If you are traveling with kids on Kauai this summer, make it a point to visit Lydgate Park. This popular Kauai Beach Park offers the perfect combination adventure and comfort for families traveling with small children. The kids will love the large community-built â€śKamalaniâ€ť playground where there are swings, slides, bars, tires, walkways, swinging bridges, a volcano, tile benches, drinking fountains and all that wonderfully soft sawdust they pour on the ground to pad any falls. Dozens of crevices and secret pathways make for a great game of hide-and-seek.
Kamalani Playground is quite unique. As you visit, you may notice the colorful handmade tiles that were created by the children of Kauai to decorate the area with a Kauai-based theme. You might also notice the plaques of all the donors that made the park possible. The main reason to come here though, is that the kids will love it and if they do, there is a second playground called â€śKamalani Kai Bridgeâ€ť located about ÂĽ mile south of this one, tucked amongst the trees right on the beach.
Lydgate Beach Park is located on the East side of Kauai adjacent to the Wailua River. As you drive into the area, you will notice all the family friendly amenities like soccer fields, beachside pavilions, and comfort stations. However, the beach here is quite rough due to the incessant trade winds waves that pound the coast. The river also deposits a lot of debris in the form of driftwood, which makes swimming here hazardous. But Lydgate is special, since these conditions were recognized, two man-made rock wall ponds were built to buffer the waves and now provide a calm swimming, snorkeling, and wading area.
The ponds allow the water to move freely through the crevices in the rocks. Juvenile fishes can move into the pond through these crevices and as they grow are unable to escape. As a result, it is possible to view several different species of fishes when snorkeling here. Turtles and eels can also be found in the pond from time to time, especially after a high tide. The protected area, calm water, posted lifeguard and variety of fish make this the perfect beginning snorkeling spot. A second, shallower pond, adjacent to the first is a perfect wading area for the littlest of visitors.
If you are a history buff, you might be interested to know that the Wailua area is rich in ancient Hawaiian historical sites. These sites may be worth investigating. At the far north end of Lydgate Park, you will find the Hauola Place of Refuge. This Place of Refuge was considered a safe zone for commoners who had broken a kapu or committed a crime. The rock wall remains also mark the site of the Hikini a ka la Heiau.
When you visit, be sure to pack a nice lunch. There are plenty of picnic tables, shade pavilions, and nice grassy areas to relax and enjoy a picnic. Whatever adventure you choose here, the whole family will enjoy the day at Lydgate Beach Park