If you’re looking for a fun hike that’s also a little challenging on the east side of Hawaii Island with a nice ending to spend in the water then Ha’ena aka Kea’au beach is a fantastic choice. Take a look at the details to this Big Island hike to Ha’ena Beach and you might want to plan a discovery tour in the near future for yourself.
The start of hiking through Shipman/Ha’ena Beach
The tropical hike to the secluded Shipman property (one of the earliest missionary families on the Big Island) and beach has been called Ha’ena, Kea’au and also Shipman beach. It’s a very photogenic black and white sandy beach – the only one for miles of rugged coastal terrain and lava rocks. The trail starts from the quiet subdivision of Hawaiian Paradise park on the end of Beach road with limited parking in the lot. It is the start of the Old Puna Trail where early inhabitants had created a trail through this rain forest along the coastal Puna region of Keaau. The Old Puna Trail is part of a statewide public Na Ala Hele Trail and Access System to beach areas open to the public even though it is surround by private Shipman property.
The hike is less then ninety minutes (each direction) and around 5 miles round trip and traverses old lava flows and into dense jungle (mosquito spraying is definitely a good idea before you start) and often muddy and challenging spots to cross through. You definitely have to be careful in many spots with challenging stone crossings and slippery areas along with muddy spots to walk around.
Parking and start of Old Puna Trail
Take Kaloli road from the main highway 130 to the end and make a right on Beach road all the way to the parking lot and there is a marker that shows the start of the trail. Parking is limited, but you can also park on the street if the lot is full.
Most of the trail is fairly flat or some rolling areas in exposed sun to dense tropical jungle with areas that are purely lava rock zones that you need to be very careful. Depending on rain in the area, this zone definitely has a lot of wet spots and muddy areas to go through so there are a lot of detours you need to look for in crossing the area to get back into the trails.
Enjoying the serenity and jungle
Along the trail, you’ll see many stone walls that show the entire length of the original Kings Highway that was a trail and then carriage trail running from Hilo along the coastline to Kalapana. There used to be a village Paki in the area that is not there anymore but in place are the rock walls, tall banyan trees, strawberry guava, Ironwood trees and local Ohia forests and miles of ferns and other flora.
While walking along the trail, don’t forget to also look down and around – it’s really magical!
Look out points along the trail
There are a few side trails that leads to the coast with fantastic cliff views along the entire rugged coastline.
There’s also a fantastic lava tube about 2/3’s of the way to the beach with a small side trail to the right where you can explore the opening in the shallow lava tube below.
Arriving Ha’ena beach
The trail starts to bend towards the ocean and you’ll see some Kapu signs on cattle fences. This trail at the time we visited had a stream going through the trail – if you continue towards the ocean, you’ll find some dry spots to cross over. You finally get to a small lookout point to view the lovely Ha’ena beach and protected lagoon like bay. Closer to the beach is the private property of the Shipman estate which has Kapu signs not to enter the grassy area because it is also a nene (Hawaiian goose) breeding ground. The large three acre estate contains large fish ponds that are a breeding habitat for the native Hawaiian goose. Famous celebrities were hosted at Ha’ena including Amelia Earhart, Paul Newman, Cole Porter and local legends like the Beamer family and other important artists and dignitaries from the islands visited.
Beach and lagoon area of Ha’ena beach
The beach and lagoon is the big draw at the end with suprisingly very cold water that is fed from the underground aquifers that open directly into the lagoon. If you are in luck you’ll find wildlife like honu, monk seals and even the endangered nene around the beach areas. The inviting and safe lagoon is a nice ending to the hike and you’ll see some beautiful impressions of the beach with the ebb and flow of the tide creating beautiful mixtures and instant art that changes with the next wave.
Heading back to the parking lot
You can choose to head back to the parking lot the same way you came from or you can also take a detour route along the coastline and walking through lava rocks over the rugged and scenic coast. There’s a lot of fantastic photo ops along the way, but if you decide to head back to the main trail, there are connecting paths that can lead you back to the main trail and directly to the parking lot.
More tips on hiking to Ha’ena Beach
Bring water and snacks for your own needs
Bring some mosquito spray for the entire trail hike through the Old Puna Trail.
This is a popular local hike so the parking lot is filled quickly but you can park on Beach road and walk to the trail head.
Please pay attention to the Kapu (do not enter signs) for private property.
There are no public toilets on site – so prepare accordingly.
There are many rocky areas and muddy spots so take your time in going through these difficult spots.
If you do go swimming, make sure you have no cuts or scrapes and clean yourself immediately after swimming.
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A gorgeous hike from the top to the gorgeous black sandy beaches of Polulu Valley, the drive alone and panoramic views of the cliffs and coastlines impresses the moment you park on the end of road. This is a relatively short hike to the bottom and nice to explore the slowly rambling stream that ends at the ocean or just amble from one end of the black sand beach to the cliffs on the other side and maybe do a climb to another gorge beyond if you feel challenged to do more exploring. Check out all the fun details of this Big Island hike to Polulu Valley.
Hiking to Polulu Valley and beyond
The hike down is mostly gravel and soil and relatively easy to climb down depending on temperature and wetness factor. You should hike down with sturdy shoes or boots for the variable rocks, steps and slope factor.
