Archive of ‘Kids’ category

Maui for Toddlers – Wailea

In my last post, I talked about our stay in Kahului and Ka’anapali/Lahaina parts of the island.  In this post, I’ll talk about the Wailea part of our stay.

We stayed at the amazing Andaz Maui resort. This is one of the newest resorts in Wailea, having opened in the fall of 2013. I love that it is a smaller resort so it feels more intimate and the staff are all really friendly (only about 200 rooms!).

Andaz Maui Lobby

Lobby at the Andaz Maui

After being greeted with a lei upon arrival, we were upgraded to an ocean view room that was beautiful and modern. The room was all set with a crib when we arrived which was fantastic!  The room was big enough to hold the crib and still walk around but it wasn’t super spacious. As an extra special touch, they provided some baby bath products and a little rubber ducky! The only thing to note is that my room did not have a bathtub though it had an enormous rain shower and sprayer. I do know that some of the larger rooms have a deep tub, if you need that for your little ones. My little one is just fine with a shower so it wasn’t an issue for us.

Andaz Maui Ocean View Room

View from Our Andaz Maui Room

Andaz Maui Ocean View Room

Andaz Maui Ocean View King Room

Baby Bath Toiletries at the Andaz Maui

Baby Bath Toiletries at the Andaz Maui

There are 3 infinity pools and a larger one with a beach entry on one side (it gradually slopes down) and on the other wide there is a wide ledge that is 7″ deep. Both sides were great for toddlers! My daughter liked splashing on the ledge but she really loved playing in the main pool. I just had to keep reminding her that it was going to get deep as she was chasing her toys around.

Andaz Maui Beach Entry Pool

Andaz Maui Beach Entry Pool

The nice thing about having so many pools is that everyone seems to be able to find a spot. I was a little worried that we would be the only people with kids, by there were quite a few families hanging out by the big pool, leaving the infinity pools more peaceful for the adults to enjoy. There were also a few pool toys that the hotel staff brought out like boogie boards and noodles.  The only downside is that there are a lot of stairs to get down to the main pool since the resort is built into a hill and each pool is down a flight of stairs.

The beach does get a bit crowded because it isn’t super wide, but there still seemed like there was enough room for everyone to have a beach chair and umbrella.

We we brought a toddler floatie which she enjoyed playing in. We tried to get her to swim by reaching forward and kicking. She was able to propel herself forward that way. I think she’s still a little too small for the puddle jumpers (the recommended weight starts at 30lbs) but I bet by next year we can probably do the puddle jumper to try to get her to swim.

There is a kids club for kids 5-12 that is free during the day (9-3) but $30/hr from 3pm onwards. I saw them hanging out one of the mornings in the pool and they were having a blast with the staff member running the program.

The hotel has a few SUVs that it will use to take you anywhere in the Wailea resort area (and pick you up!).  There are some great restaurants in the Kihei area that are pretty affordable.  On the resort, the restaurant options are a little pricey.  We opted to eat lunch by the pool and then we went to Kihei for dinner a few nights and we splurged at Iron Chef Morimoto’s restaurant on two nights.

Bumbye Bar Poolside Dining at the Andaz Maui

Bumbye Bar Poolside Dining – Enough to share for a light lunch

We had only planned on eating there one night, but it was so delicious, we had to go back! :-)  There were lots of kids at Morimoto’s when we were dining (we opted to eat early, at 5:30).  Just be aware that the kids options are pretty limited and quite pricey as there is no real kids menu–its just a few kid friendly options from the main menu.  My little one had Morimoto’s ramen chicken soup ($16) both nights and she devoured it.  The broth was AMAZING, but the parent in me wished there were some vegetables in the soup!  It was literally ramen, a little bit of chicken breast and soup.  They even made little trainer chopsticks (rubberbanded 2 chopsticks together with some paper in between) though my little one is still too young to use them.  It was a nice touch for younger guests who are still learning to use chopsticks!

Morimoto Maui

Morimoto Maui

Chirashi at Morimoto Maui

Chirashi at Morimoto Maui

Incredible sunsets at the Andaz Maui

Incredible sunsets at the Andaz Maui

Maui for Toddlers – Kahului, Ka’anapali and Lahaina

Aloha! We just came back from beautiful Maui. I wanted to do a few posts on Maui with a toddler as I had a really hard time finding information specifically aimed at the toddler set.

It was our first time to Maui and we stayed a night by the airport since we got in late at night and wanted to get our little one to bed as soon as possible. There is a Courtyard by Marriott hotel that is about 3 min away from the airport. They offer a free airport pickup on arrival in a private hotel van.  I had called ahead and asked for a crib/pack and it was all set in our room when we arrived which was great.

Courtyard by Marriott Kahului

Courtyard by Marriott Kahului

Courtyard by Marriott Kahului

Courtyard by Marriott Kahului

The hotel is in a great location, right across the street from Costco and Kmart if you need to pick up some essentials that you’ve forgotten. Costco also has some great fresh poke. The Limu one was especially delicious!  There is also a Walmart and Target nearby but not within walking distance. Both the Kmart and Costco had rash guards, swim suits and sand/water toys if you forgot your own or didn’t have space in your luggage!

