Up on the Ranch
Experience Hawai‘i’s rich paniolo heritage during the Wednesday Evening Sunset Dinner at iconic Kahua Ranch in the Kohala Mountains. Legend has it that King Kamehameha I trained his warriors on these lands in the 18th century. Enjoy a hearty buffet dinner and family friendly activities like line dancing, roping, horseshoe pitching, s’mores, and a campire sing-along. Your keiki (kids) will love meeting Piggly Wiggly, the pet pig who thinks she’s a dog, and branding a shingle they can take home.
Under the Sea
Few moments compare with the underwater magic on the Manta Night Snorkel with Jack’s Diving Locker. Leaving out of Kona in the late afternoon, your boat heads to the manta viewing site, where you’ll slip into the water with your snorkeling gear and guide. Float above and watch the enormous, gentle manta rays illuminated from below as they glide, turn, and somersault while feeding on plankton. It’s an unforgettable and enchanting experience.
Enjoy mountain tubing with Kaua‘i Backcountry Adventures at the former LÄ«hu‘e Plantation. The tubing adventure down the sugar plantation’s ingeniously engineered irrigation system takes you through open canals and tunnels that were dug around 1870. Enjoy some of Kaua‘i’s most breathtaking and remote scenery, including spectacular views of the mountains and Wai‘ale‘ale Crater as you tube on the gently flowing waters.
Hop aboard the open-sided Kaua‘i Plantation Railway at historic Kilohana Plantation. This 40-minute narrated Signature Train Tour showcases the plantation’s 50-plus varieties of fruit tree orchards, vegetable gardens, rare and exotic tropical flowers, forests, hardwood trees, and animal pastures with donkeys, goats, sheep, horses, cattle, ducks, geese, and a fun-loving herd of wild pigs. Your children will love hopping off the train to feed the animals.
Plant a Tree
Take part in a major reforestation effort while enjoying spectacular North Shore scenery and outdoor adventure with Hawaiian Legacy Tours at Gunstock Ranch. Planting a tree is a special way to honor a family member or loved one while giving back to the local community. You’ll select, plant, and dedicate your own Legacy Tree in the O‘ahu Legacy Forest. Once home, track the location and growth of your tree via radio frequency identification. A photo of you and your family planting your tree will be permanently linked to your tree online. Tree planting tours include the Planter’s Experience, the Horseback Planter’s Experience, the Off-Road Planter’s Experience, and the Helicopter Experience.
Learn to surf on the North Shore away from the WaikÄ«kÄ« crowds with former lifeguard and expert surfer Suzy Stewart of Sunset Suzy. The two-hour group lessons are perfect for families. You’ll start on the beach with 15 to 20 minutes of instruction dedicated to safety and surf techniques, then spend the rest of the lesson in the water. Suzy always provides several instructors for families, plus individual instructors for very young children. Though the North Shore surf is rough in winter, Suzy knows the special places with calm waves—such as Pua‘ena Point, where families will also enjoy encountering Hawaiian sea turtles.
Gentle Giants Revealed
Opening in the midst of prime whale-watching season (December–May), Maui Ocean Center’s exciting new exhibit Humpbacks of Hawai‘i enables visitors to experience the mystery and majesty of earth’s largest mammals like never before. The exhibit breaks the barrier of the ocean and brings museum guests eye to eye with humpback whales beneath the waves. Visitors will experience the whales’ nomadic lifestyle and immerse themselves in their songs, signals, and social bonds through interactive exhibits, displays, and a virtual whale encounter in the 3D Sphere.
Beneath the Waves
Experience two of Maui’s most memorable underwater dive sites on the Discover Molokini sailing and snorkeling adventure aboard Trilogy’s comfortable and spacious catamaran. After departing MÄ‘alaea Harbor, you’ll first visit Molokini, a sunken volcanic crater 2.5 miles off the Maui coastline that’s home to tropical fish, coral reefs, and nesting seabirds. Next, you’ll snorkel in the shallows of the Maui coastline, where you’re likely to experience local Hawaiian sea turtles. A delicious lunch is served, and shallow-water-diving "Snuba" upgrades are available.