Waikiki is Hawaii's pedestrian paradise. It's the only resort area in Hawaii where you don't need a rental car to enjoy all of the shopping, dining and activities the area has to offer. What makes it great for families? Lots of kid friendly activities, like the Waikiki Aquarium with its 400 different underwater species on display. For a really unique experience you can spend the night at the Honolulu Zoo and enjoy storytelling, campfire songs and walking tours. You can set up tents on the back lawn or sleep out under the stars. Along the beach you have the Waikiki Beach Boys who can give the fam surfing or outrigger paddling lessons.
The Kaanapali Boardwalk is home to many family-friendly hotels such as the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa and Westin Maui Resort & Spa and condos like the Kaanapali Alii and Whaler on Kaanapali Beach. During the day the beach is great for swimming and laying out, with some of the best snorkeling on Maui over at Black Rock by the Sheraton Maui. At sunset the Sheraton has their nightly cliff diving ceremony which starts with live music and a hula dancer and ends with a young Hawaiian man running along the top of Black Rock lighting torches and then diving off the cliffs into the ocean. In the evening tiki torches light the boardwalk and Hawaiian music drifts in and out of the hotels as you walk by. Whalers Shopping Village is a great place to walk to for ice cream with the kids.
The Grand Hyatt Kauai, with its impressive pools complete with waterslide, is one of the best family hotels on the island. Poipu itself is home to some great beaches (like Poipu and Brennecke's) and the Shipwreck Beach, the beach in front of the Grand Hyatt, is great for boogey boarding and body surfing. Poipu Shopping Village offers free Tahitian Dance Shows each Tuesday and Thursday from 5pm-6pm at the outdoor center stage. If mini golf's your game there's a fun course with great ocean views at the Lawai Beach Resort.
When it comes to family-friendly hotels on the Big Island they don't get any better than the Hilton Waikoloa. Known as the Disneyland of Hawaii (at least until the new Disney resort went up on Oahu last year) the hotel offers a boat and monorail that will take you around the property and a large lagoon complete with snorkeling and paddle boats. Add to all of that their famous swim with the dolphins program and you have what's easily the most family-friendly hotel on the island. Nearby you have Anaeho'omalu Bay (or A Bay for short); one of the most photographed beaches in Hawaii. Waikoloa Village Stables & Wild West Shows offer a number of trail rides and a few rodeos.
If your family is looking for the best pools in Hawaii look no further than the Grand Wailea. Their Wailea Canyon Activity Pool is a 2,000-foot-long, 25,700-total-square-foot, 770,000-gallon pool consisting of nine pools at six levels. The pools are connected by a river that carries swimmers at various speeds. Wailea Canyon includes four jungle pools, four slides, a whitewater rapids slide, a Tarzan pool with rope swing, the world's only water elevator, a sand beach, six waterfalls, caves, three Jacuzzis, an infant pool, and a swim-up bar (usually the parents' favorite pool feature). About a mile away there's a fabulous tennis club boasting 11 courts with three lit at night. Wailea is also home to some of the best beaches on Maui as well.