Family friendly attractions on the Big Island of Hawaii

Photo by CC user brewbooks on Flickr

Heading to Hawaii with your family and wondering what there is to do? Everyone knows that the islands of Oahu and Maui are well-equipped for traveling families, but there is less certainty about what is available on other islands.

If you are thinking about taking your gang to the Big Island Hawaii, know that there is plenty to keep people of all age occupied during the times when you aren’t enjoying your well-appointed villa on the beach or in the misty hills of the Big Island.

Below, we list four attractions in particular that we think you and your children will love…

1) Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii

Hawaii is well known for having some of the most favorable conditions for astronomy in the world, as its position in the middle of the Pacific Ocean limits its exposure to light pollution that plagues the rest of the developed world.

While taking your kids up to the Mauna Kea observatories is not advised due to its high elevation, many of the findings that have taken place there are summarized in exhibits found at the Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii in Hilo.

Containing a planetarium that seats up to 120 people, the video screens located within will give your children an eye-opening exposure to the universe that lies beyond planet Earth.

2) Parker Ranch Museum

If there’s one thing that kids love, it’s animals that can be found in zoos and on farms. You’ll find plenty of the latter at the Parker Ranch Museum in Waimea.

Horses, cows and other ranching animals can be found here in abundance, and they will get a chance to learn what it was like to live the life of a Paniolo, or a Hawaiian cowboy in centuries past.

Horse and wagon rides are also available here, which will take you a short distance into the scenic Waipio Valley.

3) Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

The power of volcanoes are responsible for the formation of the Hawaiian Islands, so it is a given that you should take your kids to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

This way, they will learn through exhibits and park rangers how magma has broken through the crust of the planet to form islands in the midst of the world’s deepest ocean.

Also, they will have the chance to view this creative and destructive force first hand in a safe environment, creating memories that will endure for the rest of their lives.

4) Manini’owali Beach

It goes without saying that any trip to a tropical destination will no doubt involve a visit to the beach. When said trip involve going to the Hawaiian Islands though, expectations will understandably be high.

If you are looking for a truly stunning beach that offers much to do and is safe for your kids, then Manini’owali Beach fits this bill admirably.

Located on the western side of the volcanic mountain range that dominates the interior of the Big Island, the influence of the trade winds that blow from the east is blunted, leading to an ocean that is calm more often than not.

From an aesthetics standpoint, you could hardly do better on the big island, as the white sand that defines the beach stands in stark contrast to the pitch black volcanic rock found here.

Just be sure to wear good shoes on your way here, as walking over sharp volcanic rock is unavoidable when accessing this slice of heaven.

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