Arriving Polulu Valley and parking
just at the end of road with most day trippers coming to take pictures and
leave, so there is a lot of turnover for the parking spots. You can also park
further out and then walk to the end where the trail begins.
downhill on the trail is rocky and wide with some nice spots for views and
picture taking. The roundtrip hike goes down about 420 feet to the valley floor
and is only about a half hour hike to the bottom of this .6-mile hike.
It is wide enough for both uphill and downhill traffic to the bottom but give some clearance to people struggling uphill.
The black sand beach of Polulu
Once you get
to the bottom, head for the black sandy beach (the small trails that follow the
stream inland ends and is mostly private lands that are off limits to explore. Views
of the beach with the impressive 500 foot cliffs make for a fantastic photo
opportunity in the area.
The expansive black sand beach is fantastic to walk through and check out the rock sculptures and enjoy the beach. There are no lifeguards on the beach and the surf breaks and the beach with undertow is treacherous so swimming is not encouraged on the beach.
Along the river bank are tall ironwood trees with swings set up for some casual fun and really high swinging.
You can take a short stroll along the river bank before it stops with warning signs of private property beyond the trail areas.
hike to Honokane Nui trail
If you’re challenged to extend your hike, consider going beyond to the next valley on the Honokane Nui trail to reach the Honokane gulch. The trail is located about a hundred feet from the shoreline with a small trail located with low lying ferns and on the eastern ridge of Polulu. You climb over 750 feet with many switch backs for about one mile. You’ll finally get to a high ridge with magnificent views of Honokane and the other cliffs of the Kohala mountains. Currently, there are no trails leading to the valley floor of Honokane so you return back to Polulu and up to the Polulu lookout point.
to hiking Polulu
The trail is
steep with 13 percent grade going down to the valley floor and is only .6 miles
to reach the bottom
days, it is muddy and extremely slippery
visit on sunnier days when the trail is dry and easy to hike below
There are no
public services or lifeguards at the beach
of water with you on the short hike and sun screen for hot days
Trail and rocky and rough so hiking shoes or tennis shoes are necessary
to do in the Kohala area
done with your hiking adventure, check out all these other fun things to
explore and see in the area.
Keokea Beach park – a beautiful park with nice views of the coastline with picnic grounds and public services.
ATV tours in Kohala – ATV outfitters take you on tours on private lands for 1.5 to 3-hour scenic tours and outdoor ATV experiences between Hawi and Polulu. Check out the details here for more images and inspiration to doing this tour.
the Kamehameha statue in Kapaau – at the Kohala civic center sits the original
statue of Kamehameha 1st who united all of the Hawaiian Islands. You
can find more details about the original
Kamehameha stature here for more information. The small town of Kapaau has
many unique galleries and shops worth exploring while you are in the area.
Explore the western town of Hawi and try some local food and snacks. Also, home to some unique art galleries, boutiques and restaurants located in old plantation style buildings, you can easily spend a few hours exploring and eating your way through town.
to Polulu Valley
Drive down the Akone Pule highway 270 and past the small town of Hawi. From there its s another 8 miles until you hit the end at the Polulu Valley Look out point.
Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on this Big Island hike to Polulu Valley I hope you are inspired to plan a visit and enjoy these wonderful attractions. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post.
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A gorgeous trail to explore from the bottom to the top of the cinder cone, Pu’uwa’aw’a is a moderate to challenging hike to undertake. A 12.9 Km or approximately 8 mile roundtrip trail is filled with beautiful wildflowers, native flora and spectacular views from all around the trail. It is about an 2000 foot elevation gain and a good workout for those that want to burn some calories on the hike. If you want to do a unique and different hike, check out the Big Island hike at Pu’uwa’awa’a, it is worth the hike all the way to the top.
Hiking Pu’uwa’awa’a Cinder Cone trail
You can choose
to hike up a paved roadway to the base area of the Pu’u or take a side trail
called the Ohia trail through some lovely high desert like forest and shady
spots before you hit more exposed and sunny areas.
The area around the parking lot is filled with beautiful wildflowers with these gorgeous red succulents in bloom the day we were hiking up the trail.
Starting the Big Island hike at Pu’uwa’awa’a
Just past the entry paved road going upwards to the base of the pu’u is a detour trail marked the Ohia trail which is more scenic and a gravel/dirt path to another fire road that eventually connects to the same paved road. This trail is covered and shady in throughout the route which is a nice cover before you get to the more exposed and sunny areas of the trail head leading the base of the pu’u.
The asphalt fire road leading to the base area of the Pu’u cinder cone
Detour on the Ohia Trail – a dryland forest
base of the Pu’u
The paved road eventually stops at the base of the pu’u with a secured gate entry that prevents invasive wildlife from entering the area. Horses are allowed on the trail so take note of all the horse manure left along the trail you can avoid. You may spot wildlife around the area including goats, rams and wild sheep roaming the hills around the Pu’u along with the typical cows, ducks and various birds living the vicinity.
The trail is a recent addition to the state park system and called the Pu’uwa’awa’a Cinder Cone State Park. Along the way you’ll see fantastic views of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hualalei, and North Kohala mountains. Weather is variable from pure sun to cloudy and rainy, so choose a sunny and clear day if you want to have beautiful views and weather reaching the top of the cinder cone.
Mid range of
the pu’u hike
The trail is pleasant with dirt trails that eventually lead to grassy meadows with a moderate incline. There are nice stops along the way with benches if you want to take a break and enjoy the views below. Note – most of the remainder of the trail is exposed and very hot on sunny days so bring plenty of water and sun protection.
