Big Island with Kids

Old Jan 25th, 2009, 08:10 AM
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Big Island with Kids

We have a tentative itinerary but need suggestions for activities, lodging, etc...
April 15 for 2 weeks:
Day 1-9 oceanfront 2 br at Keauhou Kona Surf and Racquet.
Day 10-12 Volcano - any suggestions on a unique place with kitchen?
Day 13-14 Thinking about wrapping it up at the Hilton Waikoloa Village

Activity plans:
Snorkel, boogie board, maybe a kayak or boat trip, luau (which one?) hiking, beach hopping....

Any other tips, suggestions? Kids ar 9 and 7...


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Old Jan 25th, 2009, 11:17 AM
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For a snorkel trip take the Fairwinds out of Kona. My kids still talk about the trip
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Old Jan 25th, 2009, 12:30 PM
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We were on the Big Island when my kids were 10 & 7 and I definitely second the Fairwinds recommendation. I would do this snorkeling tour again without second thought.

Since my boys are happy as long as they can swim and snorkel, most of our time was spent on the beach . We did a luau, but they both feel asleep as soon as they finished dinner and missed the entertainment. We enjoyed seeing the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden and stopping by What's Shakin for a smoothie. The Greenwell Coffee tour is also interesting and when we visited 4 years ago visitors were allowed to take home the bananas and avocados grown on the farm.

We didn't stay at the Hilton Waikoloa, but walked through the property. My kids begged to stay here but it was a little too big for my tastes.

Have a great trip.
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Old Jan 25th, 2009, 06:33 PM
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How about visiting the seahorse farm where the boys can put their hands in some of the tanks and have the seahorses wrap their tails around their fingers???

Kids seemed to love it. It was educational and fun. The website is

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Old Jan 28th, 2009, 01:39 PM
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Up in the town of Waimea there is a huge wooden play structure that my kids(9 & 11)LOVED!It is hard to describe but incorporates many levels, slides, areas to climb and swing on,tunnels to climb through, monkey bars and lots more.We played tag and they just ran around like maniacs while we enjoyed the ambiance of the town.(it is on the left, just after the museum/art gallery but before the lights and Parker Ranch Center)There is a similar one on Kauai at Lydgate park. Well worth the little drive, perhaps even to incorporate lunch at Merrimans, one of the best restaurants I have ever been to.
Another great thing we did that the kids loved was walking on the Kings trail searching for petroglyphs.
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Old Jan 28th, 2009, 01:43 PM
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If you want to have a fun, tasty meal with the kids that won't break the bank, try Huli Sues in Waimea.
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Old Jan 28th, 2009, 06:31 PM
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We stayed at the Hilton for a week about two years ago. My kids (young teens at the time) loved it! It is a huge property and there is lots to do. It is probably one of the nicest hiltons I have stayed at. We stayed in the Ocean towers I think. DH was a diamond member at the time. We are only gold now Have a lava flow drink. they were yummy.
We also did the fairwinds cruise/snorkel tour and it was great. Many of the fish, you will see right at the hilton or at the kona beaches. We snorkeled all over and was surprised at how good the snorkeling was in hawaii.
We did the luau at the Marriott next to the hilton just for a change of scenery. It was fun. I am not a connosiuer of luaus so I can't compare it to anything. The restaruants on the hilton property were very good. That also surprised me at how good the food was.
Just north of Waikoloa, is a beach called Hapuna beach. It is a public beach with great boogie boarding waves. I ate sand several times that day. I don't think I have had that much fun boogie boarding in a long time!
Volcano. We did a day drive. This did not turn out to be something all that spectacular to us. I think we are either too shallow, or just don't get into the rock thing. It is miles and miles of black rocks. We never did get to get near the eruption area. So, we drove many hours and a long day to see rocks. It was a great drive around the island. We stopped along the way at the different waterfall sights. We drove through little towns in the north and we actually needed to drive back up there to go to the hospital one night.DH cut his knee on some rocks and it was a pretty bad gash. He needed 5 stitches.
We loved the big island and would definitely go back in a heartbeat and stay at the hilton again. It was relaxing and the island itself has a lot to offer.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 09:13 AM
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We've stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa twice. It would be a good place to relax and have fun before heading home. There are quite a few pools and a very safe ocean lagoon, which was our favorite hang-out spot. Plus, there are the dolphins, many activities and beautiful artwork all over. A short, pleasant stroll away are the Kings' Shops.

We stayed at one of the Country Goose cottages when we visited Volcano National Park. Our place was immaculate and very comyfy. Joan, the owner, is a sweetheart, and she makes a wonderful breakfast.

A suggestion for anyone who visits Hawaii is to heed the advice about ocean safety. I would recommend swimming at beaches with lifeguards. You can ask them or surfers about ocean conditions. So, research beaches and heed warnings!

