Visit Hawaii in December: Christmas celebrations, outdoor fun and sunny weather around all the islands

Thinking about visiting Hawaii in December? The holidays and Christmas are really special on the islands and December is really one of the special months to visit Hawaii. Not only is the weather pleasant and enjoyable, but the Christmas spirit along with Aloha really shines throughout the islands with both locals and visitors being in a joyful and celebratory mode.

Typical Hawaii weather in December

Typical Hawaii weather in December

In December, Hawaii typically enjoys daytime temperatures in the low 80s, making it a prime time to enjoy being outdoors and many adventure activities or just driving around and spending time in nature or in the water. Evenings can be a little cooler with temperatures ranging into the upper 60s. While it might seem cooler for the Pacific, a light jacket or sweater provides sufficient warmth.

December marks the rainiest month in Hawaii, but it’s not a major concern. Showers are brief, lasting around 10 minutes or less and mostly occurring during the night or early morning timeframe. Carrying an umbrella or lightweight rain jacket is a good idea, although rain primarily falls at night.

If rain dues persist, you can easily drive or take public transportation and consider staying on the leeward side of the islands, known for being drier. Alternatively, you can opt for islands with less rain in December, such as the Big Island and Maui.

The ocean remains warm and inviting, perfect for water sports enthusiasts and beach strolls. However, higher elevations and mountain excursions can be quite chilly, so be sure to bring a jacket and long pants for those adventures.

Enjoy your December in Hawaii!

Average Rainfall and temperature on the islands

Average Rainfall and temperature on the islands

Certainly, here’s a table displaying the average temperatures and rainfall for each of Hawaii’s main islands during the month of December:

IslandAverage HighAverage LowAverage Rainfall
OahuAround 80°F (27°C)Upper 60s°F (around 19°C)Approximately 2.9 inches
MauiAround 80°F (27°C)Upper 60s°F (around 19°C)Approximately 2.6 inches
Big Island (Hawaii)Around 80°F (27°C)Upper 60s°F (around 19°C)Approximately 3.9 inches
KauaiAround 78°F (26°C)Upper 60s°F (around 19°C)Approximately 4.7 inches

These figures offer insights into the average temperatures and rainfall on Hawaii’s main islands during the month of December. Please note that these are general averages, and microclimates within each island can lead to variations. Enjoy your December trip to Hawaii!

What are the crowds and tourist season like in Hawaii during December?

What are the crowds and tourist season like in Hawaii during December?

December is considered one of the peak tourist seasons in Hawaii, and it’s a popular time for travelers to visit the islands. Here’s what you can expect in terms of crowds and the tourist season in Hawaii during December:


  • High Tourist Activity: December sees a significant influx of tourists, especially during the holiday season. Many visitors from colder climates choose Hawaii as their warm and tropical escape.
  • Crowded Beaches: Popular beaches can get crowded, particularly on Oahu and Maui. Iconic spots like Waikiki Beach may be bustling.
  • Reservations Recommended: It’s advisable to make reservations for accommodations, restaurants, and tours well in advance, as availability can become limited.

Tourist Season:

  • Holiday Season: December is a holiday season with festive events and decorations. Christmas and New Year’s are celebrated with special events and fireworks.
  • Ideal Weather: Travelers are drawn to Hawaii in December due to the pleasant weather, with warm temperatures and relatively low humidity.
  • Water Sports: It’s an excellent time for water sports and activities due to the inviting ocean temperatures.


  • Festive Atmosphere: Hawaii embraces the holiday spirit with decorations and special events, making it a festive and enjoyable time to visit.
  • Ideal Weather: December offers some of the best weather conditions, making it perfect for outdoor activities, beach days, and exploring.


  • Higher Prices: Due to the peak tourist season, prices for accommodations and activities can be higher than during the off-peak months.
  • Crowds: Crowds at popular attractions and beaches may reduce the sense of tranquility, especially if you’re seeking a quieter getaway.

