It’s officially December, which means that Christmas is right around the corner. In addition to holiday shopping, baking sugar cookies with Grandma, decorating your home, and spending time with family and friends, there are various places in Hawaii to truly get into the holiday spirit. While cities throughout Hawaii celebrate Christmas well, these nine towns are just a little merrier this season.
Honolulu City Lights is perhaps the largest Christmas celebration across the state. The event began in 1985 when former Mayor Frank F. Fasi held a free event that featured holiday lights and a concert on the main lawn, and lights that stretched downtown to the civic center. This year’s event will begin Saturday, December 5 and run through January 1.
If you will be spending the holiday season on Kauai, Lihue is the place to be. The annual Kauai Festival of Lights is a magnificent display of holiday cheer – from fantastic themed trees to Hawaiian-inspired decorations, all with the help of local artisans, and using recycled materials whenever possible. The lights are set to be illuminated December 4 at 6 p.m., right after a holiday performance by the Kauai Chorale.
Home to Brigham Young University’s Hawaii campus and the Polynesian Cultural Center, Laie is a small town with a lot of Christmas spirit. Christmas in Polynesia brings a winter wonderland to Hawaii, complete with a canoe ride to admire the center’s beautiful lights, live musical performances that pay tribute to holiday traditions around the world, arts and crafts, and photos with Santa.
The Ritz Carlton in Kapalua has got the right idea – what is better than admiring beautifully decorated Christmas trees from the swimming pool? The entire resort is decked out for the holidays – from the hotel lobby to the expansive swimming pools – and there are a variety of holiday festivities throughout the month of December. This is the perfect spot for a Christmas getaway – no matter where you live now.
Waimea is the place to be on the Big Island December 19. The 20th annual Waimea Lighted Christmas Parade starts at 6 p.m., and features enchanting floats decked with twinkling lights. After the parade, a large Christmas party at Hofgaard Park will feature live music and entertainment.
6) Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
Ships and submarines with homeports in Hawaii participate in the annual Pearl Harbor Holiday Festival of Lights. Evening boat tours offer service members, their families, and DoD civilians closeup views of the decorations and lights.
Though Christmas lights make their way into all areas of Lahaina, the best Christmas light display is definitely at Banyan Tree Park. The banyan tree – planted in 1873 and the oldest in the state – is covered in colored lights, making for one magical experience.
Every December, Oahu’s “second city” is taken over by the Kapolei City Lights, a Christmas event that began in 2001 and keeps getting bigger every year. In addition to the annual parade, which will be held Saturday, December 12 this year, Kapolei Hale will be decked out with Christmas cheer through January 1.
From the 31st annual Christmas parade to a variety of Christmas concerts and a lighted boat parade, Kailua-Kona is full of holiday spirit. Join in the festivities for the parade Saturday, December 12 at 5 p.m.
There truly is nothing like spending the holidays in Hawaii. Where is your favorite place to celebrate Christmas in Hawaii? Mele Kalikimaka!