Free Activities in Honolulu, HI
Listen to Hawaii's best local entertainers performing in the hotels and on the sidewalks on Waikiki's "main drag," Kalakaua Avenue. The whole family will love the robot-suited men, steel drum musicians, smooth Brazilian Bossa Nova, Hawaiian mele on ukulele, and caricaturists working the streets for tips. Witness the culture and beauty of the islands as you watch a traditional torch lighting and hula performance on the beach of Waikiki near the Duke Kahanamoku statue at sunset. If you go surfing at Queen's beach or Canoe's, you can see the show and hear the music while waiting on your surfboard between sets! And, while browsing the lounges and bars of all the large hotels, catch an earful of the daily lounge acts: pianists, guitarists, slack key, vocalists, and more.
Spend a spendthrifty day (or a very spendy day) at Ala Moana Shopping Center, the 290-store largest open-air mall in the entire world, which includes 80 dining options, one of the largest collections of luxury retailers in the world, four major department stores (Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Sears) and several only-in-Hawai'i retailers featuring locally-made products. Ala Moana's luxurious selection of window-shopping opportunities stretch from Harry Winston and Chanel down to Old Navy and the fabulously fish-decorated food court. There are surf shops, night club ultra-lounges, arcades, tea shops, kitschy boutiques, supermarkets, drug stores, and lots and lots of clothing stores where you can burn calories by shopping til you drop! Stop by Ala Moana Center's Centerstage, the hub for more than 500 performances annually, varying from hula to rock, from chorale music to street dancing. Mall hours Mon - Sat: 9:30am - 9:00pm, Sunday: 10:00am - 7:00pm.
Stroll through International Marketplace, a bazaar of 130+ shops and carts bursting with colorful sarongs, shell necklaces, hemp jewelry, live pearl oysters, souvenir keychains, and other gifts imported from the island's merchants. Bargain with the vendors if you're feeling bold! The marketplace is set under the canopy of a century-old banyan tree, with a cascading waterfall as the centerpiece. Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
An annual week-long dance festival in late spring, National Dance Week's goal is to get everyone out and dancing. NDW features parties, workshops, dance battles, scholarship opportunities, auditions, flashmobs, and classes from world-famous dancers and choreographers as well as local talent. All week long, instructors offer free dance, movement, and wellness classes for all ages and abilities, with no dance experience needed for most classes! Organized by Linda Kuo of Dancers Unlimited.
Visit Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial, the resting place of 1,102 of 1,177 sailors who died on the USS Arizona the day World War II began. Located within the facility are: a theater playing a 23-minute documentary, museum galleries, a bookstore and gift shop, restrooms, a snack bar, and exhibits on the events that led up to the December 7, 1941 Attack on Oahu and its aftermath. A short boat ride takes you to the USS Arizona Memorial. Beyond the structural elements of the visitor center, there is a rich human subtext. Most days, one or more Pearl Harbor survivors can be found at the visitor center sharing stories and remembrances with visitors. Programs begin at 8:00 a.m., with brochures available in 35 languages. The last program each day begins at 3:00 p.m. Visitors are reminded that they are visiting a site of tremendous loss of life in service to our country.