Best Things to do in Waikoloa Hawaii

Waikaloa is located on the Big Island of Hawaii and has everything you need for a Hawaii vacation, including outdoor adventures and beautiful beaches. This week I am thrilled to have Lisa from Hilton Mom Voyage sharing the top 5 family friendly things to do in Waikoloa Hawaii!
Best Things to do in Waikoloa-Kids Are A Trip

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What to do in Waikoloa with kids

The Big Island of Hawaii is the perfect destination for your family to experience thrilling adventure, ultimate relaxation, a unique culture, and stunning beauty!

You’ll delight in exploring the world’s most active volcano, searching for humpback whales, swimming with dolphins, learning to roast organic coffee, and meandering along dreamlike black sand beaches spotting sea turtles and other marine life. Here are our family’s recommendations for the best family-friendly things to do in Waikoloa, Hawaii!

1. Explore volcanoes, waterfalls, and caves

Our Hawaii Forest & Trail (HFT) Twilight Volcano Tour was a true family highlight. Their small tours navigate Hawaii’s distinctive natural elements while expertly guiding you off the beaten path to find hidden gems.

We loved hiking over a quarter mile into a lava tube, and relished the complete silence when we switched off our flashlights.

Another highlight was Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park where we gazed in amazement at the world’s most active volcano, Kilauea. Along the way, we also stopped at the Jaggar Science Museum, climbed the hardened lava fields, witnessed the magic of smoke vents, and stood amazed at the dramatic ocean waves crashing into a beautiful sea arch.

Hawaii volcano eruption

We then dined under the stars on delicious picnic boxed meals. We ended this memorable day gawking at the fiery red caldera glowing in the night sky. We will never forget this magical experience!

10 Awesome Things to do in Hawaii


2. Swim with the dolphins in Hawaii

Our family was enchanted by the dolphins! We loved our time at Dolphin Quest, located at Hilton Waikoloa Village’s ocean-fed lagoon. The trainers expertly led the session educating us about the dolphins’ lives, habits, and care. My girls delighted in watching them jump high in the air, respond to our hand signals, and swim under our legs. We even were able to rub their smooth skin and received some dolphin smooches!

When you’re finished, visit some of the best Big Island beaches!


Big Island travel guide

3. Don’t miss a luau in Waikoloa

Book your dolphin experience the same day Hilton hosts its famous Legends of Hawaii Luau, which presents traditional Hawaiian songs and dances in a stunning setting.  Relax under the stars while feasting on a delicious Hawaiian buffet. No visit to Hawaii is complete without a luau!

Big Island luau-Kids Are A Trip

4. Roast your own coffee

The Big Island is world-famous for its Kona coffee. We wanted to teach our children (and to be honest, we wanted to see for ourselves too) how a coffee farm operates.

We ventured up in the lush cloud forest to Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation, the largest organic coffee farm in the nation. Choose from either a three-hour VIP tour including exploring the orchards, picking coffee “cherry” berries from trees, navigating the complicated harvesting process, roasting your own coffee beans, and eating lunch, OR opt for their complimentary tour.

10 Adventurous Things to Do on Kauai with Kids

As a plus for parents, the tour includes free samples of their award-winning Kona Coffee. My girls loved bringing home their own special roasted beans as gifts for our relatives!

family friendly things to do in waikoloa hawaii-kids are a trip
Photo credit: Lisa Grabelle


5. Whale watching in Hawaii

Spend a morning sailing Hawaii’s gorgeous seas while searching for humpback whales. We set off on Ocean Sports’ beautiful catamaran with its friendly crew. It was a beautiful day enjoying the tropical sun as the expert crew of naturalists taught us about whales.

My girls were thrilled to spot at least a half-dozen different humpback whales in just two hours! We appreciated how helpful the crew was pointing out exactly where to look to find the whales. This was one to check off our bucket list!

family friendly things to do in waikaloa, hawaii whale watch-kids are a trip
Photo credit: Lisa Grabelle

The Big Island’s Aloha spirit amazed us, enchanted us, and left us with memories we will never forget.

Looking for more Hawaii posts? Don’t miss the best things to do in Hawaii with kids, what to do in Maui with kids, and the best things to do in Honolulu with kids.