Kilauea Point Lighhouse and National Wildlife Refuge

At the Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge you will encounter unprecedented sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean.  The contrast of colors in this landscape is amazing with the deep greens and browns of the cliffside, to the blacks of the rocks, to the vibrant bright blues of the ocean.


There are many things to take notice of and engage the keiki in.


Seabirds are everywhere, hugging the cliffs, hovering above you, hiding from you, and even walking amongst you. Observation scopes are located throughout the pathways and binoculars are available for the keiki to use. Just sign them out and return when you are done.

Observation scopes
Hovering Seabirds


Besides the opportunity see seabirds in their natural habitat, there are also opportunities to see other wildlife such as whales and dolphins, endangered Nene, and Hawaiian monk seals. On this particular day, the Nene were approaching nesting season. Therefore, we were able to observe mating behaviors such as them “talking” to each other and acting territorial. We have also seen whales during whale watching season which runs from November-May. Dolphins can also be spotted from the lookout areas and are usually most visible during the summer months.


Along the property there are informational picture boards which provide a visual inventory of what to look for. Walking up the pathway to the lighthouse, take notice of the abundance of native plants. Try to have the keiki match the picture and the description with the plants around you. The easiest one to identify is the native Napaka shrub. It has waxy green leaves with white flowers that have five petals and looks like a half-flower. Your keiki can reach these along the path and feel the surface of the leaves for the texture.

There is a Hawaiian legend that goes with this half – flower that you can tell your keiki. One version is about a royal princess who fell in love with a commoner from the mountains. Together the princess and the commoner traveled up the mountain in distress. The kupuna told them that there is nothing that he could do so that they could be together.  So as a token or rememberance of her love, the princess took the flower from her ear and tore it in half telling the commoner that he must go by the water and live.

Since then, the Naupaka flower only bloomed in half-flowers where one-half can be found near the sea and it’s counter-part found in the mountains.  Some say that if you find one of each flower and put them together, you reunite their love and it can bring you good luck. The Naupaka plant can easily root near sand and rocks and is found along most of the beaches on Kauai as it prevents erosion.  

4. Kilauea Point Lighthouse

The historic Daniel Inouye Lighthouse is another highlight. Tours are offered on certain days and times of the week, so if you are interested in actually going up into the lighthouse, plan ahead. Children need to be 44 inches tall for this activity.


Admission for children 15 and under are free and adults are $5 per person so this is a great bargain.  If you are a L.O.C.A.L. (Kamaaina) you can purchase a yearly pass for $20 that allows entry for 4 people.  Only cash and traveler’s check are accepted as forms of payments, so make sure you bring some cash.  The Refuge is closed on Sunday and Monday and open Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm so plan accordingly.


On the way out, there is a great bookstore that offers books and gifts or information to reinforce anything that your keiki may have been interested in

Nesting Shearwater

Getting There

Heading north on Kuhio Hwy. from Lihue pass through the towns of Kapaa and Anahola.  The next town is Kilauea (look for the gas station on the right) and turn right onto Kolo Road.  Pass the gas station and make the first left onto Kilauea Road.  The refuge is at the end of this scenic road, about 2 miles in.

I had this old photo from 2008, when my family visited!

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Ask the L.O.C.A.L.’s

Click the Fish

Kauai Marathon Keiki Run

Today the Grand Hyatt Kauai hosted the 5th Annual Kauai Marathon Keiki Run. On the far ocean side lawn toddlers ages 2-4 completed a 100 yard dash as they chased a chicken mascot that marked the pace. It was a one quarter mile lap for the 5-7 year olds and the 8-12 year olds were challenged with a ½ mile run, which was two laps around the course.

Each of the age groups were divided into boys and girls. The chicken mascot ran with the 2-4 year olds, so when the 5-7 year olds lined up, I was surprised to see the chicken mascot (him or her?) again at the starting line. I guess my son will get to “chase the chicken” too which made the event fun for all the Keiki participating. Perseverance demonstrated, the Chicken mascot ran in every race.

What a great family event for the keiki as families gathered and cheered on all the participants as they crossed the finish line. My son was happy to race as all participants received a “medal” and a goodie bag. Inside the bag was a t-shirt, a keychain, bike safety information and a coupon for a free ice cream at Lapperts. It was definitely worth the registration fee.

Hotel Crashing: Is that a thing?

After the race, our family took a walk down by the beach and through the Grand Hyatt Kauai Property. This beautiful hotel and resort boosts a 50 acre oceanfront property.

 We checked out the beach; however conditions were hazardous today as red flags were being bustled by the winds.

We headed up on the path towards the hotel to the koi pond.

 We saw plethora of koi in the pond fronting Tidepools restaurant and the lone swan that makes its home in the tide pools (There is also a pond upon entering the hotel.) There is a casual poolside restaurant where they also serve shave ice drinks as well as food.

We continued to walk up the path to catch a view of the hotel pool.

Up through the lobby were vendors selling locally made products and macaws that welcome visitors in the main lobby. We passed many stores on our way to the grand ballroom where the Kauai Marathon Expo was being held. The meeting space was filled with local vendors and showcased all the information for the Kauai Marathon tomorrow. What a great family event for the Keiki to have their part in the annual Kauai Marathon. The whole experience was worthwhile and our ohana can’t wait to do it again next year!

logo for KWK

Ask the L.O.C.A.L.’s

Click the Fish

Let’s face it…

Kauai with Keiki


Visiting Kauai with Kids? Check out these low cost and at leisure opportunities for play and exploration given from a L.O.C.A.L perspective:

Loving Our Community and Lifestyle

The honeymoon phase is over. Well, maybe not entirely but this trip you will now bring along your bundle of joy (or joys) that you have created out of the love you have for each other. Keiki is the Hawaiian word for child and is interpreted as “little one”. Yes these little ones can bring us a joy and happiness that we have never experienced otherwise. They teach us things about our character that we didn’t even know. They challenge us in new ways and bring out our biggest fears, one being traveling with keiki!

Kauai with Keiki blog is written by a mother and father of two, ages 4 and 6, both teachers with over 12 years of experience each who like to be prepared and have a plan. I have lived on the island of Kauai since 2002 and my husband is from here. We frequently travel back to the mainland to visit my 5 brothers and sisters. Upon returning from our latest trip in which we visited 4 different states, we realized that we were craving information on what to do with our keiki in these areas. We wanted up to date information from the inside perspective, written by a family that actually experienced it. We wanted suggestions on where to go, where to eat, and what to bring. We wanted to learn about the community where we were.  We created this website as a resource for families who are looking for an inside perspective on where to go and what to do on Kauai. Enjoy! Go Explore.




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