One of our favorites on the Big Island was Hapuna Beach, just north of Waikoloa, which also has a beach hut right by the beach called Hapuna Beach Grill that makes tasty and inexpensive food.

If you kayak, make sure everyone has their personal flotation device on properly even if the water looks calm. You can kayak at the Waikoloa, btw, in the lagoon.

We went to the luau at the Sheraton. I liked everything about it, but the pork was a little dry. The show was enjoyable.

Other things to research:

A hike down Pololu Valley. Start in the morning or early afternoon. Make sure it's safe to hike down the steps. (It wasn't safe to hike down during our second visit because an earthquake had loosened some rocks.) At the bottom of the hike, you'll reach a beautiful soft, black beach. Wear tennies since it's possible the beach could have man-of-wars washed up on them.

A walk down Waipio Valley. We did this with our youngest who was about nine at the time. It's a very steep, paved asphalt road, so wear shoes with traction. When you reach the bottom, you have to travel on a dirt road a bit and then you'll be at the beach. The surf is rough at both Pololu and Waipio, so stay out of the water.

Down near VNP, there is a gorgeous black sand beach with sand that is like shards of glass except they won't cut. Really lovely and turtles are sometimes around.

In Captain Cook, a restaurant we like with unbelievable views is The Coffee Shack. It's between mile markers 108 and 109, and the views are fantastic. Food's good, too.

The Place of Refuge is an interesting place to visit, too.

Have fun!
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 09:27 AM
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I second the Botanical Garden near Hilo. Keep an eye on your kids because some parts are a bit like a maze.

We all loved this zoo, too. All kinds of animals including a white tiger and peacocks. A nice place to just walk around.
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Old Jan 30th, 2009, 03:34 AM
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We stayed at he same place on the kona side.only a block or so to the best snorkling.You might even get a chance to swim by a turtle(not too close)very protected area,and not very deep.
On the other side of the island we stayed in a 2 bd in the puna district near paha.which is between the volcona and hilo.It is a gated community,and had its own 90%themo pond with fish.There are a few other pond might want to check out was a house for around 150 a washer but no dryer but req a 3 nite stay.
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Old Feb 4th, 2009, 03:36 PM
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wow - what great advice thanks.
9 nts at the Keauhou kona...

we are staying at the lazy lehua for 3 nights at the volcano....take a day to drive to the volcano and a day to drive back the northern route...2 days to explore lava and that area....

then staying 2 nights at HWV before we head back... Hope they will give us a late checkout!
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Old Feb 4th, 2009, 06:04 PM
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We stopped at the Hilton Waikoloa Village when my kids were infants. It looks like a lot of fun and we plan to return. We stayed at the Hapuna Prince which has a incredible beach. It was my favorite beach on the Big Island if not all the Islands. its about 15 minutes from Hilton Waikoloa Village. You should check it out.
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Old Feb 8th, 2009, 01:13 PM
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We love the Fairwinds boat trip to Captain Cook (Kealakakua Bay) for snorkeling, too. We've gone twice and are going again in March.

The snorkel beach in Kona is a great one for kids to start, and a great place to just sit and enjoy, but at Captain Cook there are zillions more fish, and a slide and a high jump off the boat which the kids just love. And the lunch is kid-friendly -- hamburgers and chips, etc. They are also very safety-conscious, which is good when you are with kids.
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Old Apr 11th, 2009, 03:33 PM
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OK - Trip is in just 4 days! Please add in your suggestions!

Day 1- Fly to Kona, pick up car, shop at Costco, checkin at Keauhou Surf and Racquet - 2 br condo ocean front.
Day 2- Snorkel at nearby beaches
Day 3 - Beach hop - luau at Kona Village
Day 4 - Road trip up north past Hawi
Day 5 - Boogie board beaches
Day 6 - Adventures in Paradise kayak/snorkel tour
Day 7 - Waipio Valley road trip
Day 8 - free day
Day 9 - Hokuhele (smaller boat than fair winds) `ocean tour/snorkel trip
Day 10 - Road trip to volcano - checkin at Lazy Kehua Lodge
Day 11- hike the volcano
Day 12 - more volcano
Day 13 - road trip from volcano northward to the Kohala Coast - checkin at 2br Aston Waikoloa Colony Villas
Day 14 - Free day on the kohala coast
Day 15 - check out, spend day at the pools at Hilton Waikoloa Village - fly home.
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Old Apr 12th, 2009, 06:10 AM
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Are you sure the Hilton Waikoloa will let you use their pools if you are not a guest there? Maybe they got smart and have resurrected the day pass. At most resorts with lavish pool complexes they check for wristbands on the slides, but usually not in other places. My only suggestion is to have an alternative in mind for your beach days, if conditions are too rough to allow snorkeling and boogie boarding. I took my 13 year old grandson to Kauai last year. We planned several days of boogie boarding (for him, not me!), but seas were high and unsafe all week.
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