activities Maui dad

CONTINUED…Activities dads can do with their kids on Maui.

4. Park and Play: Kids love going to the park, and Maui scores big here too. Check out Giggle Hill, Kalama Park, Keopuolani Park, Kepaniwai, Iao Valley, Lahaina Recreation Center to name just a few. Many of the schools have public parks adjacent and each of Maui’s parks has something special to offer. For instance, make the trek to Keokea and you’ll find the coolest climate and slide on the island.

5. Streaming: Kepaniwai, Iao Valley, Swinging Bridges, Twin Falls, etc. etc. etc. Find a stream and take your kids exploring it. Build a dam, skip rocks, swim, take a net and catch fish and critters, make mud pies. Manage to find a banana or papaya or mango or avocado or lilikoi or guava,in the wild and eat it, and you’re gonna look super awesome in youngsters’ eyes.

6. Hang at the MACC: Even if there’s not an expensive kid oriented show or the occasional free movie for the toddler set, you can go hang out at the MACC on the lawn or check out the art gallery and expand your little ones minds with some terrific visuals. Bonus points if you perform something on the Pundy pavilion stage while your child ogles you.

7. The Tropical Plantation: Beautiful, kid-friendly grounds, cheap kama’aina train and ducks that love your old bread crusts are yours for the taking. 8. The Malls. I hate to suggest this but they have their time for desperate Dadderdays, particularly rainy Dadderdays. A kid movie or cruising around or god forbid arcade games or rides or machines that suck money out of your pocket may be necessary evils. The no shame maneuver is letting your kids “play” games or “ride” rides without paying for them. The vehicles at Kaahumanu Center have been “broken” (wink, wink, nudge nudge) for as long as I can remember. Don’t you dare blow my cover and pay for those things while I’m at the mall with my kids. So far I’ve managed to avoid that damned train too – “Daddy doesn’t fit on those cars and I can’t let you go without me.”

9. The Ma’alaea Triangle: Although the other Maui Triangle survives for now, the Triangle in Maalaea serves your Dadderday needs much better…but at a price. The Ocean Center has Kama’aina and a decent annual family pass (hit storytime Saturday mornings), a Whale watch (there is one free day a year for Kama’aina), or doing mini golf, bumper boats and bungee bouncing are good options if you just got paid or happen to have a tree that money grows upon.

10. The on – my – own with the kids this weekend special: Go hiking and cut bamboo to make a teepee in the backyard with old sheets when you get home. You can easily substitute tent making in the backyard with some old sheets, chairs, and clamps or rocks to keep the sheet in place. This presumes that mama is elsewhere…or that you’ve made her an appointment for a spa day for mothers day! Go there. Take your Dadderdays to the next level. You won’t be sorry.

Image Credit: Kimberly DeCambra

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Joseph Stafford grew up in Pennsylvania, went to college and moved to Hawaii for a job as a DOE School Psychologist and met Kristen. They married and have two wonderful kids, Emily and Sam. You can contact him at dr.jjstafford@gmail.com.