Monday, October 12, 2015

Hawaii Off the Beaten Path with Toddlers, Babies, Little Kids, and Vegan Food

Just a couple weeks ago, we enjoyed a trip to Hawaii with our 3 year old and our 6 month old. I know Hawaii isn't the first place you think of visiting with a baby or little kids, but the deal was too good to pass up. As it turns out, the great thing about traveling with the little ones is that you can visit tourist hotspots while the rest of the families are back in school. Although traveling with little kids can be tough, we had a ton of fun and explored our way around the island stopping to enjoy a variety of less touristy activities many of which are free, fun, vegan, or have vegan food to boot!

With our Threenager and teething baby in tow, we checked into the beautiful Outrigger Reef Resort right on Waikiki Beach. If you read our previous post, you'll know that we didn't go with a ton of cash and with the little kids, we weren't planning on doing terribly adventurous activities.

Luckily for us, our hotel had a lot going on to entertain us and we could relax. We really liked how our room balcony was directly over the pool and entertainment. When you are traveling with little kids, you should make sure you have a nice view from your balcony or someplace the adults can sit after the kids are asleep. Our pool had live entertainment every night. We either went down with the kids or put them to bed early (on-time) and sat on the balcony with wine to enjoy live music.

The Outrigger also has a lovely acai bowl and Bloody Mary breakfast I highly recommend as the ultimate vegan (hold the honey on the bowl) breakfast combo.

The boys were nuts over the Papaya juice and pancakes. I like to bring the travel stroller to the pool because it is a great place for the baby to sit and play safely as well as keep her out of the sun.

This pool had a large covered area that kept our fair kiddos protected and the pool is covered by the hotel shadow until late morning so no sunscreen needed!

I'm relaxing more and more at this point...

You can play on the beach right behind our hotel. It is literally built steps away from the ocean. There's a jetty that is abundant with crabs and other wildlife and we saw a giant sea turtle in the water lapping against a sea wall.

There are rentals and water activities that you can book out on the beach at a kiosk. There is a Subway and shave ice place right inside the hotel next door and the Outrigger boasts one restaurant right on the ocean and one next to the pool.

We also visited Whole Foods a quick drive away and filled our fridge with healthy food and snacks before we set out to explore this island.

Exploring and eating healthy vegan food with little kids

Sharks Point - This is the perfect place for little kids to snorkel or just get their faces in the water with a pair of goggles on. The water isn't deep and there is a large area that is protected from the waves by rock. eat at the gluten free place. I recommend bringing water shoes, especially for the little ones, here, because the ground is rocky. My son had his floaties on but in much of this area he didn't need them.

We picked up lunch on the way from LaniLove Gluten-Free Bakery. She's got gluten-free and vegan pizza, GF and vegan sandwiches and baked goods. There is a sign on the road but pull in and park to find the small shop at 56-565 Kamehameha Hwy.

Waimea Valley Arboretum and Botanical Garden -  This is one of the few paid attractions we did on the island but the funds go to caring for this beautiful garden. It's an easy walk on a paved road through their World Class Botanical Gardens and Historical Sites up to our Waterfall area. The walk is 3/4 of a mile up to the waterfall and 1 1/2 miles round trip. You can also purchase a ride either way. I was able to do it wearing the baby both ways. Our 3 year old was able to do it all on his own without a problem. We brought our own fruit, snacks, and PB&J sandwiches to have here.

Dole Plantation - There is a maze, you can get a Dole Whip, you can see where pineapples grow and buy things with pineapples on them. One of my favorite reasons to stop at the Dole Plantation is because the Dole Whip as far as I know is dairy free! I'm still confirming this but I know for a fact the ones at Disney are vegan so I'm pretty sure these are too.

Kualoa Beach Park was a nice quiet place to finally set up our little shade umbrella we were toting around with us and put the baby down. When we found this little off the beaten path beach, the kids were tired from driving around and just needed a lazy afternoon and some fresh air. There was even a bit of turf and some trees around to keep us out of the sun. The water was beautiful but beware of the jellyfish here!

Ruffage Natural Foods was a Waikiki restaurant that had vegan options on the Menu. I had the tempeh burger and it was just what I needed because I was SO hungry that night. It is an odd little joint but the food was good and they had vegan options so we were good to go!

Laniakea Beach on Oahu’s North Shore is where you can take a little swim with the sea turtles. I am probably perpetuating the tourists and traffic that surround this little beach where turtles like to eat, but it is such a cool experience to see and be near these creatures. You will know you are there when you see the slow traffic and cars parked on either side of the road. There are volunteers that make sure nobody touches the turtles and everyone keeps a respectful distance. Just don't be a jerk at this special place and when you are parking or leaving or the locals will run you down.

After snorkeling and swimming we got an amazing Grilled Vegetable Plate, Grilled Vegetable Burrito, guacamole, salsa, chips, and margaritas at Cholo's in Haleiwa.

Of course, we always make it back to the hotel pool!

The hotel's buffet wasn't too bad either. I found enough to eat as a vegan and my picky eaters were pretty satisfied as well. I mean who wouldn't want cupcakes and fruit for breakfast?!

I admit, traveling anywhere with babies and little kids is exhausting for everyone, but we really enjoyed our time in Hawaii and hopefully we get to go back again, someday!

Do you or have you taken babies and little kids to Hawaii? Did you find any cool kid and baby friendly activities? Let us know in the comments below!


  1. How can anyone be exhaustive looking at those adorable smiles? What a beautiful baby and handsome little kid!

  2. This sounds like a wonderful place to visit. I love that the resort has a beautiful pool area, great food and poolside music. I would love to do this with my family. Your pictures are beautiful. The kids look adorable. Thank you so much for sharing

  3. thank you so much! i have often wondered how hard a trip ti ohawaii would be with kids and food restrictions.

  4. Looks like you had a fabulous time! Your kids are so cute and happy. I've never been to Hawaii, but it is on my bucket list.


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