Aloha Friday Picks: Visit Santa, Watch the Surf and Ride a Holly Jolly Trolley

Do you hear those those sleigh bells jingling?

Aloha Friday Picks is a weekly news blog that will run every Friday and features three things we recommend you do, try or experience over the weekend. Send us tips at

It really is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, all through the Islands. So now’s the time for you to do these only-in-Winter activities to help you—if you’re not already—get into the holly, jolly, holiday mood.

1. Get your picture taken with Santa—sorta

Don’t forget your mask!
Photo: Getty Images

It wouldn’t be a proper holiday season without Santa taking pictures with the keiki (kids) now would it? And while COVID-19 has done its best to put a stop to everything merry, nobody can prevent Santa from spreading the Christmas spirit, one kid—and adult—at a time. Father Christmas will be at most major malls in Hawaiʻi, like Ala Moana Center on Oʻahu and Queens’ Marketplace on Hawaiʻi Island, to get his picture taken with young and old. There will be some COVID-19 safety measures, like contactless visits and proper social distancing, in place to make sure Santa, his elves and you yourself stay healthy. Sorry, but this year, Santa’s lap is strictly off-limits.

2. Hop aboard a holly, jolly trolley

The Honolulu City Lights have been scaled down this year due to COVID-19.
Photo: David Croxford

Want to enjoy the colossal ornaments surrounding the Honolulu Hale without having to worry about driving or finding parking? Then you’ll definitely want to buy a ticket—or two—to the Waikīkī Trolley’s Holiday Lights Trolley Tour. Departing from Auahi Street in Ward Village, the festive open-air double-decker bus takes its riders in-out-and-around the Honolulu Hale’s lit up displays two times. During the ride, parents and kids can sing along to Christmas songs playing through the bus’s speakers and listen to feel-good holiday stories told by the tour staff.

3. Watch the 2021 Billabong Pipe Masters from your living room

For some, Pipeline looking like this is the best Christmas present that they could ask for.
Photo: Getty Images

In a year without COVID, we’d normally recommend that you watch the Billabong Pipe Masters—where some of the top male pro surfers compete at the epic Banzai Pipeline—from the beach. However, that is no longer an option. To combat the gathering of large crowds, the World Surf League is working with the City & County of Honolulu to stop people from gathering at the Ehukai Beach Park, where the event takes place. But don’t fret! The WSL has had amazing streaming services for years already, and its competitions can be streamed out to your laptop, smart TV or phone by visiting the WSL’s website. Following a truly ridiculous run of swell, the contest is expected to broadcast once more as a solid run of waves fills in on Sunday. Fingers crossed!

Categories: News