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Hawaii

The Best Things To Do In Maui With Kids

The Best Things To Do In Maui With Kids, Hawaii

The Best Things To Do In Maui With Kids

Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian islands. It’s a wonderland of fun for families, with Haleakala National Park, thrill-seeking adventures, 30 miles of beaches and aquatic wildlife galore. There are plenty of things to do in Maui with kids!

Family-friendly Activities

Surfing Goat Dairy

Surfing Goat Dairy, Maui, Hawaii

Surfing Goat Dairy is a dairy farm located on the slopes of Maui’s Haleakala Crater in lower Kula, Hawaii. It produces more than two dozen goat cheeses, many of which have won national awards and are used by hotels and restaurants on the island.

The dairy was was established in 1998 by German expatriates Thomas and Eva Kafsack.

Visitors are welcome to drop by the dairy and try the cheeses or meet the goats near the main office. I highly recommend taking a daily tour. The walking tours last for 30 minutes and take visitors around the working farm and dairy and includes petting and feeding the working goats and meeting the dogs and cats.

Read more about our experience visiting Surfing Goat Dairy here.

Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm

Ali'i Kula Lavender, Maui, Hawaii

A sweet-smelling place to stop on the slopes of Haleakalā, Ali’i Kula Lavender grows 45 varieties of lavender. It’s a gorgeous spot to wander through the different lavender plants and smell the differences. There is a kids’ trail on offer. Try the lavender ice cream for something different!

Get more info on visiting Ali’i Kula Lavender here.

Haleakalā National Park

Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii

Haleakalā, or the East Maui Volcano, is a massive volcano that forms more than 75% of Maui. Haleakala is home to some of the world’s rarest and most endangered plant and animal species. The mountain summit is one of the few easily-accessible parts of Hawaii where their rare and endemic species can be found to survive and thrive.

Driving to the summit takes 2-3 hours. Sunrise is the most popular time to visit, however any time of day is beautiful. 

Read about driving to the summit of Haleakalā here.

Napili Beach

Napili Beach, Maui, Hawaii

A gorgeous spot with sloping sand and plenty of trees for shade, Napili Beach is a top spot for families. The enclosed bay keeps the beach protected from waves, making it a gentle, flat beach, perfect for kids and snorkelling. With plenty of reef areas to the left of the beach, Napili is a great spot to float around looking for fish.

Napili Beach, Maui, Hawaii

There is an outdoor shower at the exit/entrance to the beach and restroom amenities. parking however is a challenge and we had to park a long way down the road. Bring a picnic lunch as there is nowhere to buy food and set up for the day in a shady spot.

Ka’anapali Beach

Kaanapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

This gorgeous beach is home to seven resorts (we’ve stayed here twice!) and plenty of restaurants. The key attraction however is the beautiful golden sand that stretches for three miles and the soft waves that crash upon it.

There are plenty of trees not far back from the waters edge so there is plenty of space to set up towels or chairs for the day. Morning is the best time to visit to get shade. 

Ka’anapali Beach is a fantastic snorkelling spot as there is a reef just beyond the wave break. Take along a snorkelling set and spot beautifully coloured fish and even the odd green sea turtle.

There are outdoor showers to rinse off at several spots along the beach near the resorts. Kahekili Beach Park has outdoor showers and restrooms to change in. 

Whalers Village

Whalers Village, Maui, Hawaii

This beachside mall has it all! Plenty of boutique shops, restaurants, a whaling museum, cultural activities such as lei making and hula lessons, free movie nights, live music and a kids play area featuring a climbing structure and splash play area. 

Whalers Village, Maui, Hawaii

Get more info on Whalers Village here

Maui Ocean Centre, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

The Maui Ocean Center is an aquarium and oceanography center located on the island of Maui, Hawaii, and is the largest tropical reef aquarium in the Western Hemisphere.

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

The Maui Ocean Center mission is to foster understanding, wonder, and respect for Hawaii’s marine life with local residents and visitors from around the world. The center is home to many of Hawaii’s unique marine life, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. The Maui Ocean Center is at the top of our list for things to do in maui with kids. 

You can read more about our visit to the Maui Ocean Center here.

Ziplining

Ziplining over the beautiful island of Maui is a popular activity for visitors to the island. If you want to take kids ziplining, try Maui Zipline Company, who offer side-by-side zip lines over a tropical plantation for kids ages 5+ and adults.

Get more info on ziplining with kids here.

Horseback Riding

Kids need to be aged seven and up to horseback ride at most ranches on Maui. Try Ironwood Ranch – they have an excellent location and offer rides of various lengths.

Get more info on Ironwood Ranch here.

Ho’okipa Beach

Hookpia Beach, Maui, Hawaii

A world-renowned windsurfing destination, Ho’okipa Beach is also a prime turtle-spotting location. Hawaiian green sea turtles can usually be found at the north end of the beach near the rocks. Be mindful that they are wild animals and stay 6-10 feet away. 

Pa’ia

Paia, Maui, Hawaii

This little town on Maui’s north shore is big on charm. It’s a great spot to stop for lunch and to check out the little art galleries, boutiques and street art. 

Paia, Maui, Hawaii Paia, Maui, Hawaii

We dined at the Flatbread Company, who serve hand-made pizzas cooked in clay ovens. Kids can watch the pizza dough being stretched and toppings being added.

Luau or hula show

Westin Hula

An absolute must on Maui is a hula show or luau. The Whalers Village at the Kaanapali Beach Resort has free hula shows, as do some hotels such as the Westin Ka’anapali Beach Villas. If you have a dancer in the family like we do, catching a hula show should be at the top of your list for things to do in Maui with kids.

Soak up a true Hawaiian experience at the Old Lahaina Luau.

Lahaina Banyan Court

Lahaina Banyan Tree, Maui, Hawaii

Kids will love running underneath the famous banyan tree in Lahaina. Measuring over 60 feet high, and looks like a mini forest with several tree trunks.

Maluaka Beach: Turtle Town

Turtle Town, Maui, Hawaii

Stronger swimmers will love seeing Hawaiian green sea turtles in their natural habitat at Maluaka Beach, also called “Turtle Town”.  Maluaka Beach is located adjacent to the Makena Beach & Golf Resort and has nearby amenities like a grassy park area, bathrooms and snorkel gear rentals on site. The entrance to Maluaka Beach and Turtle Town are both unmarked and easy to miss. 

Early morning is the best time for snorkelling as the water is calmest then. The reef at the south end of the beach is where you’ll find marine life including angelfish, butterfly fish, moray eels, octopus, trumpet fish, triggerfish and Hawaiian green sea turtles.

Maluaka Beach has a sandy-bottom, shallow area that is ideal for swimming with young kids. There is shade, picnic tables and an excellent view of the Molokini crater in the background.

More things to do in Maui

Have older kids? Try the Road to Hana – get info here

Where to eat with kids

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice

Ululani's Shave Ice, Maui, Hawaii

Shave ice is an iced-based dessert made by shaving a block of ice. Flavoured syrups are added to the top. Ululani’s can be found in a few locations across Maui.

Ululani's Shave Ice, Maui, Hawaii

The first store is located on Front Street at the Lahaina Market Place.

Get more info on Ululani’s here.  

Island Cream Co.

Island Cream Co. Maui, Hawaii

A delicious spot for gelato and ice cream, at the Lahaina Gateway. Add fun toppings like gummy bears for some extra fun.