The last segment through a mostly dirt pathway to the top is challenging and steep so take a break and enjoy the views along the way. These are fun moments to also capture and even do some selfies.
top of the cinder cone
The steep incline to the top is definitely difficult especially on sunny and hot days, but there are benches along the way to enjoy and soak in all the views from the back side. The grassy trails make it more scenic and pleasant to hike through to the top which is filled with beautiful native Ohias and fascinating dead trees that make a nice photo composition to capture.
There’s also a cool set of trees that look like the perfect framing of the coastline views below of the Kohala area.
Views of surrounding mountains and Pu’u cinder cone below
One top is mostly grassy area with a few benches to relax and enjoy the views or have a casual picnic on the grass.
Decayed trees make for dramatic landscapes to capture
Hiking back down
The hike back downhill is relatively fast depending on your speed and need to descent. There are different views going downhill and the light changes late in the afternoon with the clouds coming in and golden light time frame.
Heading back downhill
Cloudy skies and silhouettes from Pu’uwa’awa’a
Tips on hiking Pu’uwa’awa’a
Entry to the
state reserve park is between Mile Marker 21 and 22 on Highway 190 and you
enter a remote control gate that opens with sensors and you park right next to
the sign in station which only requires hunters to sign in.
Most of the
trail and hike is exposed so bring plenty of water and sunscreen or hike in the
morning or afternoon when conditions are cooler. It is mostly asphalt fire road
to the base of the pu’u, but you can take an alternate on the Ohia trail through
more scenic dryland forested areas which connects to another gravelled fire
road to the mid way point.
moderate with a steady climb and steeper at the end with excellent views of the
There is a
foot entry scrub (which prevents boots that might have contact to the Ohia
virus happening throughout the island) so please do scrub your shoes before and
after the hike.
There is a
porta john on the way up the asphalt road, but outside of this, there are not
other services in the park.
The gate and park is open from 6am to close at 6pm so descend before that time frame.
From Kona – This is 18.1 miles or about 29 minutes from downtown Kona. Take Highway
190 until reach between mile marker 21 and 22.
From Hilo area – This is about 60 miles or 1.10 mins from Hilo. Take the Saddle road to the dead end T and make a left on Highway 190 to mile marker 21 and 22.
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A hike to the green sand beach on the south end of the Big Island is a fantastic and unique hiking experience. Papakolea is the name of the beach located close to the south point of Hawaii Island and it is an easy and relatively easy hike along the coastal trails leading to the beach. If you love to see something rate and unusual, then go hiking the green sand beach on the Big Island and discover this gorgeous place on the south side of the island.
Hiking the green sand beach on the Big Island
Papakolea is named after the cinder cone that was formed along the beach which collapsed and eventually weathered down to a crater tuffed form with the beach area below the crater cliffs that protect it. (Very similar in nature to the more famous tuffed ring cinder cone called Diamond Head in Honolulu).
Getting to South Point and Papakolea
Follow the road going to the southern tip of the island and past scenic pasturelands and wind turbines heading to South Point. You will eventually reach a sign that points to the green sand beach and entrance to the parking lot area. Once you parked, there are a few trails leading directly to the ocean and take any of these which eventually will lead you to the main trail that also has a Kapu “No Trespassing “sign that is jokingly the mile marker and ignored by locals and visitors. There are two main trails one right on the ocean and the other just a hundred yards further inland. Beyond the trails are larger dirt roads that local taxi’s (pickup trucks that offer roundtrip rides for a donation) and other 4-wheel drive vehicles take to go directly to the beach.
Starting Point to hiking Papakolea
The hike to the beach takes about a two- and one-half miles in each direction on the coastline and is only one of four green sand beaches in the world. The rugged terrain and coastline are untouched and scenic with beautiful native wildflowers blooming against black lava rock. Along the hike, you’ll start to spot green olivine crystals on the sandy stretches which is what the beach is made of – Lava hitting the ocean breaks up into many particles and the green olivine is predominant in this sandy beach mixed in with the black lava rock. The olivine is a heavier crystal and stays intact on the beach, the finer version of olivine is better known at Peridot when it is of gem quality.
The Coastal hike to Green Sand Beach
The hike is easy to do on gently sloping terrain and the ocean views are nice and fantastic to photograph the many small coves and rocky coastline heading to Papakolea. You’ll know when you are close when you see the large cinder cone sticking out directly from the flat shoreline. You’ll definitely get better photo opportunities along the coastline when you reach the cinder cone and spot some fantastic views to capture the moment. Once you get to the entrance, you’ll notice that the beach is below the tuff cliffs and there are ladders that you can climb down to get to the beach area. Since there is only one access going up or down, be patient with hikers going in both directions and share some aloha.
The well protected Mahana bay and surf is variable so do take precaution since there are no lifeguards on site. There are also no facilities available on this rugged beach area.
Gorgeous green olive colored beach at Papakolea below
Climbing down the face of the cliffs via ladders and rocks to reach the bottom of the beach area below.
Here’s a cool video highlighting the entire hike to Papakolea
Things to do and see in South Point
Once you head back to the parking area there are a few other places of interest to see in the South Point area below. Also check out the other attractions and fun things to see in the immediate area of South Point.
