Situated on Big Island along the western coast of Hawaii, the town of Kona, also known as Kailua-Kona, has remained a popular travel destination since the early 1800s, when royalty visited the island to stay at Hulihee Palace. Today, Kona is a fantastic place for a tropical getaway, offering fun outdoor activities and entertainment for the entire family. Plenty of vacation rentals in Kona feature easy access to the coastline, as well as breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. If you’ve booked a trip to Kona and want to put together a child-friendly itinerary, check out this list of popular things to do with kids.

1. Go for a Swim at Magic Sands Beach Park

For a fun beach day with the family, pay a visit to Magic Sands Beach Park. This popular park has lifeguards on duty, and there are plenty of other kids around for your young ones to play and swim with. Pack a beach bag and set up a few beach chairs near the shoreline, and sit back and enjoy the warm sun and views of surfers in the distance. The park doesn’t have concessions, so make sure to stock up on snacks and drinks before you head out.

2. Take a Dolphin Snorkeling Tour

If your kids are hoping to catch a glimpse of a dolphin or two during your Kona holiday, make their wish come true by signing up for a dolphin swim. Iruka Hawaii Experiences offers dolphin snorkeling tours where you can swim next to these gentle creatures for a truly unforgettable experience. In addition to dolphins, you may also spot large groups of manta rays feeding together. You’re not allowed to touch the mantas, but don’t be surprised if a few brush up against you in the water.

3. Visit Aimakapa Fishpond

For a beautiful day in nature, bring the kids to Aimakapa Fishpond in Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park. This landmark developed when water became trapped behind large sand dunes and a stone gate was installed, which created a hole for seawater to flow in. The pond is believed to be over 1,000 years old, and it houses milkfish and native waterbirds. After checking out the fishpond, take a family hike down the mile-long M?malahoa Trail.

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4. Go Surfing at Holualoa Bay

Hawaii is known for its surfer population, and Holualoa Bay is a great place for a family surfing lesson. Kahalu’u Bay Surf and Sea offers both lessons and board rentals, and the instructors go out of their way to make sure everyone catches a few waves and has an enjoyable experience. The shop also rents kayaks if you prefer to explore the waters sitting down.

5. Partake in a Luau

Luaus are a Hawaiian tradition and a must-do family activity during your Kona trip, as you get to experience Hawaiian history, delicious food, entertainment, and live music all at once. Island Breeze Luau was named Big Island’s number one luau experience, and your family is sure to agree once you partake in the festivities.

6. Take a Stargazing Tour

For an unforgettable evening under the beautiful Hawaiian skies, sign the family up for a Mauna Kea Summit Adventure. The tour starts in a luxury van that travels up a mountain to the Mauna Kea Observatory, where you can check out the stars from an amazing height. All guests are served a delicious meal as the sun sets. After dark, the skies light up with millions of stars that are clearly visible from the unique vantage point.

7. Visit the Seahorses at Oceanrider Seahorse Farm

Visit with some of the world’s most magical creatures when you spend the day at Oceanrider Seahorse Farm. One of the most unique aspects of this farm is that it houses the world’s only sustainable aquarium. Stop by and gaze in amazement at seahorses, sea dragons, and beautiful reef fish, and learn all about endangered marine life from the knowledgeable guides. The farm even offers an “Adopt-a-Seahorse” program for families that develop a real affinity for these small marine fish.

8. Sample Sweet Hawaiian Chocolate

If you’ve got a few family members who love sweets, you can’t leave Kona without a visit to the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory. All of the factory’s chocolate is made from 100-percent Hawaiian cocoa beans, and the taste is both unique and delicious. Take the kids on a tour of the farm and factory to learn how this mouth-watering chocolate is made, then pop by the chocolate shoppe and stock up on sweet treats to enjoy at your vacation rental.

9. Take a Raft Tour With Captain Zodiac

For a thrilling adventure at sea, book a rafting cruise with Captain Zodiac. The four-hour tour takes place on a high-powered raft. Kids ages 5 and up are welcome to join in on the fun. During the trip, snorkeling gear is provided for those who want to explore underwater. You can also opt for a float board to check out the scenery up top. Snacks and soft drinks are provided for all passengers. The tour as well takes you through lava tubes, blowholes, sea caves, and more.

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