Big Island's Ultimate Family Vacation Guide: Unforgettable Tours & Activities

At Adventure Tours Hawaii, we know that vacationing with your family is no small feat. Balancing the preferences of kids, teens, and grandparents can seem like a juggling act. But hey, it's your dream vacation, and we're here to ensure everyone gets a slice of paradise. Welcome to your definitive guide to family tours on Hawaii's Big Island, tailored for everyone from tots to seniors.

Let's start with a simple truth: family vacations are not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. What thrills your teenager might bore your 6-year-old. With that in mind, we've carefully selected an array of tours that cater to diverse interests and age groups. From adrenaline-pumping adventures to educational excursions, we've got you covered.

Marine Life Extravaganza: Dolphin and Turtle Snorkeling in Waikoloa

Come hang fin-to-fin with dolphins and turtles! Located close to the Kohala Coast resort area, our Waikoloa Dolphin and Turtle Snorkeling tour is the perfect outing for families looking to experience marine life up close and personal. Here, you'll be guided by our team of certified snorkeling experts who will safely take you to the optimal spots for dolphin and turtle viewing. Think of it as a hands-on biology lesson, but with more aloha and fewer textbooks.

Ideal for: Animal-loving families and future marine biologists in training

Minimum Age: 5 years old

Sailing to Serenity: Captain Cook Monument Snorkel Boat Tour

No trip to the Big Island is complete without a visit to Kealakekua Bay—equal parts snorkel paradise and living history lesson. And this boat is the most family friendly way to get there. Gliding down the pristine waters of the Kona Coast on our 45-foot trimaran will capture your child’s imaginiation. And where do we take you? Right into the Marine Sanctuary for a snorkeling experience like no other. Explore the coral reefs, meet exotic fish, and bask in the history of the Captain Cook Monument, all in one trip.

Ideal for: History buffs who'd prefer an epic tale of discovery over a Netflix binge, lovebirds, and families with teens that can appreciate history before TikTok

Minimum Age: All ages…infants welcome, we've even got snorkels for the sippy cup crowd!

Kona's Hidden Underwater Paradise: Snorkel and Dolphin Catamaran in Kona

Explore the lesser known Red Hill's marine sanctuary, home to 600+ sea species. Unleash the family's inner adventurers on our 20-foot water slide and 15-foot high dive, or float the day away with paddle boards and floatation toys. Watch your little one's eyes light up as they spot a playful dolphin for the first time. It's not just a marine biology field trip—it's an epic family splash-fest you'll treasure forever!

Ideal for: Families that just wanna "sea" some fun

Minimum Age: All ages including infants…yes, even the tiniest water babies!

Kayak and Snorkel Bliss: Kohala Coast Adventure

Paddle through paradise and break a sweat in the most scenic gym ever! This one's for families that have a knack for exploration. Kayak through the tropical paradise of Kohala Coast and snorkel to your heart's content. The chances of spotting turtles, manta rays, and dolphins are high, making it an educational yet exciting outing for families.

Ideal for: Active families looking for a workout after one too many shave ice.

Minimum Age: 5 years old

Into the Rainforest: Kona Waterfall Hiking Tour

Hiking boots meet waterfalls. It's like a spa day, but Mother Nature foots the bill. Head mauka (inland) with a trek into Big Island's lush rainforest. Our Kona Waterfall Hiking Tour includes an off-road drive to an exclusive trailhead. Here, you'll immerse yourself in the island's stunning biodiversity, from rare flora to swimming under cascading waterfalls. A short hike of only 1.5 miles with little elevation gain, this is fun for the whole family!

Ideal for: Nature lovers and families who prefer organic mud masks

Minimum Age: All ages including infants…but you better have strong biceps for that baby backpack!

Zipping Over Paradise: Waterfall Zipline Adventure in Hilo

Harness your inner Flyin’ Hawaiian and take the thrill factor up a notch with our zipline tour that goes up to 65 mph, covering 14 waterfalls, suspension bridges, and treetops. It's the roller coaster of ziplines, and it's the experience of a lifetime.

