Guide to Holiday Activities on Oahu

Posted by Alex Cortez R(B) on Thursday, December 6th, 2018 at 4:11pm.

Everyone on the mainland might be dreaming of a white Christmas, but the holiday season on Oahu takes on its own unique twist. From Santa arriving by outrigger canoe to parades of boats, there are all sorts of ways people in the islands celebrate the holidays that you won’t find anywhere else.  We’ve got you covered with a list of five things you need to check out this holiday season on Oahu. And best of all, you can enjoy all of the holiday’s most cheerful activities within the comforts of slippers and Aloha wear — without ever having to put on a winter coat.

Mele Kalikimaka Oahu
Photo credit: Daniel Ramirez

Everyone on the mainland might be dreaming of a white Christmas, but the holiday season on Oahu takes on its own unique twist. From Santa arriving by outrigger canoe to parades of boats, there are all sorts of ways people in the islands celebrate the holidays that you won’t find anywhere else.  We’ve got you covered with a list of five things you need to check out this holiday season on Oahu. And best of all, you can enjoy all of the holiday’s most cheerful activities within the comforts of slippers and Aloha wear — without ever having to put on a winter coat.

Honolulu City Lights

Starting Dec. 1, Honolulu’s City Hall will be merry and bright — and surrounded by one of state’s most magnificent Christmas light displays. From the sparkle and glow of the massive Christmas tree to giant holiday decorations, the exhibit is a must-see during the holidays for people of all ages.

You can also bring the family to festive events ranging from a movie night on Dec. 15 to free milk and cookies on Dec. 22. Everyone can also look forward to food trucks and an annual wreath contest.

Here Comes Santa — On a Canoe

Mark your calendars because this year, Santa is arriving a little early. And he’s not bringing his sleigh.

When Santa comes to Hawai’i each year, he likes to head to a white, sandy beach by way of canoe. He’s scheduled to arrive about 9 a.m. on Dec. 8 at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort in Honolulu. And once he gets settled in, he’ll be in the lobby of the resort for photos.

Hawaiian Xmas Ornament
Photo credit: Dave Dugdale

Shop Local 

Holiday shopping can always get a little hectic. But lucky for you, the Mele Kalikimaka Marketplace at the Neal Blaisdell Expo Hall has something for everyone on your list. Even better, you can support local business owners, artists and craftsmen who are running more than 100 vendor booths that offer food, crafts, jewelry, art and other gifts.

Bring the whole family to participate in a gingerbread workshop and be sure to take the kiddos to meet Santa and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. The festivities run on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A Parade of Lights On the Water

Across the United States, parades are a staple of every town’s festivities during the holiday season. But people on Oahu take an entirely different spin on this tradition — by taking the show out to the water.

The Festival of Lights Boat Parade has become one of Oahu’s favorite Christmas celebrations. Boats decked out in lights and ornaments cruise through the marina at the Hawai’i Kai Towne Center, where onlookers can enjoy hula performances and live music. This year, the party will start at 3 p.m. on Dec. 15.

Celebrate and Support a Good Cause

Every year, Make-a-Wish Hawaii puts on the Jingle Rock Run through downtown Honolulu and the jolly display of the Honolulu City Lights. The run isn’t timed, which means you can come dressed in your favorite holiday attire along with your pets or children in strollers. It starts on Dec. 16 at the Hawai’i State Capitol, where you’ll find food trucks, family-fun activities and a Keiki Sprint.

The entrance fees are $35 per person and all proceeds go to charity. Families are welcome to show up at 3 p.m. to partake in the holiday cheer, but the race doesn’t start until 6 p.m.

Hawaii Snowman
Photo credit: Rob Bertholf

Although the holidays in Hawaii are far from the typical snow-covered days by the fireplace that for some is the epitome of the holiday season, there is a laid-back, Ohana-centric spirit of Aloha that makes the holidays special. Want to talk story? Contact us through the form below.

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Specializing in Makena and Wailea real estate, Alex Cortez is fully dedicated to representing his clients ethically and diligently. Contact him at 808.385.5034 or Alex@MauiRealEstateSearch.com for more information.

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