Get more info on Island Cream Co. here

Hula Grill

Hula Grill, Maui, Hawaii, Whalers Village

A fun, beach-side eatery in Ka’anapali at Whalers Village, we loved dining at their barefoot bar, which was reminiscent of eating at the beach thanks to the sand underfoot.

Hula Grill, Maui, Hawaii, Whalers Village

The excellent kids’ menu with activity sheet left the little one happy, while the adults loved the cocktails, fish tacos and goat’s cheese pizza (cheese from the local Surfing Goat Dairy).

Hula Grill, Maui, Hawaii, Whalers Village

Hula Grill, Maui, Hawaii, Whalers Village

Get more info on Hula Grill here

Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop

Leoda's Maui, Hawaii

Famous for their pies and sandwiches, Leoda’s is so good we could have eaten there every single day.

Leoda's Maui, Hawaii

The little one liked the grilled cheese on brioche bread while the adults enjoyed the massive, freshly made sandwiches. Don’t leave without a sweet pie, they are delicious!

Leoda's Maui, Hawaii Leoda's Maui, Hawaii

Get more info on Leoda’s here

Kimo’s Maui

Kimo's Maui, Hawaii

Home of the original Hula Pie, Kimo’s is a Lahaina institution.

Kimo's Maui, Hawaii

A seafood restaurant, Kimo’s has vegetarian options and a great kids’ menu. We ordered a vegetarian sandwich and burger for the adults and mac and cheese for the little one.  The view is impossible to beat.

Kimo's Maui, Hawaii Kimo's Maui, Hawaii

Order the Hula Pie to share!

Kimo's Maui, Hawaii

Get more info on Kimo’s here

Flatbread Company

Paia, Maui, Hawaii

We dined at the Flatbread Company in Paia, who serve hand-made pizzas cooked in clay ovens. Kids can watch the pizza dough being stretched and toppings being added.

Paia, Maui, Hawaii

Get more info on the Flatbread Company here.

How to get around on Maui

Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

I think car hire is a must on Maui unless you intend to never leave your resort or only plan to do so with guided tours that pick up at your hotels. We used our car every day to pick up groceries, head to a new spot for lunch and visit attractions. There are many different car rental providers at Maui airport that are all quite similar. You can get a free shuttle bus between the car hire places and airport. I would suggest booking car hire in advance.

Where to stay on Maui with kids

Westin Kā‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, HawaiiWe chose the Westin Kā‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas because all rooms or “villas” have a full kitchenette as well as excellent resort facilities including six outdoor pools. 

You can read more about our stay at the Westin Kā‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas here.

Kā‘anapali Beach Hotel

Ka'anapali Beach Resort, Maui, Hawaii Often called the “most Hawaiian of Hawaiian hotels”, the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel offers an authentic Hawaiian experience with plenty of aloha warmth from staff. We loved the hotel’s location and friendly staff.

Ka'anapali Beach Resort, Maui, Hawaii

Read more about the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel here.

More things to do in Maui

Find great hikes on Maui here.

The Best Things To Do In Maui With Kids, Hawaii The Best Things To Do In Maui With Kids, Hawaii The Best Things To Do In Maui With Kids, Hawaii

 

Haleakalā National Park: Driving To The Summit

Haleakalā National Park, Maui, Hawaii: Driving To The Summit

Haleakalā National Park, Maui Hawaii: Driving To The Summit

Haleakalā, or the East Maui Volcano, is a massive volcano that forms more than 75% of Maui. Haleakala is home to some of the world’s rarest and most endangered plant and animal species. The mountain summit is one of the few easily-accessible parts of Hawaii where their rare and endemic species can be found to survive and thrive.

Driving to the summit

Depending where you get started from on Maui, it can take two to three hours to drive the Haleakala Highway (HI 37) and then up the winding Haleakala Crater Road leading to the summit of Haleakala.

Kahului1.5 – 2 hours
Kihei1.75 – 2.25 hours
Kaanapali and Lahaina2.25 – 2.75 hours
Kapalua2.5 – 3 hours

The Park Visitors Center is located at 7,000 feet. Continue past it to the Haleakala Visitors Center at 9,740 feet.

Visitor information 

Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii

Haleakalā National Park is open year-round, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except during severe weather closures.

There are 24-hour available restrooms at the two visitors centres.

Park Headquarters Visitor Center (7,000 feet/2,134 meters) is open 8am-4pm. Haleakalā Visitor Center (9,740 feet/2,969 meters) is open sunrise to noon. Kīpahulu Visitor Center (coastal) is open 9am-5pm.

The visitors centres have naturalists are on duty during business hours to answer questions.

Entrance fees

Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii

Daily passes are required to enter the park. Have a credit card handy to use for payment of entry fees at the Summit and Kīpahulu entrance stations.

Private Vehicle: $25. Valid for 3 days. Admits private, non-commercial vehicle (14 pax capacity or less) and all occupants to Haleakalā National Park including both the Summit and Kīpahulu Areas.

Motorcycle: $20. Valid for 3 days. Admits a private, non-commercial motorcycle to Haleakalā National Park including both the Summit and Kīpahulu Areas.

Per Person: $12. Valid for 3 days. Admits one individual with no car to Haleakalā National Park including both the Summit and Kīpahulu Areas – typically used for bicyclists, hikers and pedestrians. Youth 15 and under are admitted free.

If you arrive at the park at a time when the entrance station is closed, please pay the entrance fee at the automated fee machine using cash.

Sunrise and sunset at Haleakalā

Haleakala Sunrise, Maui, Hawaii

Watching the sunrise over Haleakalā is an incredibly special experience, one which now requires reservations to keep the crowd numbers down. If you want to visit at sunrise, reservations open up online 60 days in advance at recreation.gov.

Sunset at Haleakalā is just as beautiful and requires no reservations.

Before sunrise and after sunset the temperatures plunge dramatically, so you will need to pack extra layers like coats, beanies, gloves and possibly even blankets if you plan to visit then.

Get more information about sunrise at Haleakalā here.

Haleakala Visitor Center and Pa Kaoao Trail

Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii

Elevation: 9,740 ft. (2969 m.)

Features: Ranger Station, Wheelchair Accessible, Restrooms, Water
 

This small Visitor Center is perched right at the edge of a cliff. Leave your car here to walk the Pa Kaoao Trail, which leads 100 ft. (30 m.) up to an overlook with a remarkable view. The change in altitude on this short trail is very noticeable.

 

Puu ulaula Summit

Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii

Elevation: 10,023 ft. (3,055 m.)

 
Features: Wheelchair Accessible Drive up to Haleakala’s highest point, Puu ulaula Summit, to enjoy 360-degree views of the alien Haleakala landscape. This is the spot to stick around and watch the sun set from.

Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii
Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii
Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii

Important information before driving up to Haleakalā

  • Dress warmly. Be prepared for all kinds of weather. Temperatures at the Summit are at least 20 degrees colder than at sea level and often drop below freezing.
  • Fill up your gas tank and bring food. Neither are available in the park.
  • Bring water, sunscreen, and wear sturdy shoes.
  • Pay the entrance fee with a credit card.
  • Always respect speed limits. The park road goes through endangered species habitat.
  • Please leave natural resources and cultural artefacts, rocks, and structures alone.
  • No climbing/ walking off the marked trails as this can destroy habitats and scare wildlife.
  • Please be quiet and respectful. The Summit is sacred to Native Hawaiians.
  • The Summit is remote. Emergency medical assistance is at least one hour away.