In summary, December is a fantastic time to visit Hawaii for those who enjoy a festive atmosphere, great weather, and a wide range of activities. However, it’s important to plan ahead, make reservations, and be prepared for larger crowds and potentially higher prices. If you’re looking for a quieter experience, you might consider visiting during the shoulder seasons in spring or fall.

Hawaii Events & Highlights in December

Hawaii Events & Highlights in December

The holiday season brings about a surge in activities across the Hawaiian islands. It’s a fantastic time and with celebrations happening around the many cities and towns, bustling shopping districts, hotels, and residences adorn themselves in festive decorations.

You can experience a unique Hawaiian Christmas with vibrant luaus, lavish Yuletide feasts, and the option for a Christmas Eve cruise aboard one of the many dinner cruises around the islands or a variety of special events happening at many venues and also sponsored by the tourist bureau. Furthermore, shopping malls and major hotels each host their distinct annual holiday events. The community joins in the festivities with cheerful light displays, garden celebrations, delightful encounters with “Santa Claus,” and even the occasional surprise of snowfall or arrival by canoe!

Hawaii Events & Highlights in December

Here are some typical Christmas events and celebrations you can look forward to in the Hawaiian Islands for 2023:

Check out these events and holiday cheer in  Hawaii


  1. Honolulu City Lights: The Honolulu City Lights display in downtown Honolulu features a massive Christmas tree, holiday-themed parades, and a beautiful cityscape adorned with lights and decorations.
  2. Ko Olina’s Festival of Lights: Ko Olina Resort offers a Festival of Lights with festive displays, holiday performances, and a chance to meet Santa Claus.


  1. Holiday Pops Concert: Maui’s premier Christmas event with the orchestra playing at various venues around the island with popular Xmas cheer and tunes.
  2. Wailea Tree Lighting: The Wailea Beach Resort lights up a grand Christmas tree, accompanied by live entertainment and festive cheer.

Hawaii Events & Highlights in December

Big Island (Hawaii):

  1. Hawaiian Nutcracker Ballet: Enjoy a unique Hawaiian twist on the classic Nutcracker ballet at the Kahilu Theatre in Waimea.
  2. Waimea Christmas Twilight Parade: Waimea hosts a vibrant Christmas parade with beautifully decorated floats and a visit from Santa.


  1. Kauai Festival of Lights: The historic County Building in Lihue is transformed into a dazzling display of Christmas lights and decorations. This event is a beloved tradition on the island.
  2. Kauai Sings Christmas Concert: Enjoy a heartwarming Christmas concert featuring local talent at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Lihue.

These are just a few of the many Christmas events and activities you can enjoy across the Hawaiian Islands in 2023. Keep an eye on local event calendars and check with individual locations for specific dates and details as the holiday season approaches.

Check out these other posts to visiting Hawaii

Check out these other posts to visiting Hawaii

Find out more about visiting the islands with these topics and tips we share below.

Hawaiian culture and traditions

Popular local food and Hawaiian style food

Hawaii travel guide primer

Fun and interesting facts about Hawaii

Hawaii Travel Tips

What’s it like living in Hawaii

Best time to visit Hawaii

Hawaii in December 1

Final thoughts to Visiting Hawaii in December

Visiting Hawaii in December promises a memorable escape. Embrace the festive spirit, beautiful weather, and endless adventures. Just remember to plan ahead for the holiday crowds and book your activities and accommodations early. Whether you’re exploring the vibrant towns or relaxing on sun-kissed beaches, you’re in for a tropical paradise like no other. Enjoy the warmth of the Aloha State and create lasting memories!

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Noel Morata this Hawaii Life

Meet Noel Morata

Noel Morata is the creator of This Hawaii Life along with a small team of contributors. Living on the Big Island and traveling regularly to the neighbor islands, Noel and team actively search and share the latest information and updates to Hawaii travel, food, adventure and various lifestyle activities on the islands for your planning and vacation. Aloha and enjoy This Hawaii Life.