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Volcano National Park Dilemma

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Volcano National Park Dilemma

I have booked my airline tickets for our family vacation in November 2014. I was happy and excited until I started reading about toddlers and VNP. I admit, I did not even think about the dangers and was just thinking like a tourist. I am arriving in Kona and planning to stay at Kings Land Hilton. I am departing from Hilo. I was originally thinking staying one night or two in Hilo but now I am doubting all my plans. Help what do you all recommend since we are traveling with a three year. I also have a 9 year old boy who wants to see VNP and none of us have any asthma or any breathing conditions.

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Kailua-Kona
Kailua-Kona
Island of Hawaii, HI
Hilo
Hilo
Island of Hawaii, HI
Nanaimo, Canada
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26,898 posts
98 reviews
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1. Re: Volcano National Park Dilemma

http://www.hawaiiso2network.com/

This website may be useful to you when you get to Hilo. You could make your decision when you are there in November. Is there any way one parent would be able to take the nine year old to the park one day, and then the next day, the other parent? Not ideal at all, but that way, each parent would get to see something. The dilemma is the one with the three year old will be without a car for the day.

You may be able to at least drive around the park, and enjoy some of the viewpoints with the three year old. Chain of Craters road is an amazing drive, and can be done with the windows closed.

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Hilo
Hilo
Island of Hawaii, HI
Chain of Craters Road
Chain of Craters Road
248 Reviews
Island of Hawaii, HI
Big Island, Hawaii
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for Island of Hawaii
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2. Re: Volcano National Park Dilemma

That is a tough one. I would have advised just staying in Waikoloa Beach and doing a day trip to VNP when the weather forecast and air quality forecast is good, or better yet just having one parent take the 9 year old for a day trip and the other staying behind at Kings Land with the toddler - but since you're flying out of Hilo then I would recommend just staying the one night on the east side and play it by ear. You could stay central in Hilo and one parent could stay with the toddler and if the weather is ok visit the Panaewa rainforest zoo and enjoy walking in Hilo. Or if the air quality in the Park looks ok, you could all go to the Park and enjoy the drive up sites. If the air quality diminishes, keeping the windows up and aircon on is the way to go.

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Waikoloa
Waikoloa
Island of Hawaii, HI
Hilo
Hilo
Island of Hawaii, HI
Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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3. Re: Volcano National Park Dilemma

I would stay in Hilo rather than Volcano, just to avoid possible vog that is sometimes a factor in cool months when winds can switch.

NOAA will tell you the wind direction. West and south winds (or southwest) are the problems.

At the VNP, Chain of Craters is quite gassy, and the sulphur banks should be a miss for the toddler.

Lookouts on Crater Rim and Thurston are usually fine. Most lookouts are onto the inactive crater. Jaggar Museum is the exception, but I am asthmatic and can handle it.

Beyond the air, VNP is not at all safe for a child who is not old enough to obey you reliably or to understand the safety issues. You have to keep hands on the toddler the whole time not in your vehicle, and that's not much fun. It's very easy to get a severe cut from lava rock, so what would be a mere stumble and fall at home can turn into a trip to the ER.

Three is an awkward age for hiking unless you can still carry the child. A younger child is easier to control actually if still baby carrier size.

The zoo here is very good for that age.

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Hilo
Hilo
Island of Hawaii, HI
4. Re: Volcano National Park Dilemma

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