As far as childhood memories go, this may be hard to beat. Watch as your kids run over several Japanese bridges in Liliuokalani Gardens. See them discover ancient petroglyphs carved into the rocks at sites along the Kohala Coast. Let them stargaze through telescopes at the Ellison S. Onizuka Center for International Astronomy, 9,300 feet atop Maunakea (but note that the high altitude may not be suitable for younger children). Or join them as you explore the planetarium and interactive exhibits in the amazing Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii.

Outdoor adventures abound at family friendly parks and beaches with lifeguards and full picnic and restroom facilities. Build a sandcastle, explore tide pools, or snorkel with your kids to catch a glimpse of the Big Island's rich marine life. And always remember to avoid walking on coral and to keep an eye on your children at all times in the water. Heed all posted signs and check with lifeguards for current conditions and to find the best spots for kids.

Back on land, learn about real-life paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys) and take a wagon ride at the Kahua Ranch in Waimea. Exploring the volcano tubes and lava fields from an active volcano at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is an experience they'll never forget. Whether it's learning about astronomy, volcanology or oceanography, your children's school excursions just won't compare after this hands-on vacation.

Family Fun Experiences

  • Art Galleries and Museums of Hawaii's Big Island - Whether it's through paintings, sculptures, glassware, jewelry or hand-carved koa wood bowls, you'll see the distinct styles that make the art found on the Big Island truly unique.
  • Beaches of Hawaii's Big Island - Hawaii's Big Island features some of the most picturesque and varied beach landscapes in the islands.
  • Boating and Cruises on Hawaii's Big Island - Hawaii's Big Island offers a variety of ways to set sail and explore the seas.
  • Fishing on Hawaii's Big Island - Hawaii's Big Island is world famous for its sport fishing, its waters full of marlin and other big-game fish.
  • Hawaii Regional Cuisine on Hawaii's Big Island - Hawaii Regional Cuisine inventively blends the Big Island's freshest flavors with the cuisine of the world.
  • Hiking on Hawaii's Big Island - Whether you're looking for a challenging trail on fields of lava to short, Hawaii's Big Island is heaven for hikers.
  • Historic Places of Hawaii's Big Island - From the birthplace of King Kamehameha to the birthplace of paniolo, Hawaii's Big Island is home to some of the most historic places in Hawaii.
  • Horseback Riding on Hawaii's Big Island - Explore the wealth of scenic, open landscapes in Waimea and other spots throughout the island on horseback.
  • Hula on Hawaii's Big Island - See authentic hula throughout Hawaii's Big Island at seasonal festivals, competitions, luau and live performances at hotels and resorts.
  • Kayaking on Hawaii's Big Island - The protected waters of the Kona, Kohala and Hilo coasts make Hawaii's Big Island a perfect place to take a guided kayak or outrigger canoe tour.