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Big Island, Hawaii

Family-friendly activities

Our most recommended Big Island, Hawaii Family-friendly Activities

Big Island: Voyagers of the Pacific Luau with Buffet

1. Big Island: Voyagers of the Pacific Luau with Buffet

Visit the Royal Kona Resort to experience an interactive luau show celebrating the rich cultural history of Hawaii with seating on the glimmering shores of Kailua Bay. Start the evening with an aloha shell lei greeting, and craft demonstrations. Soon after, feast on a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet with traditional Hawaiian dishes made with local ingredients. Savor authentic island entrees such as honey soy braised beef, and fresh-catch fish. Be treated to Big Island flavors with sides like Hawaiian sweet potatoes, coconut rolls, macaroni, and Lomi Lomi salmon salad. Enjoy stir friend vegetables and kalua style pork and cabbage. Finish off your culinary experiences with tasty favorites like Hawaiian haupia pudding and coconut cake. Sip Mai Tais, wine, beer, and soft drinks as you embrace the local culture and radiant sunset. Then, as drumbeats build, the sensational Voyagers of the Pacific Luau show unfolds on stage. Be captivated by a dramatic show inspired by Polynesian stories told through live music, song, and dance, culminating in the exciting Samoan fire knife dance finale.

Big Island: Eco-Friendly Snorkeling Experience and BBQ

2. Big Island: Eco-Friendly Snorkeling Experience and BBQ

You will need to arrive at 7:30 AM for your 8 AM departure and cruise through protected marine sanctuaries. Cruise ten miles down the Kona Coast to the snorkel destination, a protected marine sanctuary. Relax, you will have over two hours of water time to enjoy the marine life, underwater topography, and coral reef. Cruise in comfort! The boat’s main lower deck features a large shaded cabin with cushioned seating, tables, a premium bar, three restrooms, and freshwater showers. You won’t go hungry. Enjoy a light breakfast of tropical fruits, assorted pastries, bagels, juices, teas, and Kona coffee. While you're taking in the fun, the crew prepares lunch. After snorkeling, belly up to a full-service premium cash bar, featuring a large selection of liquors, mixes, and local brews. This boat hosts one of the only blenders on the Kona Coast. Your mask, fins, snorkel, and prescription masks will be provided to you. For beginners, a friendly “Snorkel 101 Class” is available from the lifeguard-trained crew. A host of flotation toys, including noodles, vests, inner tubes, and even “Sea View Boards” for those who don’t want to get their face wet. They even include the use of stand-up paddleboards and an array of other flotation devices at no additional cost. Kids of all ages love the 20’ waterslide and high dive platform. If you want to kick back and do nothing, check out the floating “relaxation station”, the crew will swim you out refreshments. Wetsuits are available for rent on board.

Big Island: South Kona Snorkeling and Coastline Exploration

3. Big Island: South Kona Snorkeling and Coastline Exploration

Prepare for a thrilling day exploring 3 unique snorkeling locations in South Kona with time to take a break from swimming for lunch with breathtaking views. Begin your snorkeling adventure by heading to the turquoise waters and vibrant reef of the 315-acre marine sanctuary of Kealakekua Bay, with your crew members highlighting interesting sights along the way. Once there, experience a vibrant reef filled with coral and schools of tropical fish. On occasion, even catch glimpses of spinner dolphins swimming nearby. After snorkeling, savor a gourmet deli lunch in the shade of the canopy with the monument to Captain Cook as a backdrop and the cliffs of the bay soaring above you. Next, jet off to a new location with visually spectacular snorkeling opportunities and cultural significance, Pu’uhonua O Honaunau, the “Place of Refuge.” Beautiful Honaunau Bay is fronted by large, smooth, and lava rock flats and fascinating gardens of coral.  For your third snorkeling stop, let your expert captain transport you a location that even island locals have yet to see. At this remote location, snorkel at a remote black sand beach, marvel at a stone arch, or maybe admire a spectacular lava rock formation created thousands of years ago. Explore sea caves and lava tubes in a safe, exciting, and maneuverable vessel designed to get you up close and personal with the coast. Rest assured that the local operator is proudly part of the Hawaii Ecotourism Association and seeks to create a culture protecting and promoting healthy oceans through many sustainability efforts.

From Kona: Big Island Underwater Submarine Adventure

4. From Kona: Big Island Underwater Submarine Adventure

Take the ride of a lifetime beneath the waves in this adventure aboard a comfortable submarine. Explore a 25-acre magical world of marine life and colorful coral reefs. Get up close and personal with some of Hawaii's most exotic inhabitants. Descend more than 100 feet and see the sights from a fish-eye view. Board the famous submarine via a special ladder and get ready for a journey to the center of Hawaiian sea life. Marvel at the flora and fauna in their natural habitat. Enjoy free public parking in downtown Kona or at King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel for a discounted rate for 4 hours. The excursion is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, weather permitting. Actual underwater time is 45 minutes.

Big Island Twilight Volcano and Stargazing Tour

5. Big Island Twilight Volcano and Stargazing Tour

Enjoy a fully narrated adventure starting with a stop at a Kona Coffee Farm. Walk through a lava tube and orchards with your guide to learn about the harvesting and milling process while sampling a warm cup of Kona-grown coffee. Continue through the scenic view of the Kealakekua Bay and South Point, the southernmost point of the United States. Relax at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach to spot marine life, like Hawaii’s green sea turtles, from the shore. Next, go to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Tour the Chain of Craters Road for the “mountain to sea” experience. Stop by and learn about volcanic eruptions and flow sites, the park coastline, and the Holei Sea Arch. Visit Kilauea Iki Lookout, steam vents, Halema’uma’u Crater, and crater rim trail. After enjoying dinner at a local café near the park, visit a secluded location for stargazing. Depending on weather conditions, observe stars, planets, galaxies, and more.

