Are you planning a trip to Kauai for 2024 and want to start working on your Hawaii itinerary? Check out these awesome things to do on Kauai with kids!
This list of the best things to do on Kauai with kids 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 trip to Kauai with kids?
You’ve come to the right place! I’ve visited Kauai more than 25 times! Check out this list of the best things to do on Kauai with kids!
If you’re looking for an island getaway that’s relaxing but also has plenty of fun activities for your family, then look no further than beautiful Kauai. The Garden Island is filled with amazing beaches and lush landscapes that are perfect for exploring.
But what about all those other little people who will be tagging along? There are so many wonderful places on the island where they can have just as much fun as their parents while learning something new at every turn.
If you’re looking for kid-friendly attractions, activities, restaurants, and more – look no further. This list will help you plan your perfect family vacation.
From beaches and waterfalls to luaus and train rides – there’s something for everyone on this island paradise.
Keep scrolling for my top 25 things to do in Kauai.
Need help planning? Save time and money with this Kauai with Kids guidebook!
Don’t have time to read a bunch of Hawaii blog posts and reviews? Here are some of our top picks for visiting Kauai.
Popular Kauai Tours/Activities
- Na Pali Coast Snorkeling Tour (this one also goes to the forbidden island of Ni’ihau)
- Kauai Helicopter Tour (this is the BEST way to see waterfalls on Kauai)
- ATV Tour to a Private Waterfall (this is a romantic adventure that feels like a secret getaway)
- Mountain Tubing (this is a low-key adventure down an old sugar cane canal)
- Luau Kalamaku (you can do a little train ride and feed farm animals before the luau)
- Book a Photo Shoot (this is a Hawaii souvenir you’ll treasure forever)
Favorite Kauai Resorts/Hotels
- Grand Hyatt Kauai (this Poipu resort has a luxurious pool area, romantic restaurants, and a stunning ocean view)
- Koloa Landing Resort (this is a luxury resort with an amazing pool area and truly spacious rooms)
- Royal Sonesta Kauai (we LOVE the pool here because it’s the largest one in Hawaii)
Want to Rent a Car in Hawaii?
One of the best places to rent a car in Hawaii is Discount Hawaii Car Rental because they get the best rates from top national companies like Alamo, Dollar, Thrifty, Avis, Enterprise, Budget, and Payless.
Want a Hawaii travel guide? I’ve got detailed guides and 7-day itineraries!
25 Must Do Things on Kauai for Families
1. Play at Anaina Hou Community Park
They do an awesome job of incorporating Hawaiian culture and promoting the concept of reduce, reuse, recycle. Plus, it’s very “Kauai” and includes a play volcano, sugar cane train, canoe, Hawaiian houses, and more.
There’s also a kid-friendly hiking trail, mini-golf, and a skate park located here.
2. Go Mountain Tubing Down a Sugar Cane Canal
Kauai mountain tubing is a kid-friendly, easy way to have fun in the outdoors.
This half-day excursion takes you up into lush mountains and launches you onto sugar cane canals where you’ll wear lamps on your heads when going through old irrigation tunnels.
It’s geared for kids ages 5 and up and it’s the perfect amount of adventure for the entire family.
3. Attend a Hawaiian Luau on Kauai
This is an opportunity for you and your family to experience a new culture. There are many authentic luaus across the islands that provide fun activities, delicious food (with options like kalua pork), and beautiful scenery along each venue’s grounds before they start their show!
A favorite place I recommend going to would be Smith Family Luau where there’s also a chance at doing some exploring on foot prior to those festivities beginning – if only because this location has such gorgeous surroundings right outside its doors.
Another favorite Kauai luau is Luau Kalamaku. It’s the only luau on Kauai that has a train ride! Plus the food and the show are fabulous.
Finally, I recommend the Ahi Lele Fire Show up on the North Shore. This is the most unique Kauai luau because the entire show features Polynesian fire dancers!
4. Check out Waimea Canyon
The “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” is an awe-inspiring spot on Kauai.
You’ll drive up a windy road where you can see tons of bright red dirt, little waterfalls, and lovely views of the island of Niihau.
Once at the parking lot it’s just a short walk to viewing platforms that offer amazing vistas into this natural canyon!
This place has something for everyone: adventurous families will love hiking while others will just soak up all the cool photo spots.
5. Go Kayaking on the Wailua River
Kauai is a great place to go kayaking. There are several great rivers all over Kauai (the Wailua River is the most popular for kayaking) as well as the ocean.