Safety information care of nps.gov

Haleakalā National Park, Maui, Hawaii: Driving To The Summit

Surfing Goat Dairy, Maui Hawaii

Surfing Goat Dairy, Maui, Hawaii

Surfing Goat Dairy

Surfing Goat Dairy is a dairy farm located on the slopes of Maui’s Haleakala Crater in lower Kula, Hawaii. It produces more than two dozen goat cheeses, many of which have won national awards and are used by hotels and restaurants on the island.

Surfing Goat Dairy, Maui, Hawaii

The dairy was was established in 1998 by German expatriates Thomas and Eva Kafsack.

Surfing Goat Dairy, Maui, Hawaii

Visitors are welcome to drop by the dairy and try the cheeses or meet the goats near the main office. I highly recommend taking a daily tour. The walking tours last for 30 minutes and take visitors around the working farm and dairy.

Surfing Goat Dairy, Maui, Hawaii

Meet the working dairy goats, dogs, and cats, see the modern milking machines and try some goat cheese. The most fun of course is feeding and petting the goats.

Surfing Goat Dairy, Maui, Hawaii
When we visited in November 2018 the tour cost $8 for kids 2-12 years old & $12 for adults. Reservations are recommended however we just showed up and went on the next tour. It certainly is a very unique Hawaiian experience!

Surfing Goat Dairy, Maui, Hawaii

Surfing Goat Dairy, Maui, Hawaii

We also bought extra cheese platters to sample while we were visiting, which included some highly unusual flavours of hard and soft goat cheese.

Surfing Goat Dairy, Maui, Hawaii

Surfing Goat Dairy
3651 Omaopio Rd, Kula
surfinggoatdairy.com

Hotel Review: Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas
Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas

The Westin Kā‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas is located on Maui’s Kā‘anapali’s North Beach. The resort offers studio and one bedroom villas, which can be combined to make a two bedroom villa, and amenities that provide guests with a home away from home.

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

We stayed in a Studio Island View room with a king bed and sofa bed. An additional rollaway bed can be added for $30USD per night. The room was extremely large, with huge bathroom and oversized bathtub plus seperate shower, double vanities, a light-up mirror and hair dryer.

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

The big drawcard for us with Westin Kā‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas was their amazing kitchen, washing machine and dryer, making it it the perfect place to base yourself for an extended stay, cool your own meals and wash your own clothes. There’s even an ironing board and iron in the cupboard, and a vacuum!

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

The kitchen features coffee maker / tea service, refrigerator, stovetop, microwave, dishwasher, dish cleaning supplies, silverware, pots, pans, and serving dishes, dishes and glasses. We found our supplies topped up during our stay as well.

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

The Westin Kā‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas offers six outdoor pools, with two dedicated to children’s pools and one for adults only.

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

The resort is absolutely massive, spread over 25 acres and divided into north and south towers. The main lobby and facilities are in the south tower however the north tower also has a lobby, booking desk, restaurants and its own pools.

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Outside each lobby is a decorative pool with koi carp fish that are entrancing to watch. Guests can watch the fish being fed daily.

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

We were in the north tower near the car park and it did take quite a long time to walk from our room down to the pools or lobby and other facilities.

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Guests are able to use the facilities in either tower, and we had a lot of fun trying the different pools. At each pool there is a store offering free towels and sunscreen for guests, beach rentals such as snorkels and free pool items like floats and noodles. They also sell items like sunglasses and goggles.

North Lobby pools below

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

South Lobby pool below

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas

A highlight for smaller kids is the children’s pool with a pirate ship which is located in the south tower. There is a children’s playground near the pool, and the Westin Family Kid’s Club is also located nearby.

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

The Westin Family Kid’s Club features daily activities for an additional fee. Activities include arts, crafts and learning about Hawaiian Culture.

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas

The Westin also celebrates Hawaiian culture at their Pu’uhonua Cultural Center where a series of fun programs are run for guests by a team of resort Cultural Specialists. Lessons include lei-making, chanting, tapa design, talk story sessions and Hawaiian language classes. Some lessons are free and some attract a fee. We took the hula dancing class which was free and really fun.

We also caught a hula dancing performance one afternoon, performed by local children studying Hawaiian dancing. It was great to see entertainment such as this at the resort.

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

There are plenty of restaurants to choose from around the resort. We chose to dine in our own room for much of our stay, but we did try Auntie’s Kitchen for breakfast one morning, a casual poolside restaurant next to the South Lobby. The restaurant serves meals all day, specialising in traditional and island-style comfort foods made from local, farm-fresh ingredients. Breakfast is a buffet affair.

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

We also tried Pailolo Bar & Grill, one evening while watching the sunset over the beach. The Grill is a casual, oceanfront sports bar, serving meals such as burgers, sandwiches and salads.

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

The resort features other amenities we discovered such as outdoor games areas and BBQs. There are two small general stores on the property, one in each lobby, where guests can buy basic items, pre-made food and coffee and souvenirs.

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas

The next resort on the beach the Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, the newest property in the set. Guests at the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas are welcome to use the resort facilities at Nanea as well. We thought the pools at Nanea were the best of the three resorts so used them several times.

Westin Nanea Ocean Resort Villas

The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, Ka'anapali, Maui, Hawaii

The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, Ka'anapali, Maui, Hawaii

The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, Ka'anapali, Maui, Hawaii

The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, Ka'anapali, Maui, Hawaii

The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, Ka'anapali, Maui, Hawaii

The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, Ka'anapali, Maui, Hawaii

The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, Ka'anapali, Maui, Hawaii

A breathtaking backdrop to the resorts is Ka’anapali Beach. It’s a long stretch of beautiful coast, with a reef right off it that offers fantastic snorkelling. Lots of fish and even turtles can be seen right outside the hotels.

Kaanapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Kaanapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas
6 Kai Ala Dr, Lahaina
Online

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas

Top Tips For Visiting The Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

The Maui Ocean Center is an aquarium and oceanography center located on the island of Maui, Hawaii, and is the largest tropical reef aquarium in the Western Hemisphere.

The Maui Ocean Center mission is to foster understanding, wonder, and respect for Hawaii’s marine life with local residents and visitors from around the world. The center is home to many of Hawaii’s unique marine life, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.

Take the behind the scenes tour

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

The one-hour guided tour takes you into the Aquarium Lab to learn about sharks and turtles and how the centre cares for marine life. We touched coral, jelly fish and learned about how the centre will be evolving in the future to become a turtle rescue facility. The highlights were assisting in turtle feedings both behind the scenes and at Turtle Lagoon in the aquarium, plus feeding the fish at Nursery Bay.

Appropriate for ages 5 and up. Space is limited to 12 guests, advance reservations recommended.https://mauioceancenter.com/product/behind-the-scenes-tour/

Meet the barracuda

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

This fish who loves shiny things can be found in Nursery Bay. He really does love shiny objects and loves to stalk visitors observing him.

