Kids kick up their heels as resorts turn up the fun

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HONOLULU -- Hotels and resorts throughout the Hawaiian Islands have taken notice of the increasing numbers of families traveling together to the Pacific.

Here are some recently released packages that cater to children and families:

" On Maui, the Grand Wailea Resort & Spa is offering a Keiki (Children) Pedicures program in the resorts Spa Grande. The pedicures, which use chocolate, coconut, honey and sugar flavors, are for children ages 6 to 12.

To keep the kids occupied while being pampered, the spa offers them the use of iPod minis. The cost of the program is $38.

Another program at the Grand Wailea is Camp Grande, which is geared toward kids ages 5 to 12. Activities include sand-sculpting contests, the Wailea Canyon activity pool, arts and crafts, movies and video games.

Workshops for the whole family include hula dancing, Hawaiian tile painting and T-shirt dying. The cost is $80 for a full day, $50 for a half day or $60 for nighttime activities. Workshops range from $15 to $20. For either program, call (800) 888-6100 or log on to www.grandwailea.com.

" On the opposite end of western Maui, the Kapalua Resort hosts the Art School at Kapaluas Keiki Day Camp for kids ages 5 to 12. Youngsters interested in performing can learn acting skills at a Moovin & Groovin workshop or attend a variety of dance classes, including ballet, hip-hop, modern jazz and creative movement. Other activities include classes in drawing, watercolor, photography, ceramics, oil painting and sculpture.

The cost is $60 for a full day, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., or $30 for a half day, 9 a.m. to noon. Call (800) KAPALUA or log on to www.kapaluaresort.com.

" On the Big Island, the Mauna Lani Hotel & Bungalows are calling this July 4 Turtle Independence Day, with a kids-and-family program that lasts from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Live entertainment and a carnival are among the features of the day, which culminates with the release of young Hawaiian green turtles into the sea while a hula master performs a chant. A picnic (including shave ice) follows the ceremony.

A second program at Mauna Lani is the fish-feeding tour that takes place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m.

The manager of the resorts fish pond leads guests on a tour around the resort, providing educational information while feeding the fish, turtles and sharks in various ponds.

The cost for both programs is included in room rates for the week. Call (866) 877-6982 or log on to www.maunalani.com for more information.

To contact reporter Brian Berusch, send e-mail to [email protected].

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