Kailua-Kona Family-friendly activities

Our most recommended Kailua-Kona 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. Feast on a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet with traditional Hawaiian dishes made with local ingredients. Savor authentic island entrees such as teriyaki beef and freshly-caught fish. Be treated to Big Island flavors with sides like, coconut rolls, sweet potato-macaroni salad, and Waipio Valley Poi. Enjoy stir fry vegetables, 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, Hawaii: Night Manta Ray Snorkel Experience

2. Big Island, Hawaii: Night Manta Ray Snorkel Experience

Snorkeling with manta rays is a must-do while in Hawaii! Enjoy this amazing opportunity to see manta rays up close. Feed and interact with other ocean creatures on this cruise trip. After a safety briefing, gear up with the snorkeling equipment and wet suits provided. Relax and enjoy the cruise with drinks and snacks on board. Bring your underwater camera for photos and capture memories that will last a lifetime.

From Hawaii: Eco-Friendly Snorkeling Experience with BBQ

3. From Hawaii: Eco-Friendly Snorkeling Experience with BBQ

Join a morning snorkeling and dolphin-watching cruise with paddleboards and kids' activities from Kailua-Kona and explore the underwater world off the coast of Hawaii. Enjoy a light breakfast, a barbecue lunch, and a full-service premium cash bar throughout your trip. Start with an early-morning departure and cruise ten miles down the spectacular Kona coastline to reach your snorkeling destination for the day, a protected marine sanctuary. As you travel, enjoy a light breakfast of tropical fruits, assorted pastries, bagels, juices, teas, and Kona coffee. Then, sit back and enjoy the boat's comfortable amenities, including a large shaded cabin with cushioned seating, 3 restrooms, and freshwater showers. Once you arrive at your snorkeling spot, get kitted out with your mask, fins, and snorkel. Prescription masks are also available. If you're new to snorkeling, take advantage of a short introduction to snorkeling offered by the lifeguard-trained crew. You'll also have access to a host of flotation toys, including noodles, vests, inner tubes, and more. Or, make use of the stand-up paddleboards available on board at no additional cost. A waterslide and high-dive platform also provide endless entertainment for the kids. Or, if you just feel like kicking back and doing nothing, check out the floating "relaxation station". Your crew will even swim your refreshments out to you at your station. And while you're exploring, having fun, or just unwinding, the crew will be preparing lunch. Once you're done snorkeling, belly up to a full-service premium cash bar, featuring a large selection of liquors, mixes, and local brews. Your Kona snorkeling cruise comes to an end with a return transfer back to the harbor in Kailua-Kona.

Kailua-Kona: Whale Watching Cruise

4. Kailua-Kona: Whale Watching Cruise

Hawaii is the only state in the United States where humpback whales mate, calve and nurse their young. Humpbacks may find Hawaii suitable because of the warm waters, the underwater visibility, the variety of ocean depths and the lack of natural predators. Mothers can be seen breaching alongside their calves and males can be seen competing with one another for females in fierce head-to-head battles. Join a 2.5-hour cruise as you follow these magnificent sea creatures and listen to their singing using the underwater hydrophones. Snacks and beverages will be available during your cruise providing a unique and memorable experience for the whole family.

Big Island: South Kona Snorkeling and Coastline Exploration

5. 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

6. 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

7. Big Island Twilight Volcano and Stargazing Tour

Enjoy a guided 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, head to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Drive on the Chain of Craters Road. Learn about volcanic eruptions and current and past lava flow sites. Visit the Kilauea Iki Lookout, Lava Tube, steam vents, Halema’uma’u Crater, and the crater rim trail. After enjoying dinner at a nearby cafe, return to the park to view the lava glow at night and stargaze. Depending on weather conditions, observe stars, planets, galaxies, and more.

MaunaKea Stellar Explorer From Kona

8. 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 Private 2-Hour Surf Lesson

9. Big Island: Kona Private 2-Hour Surf Lesson

When in Hawaii, do as the Hawaiians do and learn to surf! With a private, 2-hour surf lesson at Kona's Kahaluu Bay Surf and Sea, learn how to surf safely and effectively under the guidance of an instructor who will teach you the proper skills whether you are a beginner or already have experience.   After being outfitted with reef booties and rash guards, you'll be taught how to paddle and pop up on land. You will also be given important surfing etiquette and learn how to wipe out properly. Once you're comfortable with getting to your feet on land, it’s off to the water to practice your skills on the long rolling waves of Kahaluu Bay.  During the entire surf lesson, your surf instructor will help you catch waves by letting you know where to be, when to paddle, and when to pop up. You will be given a little push to ensure that you catch every wave you paddle for. For the more advanced surfers, instructors will offer advice on how to turn and catch larger waves.

Frequently asked questions about Kailua-Kona

What top attractions are a must-see in Kailua-Kona?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Kailua-Kona?

The best day trips and excursions from Kailua-Kona are:

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Other Sightseeing Options in Kailua-Kona

Want to discover all there is to do in Kailua-Kona? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Kailua-Kona

Simon and his crew were amazing! Was kind of scared to do this, but they were helpful, funny, kind & amazing! They made all my nerves chill & helped me have a blast! 100/100 would recommend! The manta rays were so cool & huge! One touched me on its way under the light! For anyone who thinks they might not like this or are iffy about doing it, do NOT hesitate! This is so far by far, the most amazing activity on our trip! Wish we could do it again during this trip!

The whole trip was amazing!!! The staff the trip everything was so much fun… can’t tell anybody enough how much fun it was !!

Brendan and Morgan were great! Having great guides makes all the difference!

The experience was amazing, could certainly do it again.

Simon and his crew were tons of fun! highly recommend!