The best family journeys are built on adventures everyone can enjoy, and Lanai is rife with activities that suit every family’s travelling style. From mountains to sea, exceptional hiking trails to white-sand beaches, a weekend visit to Lanai can unlock both relaxation and excitement.
Featuring a dedicated keiki (kids) camp packed with events, plus children’s check-in gifts, bathrobes and toiletries, Four Seasons Resort Lanai makes a wonderful home base for visiting families. Perched above the island’s calmest swimming and snorkelling spot, Hulopoe Bay, the Resort makes it easy to live by the mantra “have family, will travel.” Here are just a few of the family activities on Lanai to experience together during a weekend stay at the Resort.
Choose complimentary beach toys for the youngest kids and snorkelling gear for the swimmers, then head to Hulopoe Bay, at the foot of the Resort. This marine sanctuary’s abundant reef life – from graceful honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles) to tropical fish – delights the child in everyone.
Before heading back to your room, stop by Malibu Farm for a sweet treat, and then find Bruno, the Resort aviarist, to take a snapshot with his beautifully plumed rescued parrots and cockatoos.
Gather for the torch-lighting ceremony, beginning with the traditional blowing of the pū (conch shell). Then walk to NOBU for some of the world’s most innovative Japanese food, infused with Lanai-grown ingredients. The restaurant features a kids’ menu for the pickiest of palates (basic dishes include noodles with Parmesan) but the mochi ice cream and dessert bento are sure to please the whole family.
Afterward, play shuffleboard in The Sports Bar & Grill, or simply steal some time for stargazing from your open-air lanai.
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Put the kids in charge of spotting Lanai’s protected spinner dolphins in the Bay. While you wait for them to emerge, pick up pressed 100 percent Kona Peaberry coffee, poi doughnuts and homemade granola parfaits at Kope, and have breakfast on the beach.
Meander to the Bay’s eastern side to explore the volcanic-rock tide pools. One is large enough for swimming, while the others are great places to look for sea urchins, zebra fish and ‘a‘ama crabs. Continue up the cliff for an intimate view of the dramatic 80-foot (24-metre) rock formation called Puupehe (Sweetheart Rock).
Head to the Jack Nicklaus Signature Manele Golf Course and hit a few golf balls with the kids at the driving range or putting green – golf clubs for both adults and children as well as golf balls are complimentary. Then, drink in the sweeping ocean panorama during lunch at VIEWS, nestled within the the golf course. While you enjoy the Hulopoe Bay Prawn BLT, treat the kids to house-made ice cream sandwiches. Made with pineapple-coconut cream between soft gingersnaps, this dessert is a delectable homage to the time when Lanai grew 90 percent of the world’s pineapples.
After lunch, travel to town and the Lanai Cat Sanctuary, a haven for hundreds of rescued cats. Visitors are invited to help care for “Hawaiian Lions” awaiting adoption by painting kitty condos, gardening and socialising via their “Pet-n-Purr” program.
Play catch in Lanai City's Dole Park, named after the island’s early-20th-century owner and pineapple pioneer, James Dole. Toddlers can climb on the play structure and all the kids can master the equipment at the adjacent community centre.
Dine on pizza, pasta and locally crafted beer on Pele’s Other Garden’s outdoor patio, or catch the early show at the restored 93-seat duplex theatre Hale Keaka, first commissioned by Dole in 1926. Eisenberg all-beef franks and organic popcorn eaten the kama‘aina way, with mochi crunch (Japanese rice crackers), make for a fine casual supper during the movie.
MORNING TO AFTERNOON
A relaxing ocean-view breakfast beckons at ONE FORTY, where your family can design their own smoothies, indulge in house-made doughnuts or order hot plates from the kitchen (think Lanai Eggs Benedict).
Then it’s time to split up – send the kids (ages 5 to 12) to the Resort’s KFAS Camp, where they may build volcanoes, catch geckos, explore gardens and play Hawaiian games. The adults can take a complimentary beach yoga class before visiting the Spa, where a traditional Hawaiian Lomi Lomi and hot stone massage banishes tension and provides deserved relaxation together. Afterwards, relax at the pool with lunch from Malibu Farm.
If you'd rather stick together, spend your afternoon immersed in local culture with the Hookipa Cultural Program at the Resort. Together with your kids, learn how to play the traditional ukulele and connect with the island spirit, or try your hand at coconut weaving or lei making.
Relax at The Sports Bar & Grill, playing billiards while the sun sets. For dinner, stay here for a casual meal (along the lines of short ribs and burgers) or ask the Concierge to arrange transportation for your family into town for house flatbreads, sashimi and Angus beef sliders at the laid-back plantation inn restaurant, Lanai City Grille