trip if a whale is not seen. An expert naturalist guides the tour and is ready to share information with passengers. Hydrophones are available, and children are encouraged to listen to the whale "songs", which is sure to cause some wide-eyed smiles. Parents will need to bring cash for souvenirs and snacks, sunscreen, camera, sunglasses and hats. The Foundation offers these tours December through May only, and you will need to check the website for departure times. The tour lasts from one to two hours.

Pacific Whale Foundation
612 Front St. #A
Lahaina, HI 96761
(808) 677-7447
www.pacificwhale.org

Maui Ocean Center

This five-acre ocean wonderland features native sea life such as tiger sharks and whales. Toddlers will enjoy the Discovery Pool, where they can learn, literally hands-on, about starfish, sea urchins and other living sea life, by touching and interacting with them. This is Hawaii's largest aquarium, and includes a 100-foot-long main tank, and a walk through tank, with sea life visible on three sides. It is recommended that you take an hour to two hours to view. July and August hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and September through June hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Maui Ocean Center
192 Maalaea Road
Wailuku, HI 96793
(808) 270-7070
www.mauioceancenter.com

Sugar Cane Train

This ia a treat for kids of all ages, but especially toddlers who are "Thomas" fans. The 12-mile round trip aboard a steam locomotive is a nice, leisurely experience that climaxes with the crossing of a 325-foot wooden trestle. From this vantage point, passengers are presented with a panoramic view of the neighboring islands. The train station in Lahaina is the "turn around point," where the train literally spins around on a turntable. There is also a chance for kids to watch as the train is filled with water for steam.The conductor narrates and points out various points of interest along the way. You will need to schedule about an hour for this activity.

The Sugar Cane Train
975 Limahana Pl. #203
Lahaina, HI 96761-2410
(800) 499-2307
www.sugarcanetrain.com

Article Written By Leigh Kelley

Leigh Kelley is a freelance writer who provides SEO Web copy to industry leading companies. Her work has appeared in publications such as "Bullys Magazine" and "Jonesboro Sun." Kelley earned a bachelor's degree in English from Arkansas State University.

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