Visit the Turtle Lagoon

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Our favourite part of the aquarium! This is the spot to meet Hawaiian green sea turtles, with a top and underwater view. Native to Hawaii, the green sea turtle is the largest hard-shelled sea turtle in the world. Up to six sea turtles on display at all times. The centre is part of a breeding program and receives turtles as babies to grow in the aquarium until they are old enough and big enough to be released into the wild.

Learn about Hawaiians and the sea

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

We really enjoyed this educational area. The “Hawaiians and the Sea” exhibit celebrates the culture and traditions of early Hawaiians and teaches visitors about the history, culture, and unique traditions of the early Hawaiian villages.

Immerse yourself under water

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

We were mesmerised by the “Open Ocean” exhibit, a 750,000-gallon exhibit with 240-degree view acrylic tunnel. The exhibit features up to six species of sharks, numerous stingrays, and hundreds of fish.

Go into the reef

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

The “Living Reef” exhibit is home to one of the world’s largest display of live rare and endemic Pacific corals, with over 40 Hawaiian coral species that range from the shallow to deep reef environments.

Get educated about Kaho‘olawe

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

The smallest of the Hawaiian islands, Kaho‘olawe is a sacred place to Native Hawaiians. The  “Kaho‘olawe: A Story of History and Healing” exhibit gives insight into the island’s history, its role in navigation and the marine life that inhabit its waters.

Encounter Humpback whales

An immersive new exhibit, “Humpbacks of Hawaii Exhibit & Sphere: An underwater encounter” takes visitors under the sea to explore the their world, learn their secrets, and discover the dynamic life, journeys and social bonds of these intelligent and spiritual creatures.

Collect a Kids Passport

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

The free passport was a lot of fun! It takes families on a scavenger hunt around the aquarium to find the various Hawaiian symbols and rub them into passport. Upon completion kids can collect a small prize, but honestly the collection of the symbols and learning what each meant was so much fun the prize wasn’t necessary.

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii
192 Maalaea Rd, Wailuku
Hours: Daily, 9am-5pm
mauioceancenter.com
Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

We were hosted at the Maui Ocean Centre. All opinions are my own.

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

When visiting Hawaii, the Polynesian Cultural Center, located on the northern shore of Oahu, is a must-see to fully experience the cultural diversity of the Pacific Island community.

The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) is a Polynesian-themed theme park and living museum, featuring six Pacific Island villages, exhibits and activities. The PCC offers an authentic luau dining experience and award-winning evening show “Hā: Breath of Life”, making it an all-day educational and entertaining experience that is perfectly suited for the entire family.

Set on 42 acres, tThe six island villages representing the unique island cultures of Hawaii, Fiji, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Samoa, Tahiti, and Tonga, tied together by a vibrant daily Canoe Pageant.

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center

Arrive early and visit the Hukilau Marketplace 

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

The Hukilau Marketplace is located outside the PCC and is packed with food stalls and souvenir stands. It opens at 11am and is free to enter – and the parking is free, too. Inside the PCC the food options are snack stands or the luaus, so if you need proper food and aren’t doing a luau or want lunch, the Hukilau Marketplace is your best bet.

Hit up the Polynesian Cultural Center when it opens

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultual Center Oahu Hawaii

The PCC opens at 12pm but most people arrive a few hours later, which makes it hard to fit in all the activities. Arriving at 12pm not only means that you have enough time to experience everything, but also that the first few hours are free of crowds.

Grab a Passport to Polynesia for kids

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

A great way to engage kids, the free Passport to Polynesia is a guidebook to the PCC aimed at little ones.

Look at the schedule – and don’t freak out

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

If you’re a planner and organiser like me, looking at the very detailed schedule of events at the PCC is likely to cause a panic attack. Take a few deep breaths and head around the villages in some kind of order, knowing you will see a lot but not everything, and be ok with that.

Each village alternates a show with activities. We found that you can participate in the activities after the shows, so timed our visits to each village in time to see the shows and then do a quick activity or two before heading to the next. The villages are open from 12-5:30pm.

Go native!

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

The real fun at the PCC is trying your hand at traditional activities such as throwing a spear or learn to cook in an umu (Samoan aboveground oven).

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

We particularly loved learning the Tahitian dance, twirling poi balls and sampling the incredible Tahitian coconut bread. It was so good we went back twice. The “Go Native” experiences let guests try traditional Polynesian aspects of daily life, including games, crafts, cooking and ceremonies.

Take a canoe ride

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

The canoe ride is included in entry and goes from one end of the PCC to the other. You can also paddle your own canoe at the Tongan village. Canoe rides are available from 12-5:30pm.

Watch the spectacular canoe pageant

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

The canoe pageant, which runs daily from 2:30-3pm was a highlight for us. The show is filled with dancing and storytelling, with the cast in incredible traditional dress. We were absolutely wow’d. Note: go to the platform seating area at least 15/20mins ahead of the pageant as otherwise you could struggle to find a seat.

Talk to the performers

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

We highly enjoyed chatting with all of the amazing people who staff the PCC island villages. Many are students from the islands who are studying at the university next door and perform at the PCC as part of an exchange program.

Be prepared for the weather

It can be hot, cold or raining, and the show will go on. Bring a hat, plenty of water and sunscreen and a poncho/umbrella if it looks even slightly like rain.

Witness a wedding

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Another highlight for us was watching the traditional Tahitian wedding ceremony that is on during the afternoons.

Enjoy a traditional luau

There are three luaus to choose from. The Ali’i Luau features traditional Polynesian food and entertainment. Other options include the Prime Rib Buffet, with fine dining in a casual atmosphere, and the Island Buffet, which is served in a dining hall reflecting the islands of the Pacific.

End your day with a bang

The PCC day finishes with the spectacular live show “Ha: Breath of Life”, featuring over 100 performers and Samoan fireknife dancing.

“HA:Breath of Life” Show runs from 7:30pm-9pm, with seating commencing at 7pm. All seats are reserved and advance reservations are highly recommended as this is a very popular show.

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

The Polynesian Cultural Center
Hours: Monday – Saturday (closed Sunday), 11:45am -9:30pm.
55-370 Kamehameha Hwy, Laie
polynesia.com

Looking for more things to do on Oahu? This list of free activities and attractions will help.

We were hosted at the PCC. All opinions are our own.

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

What To Expect When Staying At Aulani A Disney Resort And Spa, Hawaii

What To Expect When Staying At Aulani A Disney Resort & Spa Oahu Hawaii

What To Expect When Staying At Aulani A Disney Resort And Spa, Hawaii

We visited Aulani back in June 2016 and have wanted to return ever since because we loved our holiday so much. You can read the full hotel review from our previous visit here. This time I thought I would do a diary-style write-up to give an idea of what life is like when staying at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa.

We booked our stay using Disney Vacation Club point rentals. You can read more about the DVC point rental system here

Day one: Arrival

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

We fly in late in the afternoon, pick up our car rental and drive to Target at Kapolei Commons for groceries, then head to Aulani, arriving around 5pm.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

When we check in the staff tell us that there are hundreds of Menehune  – the legendary “little people” responsible for mysterious happenings on the islands – hidden all over the resort, so we start what will be a week-long search for these mischievous creatures and find them absolutely everywhere!