Ideal for: Thrill-seekers and future astronauts

Minimum Age: 4 years old

A Night to Remember: Moonlit Manta Ray Night Snorkel in Kona

As twilight turns to darkness, find yourself swimming alongside magnificent Manta Rays in their nightly ballet. Trust us, even the Manta Rays put on their best dance moves for this one. The Moonlit Manta Ray Night Snorkel is less of a tour and more of a lifetime event, an absolute must-experience while on Big Island.

Ideal for: Night owls, marine life enthusiasts, and families who think "bedtimes" are flexible.

Minimum Age: All ages including infants, but the babies might have to enjoy the spectacle from the boat's cozy arms.

Catch a Wave: Learn to Surf in Kona Town

Hawaii and surfing are virtually synonymous, and a trip to Big Island would be incomplete without the whole family learning how to catch a wave. Whether you opt for a group lesson or something more private, our team of local surf pros will have you and your family up and riding in no time. Because nothing says family bonding like riding and wiping out on waves together.

Ideal for: Wave chasers, teens on screen-time hiatus, and basically anyone with a pulse and sense of adventure.

Minimum Age: 5 years old, but bring your youthful spirit no matter your calendar age!

Luau Like a Local: Cowboy Luau on the Ranch in Waimea

Paniolo aka Hawaiian Cowboys are a big part of the Big Island. Wrap up your Hawaiian vacation with a Cowboy Luau at a working cattle ranch in Waimea. Arrive early to enjoy child friendly activities such as, horseshoes, bean bag toss, and learn to lasso. After dinner, sit by the bonfire and enjoy s’mores. From traditional Hawaiian food to local cowboy culture, this is an evening you won't soon forget.

Ideal for: Culture enthusiast's, and families who like their luaus with a side of yee-haw!

Minimum Age: All ages including infants, diapers and cowboy hats equally welcome!

Frequently Asked Questions: Your Go-To Guide for Kona, Big Island

Is Kona an Ideal Destination for Kids? Without a doubt, Kona is a child's paradise realized. From snorkeling adventures, calm sandy beaches, to hula classes, it's a safe bet your kids won't be uttering the words "I'm bored."

Why is the Big Island a Family Fave? Rich in diverse activities, natural wonders, all the comforts of a quaint tourist industry. The Big Island serves as a family-friendly playground, fusing historical and geological education with sheer fun.

Is There an Aquarium in Kona? There are no traditional aquariums; instead Kona offers an expansive Pacific Ocean as your family's personal, natural aquarium.

Recommended Duration of Stay in Kona? A week in Kona provides ample time to get a taste of sea, land, and cultural activities. However, don't be surprised if you start contemplating an extended stay due to the vastness of the Big Island.

Optimal Months to Visit Kona? Visit between December and April for whale-watching opportunities, but be assured, Kona's appeal is perennial due to year round favorable weather.

Which Months Shine in Kona? For calm waters and that Kodak-worthy snorkeling session, aim for May to October.

Affordable Travel: When to Go? Late spring and early fall, such as May and September, are your budget-friendly windows for a Hawaiian retreat, with fewer crowds to boot.

Kona vs. Hilo: What's the Verdict? Kona's your sun-kissed, beach-centric locale, whereas Hilo offers lush landscapes and waterfall wonders. Take your pick, or better yet, experience both.

Rainiest Month in Big Island's Forecast? March typically carries the rain cloud trophy, but those showers feed Big Island's breathtaking rainbows and typically stick to the Hilo side of the island.

The Price Tag of Kona: Why the Hefty Cost? Supply and demand come into play here. When paradise is the product, high prices are part and parcel. Avoid peak seasons to find discounts on accommodations and rental cars.

Peak Pricy Months to Visit Hawaii? Holiday season—December and January—along with the summer months see a spike in both footfall and airfare.

Kona's Hottest Month: Prepare for What? August serves up tropical heat, but worry not—relief is a Pacific Ocean dip away.