Kids can build a sand volcano on the beach // © 2015 Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Feature image (above): Hawaii’s kids’ clubs offer everything from surf lessons to lei making. // © 2015 Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Keeping the kids occupied while traveling can be tough. In an interview with travel agent Lesley Egbert
, read about family-friendly destinations and all-inclusive properties.
At Hawaii’s kids’ clubs, sandcastles turn into erupting volcanoes, hikes double as lively nature lessons and craft classes produce painted coconuts.
Around the state, hotels have designed supervised programs that share a spirited sense of place with visiting keiki (children). During these highly praised daytime and evening kids’ camps, talented counselors showcase the destination’s culture, history, legends and environment with activities that stimulate young guests while keeping them safe.
Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment, Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua on Maui
Famed environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau masterminded this program, inspiring kids to live a more sustainable life while embracing local culture. On one day, a hike to an ancient lava flow evokes stories of island creation. On another, kids learn survival tips and discover how early Hawaiians lived.
Aunty’s Beach House, Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa on Oahu
The 5,200-square-foot Aunty’s Beach House combines Disney magic with all things Hawaiian, from storytelling to arts and crafts to dancing the hula. On a scavenger hunt, kids find surprises left by Hawaii’s legendary menehune (mischievous little people). Hands-on experiments demonstrate how the islands were formed. The character Stitch even drops by to enliven the action, and a movie room screens Disney favorites.
Camp Grande, Grand Wailea on Maui
Boys and girls have 20,000 square feet to themselves at Grand Wailea’s ROCK (Recreation Outlet Center for Kids), home of Camp Grande. Morning pursuits include lei making and fish feeding. Afternoons in the hotel’s pools — distinguished by water slides and a Tarzan swing — include time out for shaved ice. Evenings bring walkie-talkie tag and a glow-in-the-dark party.
Camp Hyatt, Hyatt Hawaii on Oahu, Maui and Kauai
Statewide, Camp Hyatt focuses on island flora, fauna, culture and geography. At Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa, kids make their own smoothies using local fruits and honey. Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa guests can try Hawaiian tile painting by day and study the stars by night. Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa engages youngsters with palm-frond weaving, ukulele lessons and an interactive session with colorful parrots.
Camp Penguin and Club Keiki, Hilton Hawaii on Oahu and Hawaii Island
On Oahu, daily themes at Camp Penguin at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort entertain tots while emphasizing culture and nature. Groups also head off property to Honolulu Zoo, Waikiki Aquarium, Bishop Museum and Children’s Discovery Center. On Hawaii Island, Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Club Keiki is notable for such innovations as its Friday night program, when kids create their own hula and lei before watching the hotel’s live luau.
Kahala Keiki Club, Kahala Hotel & Resort on Oahu
Kahala Keiki Club participants learn about the turtles, rays and tropical fish that swim in the hotel’s lagoons. They can even take part in a dolphin encounter. During craft time, kids fashion coconut-frond fish and Hawaiian bookmarks. Sunny sojourns include pole fishing off an outrigger canoe and beach Olympics. Budding chefs enjoy the club’s weekly tour of the property’s kitchens.
Keiki Lani and Keiki Aloha, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts on Maui and Hawaii Island
On Maui, Fairmont Kea Lani’s Keiki Lani Kid’s Club is a happy hub with a stage, a kitchen, a crafts area and outdoor tables. Each day ushers in island insights and adventures, like tide-pool explorations focusing on protecting the environment. On Hawaii Island, Fairmont Orchid’s Keiki Aloha Adventure Program continues the cultural journey, from hiking through ancient lava caves to designing your own petroglyph.
Kids for All Seasons, Four Seasons on Maui, Hawaii Island and Lanai
The Kids for All Seasons program shines at each of Four Seasons’ Hawaii resorts. Group pastimes at its Maui at Wailea property include snorkeling and croquet. On Hawaii Island, the Hualalai at Historic Kaupulehu resort boasts unique offerings such as eagle-ray feeding and outrigger canoe lessons. At Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, children build a sand volcano on the beach and then watch it erupt.
Westin Kid’s Club, Westin Hawaii on Maui and Kauai
The Westin Kid’s Club promises nonstop grins. At Westin Maui Resort & Spa, children embark on a daytime photo safari and an evening toad hunt. Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas hosts diversions such as Tie-Dye Tuesdays and Wacky Water Wednesdays. At Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas on Kauai, kids can hand-stamp pillowcases with local ferns for a made-in-Hawaii keepsake.
Young Voyagers Club, St. Regis Princeville on Kauai
Based on ocean and coral reef stewardship, the Young Voyagers Club helps children learn about fish, invertebrates and algae through beach and reef explorations. Kids can also shoot their own videos and photos, which become treasured souvenirs.