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Kauai with Kids Under 3: Baby-Friendly Kauai Activities

Kauai with Kids Under 3: Baby-Friendly Kauai Activities

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Heading to Kauai with kids under 3? Get ready for an amazing family-friendly island destination! Keep reading for my favorite things to do with babies and toddlers in beautiful Kauai.
This Kauai with kids post was written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung and  may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

Are you planning a vacation to Kauai with kids under 3? You’re going to have a blast! Since my mom lives on Kauai, we’ve made several trips there since my oldest son was about 9 months old.

I get asked all the time what there is to do with young kids in Kauai. A lot of people planning a family vacation to the Hawaiian Islands might overlook this stunning destination. Don’t make that mistake!

Kauai is certainly a haven for adventure enthusiasts and outdoor lovers. But you’ll find amazing things to do across all of Kauai, Hawaii with babies and toddlers.

In this post you can read my top things to do with young children in Kauai. Get ready for a memorable vacation on the Garden Isle!

Want a Hawaii travel guide? I’ve got detailed guides and 7-day itineraries!

Where to Play on Kauai with Kids Under 3

Kauai is undoubtedly an incredible destination for natural beauty and geological wonders. And you don’t have to leave it all behind if you have little ones!

No, you won’t be taking your baby on a multi-day hike along the Na Pali Coast. But there are so many kid friendly Kaui things to do across the entire island.

Kauai with kids under 3
Enjoying the waves at Salt Pond Beach Park. Photo credit: Island Reflections Photography

Swim at Anini Beach

For those who are staying on the North Shore, this is my top recommendation for a baby-friendly beach on Kauai.

It’s known for its calm and shallow water. It’s a great spot to watch kite surfers or to watch the free-range chickens run around! There are rest rooms available here, too.

Then, let you baby nap while you drive up to the end of the road in Ha`ena.

Explore Salt Pond Beach Park

No matter where you stay, Salt Pond Beach Park in Hanapepe is worth the drive. It’s a huge beach park that’s ideal for families.

There are public restrooms and outdoor showers. And across the street is a little market where you can pick up lunch and shave ice to eat at the beach.

Last time we were there, my kids saw a sea turtle on the beach! Plus, it makes a great stop after driving up to Waimea Canyon.

Enjoy Baby Beach

A lesser-known spot on the South Shore is Baby Beach in Poipu. It’s a small cove with really calm water and soft, fluffy sand!

Usually there is only one or two other families (if it isn’t completely empty).

There aren’t any showers or other amenities. So just make sure to take your garbage with you.

Book a Family Photo Shoot

Whenever we travel, we almost always book a family photo shoot with Flytographer. They are super easy, affordable, AND guarantee that I’ll be in some photos. You can get $25 off if you book through this link or use the code HAWAIITRAVEL.

The Historic Kilohana Plantation + Luau Kalamaku

A trip to Hawaii isn’t complete without attending a luau. My son was 10-minutes when we took him to Kilohana Plantation.

I was impressed at how much he ate at the luau dinner. And the show was so mesmerizing that my son stayed awake the entire time!

Of all the luaus, this is my pick on Kauai with a baby. Another good option is Smith Family Garden Luau.

Take a Scenic Drive

Another great activity for the whole family when visiting Kauai with kids is taking a drive around the island. A lot of people visiting Kauai rent a car, so take advantage of the opportunity!

There are so many great Kauai sites you can visit without getting out of the car! I suggest starting with a drive out to the Waimea Canyon Lookout to see the stunning Waipoo Fall.

Want to stay near Poipu? Even just drive around Koloa Town or Hanapepe Town is rewarding with charming old structures and tree tunnels.

Or head to the End of the Road by heading east to Kauai’s lush North Shore. Take in stunning Hanalei Bay and Princeville and be back at your hotel in an hour.

Where to Eat on Kauai with Kids Under 3

Kauai is known for its amazing food scene! And don’t worry! There are plenty of options when you have little ones.

These are a few of my favorite places to eat in Kauai with kids.

The Fresh Shave is a must try for families heading to Kauai with kids under 3
Babies will love their first taste of shave ice at The Fresh Shave on Kauai. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

The Fresh Shave

I’m a bit of a shave ice connoisseur. I can spot the difference between snow cones are real shave ice a mile away!

But I’m also particular about the flavor. The Fresh Shave is the real deal!

They have the cutest picnic tables set up (including a little kid table!) so you can let babies get as messy as they want. Plus, their straws have cut out mustaches on them.

