Hawaii is an amazing destination for families, and Kauai is no exception to this rule. Sandy beaches, warm sun, and dining filled with kid-friendly fruits and fare are just the beginning. You’ll want to book the best place to stay on Kauai and get some insider tips too because while a Hawaii stay with family is wonderful — there are definitely some tricks if you’re traveling with small children and babies. You’ll want to pack your trip full of kid-friendly destinations, track down some amenities for easy changing and nursing options, and also know which activities to avoid when designed for older kids and adults.
The last time I visited Kauai I had a baby, a toddler, and a kindergartner. So, I have more than a few things to say about doing Kauai with a baby or toddler. Keep reading to discover our top tips for taking your little ones on a vacation you won’t soon forget, as you navigate Kauai with infants and toddlers.
Choosing the best place to stay
Your choice of lodging can have an ultimate impact on your trip. If you’ve ever dined with a toddler, you know you won’t get your money back on the average meal, and your little will often be hungry again within the hour. Explore options that include inclusive dining options, or find a location that lets you store food in your room to create your own pantry. A refrigerator is a must for storing snacks and milk, and a microwave can be used to heat hot water or a travel bottle warmer.
If you have multiple littles with you, you’ll want to consider a suite, or adjoining rooms for the extra beds, as well as quieter napping opportunities. Larger rooms may have a separate living and dining area that can create a true home away from home feeling too. When visiting Kauai with a baby you will want to make sure the resort has a crib or pack and play and the room will need to be big enough to fit it.
And don’t forget the amenities! For the tiniest guests, a pool with a splashing or shallow end can make all the difference. When I went to Kauai with toddlers I stayed at Bali Hai, which has a zero-entry pool. Your kiddos may not be up to larger water slides yet but may enjoy warmer wading areas and fountains. Look for a quiet cabana where mom and baby can bond while the rest of the family plays. Many hotels will also offer babysitting services or referrals. This is the perfect option for mom and dad interested in a quiet dinner or a relaxing massage.
Recommended Kauai Hotels for Toddlers
Marriott Kauai Beach – There’s a pool just for kids, the beach is low key and fairly protected to reduce waves, and theirs a kid’s club. Check rates.
Bali Hai – Zero entry pool, spacious rooms, toddler/baby gear available. Check rates.
Kauai features many fantastic beaches. With little ones in tow, you can’t easily go surfing. You also can’t experience many boat rides with children under 5. One thing you can do is explore the many tide pools, walking at your own pace to make new discoveries all across the beach. Remember that some tide pools are safer than others, so ask locals for the best spots to go and at what times.
And don’t forget the beach basics. Most hotels will offer umbrellas and chairs to let you simply lounge near the water. When choosing your hotel, explore nearby beach options for an area with shallow waters and gentle waves. Enjoy the shade and soothing surf while your little one creates castles in the sand. You will be amazed at how long a child can sit and dig in the sand.
Poipu Beach is ideal for small children. They have a little protected area and restrooms. It’s also a great snorkeling area and there’s a small playground.
Lydgate Beach also has A small protected area perfect for children. Plus the snorkeling is good here too. There’s also a massive playground located here.
Attend a Kauai Luau. One of the classic entertainments for visitors to Kauai includes attending a luau. This is absolutely an event you can attend with little ones, and most places offer highly discounted tickets for young children. Search out a specific luau that adds additional activities for young children with some kid-friendly options on the buffet.
Try a plantation tour. Many have a truck or a train ride your little ones will enjoy, with tasty snacks at the end like pineapples. While a boat may be out, observant toddlers can tour nearby lighthouses to see for miles, and with luck, there may even be surfacing whales on the horizon.
Visit a Park. Don’t forget local parks, where you’ll often find amazing beachside playgrounds and water features designed for tiny hands and feet too.
Things to do in Kauai with Toddlers
For those of you traveling to Kauai with toddlers, I thought I would be a little more specific about some of the things you can do around the island.
Go Hiking – Take a hiking backpack and go hiking. The hiking here is too good to miss just because your kid is too small to do the hike.
Ho’oip’i Falls Trail will be too difficult with small children, but the Sleeping Giant is a good hike for parents that are in good shape and can carry their babies or toddlers in a hiking backpack baby carrier.
See the Sights
Waimea Canyon is spectacular and easy to see when traveling with a baby or toddler from the lookout locations.
Kauai promised to be the vacation of a lifetime, and there is no reason you should stay at home just because you have an infant, toddler, or a combination of tiny people in your life. Understand the things you need to look for to navigate a smooth family vacation – and get packing!