Kauai with Kids: A Perfect Family Day

Kauai with Kids: A Family Vacation

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Kauai's easily accessible beaches, paved bike trails, and plethora of activities make the Garden Isle one of the most kid-friendly islands in Hawaii. Due to its small size and the layout of the highway, Kauai is an easy island to navigate and a great destination for family travel. The suggestions below will help guide you through Kauai with kids so you can make the most of your family vacation on this beautiful island.

Morning

Finding a great breakfast place that will please everyone in the family, even picky eaters, is not a problem on Kauai. One of the most kid-friendly breakfast restaurants on Kauai is Eggbert's in Kapaa. They offer kid-sized portions of their fluffy pancakes covered in your choice of macadamia nuts, papaya, or fresh island bananas.

Kids will love the rich and sweet coconut sauce drizzled all over the pancakes, and parents will enjoy the more adult offerings like the eggs benedict, custom omelets (which Eggbert's is famous for) and the freshly brewed Kauai grown coffee. They even offer their own version of Hawaii's unique creation: the 'Loco Moco'(heaped scoops of white rice covered with fried eggs, spam, and topped with gravy; truly, a treat for those not concerned with their cholesterol!).

Eggbert's, Coconut Marketplace, 4-484 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, Kauai, 808-822-3787.

While on a kids' vacation in Kauai, you can't miss visiting the Kilohana Plantation in Lihue for a ton of family-friendly activities and a delicious picnic on the property. Make sure to book the train/lunch/hike/orchard tour to take advantage of the entire property's offerings. These tours are offered Monday-Friday with the train departing at 9:30AM and returning at 1:40PM.

Your visit here begins with riding the train around the property - the kids will enjoy the ride and you will enjoy the informative narration while looking at all of the beautiful orchards full of papaya, citrus, pineapple, lychee, banana, and fields of taro. Step off the train and walk over to the pastures to pet and feed the pigs, horses, goats, and sheep. After feeding all the animals, take a guided stroll through the rainforest to find wild ginger, heliconia, bird of paradise, and huge beautiful ohia, mango, and koa trees.

After the hike, it is time to eat the lunch that has been prepared for you. There are plenty of places to relax and enjoy the scenery while you eat, have a picnic on the grass, under the Norfolk pine trees, or sit on one of the many benches throughout the property. If the kids still have energy, you may want to walk to the nearby pasture and feed the horses and some wild pigs.

Board the train again and head to the orchards for your dessert! Walk around and sample all of the fruit you want, most of which you probably have never sampled right off the bush or tree. They have rambutan, acerola cherries, sugar cane, pineapples, and much more, all of which are delicious. After finishing your dessert in the orchard, head back to the train and ride it back to the depot to conclude your tour. Tickets are $75 for adults and $65 for children 3-12. Pricey, but worth it for one of the best things to do in Kauai with kids.

Kilohana Plantation, 3-2087 Kaumualii Hwy, Lihue, Kauai, 808-245-5608.

Afternoon

After exploring and eating lunch at the Kilohana Plantation, here's another of our top Kauai family vacation ideas: venture out to the water and take a river cruise along the Wailua River to the Fern Grotto. During the two-mile boat ride to the Grotto, enjoy unobstructed views of Hawaii while listening to songs and stories of ancient Hawaii. You can even learn the hula dance!

Upon landing, take a short nature walk through the rainforest to the Fern Grotto, which was formed millions of years ago and has ferns growing upside down. Be sure to bring a camera as there are many family photo opportunities. Tickets purchased online are offered at a 10 percent discount. Online tickets are $18 for adults and $9 for children 3-12. The trip lasts 1 hour and 20 minutes. Call or visit their website for daily cruise departure times. It's one of the best things to do with kids in Kauai.

Fern Grotto, Wailua Marina State Park, 174 Wailua Rd, Kauai, 808-821-6895.

Evening

After a long day, you are probably exhausted, and so are the kids. Head over to Bobby V's Pizzeria in Kapaa, which is an easy stop if you are staying in Kapaa or heading back to your hotel in Hanalei or Princeville. It's a locally owned restaurant that is extremely casual and kid-friendly.

If the weather is nice, grab a table outside and let the kids run around before the food arrives. A favorite is the moderately priced tasty thin crust pizza, one large pizza can easily feed a family of four. If you aren't in the mood for pizza, choose from one of the many pasta dishes, salads, calzones, or sandwiches. They also offer several choices for kids including pasta, pizza, and chicken fingers.

Bobby V's Pizzeria, 4-788 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, 808-821-8080. Opening hours are Mon-Thu 11AM-9PM, Fri-Sat 11am-midnight, Sun noon-9pm.

If you still have room, stop for some dessert at Lappert's. The real gem here is the ice cream and sorbet, with flavors like passion fruit (also known as "lilikoi"), Kona coffee, coconut, mango and macadamia nut in addition to all the usual suspects. The ice cream is made in small batches and it's definitely some of the best ice cream in Hawaii. Lappert's also makes delicious macadamia nut cookies, chocolate macadamia nut shortbread, cinnamon rolls, brownies, and wonderful coffee.

Lappert's has various locations but one of the nicest is in the Coconut Plantation Marketplace at 484 Kuhio Hwy in Kapaa, telephone 808-822-0744. Opening hours are daily 10AM-9PM.

After a long but fun day on vacation in Kauai with kids, head back to your hotel for a well-earned night's sleep and begin making plans for another perfect family day.

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