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Top Three Kid-Friendly Water Sports in Hawaii

A Hawaiian vacation is a dream trip for families. There are miles of unspoiled beaches and towns to explore, an idyllic setting for creating lasting memories for the whole family. But if you have children of very different ages or young children, it’s challenging to know which water sports will be a fun and safe experience.

A whale watching voyage into the pristine blue waters of the Au’au Channel in Maui is the ideal place to witness humpback whales that travel to Hawaii from colder waters to breed and nurse their young. For children of all ages, it’s a great learning experience to see whales leap into the air, tail slap and play. Many expeditions are led by Marine Naturalists that provide fascinating insights into these elusive giants.

Somewhere between seeing a large humpback glide past you blowing spouts into the air and hearing that the whaling industry once almost hunted them to the verge of extinction, it feels like more of a privilege than an ecotour. To book a whale watch maui tour, kiosks in Lahaina Harbor offer 2-4-hour trips, but there are many other options. Be sure you go during whale watching season, January to April to see the most whales. But most tours guarantee you’ll see a whale, or the next trip is free.

For children 8 and over, kayaking the calm, shallow waters of Kaneohe Bay is the perfect setting to leisurely enjoy stunning views of Oahu and build family team spirit. You work together to arrive at your destination, but you can go at your own pace. Pack a delicious picnic lunch for everyone, bring a water camera and this family activity will create lasting memories. For family trips, the sit-on-top kayaks are ideal because they feel more stable, don’t tip over easily and if they do, it’s a snap to flip it upright. To book this kayak trip, just contact any of the local kayak trip companies, they almost all offer a tour of Kaneohe Bay since it’s such a popular kayak spot. Be sure to specify how many kayaks you need and that you want sit-on-top kayaks.

Dog Surfing Oahu’s north shore offers a great opportunity to feel yourself flying across the water with a surf and safety specialist and one of their wave-riding dogs! If your kids are comfortable in the water, they experience the excitement of catching a wave, learn balance and ocean safety. Plus, it seems so easy because the dogs are doing it. For kids that are just starting out, they can just paddle in the company of a dog. They offer programs for all level of riders, so you can get in on the fun as well. To book this trip, work with your hotel concierge or just google dog surfing in Oahu.

The beauty of Hawaii goes beyond its cascading waterfalls and lush tropical gardens, it’s aloha spirit of genuine warmth and helpfulness stays with visitors long after the vacation ends. So, one of the great bonuses of working with local tour operators is that willingness to help, accommodate and make sure you and your family have the best experience possible. Travel is about creating memories, so after the planning is done, just enjoy it.

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