Some families, like our own, need to do some extra planning when it comes to finding activities the whole fam can enjoy. Our son absolutely loves places that are quiet, and calm and carry some level of predictability and freedom to explore. These are our go-to spots to enjoy on the weekend or when school is out of session!
Sensory-friendly Maui family activities
- Maui Ocean Center
We LOVE the aquarium! At the time of writing this post, you’ll need a reservation to book in your aquarium visit. This works out pretty well as crowds are reduced. We like to get in early and take our time watching the various fishes and visiting the exhibits! When you get out of the car, be prepared for wind. Ma’alaea Harbor is the second windiest harbor in the world! This means that you’ll need to hold on to your hats/masks/small children 😉 when exiting the vehicle, and watch that car door. If you see yourself visiting a few times during your stay OR you visit Maui mutliple times per year, get a membership. You’ll save money and enjoy added perks and contribute to a good cause!
Lights in the aquarium are kept dim, and our son loves sitting down to watch the jellyfish exhibit.
This has been one of our family’s absolute favorite places to visit for years. Buy a bag of duck food to feed the ducks (if you go in the early morning, be prepared for them to be ready to eat aka super friendly aka feed them or prepare to run). While our kids are too young to zipline, we like to sit on the bench under the zipline and enjoy a coffee from their coffee shop while watching the people fly high above.
A nice, relaxing activity would be to book a Tropical Express Tour, a super cruisy way to enjoy the surrounding farm and learn more about the grounds. One thing I will say is the speaker on the train can be pretty loud to ears that are extra sensitive to sound, so remember headphones just in case.
3. Ultimate Air Trampoline Park
Ultimate Air have sensory and special needs jump hours on Tuesdays from 2pm. There is a reduced admissions fee for jumpers and those accompanying and the music is kept much softer for a more relaxed atmosphere. Our kids love this place! Book online in advance and check in with the front desk when you get there to grab some jump socks.
4. Iao Valley
A beautiful and peaceful place to enjoy the morning and take in the area’s incredible beauty and tranquility. Do not stray from hiking paths. There is an entry fee for all in your vehicle over the age of 3. Please check the website for current fees. If you’re not looking for a hike up to the monument (which is very low-impact and fully paved), we suggest having a picnic just below at Kepaniwai Park, which offers a beautiful area for enjoying family and taking in the natural environment. There is no admission fee for Kepaniwai Park.
There’s so much to see on the island of Maui, and a drive to the beautiful upcountry has to be on your list! Besides offering a farm stand with local produce, Kula Country Farms has a pumpkin patch during the month of October (reservations required), and strawberry picking starting in February. Pumpkins and strawbs aside, the view itself is worth the drive!
If you have any sensory-friendly Maui family activities to add to the list, we’d love to hear them! Let us know here, and enjoy planning your stay!