Most families prefer kayaking on the Wailua River because the water is calm. You can either paddle to Fern Grotto or stop by a secret waterfall. This is a great Kauai activity for families.
6. Shop at Warehouse 3540
What’s not to love about Warehouse 3540 on the South Shore of Kauai? There are tons of small boutiques here that have set up their shop in this huge building.
If you’re looking for upcycled clothing, handmade soaps, or artwork from local artists – this place has it all!
Plus they offer storytime weekly with games and activities geared towards kids. Who could ask anything more out of life than being entertained while waiting around listening to stories?!
7. Play at Poipu Beach Park
Poipu Beach Park is a great place to visit in Kauai for families with children. The weather here usually keeps it sunny, which means that you can enjoy an afternoon picnic by the water without worrying too much about rain or wind!
There are also new playground structures and renovated restrooms available now at this same park. Plus, there are tons of other things to do in Poipu with kids!
8. Get a Plate Lunch at Mark’s Place
You won’t find an authentic Hawaiian plate lunch or bento box anywhere better than at Mark’s Place. It is located in the industrial section of Puhi and you’ll have to take a chance on finding it, but when we did our meal was worth every bite!
They have great food like their beef stew (which always disappears quickly) as well as loco moco that will leave your taste buds singing for more.
And kids love everything too since they offer treats such as Butter Mochi, Hawaiian cookies, and locally made Ono Pops which are delicious and refreshing.
9. Take Silly Photos at the Hawaiian Trading Post
I haven’t met a photo op I didn’t like. And the Hawaiian Trading Post in Lawai has the BEST photo props in Hawaii!
Where else can you pose with a giant yellow pineapple, pretend to surf a wave, and take a selfie with a tiki?
Plus, it’s located in the parking lot of a nice souvenir shop that sells cute Aloha shirts and lots of pretty jewelry.
10. Go Ziplining on Kauai
Ziplining has become really popular in Hawaii. And one of the best places to zipline in Hawaii is the island of Kauai. That’s because it’s full of lush tropical jungles!
There’s something about feeling like you are flying that appeals to kids, teens, and adults! Strap in for the ride of your life!
There are plenty of Kauai ziplining excursions available, depending on what you are looking for.
11. See a Kauai Waterfall
There are so many waterfalls on Kauai! Some of the best ways to see them are by helicopter, kayaking, or hiking up.
Mt Waialeale provides an opportunity for many water lovers, as it’s home with its wettest spot on Earth and there are tons of hidden waterfalls here.
Some other fantastic spots for Kauai waterfalls include Opaekaa Falls, Wailua Falls, or Kipu Falls that you can find along this island paradise.
12. Relax at Anini Beach
What’s not to love about Anini Beach up in Princeville?
It has a super long fringing reef and the water is quite shallow. You’ll see families with young kids, windsurfers, snorkelers – this place has it all!
The best part about visiting Anini Beach is that you can camp out right next door for some good old-fashioned beach camping fun.
13. Go Hiking with a Rescue Dog
One of the most unique programs on Kauai is through the Kauai Humane Society. They will let you take one of their rescue dogs out for a day of adventure.
The easiest thing to do with your rescue dog is go hiking. There are tons of dog-friendly hiking trails on Kauai.
And, if it’s love at first sight, you can request to adopt your dog. I mean, that’s a pretty awesome Kauai souvenir, right?
14. Walk Across the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge
Hanapepe’s swinging bridge is a super easy attraction to do on the South Shore of Kauai.
It’s located at the edge of Kauai’s “biggest little town” and it’s a surprising hit with kids. My boys love running across it, as long as there are no people there.
This little pedestrian crossing connects residents from town with their counterparts living in Hanapepe, so please be respectful when you cross over!
15. Try a Puka Dog
Here’s a tip for when you visit Poipu, Hawaii: get some hot dogs at Puka Dog.
It’s basically a hot dog stuffed inside a fluffy roll and then filled with condiments for a uniquely tropical meal.
The taste of their locally-made mustard will make your mouth water. And if that’s not enough to convince you, then maybe their location on Anthony Bourdain’s favorite place in all America should do it!
16. Ride the Kauai Bike Path
If you visit the East Shore of Kauai, you’ll want to take advantage of their coastal bike path. It’s a great spot for a morning sunrise walk or extensive bike ride with kids.
The path goes up and down Kauai’s beautiful Coconut Coast and has epic ocean views.
