The Christmas Lights Road Trip Through Hawaii That’s Nothing Short Of Magical

What’s Christmas like in Hawaii? From Kaneohe and Kailua to Makakilo and Kapolei, Christmas lights completely deck out the beautiful island of Oahu this holiday season. But with so many magical light displays to choose from, where do you even begin? That’s why we’re here – to create a compact and picturesque itinerary across the island to experience some of the best Christmas displays around. For the sake of simplicity – and in consideration of the short amount of time you’re sure to have available this week – we’ve opted for a road trip that takes up little time.

This road trip begins in Honolulu, before traveling through Pearl City, Aiea, and Waikele before ending in Mililani; the entire itinerary brings you to nine magical light displays. Oh, and while you’re driving across the island, we bet you’ll enjoy listening to these 9 Hawaii Christmas songs.

Mele Kalikimaka, everybody! Please share your favorite Christmas photos with us on our Only In Hawaii Facebook Page, and be sure to check out these 10 enchanting Christmas towns, as well as these 8 magical light displays across the Hawaiian Islands before it’s too late.

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Christmas in Hawaii

October 15, 2022

What are the top Christmas towns in Hawaii?

Hawaii loves to make a spectacle at Christmas, and several towns are happy to go all out. The Kauai town of Lihue lives it up with its Festival of Lights where local residents decorate their town with festive holiday style, much of it made with recycled materials. It's one of the most amazing Hawaii holiday light displays. The voices of the Kauai Chorale make it extra special. Waimea, on the Big Island, hosts the Waimea Lighted Christmas Parade with trucks and floats decked out with gorgeous lights. They follow it with a party at Hofgaard Park where music and shows delight the audience.

Where is the best Christmas shopping in Hawaii?

The ultimate Christmas market is the Mele Kalikimaka Marketplace. "Mele Kalikimaka" is Hawaiian for Merry Christmas, and the crafts and gifts available here sure make for a happy holiday! Locally crafted goods of all kinds can be found here from gorgeous wood furniture to shell necklaces, to hand-sewn bags, wallets, and purses. With entertainment and stories for the kids, this is where to bring the family during the holiday season. Sand People is a lovely shop with several locations and they always have wonderful ocean-themed gifts to send to your loved ones on the mainland.

What are the most magical holiday events in Hawaii?

It's no surprise that Hawaiian locals love to spend time in and on the ocean, and it's no different at Christmastime. Are there Christmas lights in Hawaii? You bet! The Festival of Lights Boat Parade turns boats into floats and you can watch them cruise by adorned in stunning holiday-themed displays, many of them weaving Hawaiian culture into the amazing decorations and lights. The Waikiki Holiday Parade honors the holidays as well as veterans and survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Members of the military, service bands, and Santa Claus march down the streets of Waikiki making a memorable experience for all.