Gorgeous coastal views from the South Point area
Other fun things to do in South Point area
Go visit the tip of South Point – the jagged cliff areas of South Point are spectacular and wild it is definitely worth the short drive to see this place
Those on an adventure kick actually love to jump from the cliffs for a real thrill ride.
You can also just walk along the cliffside trails for more fantastic views in the area.
From Kona area, the drive is about 63.6 miles driving down Highway 11 and in between mile marker 69 and 70. Look for South Point road and make a right, then drive down to a sign showing the Green Sand Beach on the left side. Drive to the parking lot area and look for the trails towards the ocean.
From Hilo area the drive to Papakolea is about 81.7 miles on Highway 11 and in between mile marker 69 and 70. Look for South Point road and make a left, then drive down to a sign showing the Green Sand Beach on the left side. Drive to the parking lot area and look for the trails towards the ocean.
Public transportation is limited and there are no tour outfitters going to this area. If you plan on doing this trip, then you should rent a car from either Kona or Hilo airport and drive down to the South Point area.
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Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on Green sand beach on the Big Island. I hope you are inspired to plan a visit and enjoy these wonderful attractions. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post.
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Visiting Hawaii is a fantastic place to visit with family and share so many wonderful family friendly experiences. The entire island is filled with lots of cool places to visit with children, kid’s focused activities to enjoy and exploring adventures with family fun in mind. If you are looking for the best family friendly things to do on the Big Island, check out all these wonderful tips and suggestions on what to do around the island.
Kid friendly activities on the Big Island of Hawaii
Family friendly fun on the west side of Hawaii Island
Have a beach day on the West Side
The west side of the Big Island have many of the best beaches in all of the islands with a variety of different types of beaches that are perfect for family fun, surfing and snorkeling fun and other water activities. You have your pick of popular beaches like Hapuna, Kua Bay and Spencer Beach or find more secluded and lonely stretches of sand that only a few visitors get to check out. Check out all these amazing beaches on the Big Island for more inspiration and planning your perfect beach day.
Fun snorkeling adventure at Kahalu’u Beach Park
Probably one of the best snorkeling beaches just a few miles outside of Kona town is Kahalu’u beach park. A family friendly beach with a lifeguard station and public facilities. Kahalu’u is well loved by locals that also volunteer to share coral and tropical safety, awareness and ocean care for the environment. With a protected cove area, it doesn’t take to far outside of the beach to see some amazing sea life, corals and tropical fish at Kahalu’u which makes it a very popular place to go to snorkel on the west side of the island.
Walk through historic Kona town
The waterfront area of Kona is compact and easy to walk through and see the major attractions in town including the shops, historic monuments and harbor area. You can pass through the main drag, drop into a local farmers market and see some of the historic places to visit in town. Check out this site for more information on visiting Kona town and images around town.
Taste Fresh Portuguese bread, demo and sale at Greenwell
Located in the South Kona area at Greenwell Farms, you can check out the weekly oven bake sale of fresh Portuguese breads. Volunteers and members of the Kona Historical Society sponsor these Thursday morning bake demonstrations in an authentic stone oven. There is a free demo and oven display of how the breads are made that you can see and then try some really delicious breads made locally and benefits the community activities. The breads are typically sold that afternoon in a small pop up by the roadside for locals/tourists to try and purchase.
Go to a Luau with children
A fantastic way to really enjoy a traditional meal along with culture and education is to participate in a local Luau. Most luaus are kid friendly and an easy way for the family to try local food and entertainment that is fun, friendly and even participate in a hula or learn a craft at these events. You can check out the various Luaus on the island here to choose and plan your next Luau venue.
If you plan on going to a Luau, check out all these local favorites on the island for your next Luau event here.
Go on a submarine tour on the west side of Big Island
For something unusual and fun to do with children would be to do a submarine tour around the scenic coastlines around Kona. The submarine tours with Atlantic Submarine caters to families with their educational program and tour leaving from Kona harbor and exploring the unique and colorful coral areas and tropical fish along Kona’s beautiful coastlines. You can check out the details to the submarine tour here for more information and booking a tour with your family.
If you plan on going to a submarine, check out all This site for prices and updates on your next submarine tour here.
Go on a cultural tour of historic monuments on the west side
of the Big Island
Originally set up as a irrigation system to bring water to the fertile agricultural parts of the island, the ditch systems are still used but also fun to flume the ditch. Basically this outfitter sets you off on a guided tour on rubber rafts through the main ditch on a fun and entertaining experience in the Kohala region, an easy drive from Kona town. You can check out more details Fluming the Ditch here for information and booking your next adventure tour with your children.
If you’re planning on doing the fluming the ditch experience, check out all the details ad information for prices and updates on your next fluming the ditch tour here.
Go on a road trip through the scenic and historic western
kohala district and coastline
One of the easiest things to do with kids is to take a road trip through different parts of the island. One of the most scenic and easy to do trips on your own time is to drive through the coastal roads on the west side and visiting the old western towns of Hawi and Kapa au all the way to the end at Polulu Valley overlook. You can even hike down the canyon to the stunning black sand beaches at Polulu or just take a picture from the overlook if you don’t have that much time to explore the valley floor and beaches. For something unique, you can visit the birthplace of Kamehameha (first king of Hawaii) and check out the heiau (temple) and grounds where the king lived.
