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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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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When you visit Honolulu, one of the must visit sites to start off your vacation to Oahu is going up to Diamond Head crater and check out the amazing views from the top. This iconic cinder cone with a crater on the edge of Waikiki always seems to be on everyone’s photo capture of the Waikiki capture and is a fantastic experience to see Honolulu from a different vantage point. Check out why a Diamond Head hike should be on the top of your list in visiting Honolulu soon.
Visiting Diamond Head State Monument
The state park entrance is open seven days a week and with parking available at $5 per car and entry to hike the trails at $1 per person. You pay at the gate entrance and drive directly to park entrance or park if you are driving. There is a visitor center with souvenir stand, restrooms and even a food truck for cool drinks and fresh pineapples.
How to get to Diamond Head Crater
There are a few key ways to get to Diamond Head and the main entrance area which is on the northeast end of the park entrance. Here’s the main options on easily getting to the park.
Take an Uber – easy access on your phone app to book a trip to Diamond Head, it’s hassle free to book directly with Uber. The difficulty tends to be the return trip and price increases due to less availability when you are waiting for a return trip.
2. Go by bus – taking the bus to and from Diamond Head is definitely the affordable option at $2.75 per direction. You just need to check the schedules on when the bus goes in either direction to the bus stop right at the entrance to the park grounds.
3. Drive yourself – if you have access to a car then driving to the park is fast and easy and parking per car is only $5 for the whole day.
4. Walk to the entrance – A very long walk from Waikiki, it is doable but definitely takes a bit of time and you have a lot of walking to do right from the start of the park entrance
5. Take the cable car buses – these regular trolley buses plying through the Honolulu and Waikiki areas stop directly at the park entrance. You can book a day pass directly with the Waikiki trolley lines for trips to most attractions in the Honolulu area.
Start of hike up Diamond Head Crater
There is a trail head marker past the restrooms that shares the history of Diamond Head and how it was used in the past to present day. The trails are paved and easy from the start and then change into gravel and sand when the trail starts uphill. It gets narrow at this point and traffic does get busy for both uphill and downhill climbers.
The average time to do the hike is about two hours round trip, more if you take more time for pictures and time frame that you are busy. The best time to visit is earlier in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid crowds and excessive heat going to the top.
Look out points at Diamond Head
Along the way to the top are many lookout points to the crater floor and views to the east side and coastal views. At the the mid point, you’ll hit your first set up stairs which then leads to a long dark tunnel and eventually a circular staircase that is a real work out so take your time. Those that are physically challenged should take plenty of rests with benches located throughout the trail areas.
Tip – if you don’t want to enter the tunnel and circular climb, you have an option to do the route from the left side to nice views and a slower climb to the top without doing the circular stair case.
Entering the long dark tunnel at Diamond Head below
After the tunnel area, you enter another climb with a circular stair case to the top. (You can choose to go on the left side option after the first stairs if you choose not to go up the circular stairs). Take your time going up the stairs because it is used for climbing and also descending.
Reaching the top of Diamond Head Crater
After you pass through the staircase you finally get to the opening with nice views of the areas below, but there is another short staircase with a viewing platform that is very busy so can your time enjoying the views and doing your selfies of gorgeous Waikiki and Honolulu.
Check out this video of Diamond Head for inspiration to visiting below.
Descending Diamond Head
You have an option of climbing back down the circular staircase but the best route back is to take the slow declining route on the left side with nice views of the east side coatline, beaches and the ritzy areas of Diamond Head, Lanikai, Portlock and Kahala.
Check out this beautiful light house below
The trails connects back to the main trail and stairs down to the crater floor and in no time you get back to the restrooms and visitor center.
Tips on visiting Diamond Head Crater
Bring plenty of water or you can purchase at the vending machines when you enter the park.
It is very hot and busy mid day so if you want to avoid both go early or later in the morning
You can take various transportation modes and the cheapest is the bus coming from Waikiki and costs $2.75 one way
Wear good shoes, the climb is over 560 feet over mixed terrain
Bring sunscreen, the sun is harsh mid morning to later afternoon
Diamond Head is not ADA compliant and a challenge for non active visitors
There are no bathrooms at the top of the lookout areas.
Love photography – check out these tours
If you love to capture some of the best photographs of Honolulu and Oahu consider some of these cool tours to take.
Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on the Diamond Head hike. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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Lahaina, Maui is a must visit on the island and there are some fantastic things that you can do absolutely free, DIY activity or even have a wonderful tour experience in West Maui. With so much to see and do in Lahaina and the surrounding areas, you can check out these top 20 things to do in Lahaina, Maui to plan your visit or stay in the area.
Check out these fun and cool things to do in Lahaina
1. Do a self-tour of Historic Lahaina
Once the first capital of the Kingdom Hawaii, Lahaina has 62 historic landmarks in this trail that you can visit on a self-tour of the important and historic sites around the city. You can check out the web tour here for more details on the places that you can follow directly on this trail and at your own pace.
2. Art Galleries of Lahaina
For Art lovers, it’s easy to visit all the art galleries centered in Lahaina for this pleasant art discovery tour. Covering a spectrum of art from glass, ceramics, jewelry, painted mediums to sculpture, you’ll enjoying seeing all the local artists promoted at all these fantastic galleries in town and maybe take home a lovely piece of art from Maui. Check out the top galleries to visit here for locations and what you’ll see in town.
3.Take a glass blowing class in Lahaina
If you want to do something artistic and unique in Lahaina, consider taking a fun glass blowing class with an instructor from Moana Glass and you even get to go home with a sample glass that you help to create. These private lessons on glass blowing will be one of the most fun and creative thing you can do visiting Maui and you even get to choose what type of art glass you can work on.
4. Visit the Banyan tree of Lahaina
Planted in 1873, this famous banyan tree is huge at over 60 feet tall and has 12 major trunks that make it look like several trees but is actually just one tree. Covering an area of over 200 feet, it provides shade for over 2/3 of an acre and has many benches set so you can sit in the shade.
5. Check out Iao Valley State park and botanical gardens
You can tour the beautiful botanical gardens, display ethnic villages and easy hikes through this scenic valley self-tour and all for free. It’s a nice place to enjoy lush tropical plantings and show gardens and natural settings in this gorgeous botanical garden. Check out their website here for more details to visiting the park.
6. Free Music performances and community Festivals
There are so many free festivals happening every week in Maui offered through the visitor’s bureau and other organizations. You can check the local papers, the tourist magazines or even the tourism website here for an updated list of free events and festivals happening in Maui when you visit.
7. Go Deep Sea Fishing off Lahaina
Want to catch some really big fish in Maui, then sign up for a fishing charter experience and do something really cool on the water. There are so many big fish you can try to get and these fishing outfitters provide all the equipment, lessons, and lunch and all you have to do is show up and enjoy your day out on the Maui coastal waters and sunshine and hopefully catch some really big fish. You have your choice of these fishing charters here and at different price points that can fit your individual needs and time frame.
8. Enjoy sunset on the beach
Can anything be better and simpler than enjoying sunset on the beach at Maui? Well maybe a nice cool drink and some pupu’s (appetizers) but it definitely is a nice was to end a spectacular day on the beach then to watch the sun go down with those striking warm and golden colors and just witnessing another beautiful day in Maui.
9. Free Hula Lessons, Hula shows and Ukulele classes
If you’re musically inclined, head out to the Lahaina
Cannery Mall which offers free hula lessons every Thursdays at 5:00 pm to learn
some basic moves and free hula shows are performed every Saturday and Sunday at
1pm to popular Hawaiian songs.
If you want to try an ukulele class for free, head out the to stage area on Tuesdays at 5:30. Even if you just want to brush up on some new chords, put this on your calendar.
10. Maui Fridays
Every Friday at a different location in Maui is part of
Maui town Fridays with food truck vendors, art and crafts booths, food from
local vendors and live entertainment programs sponsored by the County of Maui.
You can check out this website here for
more information and details to Maui Fridays
Check out the Friday events below
• 1st Friday of the
Month, Wailuku (Central Maui) on Market Street
• 2nd Friday, Lahaina (West Maui) on Front
• 4th Friday, Kihei
(South Maui) at Azeka Shopping Center Mauka
5th Friday, Lanai
11. Go on a Submarine or glass bottom tour around Lahaina’s coast
Want to do something really unique and fun under the sea without getting wet? How about a submarine cruise around different parts of Maui to explore the marine life, corals and tropical fish at some hidden destinations that your crew will take you to. Check out this submarine or glass bottom tours here for more details and information to booking a trip on an Atlantis submarine.
