Top 12 Things To Do During the Holidays in Hawaii

Top 12 Things To Do During the Holidays in Hawaii

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Twelve things for 12 days! Spending the holidays in the Hawaiian Islands is fun and special. Visitors and locals alike can revel in the spirit of the season in a uniquely Hawaiian way. Here’s a 12 list of holiday activities. There are the usual things that everyone wants to do in Hawaii and then there are some special activities that you can enjoy during the season.

  1. Honolulu City Lights – “Honolulu City Lights” is a festive installation of holiday displays in downtown Honolulu. There is food and fun for kids of all ages. This annual tradition is a perfect way to feel the spirit of the season if you are spending it on the island of Oahu Rides and other activities will not take place, but the tree lighting and displays, the core of the event, are scheduled. Proof of vaccination may be required. Please check with local authorities before attended.
  2. Holiday Parade – If you plan on spending Christmas on the Big Island, something you won’t want to miss is the traditional Kailua-Kona Christmas Parade. The whole community comes together and celebrates the holiday season with a festive and fun parade. As of November 2, 2021, the parade is scheduled to take place on December 11th and could change due to covid restrictions. Check back to the official website for more information and updates on the event. 
  3. Hilo Palace Theater – Nothing screams holiday season more than sitting down and watching a live show at a theater. The Hilo Palace typically hosts the performance of The Nutcracker in mid-December. Check back to the official website for more information and exact dates when they are announced. 
  4. Holiday Hula Shows – Most of the larger towns in the islands have special, free holiday hula shows that run through the end of December. These are fun events for the entire family. Of course, there will be some special holiday merriment mixed in with traditional dances. Lahaina and Waikiki have regular shows scheduled in public spots.
  5. Snow on Mauna Kea – Missing a little snow in your holiday? Well, if you’re staying on the Big Island you can take a tour of Mauna Kea. At nearly 14,000 ft., snow makes a regular appearance on the summit. There are established tour companies that can introduce you to the geology of the islands as well as give you the star-gazing experience of a lifetime!
  6. Music – On all of the islands, there are concerts that feature traditional Hawaiian music during the holiday season. Some of them will definitely have a uniquely Hawaiian take on holiday favorites. Many of these concerts are free of charge and held in public spaces. One of the notable music events happening at the Kona Beach Hotel is the Celebration of Christmas Music Concert on the Big Island. Check-in with the hotel for dates, times, and COVID precautions that are in place for upcoming concerts/events.  
  7. The Lahaina Banyan Tree Lighting – A tradition that takes place year after year in the heart of Lahaina Town. The tree in the center of town is strung with around 6,500 lights and draws locals and visitors alike to come together and kick off the holiday season. Check the official website for more information and dates on this event. 
  8. Surfing Santa –Santa makes his annual visit to Hawaii too. If you are traveling with children, you can find a Hawaiian Santa visiting almost every island. If you are staying in Waikiki, look for Santa’s annual arrival via canoe, riding the famous waves of Waikiki onto the beach.
  9. Tour the Decorations – Hawaii’s hotels and resorts are decked out for the holidays. You do not need to be a guest to enjoy a tour of the decorations! Often there are free events taking place for the kids to enjoy. Make an afternoon of it.
  10. Holiday Hike – There is no dashing through the snow, but a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays with friends and family in Hawaii is with a holiday hike. The landscape is so beautiful that it can be a very spiritual experience for all. Some of the hikes we love are the Manoa Falls Trail (easy) and the Olomana Trail (more challenging) on Oahu, the Iao Valley (easy) on Maui, and the Na Pali Coast on Kauai (challenging).
  11. New Year’s Eve Fireworks – If you are lucky enough to ring in the New Year in the islands, there are plenty of firework displays taking place. Waikiki hosts an amazing fireworks display on New Year’s Eve. On Kauai, for fireworks head to Poipu Beach, Maui you can see shows in Wailea and beautiful Hana, and on the Big Island head to Kailua-Kona.
  12. Time with Friends & Family – Last but not least, just taking time to get away from the regular hustle and bustle of life to spend time with friends and loved ones is the best way to spend the holidays in Hawaii. There is no other place like an Exotic Estates vacation home in which to make memories of a lifetime!

The excitement buzzing around the upcoming holiday season post-pandemic is likely to draw crowds. 

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