4 Family-Friendly Farms to Check Out Next Time You Island-Hop in Hawai‘i

Planning a trip for the winter break? Have some fun on a farm.


Photos: Sarah Mckay Photography, Rolland Allen and Jessica Marie

This story first ran in Hawai‘i Magazine.


A messy-haired boy in a superhero-red T-shirt and Crocs lowers himself to the level of two baby goats. One nudges his hand with its bony head, and the kid laughs hysterically. “Mom, mom, the goat head-butted me,” he calls out, smiling.


Getting up close and personal with farm animals is part of the experience at Keiki & Plow,  a family-run organic farm in Hawai‘i Kai on O‘ahu. The farm specializes in family tours, where kids can pick veggies, feed chickens and, yes, pet baby goats.


Farm tours like this one are a fun and unique way families can experience a different side of Hawai‘i—and get their hands (and probably feet) dirty in the process.


SEE ALSO: 🐤 We Tried It: Keiki and Plow


Surfing Goat Dairy

Tour Length: 1 hour

Best for: 6 years and older


Keiki can milk goats by hand at Surfing Goat Dairy in Kula, Maui.

On Surfing Goat Dairy’s Evening Chores & Milking Tour, you can feed goats out in the farm’s lush pasture on the slopes of Haleakalā, learn how to milk them by hand and watch how this family-run operation churns out its award-winning cheeses, which you can sample at the end of the tour. It’s the caprine farm’s most popular tour, especially for families. (There’s a more casual 30-minute tour of the farm—one of only two in the state where you can feed the goats and taste cheeses.) There’s also a rustic shop where you can buy products made on the farm, including gourmet goat cheese truffles and goat milk soaps. Everybody wins.

$20 for adults, $15 for kids; tours run at 3:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; reservations recommended; 3651 Ōma‘opio Road, Kula, Maui; (808) 878-2870; surfinggoatdairy.com


Lydgate Farms’ Chocolate Farm Tour

Tour Length: 3 hours

Best for: 6 years and older


Hawai‘i is the only U.S. state where cacao trees grow, which makes this chocolate tour at the 46-acre Lydgate Farms in the foothills above Kapa‘a unique. You’ll stroll through the gardens, stopping to taste whatever fruits are in season—liliko‘i, rambutan, lychee, mountain apple—and sample the farm’s award-winning palm blossom honey. Next is the chocolate orchard, where your guide will cut open a ripe chocolate pod for everyone to taste. The final stop is the chocolate tent where you can feast on the farm’s artisan chocolates and others from around the world. It’s an intensive tour, very educational and, at three hours, leisurely long. Younger kids can play in a tent set up specifically for them, with toys and activities.

$95 general admission, free for kids under 12; tours run at 9 a.m. Monday through Friday; 5730 Olohena Road, Kapa‘a, Kaua‘i; (808) 821-1857; lydgatefarms.com



Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm

Tour Length: 1 ½ hours

Best for: 6 years and older

Ask a kid if she wants to pet a seahorse, and we can guess the answer. That’s exactly what you can do at Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm in Kailua-Kona. It’s the only seahorse farm of its kind in the U.S., dedicated to preserving the endangered sea critters, whose population has declined globally due to overfishing and pollution. This farm raises seahorses and sea dragons in an organic, pathogen-free space, eliminating the need for people to fish them out of the wild for aquarium sales. Since 2005, it has offered a tour of its 3-acre oceanfront park, which is home to more than 20,000 seahorses. The highlight is getting a seahorse to wrap around your finger. Make sure your smartphone is charged, for photos.

$45 for teens and adults, $35 for kids 4 to 12,  free for toddlers (discounted if booked online); multiple tours run Monday through Friday, closed on weekends; reservations recommended; 73-4388 ‘Ilikai Place, Kailua-Kona, Big Island; (808) 329-6840; seahorse.com


Keiki & Plow

Tour Length: No time limit

Best for: All ages

An outdoor keiki kitchen is a highlight at Keiki & Plow.

On this 4-acre farm hidden in a quiet residential neighborhood in Hawai‘i Kai, the Mohr family grows a wide variety of veggies and herbs—arugula, Swiss chard, carrots, beets, corn, kalo (taro), ‘uala (sweet potato), dill, thyme, beets—you can pick yourself ($10 to $40 per basket). You can even buy organic eggs in a spectrum of colors from the farm’s veggie-fed resident hens. But the real draw for families is the play area created with kids in mind. Keiki can climb into a pirate ship (photo on page 8), complete with oars and a treasure chest. Or zoom down a giant slide into another space with bales of hay and picnic tables. Or play in a dirt pit outfitted with tractor toys, jugs and shovels. Or swing on a rope swing. Or pet chickens and baby goats. “It’s a fun experience to be on a local Hawaiian farm,” mom of three and owner Heather Mohr says. “It’s something different from going to the beach or visiting the zoo.”

$5 for families, open from 9 to 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays; 587 Pakala St.; (808) 208-2740; keikiandplow.com