Your 2021 Guide to Hawaiʻi’s Holiday Events

Ho-ho-holiday events are just around the corner, and here are a few to keep your eyes on this December.
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Photo: David Croxford

While many Christmas and holiday events took a year off in 2020 due to COVID-19, they’ve returned this year in full force.

So if your holly jolly itinerary is looking a bit blank, then you’ll want to check out some of these festive affairs that only come around once a year.

Honolulu City Lights

Now through the end of December

Those on Oʻahu will want to check out the Honolulu City Lights, a grand spectacle of oversized ornaments, lit-up palm trees and a plethora of places to take pictures with family or friends. Put together by the non-profit Friends of Honolulu City Lights as well as the City and County of Honolulu itself, the showcase of holiday joy will be up through the end of December.

For more information, visit the Friends of Honolulu City Lights website.

Festival of Lights Boat Parade

Saturday, Dec. 11

The 24th Annual Christmas Boat Parade in Hawaiʻi Kai on Oʻahu is an exciting showing of Christmas-decorated boats that will sail around the Hawaiʻi Kai Marina for locals and visitors to admire.

A parade map and additional information can be found on its website

Jake Shimabukuro, Christmas in Hawaiʻi

Sunday to Tuesday, Dec. 19 to Dec. 21

The prodigious son of ʻukulele, Jake Shimabukuro, will be playing live at Blue Note Hawaiʻi in Honolulu with a Christmas-themed setlist. Not only that, but he’ll also be playing alongside fellow Hawaiʻi musician Thunderstorm Artis and Japanese percussionist Taku Hirano. Get your tickets soon, as they’re expected to sell out fast.

Book tickets at Blue Note Hawaii’s website.

Festival of Lights

Now through the end of December

Kauaʻi’s premier Christmas showcase, the Festival of Lights has been a Kauaʻi tradition for decades and is put on by volunteers within the community. In normal years, the handmade ornaments and displays would be housed in the Kauaʻi Historic County Building in Līhuʻe, however to maintain safe social distancing, the event will largely take place in the park just outside the building. And you can visit Santa and Mrs. Claus on the porch of the Historic County Building on December 10, 17 and Christmas Eve from 6 to 8 p.m.

For more information about attending, visit the Festival of Lights’ website

Kauaʻi Ballet Academy’s “The Nutcracker”

Saturday, Dec. 18

A truly magical holiday show, watch as the Kauaʻi Ballet Academy and its students perform the classic ballet act, “The Nutcracker,” where Clara and the Nutcracker Prince set out on a magical journey through a snow-covered forest to the Land of Sweets.

Tickets are being sold through the Kauaʻi Ballet Academy’s website

Hui Holidays 2021

Now to Dec. 24

If you’ve been slacking on your holiday shopping—don’t worry, we all have—then this is the event for you. A Christmas shopping extravaganza at the Hui Noʻeau Visual Arts Center in Makawao, Maui, The Hui highlights local vendors and crafters perfect for visitors or locals looking to buy handmade gifts for friends and family.

Find out more on The Hui Holidays website

A Christmas Stroll at Kekuaokalani

Saturday, Dec. 11

Food trucks, floats, live music and more at this Christmas celebration at Kekuaokalani in beautiful Kailua-Kona, Hawaiʻi Island. Put on by the Kailua-Kona Community Parade Association—in partnership with the Rotary Clubs of West Hawaiʻi and the County of Hawaiʻi—Santa will also be making an appearance to keep spirits high and take pictures with keiki (kids).

For more information, visit the Kailua-Kona Community Parade Association’s website

Categories: Family, Shopping