There are several bike rental places on Kauai and some of them even have trailers for babies/toddlers. It’s also a great place to push a stroller if you are going to Kauai with a baby.
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.
17. Do a Kauai Food Tour
We love to eat while traveling and even though I’ve been to Kauai more than 25 times, there are always new spots that open up.
So far, we’ve done two different Tasting Kauai food tours that were incredible! It’s an easy way to try the most famous dishes and the best restaurants. They have tours focused on all the different areas of Kauai so it’s easy to fit it into your itinerary.
18. Ride a Train
My boys LOVE doing this train ride on Kauai. We do it every trip and it’s always a huge hit.
And, you’ll get to hop off and feed animals mid-way through. It’s on the same grounds as Luau Kalamaku and Kauai Rum (which has free rum tastings)!
19. See Kilauea Lighthouse
When you explore the beautiful coast of Kauai, don’t forget to stop by Kilauea Lighthouse.
This historic landmark is more than 100 years old and it provides a perfect spot for families who want some peace in their day-to walk along its paths or let kids run wild on the grassy field.
Not only does this lighthouse provide breathtaking views but also serves as an animal refuge so visitors get up close with all kinds of birds
20. Get Shave Ice
My absolute favorite shave ice on Kauai is The Wishing Well up in Hanalei. They use organic syrups and top their shave ice with fresh tropical fruit. It’s incredible!
21. Visit a Botanical Garden
There are several botanical gardens on Kauai that are worth checking out. Two of the most popular are the Allerton and McBryde gardens down in Poipu.
But, there’s also the Na Aina Kai Botanical Garden in Kilauea (which has a special children’s garden) and the Limahuli Garden in Ha’ena.
All of these are great options to visit on Kauai with kids.
22. Ride an ATV
Kauai is known for its red dirt, so if you’re old enough to handle a little adventure then put on those shoes and go!
This four-wheel drive will take you through the mountains of Kauai while giving amazing views of both island terrain as well as ocean scenery.
Rain or shine is perfect weather when having fun in these kinds of spots because it gets messy – really dirty. This makes sure that there are no complaints from anyone about how they aren’t enjoying themselves or being bored stiff
23. Check out a Kauai Farmers Market
Kauai has some tasty locally grown produce (including sugarloaf pineapple) and baked goods (like banana bread).
There are farmers markets all across Kauai and it can be a fun experience to taste the difference between organic produce in Hawaii versus what you get at your grocery store back home.
Give your kids some cash and let them choose their own Hawaiian fruit or treats to taste.
24. See a Hawaiian Village
If your family wants to learn more about Hawaiian culture, stop by the Kamokila Hawaiian Village.
They have everything set up so you can see how the people of Old Hawaii lived. And, they offer outrigger canoe tours, Fern Grotto tours, and even access to a private swimming hole.
So, you can walk around the grounds and then go swimming or paddling to finish your Hawaiian adventure.
25. Visit the Kauai Museum
Visiting museums can be hit or miss depending on the museum.
The Kauai Museum is pretty cool because they have a lot of things displayed that highlight the history of sugar cane plantations in Hawaii, and also host many cultural events throughout each year too!
Plus, they have one of the nicest gift shops to find products made on Kauai.
Top Things to do on Kauai FAQs
The most popular Kauai tourist attractions include Waimea Canyon, Spouting Horn, Kilohana Plantation, the Coconut Coast, Kilauea Lighthouse, and Hanalei.
When it’s raining on Kauai, you can head to the Kauai Museum for some indoor fun. There’s also shopping at Kukui Grove, Target, or Warehouse 3540. Or you can do a Wailua River boat ride (it’s covered).
Short answer: yes. If you want to maximize your time on Kauai, renting a car is the easiest way to visit all the places on your itinerary. Otherwise, you can use the bus or call an Uber, but these are both limited on Kauai.
Best Things to do on Kauai with Kids Wrap Up
Now you know what to do in Kauai with kids of ages. There are so many Kauai activities and attractions that are kid-friendly.
I hope you’ve found this list of the top 25 things to do with kids in Kauai helpful and informative. There is something for everyone on this list, whether your family likes outdoor activities or a more relaxing vacation.
Whether you are looking for a warm winter destination in the U.S. or want a summer adventure, Kauai is a great option!
We also have other content related to Hawaii that may be worth checking out as well if you’re not just looking for ideas for what to do in Kauai with children.