Costco Kahului Fresh Poke

Costco Kahului Fresh Poke

After we picked up our rental car, we headed to the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa (aka the Sheraton at Black Rock) in Ka’anapali. The resort is enormous with over 500 hotel rooms. We were upgraded to a beautiful ocean view room on the 5th floor in tower 2. The room was definitely large enough for a crib.

Sheraton Ocean View Room

Sheraton Ocean View Room

Ocean View Room at Sunset

Ocean View Room at Sunset

On the side of the pool nearest to tower 2 (by the lawn), there is a great little section which is only knee deep, meaning that my 2.5 year old could stand and play without worry that it would get too deep. It’s not too big so it can get crowded if there are a lot of kids playing. You can see in the picture below that there is a barrier between the shallow section and the rest of the pool so the kids can’t wander off to deeper waters unknowingly.  The Sheraton can also provide a microwave for $30 (for your entire stay) if you need to heat up food for your kids.

Toddler Pool at the Sheraton Maui

Toddler Pool at the Sheraton Maui

The beach at the Sheraton is nice and wide, though it was a little windy when we were there.  We had fun digging in the sand and flying a Frozen themed kite we bought at Kmart.  For a $3 kite, it worked really well!!! My husband got the hang of it really quickly and was able to fly it quite high!  The Sheraton had beach chairs for rental for around $40 for the day.  We knew we would only be there an hour at most, so we brought our own beach mat to sit on.

The town of Lahaina has a nice long pedestrian stretch of stores and restaurants along Front Street.  There is a giant banyan tree park at one end of Front Street.  I read that it is over 150 years old and is the oldest banyan tree on Maui.  My little one loved chasing the pigeons around the branches.  It was a little tricky trying to make sure she didn’t run off, since the branches are only tall enough for little toddlers!

Banyan Tree Park Lahaina

Banyan Tree Park, Lahaina

While we were there, it happened to be Prince Kuhio’s birthday celebration and there was a free festival in the park with entertainment and vendors.  We watched an incredibly talented family consisting of a singing/drumming Father and 4 dancing kids.  My little one loved watching the kids dance!  There was also some food for purchase and lots of handmade arts and crafts items for sale in the park.

Kaniala Masoe and his beautiful keiki dancing Ulupalakua #PKF2015 #Lahaina #Maui #Hawaii

A video posted by Daryl Fujiwara (@sfdhawaii) on

First Birthday Gift Ideas

Sorry for the weeklong hiatus!  Things have been hectic around the house with our baby girl turning 1 last week and planning and hosting a party for 50 people at our home!  Now that is out of the way, I can get back to blogging! :-)

So my husband and I looked around our living room and realized that we barely have any toys at home for our baby girl.  So I’ve been thinking about what toys would be age appropriate to mark this big birthday.

Personally, toys with a lot of noise drive me crazy but she seems to enjoy them.  We have a Leapfrog Musical activity table that we got as a hand-me-down, so it had no batteries for the first few weeks we had it at home.  I finally decided to put some batteries in it and C now LOVES IT.  It’s currently one of her favorites!  The nice thing though is that there are 2 volumes — loud and super loud. :-)

Here are a few toys that I’ve been scoping out.  I think she might be a little too young for some of these but she’ll get there soon.  Right now, she’s crawling and cruising with no problems.  I think she’ll start wobble walking without a walker pretty soon.

Ride On Toy

This looks really fun for my little one to ride around in, Fred Flintstone style!  I showed this to my friend and she mentioned that babies also like to be pushed around so she suggested this one as another option to consider.

Both of these have tons of great reviews on Amazon so I’m sure either of them would be great. I’m kind of leaning towards the Push & Ride since we will soon be upon our winter months in the Pacific Northwest which means a lot of indoor playtime and I think that one would work better inside our home since its a little smaller.

Sand/Water Table

This looks really fun and I like that it includes an independent cover for each side so if you have a child that likes to chuck water in the sand or vice versa, you can prevent that. However, it also looks like it is a bit small.  You can’t really launch a big boat in the water side.  It is one of the more affordable sand and water tables.

Kitchen Set

A play kitchen is really high on my wishlist but my little one is probably still too young for this right now.  From my friends who parents of older children, they say this is one of the most played with toys in the home and will last for years.  I like that this one has gender neutral colors.  It also looks way nicer than our real kitchen. :-)

Train Set

When I told my husband that I wanted to get our daughter a train table he was surprised since it’s something he’d LOVE to play with, with our daughter.  This wooden set has gotten some great reviews and includes 100 track pieces as well as 30 accessory pieces.

Right Track Toys - Wooden Rail Pieces - 52 pieces ($29.99) or 100 pieces ($46.95)

Right Track Toys – Wooden Rail Pieces – 52 pieces ($29.99) or 100 pieces ($46.95)

Another option would be to get the tracks separately from the trains. This one claims to be compatible with all major systems including Thomas the Train sets.

These are the big items on our wish list.  In the next post, I’ll post some smaller items that (a) don’t take up as much space and (b) are more budget friendly for gifting to friends and family.

Do you have any other great 1st birthday toy ideas?