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

At check in I inquire about the Disney buttons that we collect from the other Disney resorts. We are in luck and are given buttons for first visit, wedding / anniversary and birthday, plus a special one for Mickey’s 90th birthday.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Our garden-view room is on the 16th floor of the Ewa tower (1671) and features an excellent view of the luau lawn and even some ocean. Inside the room we are given a queen sized bed and a pull-out sofa bed.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The bathroom features a rain shower/tub combo, and we also have a microwave and mini fridge.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

We booked our room using Disney Vacation Club (DVC) rental points. Basically this meant we were able to stay at the hotel for a bit cheaper by “renting” points off someone who owned a timeshare through DVC. DVC members get a range of special benefits – however since we were only renting points and now owners of them, we were only able to benefit from the free daily parking. This saved us $37USD a day so it was an excellent benefit. You can read more about the Disney Vacation Club here and David’s Vacation Rentals (where we rented the points from) here.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Pizza Corner

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After unpacking the basics we walk across the road to grab dinner at Pizza Corner at the Ko Olina Center. At $29 the pizzas are not cheap, but they are huge, big enough for two adults and one kid with still some left over.  We also ordered a $10 pasta – penne and marinara sauce, which was also massive.

Kalepa Store

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

While Alec take Cheese to the room to get her ready for bed, I head down to the Kalepa Store to pick up a PhotoPass card and waterproof wristbands. While the photographers do also hand these out, I like to be prepared. The store stocks general grocery items plus beach supplies and a wealth of Aulani merchandise.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

I can’t resist buying Cheese one of the new Ulu plushies.

Back at the room we watch the luau from our room before heading to bed.

Day 2: Auntie’s Beach House, Meeting Moana and “Menehune Mischief” Character Dinner 

Auntie’s Beach House

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

First up today we check into Auntie’s Beach House, the Kids’ Club at Aulani. I had registered Cheese in advance online but still needed to fill in some extra info when we arrived, as well as getting our photos taken for identification purposes, choosing a secret password for child collecting and getting Cheese’s Kids’ Club wrist band fitted. The wrist band is water proof so it can stay on the entire time you’re at the resort – return it before you leave to get your security deposit back!

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

As it was open house at Auntie’s we went in to take a look around. Auntie’s features two different wings, with dress ups, a movie screening room, arts and crafts tables, a stage and video games. Outside there is a huge yard with a climbing structure and shade cloths.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Auntie’s Beach House is open 8am-9pm daily and is included in your stay – AKA it’s free! Open House is 8am-9:30am daily (no check-ins or drop-offs during this time). Auntie’s is available for drop-offs for kids aged 3 to 12 and all ages during the open house (kids must be accompanied by an adult).

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Pre-register your child at least two days before your arrival here.

Meeting Moana

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After leaving Auntie’s we chanced running into Moana and had a photo taken with her. You can call the hotel character hotline each morning to find out where the characters will be each day and at what time. Some characters come out every day but some only come out every few days.

Swimming in the pools

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Next: pools! We collect our wristband that shows we are guests of the hotel (you need to collect a new wristband daily) and head to the Waikolohe Stream. Waikolohe means “mischievous water” in the Hawaiian language, which is the perfect name for this part of the resort. We grab a donut-shaped tube and jump aboard, letting the gentle current of the lazy river carry us through the Waikolohe Valley.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

We sail past Menahune, rocks, trees and water features, then head up the top of Pu’u Kilo (the volcano-shaped peak in the middle of the pools) to try the two slides. Volcanic Vertical is a single-rider enclosed slide that is extremely fast and deposits you in the Waikolohe Pool below. We prefer the Tubestone Curl, which is an open-air slide that you take while sitting on a tube and can be ridden solo or with a partner. It ends up in the Waikolohe Stream.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

A note on water temperature: Aulani Resort pools are heated year-round. The Waikolohe Stream is approximately 82 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit or 27 to 30 degrees Celsius.

Menehune Bridge

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Next Cheese wants to head to the 2,100 square feet, Menehune Bridge water play space for kids 48 inches in height or shorter. The Menehune Bridge features two water slides, interactive water elements, spinning gourds and a climbing play structure. There are also lots of Menehune hidden everywhere!

Keiki Cove

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

There is a cute toddler play area nearby, Keiki Cove, which is designed for kids aged 5 and under and open to all ages. It features rainbow water jets and more hidden Menehune.

Kakamora Chaos with Moana

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After swimming we drop Cheese off at Auntie’s for her special activity Kakamora Chaos with MoanaThe 90-minute drop-off activity involves playing traditional Hawaiian children’s games with Moana, who teaches her new friends a game from her home island of Motunui—the Kakamora Relay.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Kids also stamp their own take-home oar and also receive a cute little Kakamora luggage tag. Kakamora Chaos with Moana is a premium activity, available Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 12:30 – 2:00pm and costing $59USD plus tax per child. We make sure Cheese has her PhotoPass wrist band on so later we can receive the photos taken at Auntie’s when we collect the PhotoPass disc at the end of our stay.

Off The Hook

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

While Cheese is at Auntie’s, Alec and I enjoy a casual poolside lunch and cocktail at Off The Hook. It’s a basic lunch and we aren’t overly impressed by the food which is soggy and doesn’t taste amazing, but the cocktails are great, so cheers to that!

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

We take a walk around the resort and check out the beautiful beach and facilities. There is a great lagoon walk that runs from the Aulani resort front down south to the Marriot resort. To the right of Aulani is the Four Seasons and where the trail ends. You can walk over the rocks to Paradise Beach next door where turtles are often see in the ocean and on the beach.

Popcorn and Shave Ice

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

I pick up Cheese from Auntie’s after her activity ends and we pick up a popcorn bucket from Ulu Cafe and a Mickey-shaped shave ice from the Papalua Shave Ice stand.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Menehune Mischief Character Dinner and Show 

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Next is dinner and we are booked into the early session of “Menehune Mischief” Character Dinner at Makahiki restaurant. The dinner is a buffet with musical entertainment from “Uncle” and a few Disney Characters. Uncle tells the story of the Menehune – magical little people of Hawaiian legend – with songs and interactive fun for kids, while Disney characters join in and roam around the tables before and afterwards for photos.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The buffet is very meat and seafood heavy with only a few vegetarian options, however the chef very kindly offered to make a few other options for us to eat, which was extremely appreciated.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The food quality was great, especially our custom food. There is a dedicated kids section of the buffet as well as a dessert section. So much food!

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Before and after the meal we met Stitch, Chip and Dale. We also met Donald Duck who was stationed at the entrance to the restaurant.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The Menehune Mischief Character Dinner and Show runs Sunday, Monday and Thursday – 2 shows each day. Show times and seatings are:
Show #1 – 5:15 PM – 6:00 PM
1st Seating – 4:30 PM, 4:45 PM, 5:00 PM – No seating from 5:15 PM to 6:15 PM

Show #2 – 7:15 PM – 8:00 PM
2nd Seating – 6:30 PM, 6:45 PM, 7:00 PM – No seating from 7:15 PM to 8:15 PM

Price for Character Show Dining: Adults: $54USD, Keiki (Ages 3 to 9): $27USD.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Day 3: Paint The Sky Spa, Fish Are Friends, North Shore Drive and KA WA‘A Lū‘au

