It can be challenging to find vacations that everyone in the family will enjoy. When you have teens, the challenge gets even more difficult. Well, one choice that is sure to excite the whole bunch is a Hawaii family vacation. The Big Island offers days and nights filled with adventure, discovery, and fun. And with these activities on Hawaii for teens, even they will have to admit to having a spectacular time. These TravelingMoms have been to Hawaii many times with kids of all ages, so these activities have received the seal of teen approval.

are there activities on Hawaii for teens that will make them happy

The Big Island of Hawaii at its best. Photo credit Dana Zucker, Luxe TravelingMom.

5 Activities on Hawaii for Teens

1. Helicopter Tour
2. Zip Lining
3. Surfing
4. Mauna Kea Observatory
5. Zodiac Trips & Snorkeling

Big Island fun is endless with the beaches, snorkeling spots, surfing, and land activities all over the Island and we keep going back. We spend many days in our SUV just exploring new areas.  We literally get a real paper map, pick a spot, and go.  Then, we stop along the way at any place we want to explore, staying very flexible.  Always in the car is our bag full of water, towels, snorkel gear, sunscreen, and plenty of room to add fresh fruit and veggies we pick up to eat along the way.

what are some activities on Hawaii for teens that they will love?

The Zucker family enjoying time together in Hawaii. Photo credit Dana Zucker, Luxe TravelingMom.

Why You Should Consider Private Tours

A note about our travel…Even though we are VERY familiar with the Big Island, we tend to use private tours a lot.  Many people shy away from private tours because they believe they are “too expensive” just by the term, private.  But often when you factor in the price per individual, it can be near the same and sometimes less than going it on your own.  The BIG plus is that the experience is priceless; getting to do exactly what you want and not having to worry about anything.  You can just enjoy your family and the beauty of the island.

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It can be challenging to find vacations that everyone in the family will enjoy. When you have teens, the challenge gets even more difficult. Well, one choice that is sure to excite the whole bunch is a Hawaii family vacation. The Big Island offers days and nights filled with adventure, discovery, and fun. And with these activities on Hawaii for teens, even they will have to admit to having a spectacular time. These TravelingMoms have been to Hawaii many times with kids of all ages, so these activities have received the seal of teen approval. #Hawaii #thebigisland #teentravel

1. Helicopter Tour

Take a helicopter tour of the Island with a drop and hike. You get a totally different perspective of the terrain.  In reality, the Big Island is small, but getting to some of the most precious spots can be very time-consuming.  Whether it is our first or tenth time, we always book a tour to a new location.

Our operator of choice is Paradise Helicopters,  The twins and I tend to save our family favorite “to do” for the four of us.  Heading to one of the waterfalls is our favorite tour.

Sightseeing one of the activities on the Big Island #Hawaii teens will love during a Hawaii family vacation

Waterfalls are just one of the amazing sites on Hawaii. Photo credit Sherry Wernicke, Luxe TravelingMom.

2. Zip Lining

Zip lining is so much fun, and there are so many great places to experience the thrill, including a nighttime trek to see the lava glow.  Our favorite location is Kohala,  The staff is amazing and so knowledgeable about not only zip lining but also about the environment and history of the land the course sits in.  We tend to zip line on a day dad has a long workout, plus work, so we make a day out of it, including lunch in Hawaii.

is ziplinging one of the activities on Hawaii for teens that they'll enjoy

Teens love ziplining in Hawaii. Photo credit Dana Zucker, Luxe TravelingMom.

3. Surfing

WooHoo, surfing is one of our absolute favorites.  We do it with dad, without dad, and even the twins do it without mom and dad!  But we always do it with Kona’s most wonderful instructor, Ossian, owner of FBI Surf School.  Enough said, do it and do it often!

4. Mauna Kea Observatory

Visiting the Mauna Kea Observatory is about as unique of an experience as you can get. You are literally on top of the mountain, above the clouds, with views close to perfection.  And to native Hawaiians, this summit is a very sacred place.  While you can make this adventure on your own, it’s more complicated than just getting in your car and driving. You even need to acclimate yourself to the change in altitude.

So, to make life easier all around for the family, we feel the way to go is with a tour.  Many companies do these tours, but two we have experience with are Mauna Kea Summit Adventures and Hawaii Forest and Trail.  The companies provide dinner, as well as jackets and gloves as it gets cold at night.  What could be better? You get to watch the sunset, have dinner, and then do some night sky viewing with telescopes at the Observatory.

what are the best activities on Hawaii for teens during a Hawaii family vacation like Mauna Kea Observatory

The spectacular view from the Mauna Kea Observatory. Photo credit Sherry Wernicke, Luxe TravelingMom.

Just be sure to check the websites for health restrictions, age restrictions, (teens are okay), and schedule information.  We can tell you that they do depart from Kona and you should plan on spending around 8 hours round trip.  While it may be a bit expensive, it is truly spectacular and something you can really only see on the Big Island. We highly recommend you take advantage of the opportunity.

5. Zodiac Trips & Snorkeling

For Zodiac trips and snorkeling, we tend to hire a boat for half or full day excursions to explore from the water.  It is always better to work with an experienced captain that knows the ins and outs of the Island.  We have requested the same Captain year after year, because of his knowledge of the Island, not just the tourist hotspots. He also works to customize what the twins would like to see and do.  We tend to work with Captain Zodiac and met our Captain through them.

is snorkeling one of the activities on hawaii for teens that they'll love

One of our teens obviously enjoying a day of snorkeling. Photo credit Dana Zucker, Luxe TravelingMom.

So, we hope you find as much to do and love about vacationing on the Big Island as we do.  It’s simply magical. And armed with these activities, we’re sure your teens will fall in love, too!

What are your favorite family activities on the Big Island of Hawaii?