Go to a paniolo rodeo on the island
Rodeos are big events all around the Big Island of Hawaii with equestrian oriented activities for all of the family to enjoy on the island. The big rodeos happen mostly in Waimea and at Panaewa in the Hilo area with a full roster or rodeo-oriented displays and all day shows that are really unique for island fun. Check out their website for Waimea here and Panaewa here for more details.
Go on a snorkel sail experience
One of the best things to do with children with an easy adventure built in is a snorkel sail experience from Kona. These outfitters provide some fantastic tours that are kid friendly an inclusive experience with whale tour, snorkeling instruction and equipment and a nice buffet lunch after all the water fun. You can pick and choose from any of these local outfitters that can fit your time and budget to book your next adventure experience with your kids in mind.
If you’re planning on doing a snorkel and sail experience, check out all the details ad information for prices and updates on your next snorkel cruise tour here.
Family friendly fun on the south side
Visit a rare green sand beach in South Point
One of the most unique parts of the island to visit is the green sand beach in the South Point area. The hike is about an hour and a half in one direction and if this is too much to do with children, there are also casual cabs in local pick up trucks that will take you on a round trip to the green sand beach and pick back up on scheduled return. You can spend a few hours or just visit and take pictures if your timeframe is limited, but definitely worth an experience to see this beautiful beach and coastline.
Jump the cliffs at the tip at South Point
Even though this experience is for older kids or adults, it’s easy enough to just do the drive from Green sand beach area to the southern tip of the island at South Point and enjoy the views and crazy cliff jumpers into the ocean from a 20 foot drop to the ocean. Although this is not recommended for most children, it’s easy to walking along the scenic cliff areas of the South Point area and enjoy the stunning views along the coastline.
Delicious Malasadas in Punalu’u
One of the most popular bakeries to visit on the island is the wonderful Punalu’u bakery in Punalu’u. A local favorite, you have to try all the wonderful malasadas here ( Portuguese style donuts) in original sugar or filled with tropical flavors for a delicious treat. They bake local breads, desserts and other café style foods for a nice eating break to this area of the island. Try some of the free samples before you decide on what you want to order for take away or eat onsite.
Visit the turtles and black sand beach at Punalu’u
One the scenic coastline and black sand beach at Punalu’u,
you’ll see the famous sea turtles that hang out on the beach. This wonderful
sandy beach is picture perfect even on cloudy days and definitely walk the
entire length to the pretty lagoon at the end of the beach. You’ll find the mostly
green turtles all along the black sand beach warming along the entire stretch
Family friendly fun in the Big Island’s east side
Lots of family friendly beaches in the Hilo area
The smaller beaches and inlets around Hilo are perfect for family with protected lagoons, beach areas and shallow swimming holes. You’ll find plenty of easy and cool kid friendly beach areas to explore and enjoy in the hilo area. Check out this post here to discover which Hilo beach park or swim hole you can visit with kids.
Go into a lava tube just above Hilo area
A unique and fun visit to an actual lava tube just above Hilo at Kaumana Caves which is descends into a dark lava tube created by Moana Loa. From the parking lot, you go down a series of stairs to the opening of the Lava Tube which has no illumination so you need to bring flashlights. There are no trails once you enter, so you will be crawling over lava rocks which is a challenge and fun at the same time. The lava tube is long and very dark so it is up to you do decide how far you want to go into the tube or just take a shorter walk around after checking out the waterfalls and downtown Hilo in a DIY city tour.
Visit the famous lava activities at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
The national park at Hawaii Volcanoes national park is reopened with trails and observation areas open for the public to explore. First drop by the visitors center to see the movie or listen to a ranger give a nice history and cultural observations of the park and other Hawaiian legends and “Talk Story” with guests.
Check out the waterfalls around Hilo town
There’s a series of waterfalls coming down the main river called Wailuki starting with Rainbow falls closer to downtown and further uphill to the boiling pots with Pe’epe’e falls and even the smaller waterfalls in front of the old bridges crossing the river downtown. You can easily do all three waterfalls in an easy morning exploration and short road trip. Both Rainbow Falls and Boiling pots have easy walks to the observation areas and you can walk up to the top of Rainbow falls to check out the top and areas below. There’s also a cool forest further up with some immense banyan trees that look very magical and story like.
Hilo Farmers Market
The main downtown market at Hilo is daily but the big markets are on Wednesday and Saturday and spreads through various market areas in town. One section is fruits, vegetables and prepared foods and anther section is mostly locally made, souvenirs and cheap products right next to the produce market. There’s also a food eating venue with food trucks and other standalone vendors selling delicious local food and take out service.
Sunday Maku’u Farmers market
On Sundays, the largest farmers market on the East side happens just outside of Pahoa area at the Maku’u farmers market. It’s kid friendly with local foods to try, local produce, entertainment and cool thrift, collectibles and even souvenirs that you can buy from locally made products or cheap imported merchandise. The Sunday Maku’u market is lively towards noon time with all the food venues in full swing and free enterment in the seating area.
Check out the new black sand beach in Opihikao
After all the recent lava destruction of homes and land in East Hawaii just in 2018, a newly created black sand beach was left in the aftermath. A new gravel road has been constructed to allow the public to enjoy the beach for the first time along with some hot ponds in the area to enjoy. The expansive black sand beach is beautiful but also dangerous at times, so caution should be taken to see if the surf is too rough for entry.