Paint The Sky Spa

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The day began with a special “makeover” for Cheese. We took her to Painted Sky, the spa facility, to enjoy a HI Style fashion transformation. The “transformation” or “makeover” is suitable for girls and boys aged 3-12 and includes hair styling, clothes and accessories.  There are several options to choose from, with Cheese selecting the Luau Bound option as we were heading to the Luau that evening.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After choosing and changing into her outfit, Cheese selected her hairdo and was seated in the luxe chairs for a fancy new ‘do and a bit of kid-friendly “make-up”. The whole experience took about an hour, and she was thrilled with her new look.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Luau Bound!
Girls
Prices starting at $160 (plus sales and service tax)

Hairstyling
Organic Shimmer Makeup
Aulani Dress
Plumeria Color Changing Necklace
Plumeria Color Changing Bracelet
Aulani Resort Flower Clip Set

Fish Are Friends

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Once the “transformation” is complete, I drop Cheese off at Auntie’s again for the Fish Are Friends premium activity. During the activity Cheese learns about the colourful fish of Hawaii including how the animal specialists train, feed and care for the marine life at Aulani Resort. The highlight for the kids is preparing fish food and feed it to the fish. During the three-hour activity, kids are fed lunch. Since Cheese is a pescatarian I enquire about the meals and was thrilled that they not only made sure to cater for her, but that the chef also gave me a call to make sure we were happy with the food they would be serving her. Really thoughtful.

All the kids took home a “Fish Are Friends” logo cinch bag with a DVD of Disneynature Oceans and a water bottle.

Fish are Friends is available Monday and Friday and runs from 11:00am – 2:00pm. Cost: $69 plus tax per child, lunch included.

North Shore Drive

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

While Cheese was at Auntie’s, Alec and I went for a drive up the North Shore for lunch. It’s a long way to get there, about an hour to an hour and a half in each direction, so it was a long drive for a quick lunch, but also nice to spend some time together. We stopped in Haleiwa for delicious acai bowls at Hale’iwa Bowls and checked out Waimea Bay before driving back to the resort.

KA WA‘A – A Lū‘au

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After picking up Cheese from Auntie’s it was time to head to the KA WA‘A Lū‘au. We selected the VIP Package from the options as we wanted a table that was closer to the front. The whole VIP area was sold out on the night we attended and consisted of the front four rows, so I was glad that we had selected this option.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The KA WA‘A Lū‘au is a beautiful evening of storytelling and singing, with Hawaiian stories brought to life on stage. Held on the Hālāwai Lawn, the festivities begin at 5pm with seating and pre-show activities.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Tables are assigned however not the seats at the individual tables, so I advise lining up earlier to get the best seats possible at your table. We lined up at 4:40pm and were second to our table, which meant while we had a decent view, there were still heads right in front of us we had to dodge around to see.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

As VIP we receive an “upgraded lei” which was really quite fancy and we are really happy to be taking them home. We also receive unlimited alcoholic drinks as part of our package and enjoy an evening full of cocktails.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The pre-show activities include traditional arts such as kapa printing, flower arranging, temporary kakau tattoos, ukulele playing and paʻi ai taro pounding. The activities are really fun and we do some of them twice before the luau introduction and welcome begins.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The buffet opens before the show, and we enjoy a wide variety of food. It’s also very meat heavy as you would expect, but there are still plenty of things for vegetarians to eat among the tables filled with seafood, salads and the carving station, plus the chef very kindly makes me a special pasta dish incase I couldn’t find enough to eat at the buffet. There is a special table just for kids with things like mac and cheese and Moana cupcakes, and an entire dessert table with cakes and fruit.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The show is fantastic. Beautifully told stories accompanied by talented dancers and singers. Some numbers are breathtakingly beautiful and the fire dancing leaves us in awe. There are several interactive moments for the kids, including a section where they learn the hula and at the end where they are invited to play instruments up on stage with the cast. Afterwards we have the opportunity to take photos with the wonderful cast on the way out.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

VIP Seating – $169 Adults/$109 Keiki (ages 3 through 9). There is no charge for keiki under 3.*
General Admission – $129 Adults/$79 Keiki (ages 3 through 9). There is no charge for keiki under 3.**

Beginning May 1, 2019, the seating package prices are changed to the following:

VIP Seating – $179 Adults/$109 Keiki (ages 3 through 9). There is no charge for keiki under 3.
General Admission – $139 Adults/$89 Keiki (ages 3 through 9). There is no charge for keiki under 3.

VIP Guests receive early check-in, priority up-front seating, complimentary beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and an enhanced welcome lei.

Day 4: Swimming pools, Ukulele playing and the Ko Olina Center

After a morning walk, I line up at the Pau Hana Room to sign up for ukulele class.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After collecting the sleepyheads, we start the day off with swimming in the Ka Maka Grotto, which is stunning infinity pool overlooking Ko Olina Beach and an incredibly cool grotto attached, which has a whirlpool spa.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Then it’s off to Cheese’s fave, the  Waikolohe Stream, where we float around in tubes until it’s time for lunch.

Island Vintage Coffee

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Today we head across the road to the Ko Olina Center for bagels at Island Vintage Coffee. I get a vegetarian one that is overflowing with sprouts, tomato and avocado. They have great options for kids and also fantastic iced tea.

Two Scoops Ice Cream Parlour

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Since it’s hot we stop at the Two Scoops Ice Cream parlour next door before heading back to the resort.

Ho‘okani Pila – Learn the ‘Ukulele

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

In the afternoon we head to ‘ukulele class and learn the history of several Hawaiian instruments as well as the basic four chords on the ‘ukulele. By the end of the class we are able to play several popular songs, much to my amazement. We decide to buy our own ‘ukulele to take home after the class, we love it so much.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The 45 minute class is free and books up fast. I suggest lining up at 8am to book it in.

Menehune Adventure Trail

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Next we sign out a tablet for the Menehune Adventure Trail at the Pau Hana community center, a free high-tech scavenger hunt around the resort. There are two trails, one short one in the lobby and one longer one outside in the resort grounds. Using the tablet we solve riddles, discover magic and have a really great time. The Menehune Adventure Trail is only available at certain times of day – ask at the community center for the updated hours. The scavenger hunt is best suited to older kids due to the difficulty of the clues, but younger kids can also enjoy it with the help of their parents.

Monkeypod Kitchen

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

For dinner we head back across to the Ko Olina Center to our fave restaurant in the area, Monkeypod Kitchen. The food is always excellent and they have options for kids as well as vegetarians (not a lot, but at least some!). We always dine here when we come to Oahu.

Day 5: Aunty’s Breakfast Celebration at the Makahiki, animation class

Aunty’s Breakfast Celebration at the Makahiki

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After signing up for animation class at the Pua Hana community center, it’s time for
Aunty’s Breakfast Celebration at the Makahiki, AKA the character breakfast. Mickey awaits outside for a photo op, while inside awaits a buffet breakfast, roaming Disney characters, singing and entertainment.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The buffet breakfast includes a custom omelette station, pancakes, waffles, French toast, fruits, Asian offerings, house-baked pastries, lots of sliced meats, plus a dedicated kids section. The excellent server brings me iced tea after iced tea, which is all included in the price.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Disney character roam around the room – Minnie and Goofy both visit our table.

“Auntie” leads the entertainment with singing and interactive fun for the kids including musical instruments and parading around the room. The breakfast is a really fun experience that we highly enjoy – it’s the third time we’ve done it!