MaunaKea Stellar Explorer From Kona

6. MaunaKea Stellar Explorer From Kona

For an out-of-this-world experience, check out Maunakea Stellar Explorer. The in-house stellar explorers are the best and most experienced in Hawaii, with one having created the Mauna Kea Visitor’s Center and operated it for a decade. Staff have written noted articles and reviews for well-known astronomy magazines and have worked at world-class observatories. Next, you’ll travel across Saddle Road between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, two of the tallest and most massive volcanoes on Earth. Your National Park Service trained guide will discuss the volcanology, geology, and history of these monstrous wonders, as well as providing in-depth narration on the various lava flows and flora and fauna that you’ll be passing by. While you’re taking in the breathtaking terrestrial views, your guide will prepare some heavenly views just as stunning. Setting up a state of the art solar telescope for your viewing pleasure, your specially trained guide will let you safely watch the sun come alive in true color with vibrant solar flares, sunspots, prominences, and any other current activity, weather permitting. Lastly, your guide will take you to one of the preferred locations on Mauna Kea for nighttime stargazing. You’ll observe deep sky and planetary objects through a large aperture Dobsonian telescope under one of the darkest and most pristine skies on planet Earth. The Dobsonian telescopes are a true purist’s experience to view the night sky. Their fast focal ratio enables you to see sprawling wide field views of objects that simply aren’t possible with the types of telescopes used by other tours. Depending on what is visible in the current sky and weather permitting, you’ll observe galaxies, nebula, star clusters, planets, double star systems, the moon, and much more; all the highlights and showpiece objects like you’ve never seen before. 

Big Island: Kona Airport Traditional Lei Greeting

7. Big Island: Kona Airport Traditional Lei Greeting

No matter your party size, you will recieve a warm welcome to the island upon your arrival. Your local greeter will help you find transportation or your connecting inter-island flight. Additionally, ask your greeter to take a photo of your party to remember this momentous occasion. The lei greeters consider it an honor to be your first contact on the island.  An airport lei greeting sets the tone for your entire Hawaiian vacation, don't miss your chance to experience this friendly tradition for yourself.

Big Island: 3-Hour Kohala Canopy Zipline Adventure

8. Big Island: 3-Hour Kohala Canopy Zipline Adventure

Start your adventure in Hawi, and get geared up and ready to jump into the Pinzgauer for your oceanfront trek up the zipline. The 8 lines, 6 sky bridges, and a rappel make this the only full canopy tour on Hawaii Island. This significant forest reserve is part of the Halawa Lands of King Kamehameha.  Certified canopy guides will inspire you with stories and legends of Kohala while you zip from tree to tree in a completely natural setting. Rely on unique interpretive elements, innovative course design, expert guides, and compliance with the highest level of safety standards to make this adventure extremely safe, accessible and engaging. Stop for a re-energizing snack and drink break. Watch your fellow zippers fly through the trees as you catch your breath and prepare for round two! Finally, repel back down to land! Jump back into the Pinzgauer along the coastline back to the meeting point.

Volcanoes National Park & Lava Viewing Area E-Bike Tour

9. Volcanoes National Park & Lava Viewing Area E-Bike Tour

Experience the thrill of a lifetime as you ride an e-bike around the rim of an erupting volcano. Begin at the staging area where there is secured parking and restrooms. Here you will be fitted with an e-bike and helmet and receive some safety instructions for a fun and safe experience. Join your guide who will lead you into the National Park on a bike trail through a lush native Hawaiian rainforest. Your first stop will be Waldron's Ledge where you will get your first panoramic view of Kilauea volcano's caldera and the active lava in Halemaumau Crater. Next, your ride continues a paved trail along the rim of the caldera to the Steam Vents where you will feel the heat of the volcano and get another incredible view of the Kilauea volcano's caldera. Continue biking along the edge of the crater, getting incredible vast views unseen by most visitors to the Park stopping at the Kilauea Overlook and the summit of Kilauea. Head to the opposite side of the crater and bike the lush Hawaiian rainforest. See the incredible Kilauea Iki crater before taking a short hike through the Thurston Lava Tube. The journey continues down Devastation Trail and leads you to closest viewing point to see the active lava in the summit crater. Afterward, return to the staging area.

Big Island: Kona Airport Honeymoon Lei Greeting

10. Big Island: Kona Airport Honeymoon Lei Greeting

Receive a warm welcome to the island upon your arrival. Your local greeter will help you find transportation or your connecting inter-island flight. Additionally, ask your greeter to take a photo of you to remember this momentous occasion. The lei greeters consider it an honor to be your first contact on the island.  An airport lei greeting sets the tone for your entire Hawaiian vacation, don't miss your chance to experience this friendly tradition for yourself.

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What people are saying about Big Island, Hawaii

Our guide Drau totally made this your amazing. He really went out of his way all day - even changed his outfits to suit the different stops. The volcano’s are just amazing.

This Lua was fantastic. Great entertainment, amazing talent with beautiful hulu dancers. The music and singers were very talented. Good buffet. I highly recommend this Lua!

Long but worth it. Food and rest stops were great. Guide very knowledgeable. Safe driver, great vans

Amazing experience. Lots of fun and great crew that took us out. Would highly recommend

Such a beautiful experience and our captain was amazing.