Enjoy a night market at Uncle Roberts in Kalapana
The popular night market at Uncle Roberts in Kalapana is free (parking is an additional $2) and a fun time at this local style market. Filled with local vendors that sell crafts, herbal remedies and delicious foods, it’s fun to explore all the unique booths and food offerings along with the lively music in the bar/dining area. A popular local activity, visitors really get a flavor of how a community celebrates hump day Wednesdays in Kalapana.
Free events around the island
There are so many wonderful events around the Big Island happening every week. Many of these events around the island are free or inexpensive to bring your children. You can check out the calendar of events here for more details on what’s currently happening on the island now.
With so many fantastic choices and activities to do around the Big Island with kids, you’ll keep busy exploring different parts of the island. You definitely can be as active as you want or have a more laid back experience while visiting the island. Hopefully these ideas and tips will help you to plan all the fun things to do with kids on the Big Island in your own interest and time frames.
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Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on Family friendly visit to the Big Island. I hope you are inspired to plan a visit and enjoy these wonderful attractions. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post.
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Fun in the sun and Christmas to boot is what makes spending the holidays in Hawaii a fun and joyous experience. But what happens around the islands that are worth checking out for bringing in the holiday cheer? Check out how to spend Christmas in Hawaii and start planning a fantastic holiday experience to the New Year’s Celebrations.
Here’s what to do for Christmas fun in Hawaii
Christmas holiday in Oahu
A Pinch of Salt – Dec. 7th
local businesses and vendors at the Pinch of SALT, the annual upscale holiday
shopping experience at SALT at Our Kakaʻako, Dec. 7th.
alternative holiday shopping venue with local artists, designers and crafts
with popups locations throught out Salt in Kaka’ako
Each year, A Pinch of SALT attracts more than a thousand shoppers throughout the day. Designed to be an alternative to larger shopping venues, visitors can find gifts made by local artisans, crafters and designers at dozens of pop up locations throughout SALT at Our Kakaʻako.
of Lights Boat Parade – Hawaii Kai Center Dec. 7th at 3pm
Get into the holiday spirit, at the 23rd annual Festival of Lights Christmas Boat Parade. Entertainment begins at 3 p.m., at Hawaii Kai Towne Center’s scenic Marina Docks. Going on for over 20 years, the Festival of Lights Christmas Boat Parade, has delighted countless visitors and is sponsored by the Hawaii Kai Marina Community Association.
Pancakes & Booze Art Show – Dec 8th
nation’s premier pop-up art show, The Pancakes & Booze Art Show provides
art lovers an opportunity to explore more than 200 pieces of artwork created by
some 50+ artists local to Honolulu’s unparalleled art scene. Alongside an
immensely wide variety of pop art, fine art, and photography; show goers can
sip on some of the dankest craft beer or signature cocktails while consuming
free pancakes over and over again.
Honolulu City Lights Celebration and Parade Dec 7th – 4pm
Shaka Santa and Tutu Mele will be on the move from the Chinatown area to Honolulu Hale . Check out the Christmas wreath displays at the Lane Gallery
A Big Island Christmas
Nei Art Exhibit at the Wailoa Center for the Arts – Dec 2 to Dec 12th
The popular Hawaii
Nei is a juried art exhibition celebrating the native flora and fauna of Hawaii
Island hosted by the Three Mountain Alliance, the Hawaii Island Art Alliance,
the Department of Land and Natural Resources Natural Area Reserves System and
the Wailoa Center.
features amateur and professional artists of all ages have been invited to
submit works of art highlighting the native plants, animals, and habitats of
our beloved island, our Hawaii Nei.
Artwork will be displayed at the Wailoa Center from Nov. 1 through Dec. 12, 2019, Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 4:00 pm and Saturdays from 10:00am to 2:00 pm (closed on holidays). The Wailoa Center is located at 200 Piopio St, Hilo, HI 96720. For more information about Hawaii Nei, visit www.hawaiineiartcontest.org
Studio Weekend (13th Annual) Dec 7th to Dec 8th
The annual Paradise
Studio Art Weekend: December 7 & 8 – Hawaii Island Arts and fine crafts are
held in Hawaiian Paradise park for the 13th Annual Paradise Studio Weekend,
Saturday and Sunday, 10am-4pm, December 7 & 8, 2019.
The public is welcomed to visit artists in their home studios in Hawaiian Paradise Park, Keaau. Seven studios with 25 local artists are showing oil painting, watercolors, collage, pastels, acrylic, wood, sculpture, jewelry making, pottery, ceramics, silk painting, fashion art, photography and more. Free featured demos and music. For brochure and map go to: www.paradisestudiotour.com
Christmas Twilight Parade (59th Annual) Dec 7th 5:30 to 7pm
annual Twilight parade’s new them is, “Our Community…Our Kuleana
At Christmas and Always! With their Grand Marshal: Leningrad Elarionoff
to attend and participate with lighted units! Parade supports The Big Island
Giving Tree to ensure no one is left behind during the holiday season.
Advisory: The main drive through Waimea town will be closed from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
for the parade and only emergency vehicles will be permitted to pass through.
The community is encourage to plan ahead to avoid tie-ups.
