Christmas Activities in Hawaii You Will Love
Christmastime in Hawaii is special. While you won’t find icicles and snow drifts, you’ll find the same jolly celebrations and giving holiday spirit you are familiar with at home. After all, Santa visits children all over the world, and Hawaii is no exception. Read on to learn about Christmas activities in Hawaii, and remember to say “mele kalikimaka” — that’s “Merry Christmas” in Hawaiian!
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, See You at the Parade!
This event has grown in popularity over the decades, with thousands of spectators bringing holiday spirit.
The Waimea Christmas Twilight Parade has a nearly 60 year history of lighting up The Big Island. You’ll see lights, costumes, dancing and more. Don’t miss the lighted truck brigade as they show off their decorations along the parade route.
Christmas Markets: Holiday Goodies and Real Snow!
Heading to the marketplace is one of the time honored Christmas activities in Hawaii.
At Hukilau Marketplace on the North Shore at the Polynesian Cultural Center, you’ll find Christmas treats and special events to share that holiday cheer. Keep your eyes peeled for keepsakes and even get an airbrushed tattoo of a sprig of holly to celebrate the season.
Events include selfies with Santa, music, a live nativity and more. Plus, come on the “snow day” and you’ll find actual SNOW for inner tubing. The kids will love it.
The Mele Kalikimaka Marketplace is a one stop shop event for Hawaiian and Christmas themed gifts, with over 150 vendors and photos with Santa and his reindeer. There’s nothing easier than getting all of your shopping done in one spot, and while you’re at it, you can listen to live music and sample some of the best foods around. You can even participate in the gingerbread workshop, where you and your children can put together and decorate a gingerbread house.
Meet Shaka Santa and Tūtū Mele
If sparkling lights bring a twinkle to your eye, consider Honolulu City Lights as one of the can’t miss Christmas activities in Hawaii. Check out the 50 foot, fully decorated Christmas tree, complete with aloha-style decorations. You won’t want to miss nearby Shaka Santa and Tūtū Mele as they greet you. Weighing two tons, these special Hawaiian statues will delight and charm you as they “hang loose”.
Santa was first installed in 1989, and these statues have undergone some changes throughout the years. Originally, Santa held up a waving hand at passers by, but the shaka symbol with its uniquely Hawaiian origins sent a message of aloha along with Christmas cheer.