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Hiking with a toddler and botanical gardens

Wellington
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Hiking with a toddler and botanical gardens

We are flying on the weekend and I have a few last minute questions.

We want to do some easy hikes with our 21mth old toddler. We will mostly have him in the backpack. But we are looking for places were he can also have his fun and run around without us having to fear that he will fall over a cliff or topple into a ravine.

What can you recommend?

I think he would enjoy a forest or lush tropical setting or somewhere with lots of flowers or some wildlife. Also, he likes picking flowers, collecting leaves, stones, sticks,...

We would also like to visit some gardens. Most people were mentioning tours. But we are after some place where we can walk around at our leisure. Should be somewhere lush, tropical, maybe nice trees, maybe scenic, does't need to be too formal or educational, just pretty ;)

Btw we will be in Poipu.

Thank you very much for your help!

California
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1. Re: Hiking with a toddler and botanical gardens

Hiking with kids thread under top questions:

tripadvisor.com/…25253190

Santa Monica, CA
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2. Re: Hiking with a toddler and botanical gardens

Picking flowers in a botanical garden isn't going to go over very well. Garden enthusiasts want to see the flowers, too. Botanical gardens are quiet refuges for nature to do its thing. They make poor playgrounds and visitors will complain if you make too much noise, go off paths, or disturb others trying to photograph, meditate, or immerse themselves in nature. Think of a botanical garden sort of like a church; you wouldn't want screaming and running around in church. Those of us who adore gardens are used to them being peaceful refuges.

One place you may have some fun will be the Kauai Mini Golf, which has a botanical garden. Because mini golf is attractive to families, I think this particular one will be a good introduction for a toddler.

gohawaii.com/listing/…98560500_KauaiMiniGolf

Wellington
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3. Re: Hiking with a toddler and botanical gardens

thanks a lot jebett for the link. I have my head bursting with reading through threads. I feel that a lot of it is geared more towards serious hiking which we might not be doing. And there are not so many comments on places were a toddler might walk and run himself. He can walk for about 1.5 miles if he feels like it ;)

So far I have only singled out the Berry Flat walk due to being in the forest.

-Maybe someone can recommend a trail that is situated in a jungle/rainforest area that is easy to get to (no 4WD, but standard rental car)? He is pretty much a nature kid. I'm sure he would appreciate tropical beauty. We are really excited about seeing lush green.

@PlumeriaD: of course no picking of flowers in a botanical garden! And of course he has to stay on the path. I completely agree. Like you, I like photographing flowers. Always, bring back hundreds of pics.

I made this comment with regards to the trails. Here, I allow him to pick daisies, clover and the like from the path.

-So which gardens can we just stroll at our leisure without taking a tour?

Big Island, Hawaii
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4. Re: Hiking with a toddler and botanical gardens

You'd likely enjoy the Allerton garden (Lāwa`i Kai) which is close to your lodging. I've been but haven't done the sunset tour yet, which at the recommendation of the forum I am considering going to on my upcoming trip. You can self-tour portions of it, other parts are via a guided tour only.

http://ntbg.org/gardens/allerton.php

Edited: 21 July 2014, 21:41
Denver
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5. Re: Hiking with a toddler and botanical gardens

I believe I have recommended Kuilau Ridge Trail on one of your previous posts - it's a great trail for all ages as it has a gentle incline, is wide and grassy, and doesn't have too many place where an enthusiastic little one could get into trouble. It's also near the playground at Lydgate, which is another Must See for the younger set.

Photos from our 2011 visit: https:/…5607792595767145201

The Hyatt grounds are beautifully landscaped with lots of little "rooms" and meandering paths - just keep an eye on him around the lagoon! Usually there are lots of fallen plumeria blossoms - my kids love to tuck them behind all of our ears (I think they're disappointed that we all only have two ears behind which to tuck them).

No little ones allowed at Allerton Gardens (I think 11 is the minimum age), probably due to what PlumeriaD references above!

You can go to the garden at the visitor center at McBryde and Allerton for free.

You'll find lots of beautiful garden-y areas on Kauai that are not actually official gardens - it's the nature of the tropical beast...

Pretty sure daisies and clover are not growing in Kauai...

Edited: 22 July 2014, 00:43
Denver
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6. Re: Hiking with a toddler and botanical gardens

Hyatt also has "wildlife" - koi feeding every day at 9 am and the Bird Talk at 10 am (not sure which days). The birds roost in the open air lobby, which you're welcome to walk through even if you're not staying there.

Big Island, Hawaii
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7. Re: Hiking with a toddler and botanical gardens

Well, on the self-guided portion (the McBryde gardens) in Allerton children of all ages are fine and there is also an Allerton guided tour that notes that children under 5 are free. (We may be saying the same thing, blueflamingo, I just wanted to clarify).

http://ntbg.org/gardens/allerton-tours.php

Edited: 22 July 2014, 01:17
Denver
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8. Re: Hiking with a toddler and botanical gardens

Well holy cow - they must have just changed that recently because I know I've looked at taking my kids to Allerton but was thwarted by the age limit. Anyhoo - I think the McBryde self-guided tour would be better for really little ones because it's a pretty spread out space and everyone moves at their own pace within the garden. Photos from our 2004 trip (early ages of digital photography!) - sorry the album is a little disorganized - https:/…

Big Island, Hawaii
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9. Re: Hiking with a toddler and botanical gardens

Nice photos! My eyes always get really big when I go somewhere like Allerton and I go on an ordering frenzy for my property. I've had some success with gingers but boy those heliconias are what really grab me and I haven't had as much luck.

I'm not sure when or if the policy changed but I do recall seeing small kids in the McBryde gardens over the last few years. Here's a link to those self-guided tours.

http://ntbg.org/gardens/mcbryde-tours.php

Wellington
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10. Re: Hiking with a toddler and botanical gardens

Thank you - that is great advice!! Some great options here. @blueflamingo I think I read in one of your blogs about the plantation train ride. Do you think that would be ok for a toddler this age or maybe too long?