12. Go for a local shave ice treat
For a cheap and delicious treat try some local shaved Ice and the local favorite shop to try some of the exotic flavors. There’s so many fantastic places to try shave ice on the island, but check out the local favorites here for more inspiration on where to go for the best of the best in Maui.
13. Go take a surfing class in Maui
What could be a more classic adventure than going surfing in Maui. If you’re a beginner or just want to brush up on some water skills, think about a surfing class with these outfitters that head off from the Lahaina area. You can choose a variety of surfing classes here with group lessons, private classes and even Sup touring classes for you to enjoy. Once your hooked, you’ll enjoy spending a lot more time in the water on a surf board riding the waves in Maui.
14. Go to a local farmers market in Maui
You can go to a variety of farmers markets around Maui to get fresh produce and finished goods, take-out meals, arts and crafts and locally made products that you can take home. It’s fun to see where the locals shop, hang out and support local vendors on the island and try some delicious made foods yourself. Check out the following farmers markets available to visitors in these farmers markets on the island for where to find the local markets, timeframe and hours. You might also want to check out the regular Maui swap meet that sells produce, finished foods, flea market finds and arts and crafts that happens every Saturday in Kahului starting at 7am.
15. Sunset sail off Lahaina
Want a perfect way to end the day in Maui? How about a nice sunset cruise, with cocktails and maybe a nice dinner with gorgeous coastal views of Maui and an amazing sunset to boot? You’ll enjoy your choice of these sunset sailing adventures here to explore and enjoy a trip on the water and seeing Maui in a different perspective on a sunset sail.
16. Visit the Baldwin House Museum in Lahaina
Considered the oldest historic home in Maui, the Baldwin House was the home of Reverend Ephraim Spaulding who had this home built in 1834 to 1835 on Maui. After he became sick, Reverend Dwight Baldwin and his wife moved in and eventually raised 8 children in this home which he remodeled into a second story to fit the needs of this large family. The home was converted eventually into a living museum where you can see early settlement and the lifestyle of the missionaries on Maui.
17. Enjoy a fabulous Luau in Maui
Want to enjoy a classic cultural experience with delicious food to eat. You can definitely can do both with any of the fantastic Luaus available in Maui to choose from with fabulous drinks, entertainment, food prep showcasing and of course all the delicious traditional and local style foods to sample at this luau. You can choose from any of these wonderful luau events here for more details and schedules that you can book directly from their site. (Make sure you book early, since shows are always full and a popular attraction to do in Maui.
18. Explore Lahaina’s front street
Lahaina’s front street is filled with fantastic shopping fun with tourist shops, boutique stores, art galleries, bars and a variety of food venues to enjoy. Front street is the major thoroughfare in Lahaina and fun to explore along with checking out the bayfront scene and all the historic sites of downtown Lahaina.
19. Go on a whale watching tour
When its whale watching season in winter time, you definitely will see a lot of whales and the best way to do this up close is to take a cruising tour to some of the typical spots around the island that these outfitters typically know. You can sign up directly with any of these whale watching outfitters here to book this wonderful cruise experience today.
20. A helicopter experience above Maui
If you’re looking for that once in a lifetime Maui experience, consider going on a helicopter ride through lush rainforests and waterfalls, gorgeous coastlines to explore or even fly all the way up to Haleakala and the stunning landscape from above. You have your choice of different helicopter outfitters and tours here to review and consider which one fits your needs and budget. But definitely book early since helicopter tours are a popular adventure experience to do in Maui.
Where to stay in Lahaina
Lahaina Shores Beach Resort – a very popular and great base to stay in Maui and well rated, this resorts located close to front street, has great views, fantastic service and walking distance to restaurants and shops.
Ka’anapali Beach Hotel – Oceanfront in Ka’anapali area with ample buffet breakfast, free entertainment shows and comfortable rooms with garden or ocean views.
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa – A gorgeous 40 acre oceanfront property with beautiful pools, gardens, cultural programs and luau, rooftop venues, friendly service and excellent restaurants.
Check out these highly rated hotels reviewed from Trip Advisor here for images and details.
Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on Top 20 things to do in Lahaina, Maui. 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 Top 20 things to do in Lahaina, Maui are affiliates which provide a small commission to support this site at no extra cost to you. Thank you for reading, and happy travels