Park – Next to W.M. Keck Observatory
Waimea, HI 96743
Hawaii County Band in Concert for the Holidays! Dec 13th – 6:30 to
Hawaii County Band, a unit of the Hawaii County Band, performs throughout the
year at monthly concerts. The West
Hawaii County Band will present an hour of festive music for the season. Come
enjoy standards like Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride,” “White
Christmas,” and “Mele Kalikimaka”
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Hawaii Dance Theatre Presents The Nutcracker Ballet
– 2 to 4pm
Hawaii Dance Theatre presents a delightful holiday classic is performed
at Kahilu Theatre on Saturday, December 21, Sunday, December 22, and
Monday, December 23, 2019. This production includes more than
70 dancers and Guest Professional dancers. A Full Orchestra under the
baton of Maestro Brian Dollinger with musicians of the West Hawaii Dance
Kamuela, HI 96743
Bell Beach Run – 5k Run Dec 22 – 7:30 to 9am
Annual Jingle Bell Beach Run starts sharp at 7:30am for this 5k event
encourages participation from all fitness levels and running backgrounds.
Great fun for everyone, family oriented – a perfect addition to your
holiday celebrations! And parents…be sure to get your kids ready for ‘SANTA’S KEIKI DASH”
– a popular fun Kona running event for children 6 & under! (100-yd &
Grove Marketplace – Alii Drive
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Village Mochi Pounding (22nd Annual)
– 8am to 2pm
for fun MOCHI POUNDING with neighbors, and community in this fun public event. Come
and join the fun on Saturday, Dec. 28th, from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. making
traditional rice cakes the “old-fashioned” way. Everyone takes their
turn at pounding the delicious sticky rice for good luck.
building starts at 7 a.m. to steam the rice. Hearty local style lunch for $5.
New years crafts, food vendors, fortune telling, massage, I Ching readings,
floral arrangements, plantation stories, Okinawan taiko drumming, Hawaiian
entertainment & more. Great cultural mix of everything that makes Hawaii so
Hakalau, HI 96710
Kauai Christmas Celebrations
Hanapepe Friday Night Festival & Art Walk –
Every Friday night
Every Friday evening, Old Town Hanapepe is bustling with fun & activity! With a wide variety of shopping, local crafters, several excellent restaurants, a dozen art galleries, stilt walkers, classics cars, live music and entertainment, there is always something for the whole family to enjoy! Every Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Festival of Lights – Every Friday 6 – 8pm Dec. 6th
the holidays on Kauai at Elizabeth Freeman’s annual holiday extravaganza, the
award-winning Festival of Lights! Celebrating its 23rd year, local designer
Elizabeth Freeman presents a collection of Kauai-style holiday art inspired by
her and created with the assistance of local artisans from recycled and
focused on environmental sustainability, Festival of Lights provides a spirited
and fun reminder that the true meaning of the holidays comes from the heart,
and not the stores. Every year, thousands of locals and visitors crowd the
halls to view a holiday wonderland of trees, wreathes, ornaments and other
seasonal decorations made from recycled and reclaimed materials such as plastic
water bottles, aluminum cans, cardboard and bubble wrap. Several pieces are
donated designs from previous visitors inspired from their experience.
Holiday Craft Fair at The National Tropical Botanical Garden
South Shore Visitor Center. Dec 7th
Enjoy a day of holiday shopping and entertainment featuring
Kauai made in Hawaii products, jewelry, clothing and more! Get gifts for
everyone on your list including yourself! The craft fair will be accompanied by
a variety of food trucks and live entertainment. Take time to enjoy the gardens
with tours happening throughout the day. Admission to craft fair is free.
Starting at 9 a.m.
Joy of Christmas Festival of Lights
Join us for the “Joy of Christmas” festival of
lights hosted at St. Raphael Church. FREE ADMISSION.
have invited the community to create a celebration of the “12 days of
Kauai Christmas” for all Kauai residents and visitors. Festivities begin
Saturday November 30th and run every Saturday and Sunday after that until
December 22nd from 6pm until 8pm. Christmas light display; Food & Drink
available for purchase; Activities for the Keiki (Children). Delicious soups,
hot plate dinners, hot dogs, popcorn, home-made pastries Hot chocolate, tea,
soda, juice, water.
Shop with many Advent and Christmas specialties for sale.
Join us this year to bring the Joy of Christmas to Keiki, Kapuna and all ages in between. Learn more at:
The Kauai Chorale presents: A Great English Christmas Dec 14th
The annual Kauai Chorale concert is one of Kauai’s favorite
holiday traditions and this season promises a wassailing good time for all
ages! The thoroughly entertaining performance of choral Christmas music from
across the pond will feature works ranging from simple and engaging a cappella
carols to audacious knock-your-socks-off favorites, all written by British
composers from the 16th to the 21st centuries and by one beloved honorary
British subject, George F. Handel. Don’t miss A Great English Christmas
performed by The Kauai Chorale! Tickets are $15 in advance for adults and $18
at the door. Student tickets are $6. https://kauaichorale.brownpapertickets.com
Santa in da House ~ Princeville – Dec 14
is in da House at the Princeville Community Center Saturday, December 14th
the family and your keiki to meet Santa and Light Refreshments will be served
Princeville Community Center 4334 Emmalani Drive, Princeville (across from the Library) BRING YOUR CAMERA for Photos with Santa. website~
New Year’s Eve Celebration @ Poipu Beach Park – Dec 31
Poipu style celebrations bring
your picnic and blankets to celebrate the New Years! Enjoy a family-themed
movie at sunset on the large outdoor screen with a fantastic aerial fireworks display
starting at approximately 8:15pm, all in the gorgeous, ocean-side setting that
Poipu Beach Park provides.