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Price Adults: $41USD, Keiki (Ages 3 to 9): $21USD. The Mickey photos are separate from the PhotoPass and have to be purchased separately.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Waikolohe Valley pool

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After breakfast we hit up the Waikolohe Valley pool area for a swim. It’s a beautiful lagoon pool with a graduating slope leading in, perfect for little kids.

Disney Family Fun Animation

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Next is animation class, another free class that goes for an hour and includes learning to draw a Disney character in pencil, and then painting an animation cell.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The class is really fun and all three of us really enjoy it.

Character meet and greets

Earlier in the day I called the character hotline and found out where Pluto and Daisy would be meeting guests later in the day. The characters are popular to meet so I suggest lining up a few minutes before the scheduled meeting times.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Daisy and other “minor” characters aren’t scheduled every day so get in to see her quickly if she’s a fave of yours. She is one of the most fun characters to meet (along with Stitch) and always makes us laugh.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Pluto is another favourite and will often try to “lick” or sniff guests.

Sunset on the beach

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

We have a lazy afternoon and head down to the beach to watch the sunset. Every evening around sunset, Disney PhotoPass photographers can be found on the waters edge taking photos on request. We pose for some photos before heading out to dinner across the road at Monkeypod again.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Day 6: Pools, Characters, Kāpala Ki’i t-shirt stamping and sunset at ‘AMA‘AMA

I sign us up for Kāpala Ki’i  t-shirt stamping at 8am, then we all swim for the last time in the beautiful Aulani pools. After our swim we head to Island Vintage Coffee one last time for lunch.

Kāpala Ki’i t-shirt stamping

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Our next activity today is Kāpala Ki’i t-shirt stamping, where guests stamp their own designs on white T-shirts based on the art of Native Hawaiian kapa printing. The stamps are nice big blocks, easy to stamp with, so it’s an ideal activity to do with kids and take home a really unique souvenir of your stay. The price for this activity is adult $15 per shirt plus tax and kids $12 per shirt plus tax, and the class runs for around 30 minutes.

Chip and Dale

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

While leaving the community center with our wet tees we see Chip and Dale arriving for a character meet and greet.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

It’s a great photo op so we ditch the tees in our room and run back in time to get a photo with the mischievous pair.

Mickey and Minnie

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

We’ve had many Mickey and Minnie photos in our time with the characters separately, but never together, so this was a great opportunity to get a shot with both iconic characters together.

‘AMA‘AMA – Contemporary Island Cooking

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

For our last day at Aulani we book a sunset dinner at ‘AMA’AMA, the upmarket restaurant within the resort, overlooking the beach.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The view is sensational and it’s the ideal spot to watch the sun go down. I am delighted to discover the restaurant has an entire vegetarian menu as well as kids’ options, so we are more than well catered for.

Mo‘olelo Fire Pit Storytelling

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

While we eat, we watch the Mo‘olelo Fire Pit Storytelling right outside the restaurant, with a special visit from Moana. Moana only comes to some of the storytellings, not all, and there is no way to know which one she will show up to. Lucky us!

Sunset photos

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

It becomes clear that sunset this night is going to be extraordinary, so we head back down to the beach to get some more photos with the Disney PhotoPass photographers.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

What a way to end our amazing week at Aulani!

To purchase your PhotoPass photos, head to Kālepa’s Store at the end of your stay. Once the CD is printed no more photos can be added to the disc.

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
92-1185 Ali’inui Dr, Kapolei, HI 96707
disneyaulani.com

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

 

Read more about our most recent stay at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa here.

Read a full review of Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa here.

Read a full review of the Grand Californian Hotel here.

Get tips for Disneyland first-timers here.

Read about celebrating Halloween at Disneyland here.

Find out about celebrating the holidays at Disneyland here.

Read about saving money at Disney hotels by using the DVC Point Rental System here.

Thinking about a Disney cruise? Here’s why you should!

Get Disney Cruise planning tips & tricks here

Sail to Alaska aboard the Disney Wonder here.

Hawaii Disney-style: Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

Back in 2012 my family and I met for Christmas in Hawaii, specifically the Ko Olina resort area. We rented an apartment on the beach, in a complex right along the waterfront from a brand new resort that was just opening to the public. The resort was Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, and it was still under construction. Nevertheless, we were extremely impressed with the facilities of the hotel, even half finished – so impressed that we planned to fly back for a holiday when our daughter was old enough to make use of the pools and activities, at age 4.

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

We returned recently to Hawaii and made good on our promise to stay at Aulani. The hotel sits on 21 oceanfront acres, between gorgeous mountains and the quiet Kohola Lagoon. It’s about a 30-45 minute drive out of Waikiki – close enough to drive back in if you want to go shopping or exploring, and far enough away to be removed from the crowds in that main tourist area.

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

Aulani is a big resort, with 351 hotel rooms, including 16 suites, 481 Disney Vacation Club units, 2 restaurants, 3 lounges and several quick-service dining venues. It also features a spa, fitness centre, Aunty’s Beach House kids club, Painted Sky teen spa, pools, waterslides, water play areas and more. It’s the kind of place you can stay at for a week and never need to leave the resort. I never used to be a “resort” person, but now I have a small child, a place where the whole family can enjoy themselves effortlessly is the perfect place for us to take a holiday.

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

“Aulani” means “messenger of a chief” in Hawaiian – and really sets the tone for the resort. While it is, indeed, a “Disney” resort, the emphasis is firstly on being Hawaiian, with a touch of Disney. Around the resort you will see about 90% Hawaiian decorations and design vs 10% Disney – mostly small motifs and the occasional nod to Mickey Mouse.

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

The resort was intentionally designed to reflect Hawaiian traditions, and also offers guests many Hawaiian-inspired experiences, such as fireside storytelling, the Starlit Hui—an evening celebration of Hawaiian traditions and Disney storytelling, Hawaiian activities and crafts, including hula and lei-making classes.

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

Select Disney characters show up all over the resort – mostly Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, Goofy, with the occasional appearance by Stitch, Chip & Dale and Duffy (Mickey’s bear). Mickey-themed ice creams, pretzels, and other snacks are available in all the snack bars, and Disney-themed activities are run alongside the traditional Hawaiian ones.

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

Upon entering the resort, we were presented with traditional Hawaiian leis and necklaces, which really set the tone for our trip. Hawaiian – with a touch of Disney.

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

We stayed in an ocean view suite, which had a queen bed and fold out couch, plus a microwave, bar fridge and sink. It was a small room, but since we didn’t plan on spending much time in it, it was fine for our purposes. The view from our balcony was spectacular.

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

The hotel as free wifi throughout it, which I really appreciated.

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

Aulani is absolutely the most family-friendly hotel I have ever stayed at. A combination of their facilities plus activities and friendly staff make it the perfect place for an extended (or brief!) family holiday.

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

The resort features several pools varying in depth. Several of them are very shallow, plus an infinity pool and adult-only pools. Little kids can also enjoy two water play areas with fountains – one for young toddlers/babies, and one for kids under 42 inches tall (122cm).

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

Kids who are confident swimmers (or confident with floaties) can snorkel in the man-made tub/mini reef. And then there is also the beach! A shallow, gentle lagoon that is perfect for kids.

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

My daughter’s favourite water play was the tube slide and the Waikolohe Stream, or lazy river, which wasn’t so lazy as she jumped in and out of the tubes and swam the majority of the river with the current.

