Holiday Activities in Honolulu, HI
Turn on the electric lights because the holidays come to town big time in Honolulu. Events for every mood you cycle through, from cultured noseturner to shopaholic to kid-at-heart await you in this CityGuide.
Put on your shorts and slippers to stroll past 21-foot Shaka Santa dipping his toes, the mayor’s 50-foot tree decorated with Hawaiian ornaments, a holiday choo-choo train ride for the kids, ‘Iolani palace adorned with jeweled lanterns, animated electric lights and Christmas wreaths every day in December at Honolulu’s City Lights display. For the lazier among us, simply driving through downtown and the streets surrounding Honolulu Hale yields a fun evening admiring the electric light displays. Kickoff the holidays with the Electric Light Parade on the first Saturday in December. This event has all the fixings, like food booths, kiddie rides, Santa photos, the mayor’s tree lighting ceremony, and a free concert.
Looking for unique gifts for friends and family? The Season’s Best Craft and Gift Fair Extravaganza brings together hundreds of local vendors every year for the likes of us to stock up on holiday and birthday gifts. Unique island specialties like homemade jerky, Hawaiian seat covers, artisanal jewelry, flora, gift baskets, collectibles, packaged foods, seasonings, sauces, Christmas wreaths, ornaments, and stocking stuffers pack the booths. Give back to the community and satiate your shopping urges simultaneously at the Season’s Best Craft and Gift Fair Extravaganza, held annually in the Neil Blaisdell Center.
Observe a moment of silence in the midst of the din that is all of our holidays on the anniversary of the World War II Pearl Harbor attacks, held every year on December 7 in the morning. A commemorative moment of silence will be observed at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument, in remembrance of the exact time the attacks began. The proceedings will be accented by a military band, morning colors, rifle salute, and traditional Hawaiian blessing to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country on December 7, 1941.
Maybe you danced the Marzipan that one year in elementary school way back when, or maybe you just really want a see a ballet. Whatever the reason, see precious little girls with prima donna dreams dance next to their dreams’ living incarnations in Ballet’s Hawaii’s annual “The Nutcracker.” With divas from the biggest ballets flown in to star each year, Ballet Hawaii always books the huge Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall for their Sugar Plums and Cavaliers. Talented local youth and a bigger budget than any other Nutcracker in Hawaii make Ballet Hawaii’s version a must-see if you must see yet another Nutcracker this holiday season.
Walk in a warm winter wonderland because the snow flurries top every hour for fifteen minutes at Windward Mall for the week leading up to Christmas on December 25. Mallgoers should bring cameras because experiencing snow in Hawaii is a rarity, even the false plastic variety! In Windward Mall’s center courtyard, make sure you’ve been nice because you can write a letter to Dear Santa for free--be sure to bring some spare change for a postage stamp so Santa can send you a reply. Letter-writing to Santa is available in the week before December 25 and sponsored by The Little People.