Check out the best food trucks
will be on hand to keep bellies happy by 5:00pm.
The Annual New Year’s Eve Celebration is FREE
of charge and open to the public. Festivities will take place Tuesday, December
31st from 5:00-8:30pm on the grounds of Poipu Beach Park. The New Year’s Eve
Celebration is a long-standing tradition in Poipu, hosted by the Poipu Beach
Foundation in partnership with the Hawaii Tourism Authority and County of Kauai
and made possible through the support and generosity of Kauai’s South Shore
Hui Holidays showcases Made on Maui
artwork by local artists in a festive historical setting at Hui Noeau Visual
Arts Center. By shopping local, you’ll be making a creative investment in our
community, in your neighbors, and in yourselves! Hui Holidays is made possible
with support from the County of Maui Office of Economic Development.
Santa Photos and
Entertainment at Maui Mall – Dec 6th to 21st
Santa’s Elves can hardly wait!
Christmas is near, so let’s celebrate! Enjoy FREE Photos with Santa when you
make a canned good donation for the Maui Food Bank. Located near Center Court
at Maui Mall in unit A-6 next to YNVU Clothing and Regal Cinemas.
Free photos with Santa and live local performances on Fridays and Saturdays
Making with Native Hawaiian Plants at the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens
9am to 12pm
Native plants provide more than
just food and habitat for wildlife: they also provide great beauty all year
long! Learn to make a living wreath from Native Hawaiian Plants in time
for the Holidays with MNBG Executive Director, Tamara Sherrill and ohana.
Cost: $50, or $25 for current garden members. Call 249-2798 or
email email@example.com for reservations.
Maui Nui Botanical Gardens
150 Kanaloa Avenue
Kahului, HI 96732
Festival of Harps
at The Shops at Wailea Dec 8th – 14th – 5:30-7pm
Special Holiday events for a night of music with the Festival
of Harps. The Shops at Wailea is Maui’s premier shopping and dining destination
with more than 70 distinct boutiques, shops, restaurants and galleries.
A Very Merry Holiday Pops Dec 10th – 7:30 to 9:30pm
Celebrate the music of the holiday
season as Maestro Ann Krinitsky leads the HSO and the Sounds of Aloha Chorus.
This festive concert will warm your heart, make spirits bright and put you in a
Very Merry Holiday mood! Click below to purchase tickets directly from Hawaii
Santa will be available for photos.
1130 Bethel Street
Honolulu, HI 96713
Orchestra’s Holiday Pops Concert Dec 15th – 3 to 5pm
The Maui Pops Orchestra invites you to
celebrate the holiday season in style. Half of the concert will be purely
orchestral renderings of familiar holiday music, while the other will feature
three-time Grammy Award nominated pianist David Benoit, who we are delighted to
bring back to the Castle Theater stage. For over three decades, Benoit has
reigned supreme as one the founding fathers of contemporary jazz. Music from
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” will be a delightful part of this program,
which will also feature vocalist Sara Gazarek – hailed as an artist that
“may well turn out to be the next important jazz singer” by the LA
Times. Allow the joy of it all to draw you into the spirit of the season!
Nutcracker Dec 20 to 21st – 7:30 to 10pm
MAPA’s The Nutcracker Friday, December
20, 2019; 7:30 pm & Saturday, December 21, 2019, 3:00 pm Castle Theater
Right before Christmas and all thru the isle, MAPA presents The Nutcracker in
holiday style. With sets & costumes, some new & some old, it’s the
classical story in ballet that’s retold. You may have seen it before in
Chicago, New York, or L.A. but it’s now reimagined in a fresh and exciting new
way. The Sugar Plum Fairy will dance on her toes. Don’t wait to get tickets,
there are only two shows. In the blink of an eye the show will be done, so make
sure you come and be part of the fun. You’ll be amazed by this company’s feat
at bringing to Maui this holiday treat!
Purchase Tickets at:
Maui Arts & Cultural Center – 808-242-7469
.Happy Holidays with Henry Dec 21st
– 7:30 to 10pm
Celebrate the Holidays with Henry
Saturday, December 21, 2019; McCoy Studio Theater; 7:30 pm Henry Kapono invites
you to celebrate the holidays with an evening full of Henry’s classic music!
From Henry’s timeless Merry Christmas to You album to your favorite C&K
classics like “Sailin’,” “Friends,” “Highway in the Sun,” and so many
Maui Arts & Cultural Center
One Cameron Way
Kahului, HI 96732
Bill Maher’s 9th
Annual New Year’s Comedy Extravaganza Dec 3o – 8 to 10pm
Castle Theater The tradition continues
with Bill Maher’s 9th Annual New Year’s Comedy Extravaganza Monday, December
30, 2019; 8:00 pm. Bringing in the New Year for the ninth year in a row Bill will
be joined by special guest comedians, Sarah Silverman and Larry Miller. Adding
to this New Year’s extravaganza are Sarah Silverman and Larry Miller.
Maui Arts & Cultural Center Castle
One Cameron Way
Kahului, HI 96732
Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on Christmas celebrations in Hawaii. I hope you are inspired to plan a visit and enjoy these wonderful attractions. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post.
If you like what you see, come and check out my other social media channels for more updates, including Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter Some links in this article on best places to spend Christmas in the USA are affiliates which provide a small commission to support this site at no extra cost to you. Thank you for reading, and happy travels