My youngest had the best time playing with the straw while we enjoyed our shave ice. You can read my full review of The Fresh Shave here.


Did you know that Kauai has one of the best burgers ever? Find out for yourself at Kickshaws gourmet food truck.

The menu rotates frequently, but the 100% Awesome Burger (yes that’s the official name) is always on the menu.

He also has tater tots smothered in pepper jack cheese if you don’t want to share your burger with your baby.

Read more about my thoughts on Kickshaws here.

Mark’s Place

My kids and I know good food and we especially love Hawaiian food! Mark’s Place in Puhi is great for babies because they have outdoor seating.

Or you can take your food straight to nearby Lydgate Beach Park, another kid-friendly beach.

And they offer great plate lunches that feature rice and macaroni salad. We stop here every single trip to Kauai!

Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Company

If you are looking for a satisfying breakfast, the Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Company should be first on your list.

They have an array of coffee beverages to give you the energy to explore Kauai with a baby in tow. And their bakery has items perfect to grab and go.

Or you can sit down and fill your bellies with hearty food. I like to order a side of fruit for my kids and share my plate of pancakes.

Where to Shop on Kauai with Kids Under 3

Whether you’re looking for Hawaiian-made baby clothes or food souvenirs from Hawaii, you’ll find plenty of kid-friendly places to shop in Kauai with kids.

Warehouse 3540 is a great stop on Kauai with kids under 3
Aren’t these the cutest little swim suits? Found at Warehouse 3540 on Kauai. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Warehouse 3540

Located in Lawai on the South Shore of Kauai, Warehouse 3540 is the ultimate spot for families on Kauai with a baby.

Inside you’ll find local designers renting stalls where they sell boutique items. But Warehouse 3540 also hosts family-friendly art nights and children story times!

On our last trip, we found baby blocks, the cutest baby swimsuits, adorable burp cloths, yummy smelling soaps, and lots of clothing perfect for new moms.

Plus, they have the best food trucks! I love Warehouse 3540 so much that I wrote a whole blog post about it.

Kauai Kookie Company

I’ve been eating Kauai Kookies since I was a kid. My grandma used to bring them back to Seattle after her visits to Kauai.

You can find these cookies in Long Drugs, Foodland, or Safeway around Kauai. But it’s worth the trip to the factory store in Hanapepe.

Plus, the factory store offers cookie flavors you have only dreamed of! Grab a few boxes to eat during your trip and a few more to pack home.

The Kauai Kookie Company factory store also sell other made on Kauai products.

Plus, Hanapepe is “Kauai’s biggest little town.” Just a short walk away are more fun boutiques to wander around.

And they have a pretty cool art walk here, too!

Sand People

If you are looking for the cutest baby items, a trip to Sand People is a must. It’s an island boutique that started on Kauai but has since expanded to Oahu and Maui.

Anytime my mom sends a package to my boys, it’s usually from Sand People.

They have a full range of island made baby products perfect to use on your trip or bring home as presents.

My Time-Tested Tips for Kauai with Kids Under 3

These are tips based on my most-asked questions about visiting Kauai with kids and babies. This advice is gold and it’s all stuff I do myself.

Kauai, HI beaches for babies
Photo credit: Island Reflections Photography

What to Bring on the Airplane

  • Bring baby carrier so you can babywear during the flight. I also like to pair this with a backpack for my carry-on so I’m hands-free.
  • If you have purchased a seat for your baby, bring their car seat on board for naps. Otherwise, gate check your stroller and car seat.
  • Remember to bring lots of snacks for the flight. If your baby is 12 months or older, buy a bottle of milk at the airport and bring a bottle/sippy cup to pour it into.

For my full list: My Top Tips for Flying with a Baby

What to Pack in Checked Luggage

  • Bring twice as many diapers as you think you’ll need. Between swimming pools and beaches, you’ll change your baby more frequently than at home.
  • Pack swim diapers and 2 swimsuits (so that one is always clean and dry). Wriggling a wet swimsuit on a baby is not fun!
  • Bring food pouches, extra formula, and extra bottles in your checked luggage.
  • If space is an issue, don’t stress it. You can purchase things at Costco or Walmart on Kauai.

What to Rent on Kauai

If you are staying in a condo or Airbnb, you may want to rent a pack ‘n’ play or crib. We did this on our first trip to Kauai with a baby.

She rented through a company called Kauai Baby Rentals. It was such a great move because it was there before we arrived!