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

When the sun wore us out, there were plenty of indoor activities to keep us occupied, with the favourite being the Disney Animation drawing and painting class.

Parents wanting time to themselves can drop kids aged 3-12 off at the free kids club. We decided not to use the kids club on this occasion, but I did take a look and it was incredibly clean and full of great activities for kids. Tweens and teens are catered for too, with a special club for them, too.

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

Every morning the daily ‘IWA is released – a sheet filled with activities for families to do together, kids to do on their own in the kids club, or for adults, like “sunrise yoga”. The activities were incredibly popular, so in order to secure a spot at the events with limited numbers, it’s suggested that you line up either at 7:45am for the family activities or 7:30am for the kids club ones, particularly on weekends when they are the most popular. We missed out on the activities we wanted at first as I didn’t realise the registration system, and had to wake my jet lagged self up early the next morning to get in the queue to lock in our spots for the animation drawing class and ukulele class.

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

The animation drawing class was my favourite activity during our stay. the first part of the class was spent learning to draw a Disney character on paper, and the second involved painting an animation cell. It was really fun and inclusive of all abilities.

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

Cheese really enjoyed the “Menehune Adventure Trail” which was a particularly clever scavenger hunt around the resort using an interactive tablet. I wasn’t prepared for the resort to interact back with us on the hunt – we woke the volcano, caused streams to erupt, set fire to lamps and spooked the tiny kids in the toddler water play area when we set off loud noises and a water jet pattern. Cheese was delighted with the magic we found on the resort.

If you need some down time in your room, guests are invited to pick up a few free DVD rentals – all Disney of course – or a board game.

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

The last highlight for our family on the trip was the character breakfast with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy. At $32 per adult and $18 per child over age 3, it’s a pricey breakfast. The food was pretty good – the fresh omelette station produced delicious food, and the fruit was incredible, but it still came to over $100 for breakfast for the three of us, with only Minnie and Goofy in the dining room (Mickey stayed outside for photos).

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

Minnie was a sweetheart, coming to see us several times and really making an effort to interact with our enthralled daughter, but Goofy was a tough one to catch. It took us a while to flag him down as he bolted past our table, and even then we had a few seconds to try and get a photo before he bolted off again. It would have been nice for the cost to have additional characters like Stitch, Donald Duck and Chip and Dale since we knew they were on the resort.

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

The only down side to our stay was the food. We found the resort food limited and expensive. The two main restaurants were either an expensive buffet at Makahiki ($49.99 per adult) or the “fine dining” option, Ama Ama, which was way out of our budget for daily dining.

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

Being a vegetarian made it even worse – there was pretty much only pizza or a single veggie burger that I was able to eat. Even the salads mostly had meat in them!

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

We ate several of our meals off the resort at the little shopping complex across the road where we found a cafe and restaurant with additional choices (particularly for this vegetarian!), as well as an ABC Market where we bought basic groceries like yoghurts, fruit, cereal and so on so we didn’t need to eat every meal in a restaurant. (See the pic above for an example of a meal we found at the cafe across the road).

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

Our stay at Aulani just what we needed it to be – a relaxing time for us to bond as a family. Hawaii has always been a special place for us, with my husband and I travelling the islands during our honeymoon, and also bringing Cheese here when she was a toddler. It’s still a very special, wonderful island that we love deeply. Aulani lived up to our very high expectations as the perfect family getaway. We can’t wait to return. Aloha!

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me
aulani

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me
aulani

Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me Disney Aulani Resort & Spa via christineknight.me

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
92-1185 Ali’inui Dr, Kapolei, HI 96707

Christmas in Hawaii

We decided to fly to Hawaii for Christmas and meet my family there instead of flying back to Australia. I booked us a three-bedroom suite at a resort in Ko Olina, right on the waterfront.

The flight was brutal – 10 hours straight. Eloise napped just once and then was awake for 12 hours straight.

It’s a miracle, she’s asleep!

The resort and beach were so beautiful. Ko Olina was a little piece of paradise. We spent most days walking around the beaches, swimming in the ocean and pools.

Checking out the beach for the first time since she was four months old in Sydney.

Pure joy.

Ocean!

Walking by the beach with Daddy.

Beach with my Cheese.

Decided she loves the beach.

Hey beach baby!

We also did the toddler dolphin experience at Dolphin Quest. It was wonderful to meet dolphins with Eloise. It totally blew her mind. She was fascinated by them, and has been saying “dolph!” and pointing to pictures of them since.

Dolphins!

View from the balcony.

Sunset.

One thing I really wanted to do was the Disney character breakfast at Aulani. It was so much fun! A decent buffet breakfast with a great omelet station, Minnie Mouse and Goofy wandering around to the tables for meet and greets and photo ops. Every so often, “Auntie” would strike up music and sing cute Hawaiian-y songs, handing out instruments and leading the kids in a parade around the restaurant. Eloise was in absolute heaven.

Disney breakfast at Aulani resort.

Alec and I had a few hours to ourselves one day so went for a drive to Mokule’ia Beach, where Lost was filmed. It was stunning – a pure white sand beach with almost no one in site for miles.

Mokule’ia Beach, Oahu

We also went on an easy hike one day with Tim and Michele up to Diamond Head. It had an amazing view of Honolulu.

View from Diamond Head.

I also got up super early one morning to see Pearl Harbour with Michele. It was a sobering experience to be there and see the sunken Arizona ship.

Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbour.

Even though I get really sea sick pretty much just by looking at boats, I thought it would be a fun idea to get on a boat and go snorkelling and whale watching. True to form, I felt ill the entire time, but we did see about 10 Humpback whales.

Humpback whales spotting.

We went for a stroll through Waimea Valley. It was really beautiful – a little too manicured, but some amazing plants.

Crazy antics.

Waimea Valley.

We also went on the Ranch and Movie tour at Kualoa Ranch, where a lot of movies and TV shows have been filmed. I loved the tour – especially seeing where Jurassic Park was filmed for the famous scene with the log below.

Jurassic Park filming location, Kualoa Ranch.

It was really strange being somewhere other than in Warwick Farm for Christmas morning. It was really lovely, but also really strange! My first Christmas not in Warwick Farm in my life so far. We had breakfast at the neighbouring Marriott resort, followed by present opening and relaxing.

Christmas morning with my baby.

Christmas palm tree.

Family shot, Christmas Day.

What a wonderful trip! It was so great to see my family all together. Hawaii is paradise – can’t wait to go back again.

Hawaii Shopping

I wasn’t planning on doing a post on my Hawaii shopping, but Beverly wanted to see my purchases, so here we are. I reserved basically all shopping till the last day and went a bit berserk at the outlets and Alo Moana Centre. Thanks Alec for your supreme patience…

Honeymoon gift from the Hawai’ian mothership.

New charms from Juicy Couture.

This fab bag from LeSportsac was 50% off and served as my extra bag to bring my loot home.

Tissue and make-up pouch from LeSportsac.

Cute little money and travel pouch.

Little evening bag from the Coach outlet.

I love the logo.

Some interesting looking sandals from Crocs.

Overload at Sephora and Mac.

Urban Decay eyeshadow primer – it’s amazing!

Laura Mercier make-up – I’ve been wanting to try it for a while. So far, it’s fantastic.

Body wash from Philosophy. It smells fantastic.

My fave mascara from Fiberwig. Pricey, but looks great and doesn’t smudge.