Maui Memories

Keeping kids amused in an island paradise? It's a snap in Maui.

photographed by monika elena
text by elizabeth bentley

Maui has all the ingredients for a memorable family holiday. Fabulous weather, loads of affordable activities and a gentle, laidback atmosphere that’s perfect for little kids (and big kids too!).

Hire a car or a van – you won’t get far without one – and Maui is your oyster. From picture-perfect swimming coves to tasty organic treats, you won’t have any trouble unlocking the island’s abundant charms.

First stop is historic Lahaina, on Maui’s west coast. If you’re over during winter (November to May), don’t miss the migrating humpbacks on a whale watching tour. Kids under six go free.

Then it’s off on a magical mystery tour along rural highways and rugged coastline roads. Grab your towels and check out the beaches where the locals like to hang. Spend an afternoon underwater at the awesome Maui Ocean Center in Wailuku. Or head upcountry to visit sustainable farms and make friends with the odd goat.

There’s a saying around the island – ‘Maui no ka ‘oi’ – Maui is the best. We’ve picked the cream of the crop right here.

At O’o Farm, you can indulge your tastebuds and sense of fun. Located upcountry in Kula, this organic farm is the source of produce that ends up on the menu of top restaurants in Lahaina. O’o Farm prides itself on sustainable ecological practices – worth a tick in our books. Even better, the tour is hands-on. Everyone helps harvest the crops while learning about organic farming practices. Then it’s off to enjoy the fruits of your labour, courtesy of a professional chef who whips up a mouthwatering lunch. Eating your greens has never been so much fun.

1. O’o Farm
Harvest your own organic lunch.
Waipoli Road, Kula, +1 808 667 4341.

2. Pacific Whale Foundation
Catch humpbacks in Maui waters between November and May.
Lahaina Ocean Store, +1 808 942 5311.

3. The Nanny Connection
Need a night off? This qualified babysitter service will come to your hotel or condo.
PO Box 477, Puunene, +1 808 875 4777.

Maui has a reputation for the best beaches in Hawaii. While many are magnets for surfers and windsurfers, there are a few protected spots for your keiki (kids) to paddle safely. Check out the stretch of sand the locals have dubbed ‘Baby Beach’ on the North Shore. Sheltered from the breaks, it’s a neat spot for exploring rockpools together too. Just look for the swings on the right hand side as you head towards the colourful town of Paia.

Ready for a snack? Grab a fruit smoothie on the side of the road. Or head into town for a cone at the Ono Gelato Company. Their gelato is made fresh daily, using organic
local fruit. Then stroll along the main street and admire the brightly painted wooden storefronts, selling everything from local crafts to kids clothing.

1. Kula Botanical Garden
Littlies love spotting the cranes and geese that wander about.
638 Kekaulike Avenue, Kula, +1 808 878 1715.

2. Ono Gelato Company
Taste the difference fresh, organic fruit makes.
115D Hana Highway, +1 808 579 9201.

3. Flat Bread Co.
Organic wood-fired pizza cooked to order in a hand-built oven.
89 Hana Highway, +1 808 579 8989.

4. Cafe Des Amis
Sample the delicious savoury and sweet crepes at this relaxed Paia café.
42 Baldwin Road, Paia, +1 808 579 6323.

You can probably smell it before you see it. Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm smothers the hillside with more than 30 varieties of the plant. Make sure you try the lavender lemonade, lavender tea and, you guessed it, lavender scones.

The Surfing Goat Dairy knows all about amusing kids. After all, they have plenty of their own. Enjoy a short farm tour and save room to taste the amazing and kooky variety of cheeses – mango supreme, anyone?

If you’re still standing after all that, the lush, shady Kula Botanical Garden is a great place to walk it all off.

1. Surfing Goat Dairy
Get the kids some hay to feed the goats while you splurge on the chevre.
3651 Omaopio Road, Kula, +1 808 878 2870.

2. Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm
Take time out to smell the lavender on this delicious property.
1100 Waipoli Road, Kula, +1 808 878 3004.

3. Maui Ocean Center
The shark tunnel is the highlight at this cool aquarium.
192 Ma’alaea Road, Wailuku, +1 808 270 7000.

4. Kula Botanical Garden
Littlies love spotting the cranes and geese that wander about.
638 Kekaulike Avenue, Kula, +1 808 878 1715.

Discover more places to visit on the island of Maui in LMNOP Magazine, Issue 11.
Download it now

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