If you’re lucky enough to be spending Christmas in Hawaii, you may be wondering just what there is to do during the holidays in the tropics. While Santa may have traded in his warm red suit for a more appropriate flowery Hawaii shirt, you can be certain that Hawaiians and their holiday visitors get in the spirit just like their friends in the contiguous United States.
The most popular Hawaiian destination, both during the holidays and year round, is the island of Oahu, known as “The Gathering Place.” Oahu offers a diverse mix of outdoor recreation and water sports, beautiful scenery, fascinating history, and rich cultures. The famous Waikiki vacation spot is located on the South Shore, right by the state’s capital, Honolulu. Excited to say “Mele Kalikimaka” in Hawaii yet? Read on to see what Oahu attractions you and your family can enjoy.
Celebrate the Season
Although you likely came to Hawaii to escape the typical holiday aura (good-bye snow!), you probably don’t want to skip Christmas all together.
Still have some shopping to do? You’ll find the most unique gifts at unbeatable prices at the Aloha Stadium Swap meet & Marketplace, an open air flea market near Waikiki featuring over 400 local merchants. This year, the Marketplace is offering extended holiday hours and discounted admission and free admission for kids, so you can shop all you want from December 19th right through Christmas Eve (from 8 AM to 3 PM daily). There will also be post office service available right at the market, so you can ship gifts home without worrying about extra luggage.
For a nice evening activity with your family, head to ala Moana Mall’s Center Court for the Mele Trees of Light each day through December 23rd. This is a sing-a-long event featuring favorite holiday carols, accompanied by a lights show emanating from five glimmering trees.
Don’t forget about pictures with Santa. Your kids will leave Hawaii with a very special souvenir when you take them to see Santa and snap a few pictures with the jolly fellow. Photo sessions are available through December 24th at the Ala Moana Mall, the Kahala Mall, the Pearlridge Shopping Center, and the Ward Center.
If you don’t feel like cooking on your vacation, enjoy an elegant Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner at the Prince Court in Waikiki. The special holiday buffet features a variety of fresh seafood like Shrimp and Scallop Scampi, Prince Style Clam Chowder, and steamed crab legs. There’s also an array of veggie dishes, chicken entrees, and the Roast Pork and Kalua Pig station for those less impressed with seafood. Of course, holiday desserts and elegant décor complete the festive event.
Unwind in the Sunshine
Ahh, there’s just nothing like relaxing on the white sandy beaches of Oahu or cruising through the crystal clear waters of the Pacific to undo the stress of the work week. Settle down on Waikiki Beach with a beach chair or umbrella rental from Hawaiian Ocean’s Beach Gear and hang loose for the afternoon. Pick-up a boogie board rental for the kids and they’ll be entertained all day.
You can also choose from several sails and cruises during your stay in Hawaii aboard some of the most luxurious yachts. The Makani Turtle Canyon Snorkel/Sail Combo offers a light breakfast aboard the opulent boat, a serene excursion through Hawaiian waters, and the chance to hop out and swim or snorkel among the sea turtles and exotic fish. You’ll likely even see dolphins in the distance.
Outdoor Adventure & “Winter Sports”
Forget freezing your tail end off while skiing and ice skating. Winter sports in Hawaii include surfing, snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, and more.
During your Christmas in Hawaii, make the most of outdoor Oahu attractions you can’t get anywhere else. Test your balance with Stand Up Paddle Boarding in the calm, protected waters of Ala Moana Beach Park or schedule a Private Surfing Lesson in the quiet and scenic Maunalua Bay.
Meanwhile, land lovers will enjoy biking around the South Shore’s many sights with Hawaiian Style Rentals, going off the beaten path with a moped rental, or hiking the famous Diamond Head Crater. In fact, no one should leave Hawaii without climbing to the top of this inactive volcano, which offers unparalleled views of the coastline.
Looking to really escape during your Christmas vacation? Kualoa Ranch Secret Island Beach offers the perfect opportunity on a secluded beach so beautiful that movies and television shows are often filmed there. During your afternoon on Secret Island, you can also enjoy full use of the Island’s facilities, including kayaks, canoes, beach volleyball, and badminton. Alternatively, a nap in a hammock is always an option.
Discounted Oahu Attractions
With Smart Destinations, you can get discounts on Oahu attractions of your choosing, taking advantage of sales up to 55% of admission prices. One of the most convenient ways to save is with the Hawaii Holiday Attractions Package, featuring five fun outdoor attractions at 55% off. Visit SmartDestinations.com to find out more.