The best thing about planning a family vacation to Hawaii is that it doesn't matter when you go - the islands are warm and sunny year-round. Family vacationers flock to Hawaii in the winter, spring and summer.
Many hotels offer family vacation packages such as reduced rates when booking two rooms for a few days in a row. If you want to avoid crowds and your travel dates are flexible, hotels are usually the emptiest from the end of September to just before Thanksgiving. Read our tips on keeping your kids safe near water.
Oahu for Families
A family vacation on Oahu can mean a stay at a large resort in the heart of Waikiki Beach, or a more intimate getaway on other parts of the island. In Waikiki, Hilton Hawaiian Village and the Sheraton Waikiki both offer a children's program for children ages 5 to 12. While kids learn about Hawaii and play games, parents can go shopping, take a surfing lesson and have drinks with a view of the famous Waikiki Beach.
The Kahala Hotel, a 10-minute drive from Waikiki, has a private sandy beach and a man-made dolphin lagoon which is sure to excite kids. The hotel offers family vacationers luxurious rooms, a pool and secluded beach, several restaurants, spa suites, a dolphin lagoon and a kid's club. The rooms are furnished in traditional Hawaiian style with a modern twist and have great views. You can choose to camp the family out by the pool or on the 800-foot-long beach. The 26,000 square foot natural lagoon is home to six Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins.
Kids ages 5 to 12 can take part in the Quest, a two hour program to that will educate them about dolphins as well as allow them to see them in shallow-water. The Keiki Club activities include: lei making, reef walking, bamboo pole fishing, snorkeling, and hula dancing. Rates start at $325 per night.
On the North Shore of Oahu, Turtle Bay Resort offers family vacation villas just steps from its beach. These luxury villas are well suited for families that like to barbeque and relax together in a private space. Choose from an array of vacation activities in natural surroundings. The Ocean Villas, located steps from a white sandy beach, offer families the flexibility of preparing their own meals while on vacation. The luxury villas have a Jacuzzi, courtyard and a barbeque area. And when you don't feel like cooking, a private chef can be hired for groups of two or more. The Ocean Villas at Turtle Bay Resort come in studio, 3-bedroom and 4-bedroom configurations. The villas include a private lanai, a living area, a dining area, and a fully equipped kitchen with granite counter tops, dishwasher and small kitchen appliances. Ask for one of the villas on the ground level for the easiest access to the beach. One-bedroom luxury villa rates start at $868 per night.
Maui & Molokai
The island of Maui is a popular family vacation getaway and recognizing that interest airlines now offer direct flights to Maui from the mainland. There are several upscale resort areas on Maui where guests can choose from an array of vacation activities such as snorkeling, golf and spas.
Kapalua Resort on West Maui has three beaches and several different accommodation options. If you like to prepare some of your own meals and need the convenience of a washer/dryer while on family vacation, rent a condo at the resort. Guests who prefer to stay in a hotel can try the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua.
Another popular family vacation destination on West Maui is Kaanapali Resort which has condos, programs for kids and three miles of sandy beaches.
The Fairmont Kea Lani Maui on the southern side of the island has a spa, golf, and spacious suites for families.
The Big Island of Hawaii for Kids
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel also offers a kid's program, golf and a variety of watersports.
Mauna Lani Bay Hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii offers luxury accommodations, a sandy beach and a selection of vacation activities for the whole family. Vacationers can relax in a hammock, play sand volleyball or try a few rounds of scenic golf on the resort's two golf courses. Kids ages five through 12 can sign up for the Mauna Lani day camp. Available year-round, camp activities include visits to tidal pools, historic fishponds and petroglyphs, learning Hawaiian and games. Rates for Camp Mauna Lani start at $50 per day.
On the beach, there is a Beach Crew which assists with beach activities, hammocks, lounges and beach cabanas. For grown-ups, the resort offers Sunrise Beach Fitness workouts and morning walks. While the kids are at camp, parents can relax at the resort's unique health spa, complete with outdoor treatment huts and a lava sauna. Room rates start at $430 per night, but families can usually get a lower rate when booking two rooms for three nights or longer. Find more great beach resorts with kid's programs.