I loved not having to worry about finding stuff when I got there. They also rent strollers, baby bathtubs, baby swings, toys and more!

Travel Hacks for Nap Time

Remember the stroller and baby carrier I suggested you bring? They’ll be your best friend come nap time.

And the traffic on Kauai might work to your favor. Plan on visiting one part of the island in the morning.

Then let your baby sleep in their car seat as you drive to another part of the island for the afternoon. I like to listen to soothing Hawaiian music in the car and my boys are out like lights.

If you’re planning on staying closer to your hotel during your family vacation to Kauai with a baby, find a place with a great lanai.

That way, your baby can sleep in the room, and you can sit on the lanai and enjoy a bit of peace.

FAQ about Kauai with Kids

Is Kauai a good place to take young children?

Just like all the Hawaiian Islands, Kauai offers a variety of family-friendly experiences and attractions! And don’t think you have to skip the outdoor adventures! Try easy hiking trails to the Waimea Canyon Lookout or tours of the Princeville Botanical Gardens. With a little planning, Kauai can be a memorable experience for the whole family.

Can you take a baby to a luau?

Luaus are a very family-friendly activity in Hawaii. And most luaus don’t charge for kids under 3 to 5 years old. However, they can be several hours long and include intense fire shows. So, it’s important to think about the events of the evening and decide if it’s right for your family.

Which Hawaiian Island is the most baby-friendly?

First time visitors to Hawaii should consider a trip to Maui or Oahu. These islands appeal to tourists because they’re the easiest to navigate and boast family-friendly resorts, hotels, and attractions. But if you’re looking for a more relaxed destination, consider Kauai. You’ll find a mix of tourist attractions but also quiet beaches and outdoor activities.

When is the best time to visit Kauai with kids?

Something to consider when planning your Kauai vacation is that not all hotels and vacation rentals have air conditioning. This can be a difficult adjustment for young children. So, plan your trip during the shoulder seasons of either September through early November or March through May. Then you’ll enjoy the mildest weather, lower prices, AND thinner crowds!

Where is Baby Beach on Kauai?

One of my favorite beaches when you’re looking for Kauai activities for kids under 3! This hidden gem is located just west of Poipu Beach Park on Kauai’s southern shore. It’s the perfect cove beach with soft sand and calm waters that are just right for babies and toddlers.

Additional Posts About Traveling to Hawaii with Kids

Kid-Friendly Guide to the Best Kauai Beaches, Hotels, Activities + More!
Warehouse 3540 on Kauai is a Millennial Mom’s Paradise
Kauai’s Only Luau with a Train Ride
What I Pack in my Carry On Backpack When Traveling to Hawaii with Kids
A Week in Maui: Tips & Itinerary for Families
Maui Ocean Center Tips & Review
Honua Kai Resort Maui Review
Four Winds Maui Family Snorkel Trip
10 Tips for Traveling Solo to Maui with a Toddler

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    Kyong Correia

    Tuesday 25th of September 2018

    This was so helpful, traveling to Kauai in Dec with our 2 year old son! I love the shopping suggestions, Sand Kids looks so cute! Do you have any suggestions on toddler friendly hikes? We usually wear him in an Osprey. Thanks :)


    Wednesday 26th of September 2018

    Oh yay! Always glad to help! I list some of my favorite kid-friendly hikes in this post:


    Sunday 1st of April 2018

    TY - This is a great list! Taking our 8 month old next month Do any of the boat tours along the coast allow infants?


    Monday 2nd of April 2018

    I believe Liko Kauai does, but you should call to verify. The waters can be quite rough around Na Pali coast, so use your judgement.


    Friday 2nd of March 2018

    I want to go so badly and take the kids. I love the idea of taking them on a trip like this.


    Monday 5th of March 2018

    I highly recommend! Kauai is a great first trip for babies and kids!


    Wednesday 28th of February 2018

    ONE DAY! I hope one day we can make it out there. I absolutely loved those swimsuits! They are soooooooo cute! Will imagine for now hehehe. thanks for all the tips!


    Friday 2nd of March 2018

    I hope you are able to make it! Such a gorgeous place!

    Raquel ⎪One Bad Madre

    Tuesday 27th of February 2018

    What beautiful pictures! This is my dream vacay but flying all the way from the east coast to Hawaii with a toddler makes me a little more than nervous to think about.


    Thursday 1st of March 2018

    Oh that would be a long flight. I'd recommend taking a pit stop at Disneyland in California and then continuing onto Kauai for an epic vacation :)

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