10 Best things to do for keiki (kids) on the Big Island

Things for kids to do on the Big Island are as diverse as the island itself. Theme parks and water parks are absent on the Big Island, but nature comes through in providing lots of fun for kiddos. From fun waves, to wonderful sandy beaches, to swimming with tons of fish and looking through telescopes on a volcano, children will have plenty of fun things to do on Hawaii's biggest island - and 10 Best is here to guide you to them.

Animals lovers will have a blast viewing a rare white tiger an getting hands on at the petting zoo at Hilo's Pana`ewa Rainforest Zoo. A new playground and 150 different animals offer a full day of fun. The animal fun can continue while swimming with a crowed of wild fish at Kahalu`u Beach Park and feeding them fish food. Nearby at the Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm, the whole family will be in awe of the beauty of the small colorful creatures that call the farm home.

Adventurous types will certainly love surfing at Anaeho`omalu Bay and Waikoloa Beach, where fine sand and fun waves will keep everyone occupied for hours. At Parker Ranch, ATV adventures and horseback riding will take you on an adrenaline fueled tour of the Big Island's open land.

Kahalu'u Beach Park


You can't beat the fun that Kahalu`u offers when it comes to viewing, feeding, and swimming with wild fish. Easily one of the Big Island's most popular beaches, Kahalu'u offers parking, equipment rental stalls, a covered pavilion, and a snack...  Read More

Volcano National Park
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt


Encompassing 520 square miles, this national park is one of the most photographed locales in the Hawaiian chain. For more than 70 million years, volcanic heat and pressure from inside the earth have molded the dramatic landscape, which includes...  Read More

Southeast Shore
Punalu'u Beach


Children will love viewing the wild green sea turtles at Punalu`u Beach. Wedged between Kau Desert and Ka Lae (the South Cape), this exquisite black sand beach is one of the Big Island's most beautiful. Although facilities are scarce, you'll...  Read More

Parker Ranch


Children will love riding ATVs through the open fields, and galloping along on a horseback ride. Parker Ranch, one of America's oldest and largest ranches, was founded in 1847. Island visitors eagerly venture here to find out about paniolos...  Read More



Children will love watching the falls while hearing the thunder of it pouring into the large pool. Just a short drive outside of downtown Hilo, the Wailuku River penetrates dense tropical undergrowth and cascades more than 80 feet into a...  Read More



For a truly unique experience, call ahead to schedule an up-close-and-personal tour of this facility, which is dedicated to seahorse preservation. Watching the small and colorful seahorses, animals that are very rare to see in nature, will...  Read More



One of the more unique zoos you'll visit, Pana'ewa Reserve allows a glimpse of life in a tropical rainforest, making it the only such facility in the United States. More than 80 species of animals call the reserve "home," including Namaste (a...  Read More



One of the Big Island's top beaches, A-Bay is known for metallic, yellow-hued sands that earn it the nickname "Gold Coast." The bay's crystal blue waters are ideal for snorkeling, scuba, kayaking, surfing, and windsailing. Several popular resort...  Read More



Hapuna Beach, nestled between Waikui and Puako, is known for being one of the cleanest, most family-friendly beaches on Hawaii. Its smooth, white sands extend far out into the surf, so wading in the shallows is easy on your feet. During summer...  Read More

Mauna Kea State Recreation Area


From the ocean floor to Mauna Kea's 14,000 foot summit, this majestic mountain is the world's tallest. Its elevation, combined with its relative isolation from air pollution, also makes it one of the world's foremost locations for stargazing, a...  Read More


Meet Jade Eckardt

Raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Jade has traveled the world and doesn't intend to stop, yet the Hawaiian Islands are still her favorite place. She spent seven years living on Oahu and...  More About Jade