Ultimate Guide to Christmas in Honolulu, Oahu: Waikiki Christmas Activities and Festivities (2023)

by | Oct 6, 2023

How is Christmas in Honolulu?

Christmas in Honolulu sees a surge in activity towards the end of December, as visitors flock to the tropical city for holiday celebrations. While December is the peak tourist season for the islands, the earlier part of the month remains relatively serene, offering an idyllic setting for those seeking a winter escape.

Table of Contents
Planning a trip to Hawaii? Have any questions? Join our Hawaii’s Best Travel Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!
Affiliate Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you use the provided link.

Information Disclaimer: This website gives general info and isn’t legal or official advice. It helps travelers with tips but can’t replace personal abilities, fitness, experience, or local knowledge, which you are fully liable for. All activities have risks; assess current conditions and follow local laws and signage.

Planning Your Trip? Use Our Favorite Resources!

🏨 Accommodations: We recommend Expedia

✈️ Flights: For the cheapest flights, we use Skyscanner

🚗 Rental Car: We recommend Discount Hawaii Car Rental

🌋 Hawaii Tours & Attractions: We recommend Get Your Guide

📱 Mobile Tour App: Our favorite is Shaka Guide

Planning to spend Christmas in Honolulu? While it may not be your typical snowy winter wonderland, Honolulu offers a unique festive experience like no other. From dazzling light displays and surfing competitions to scrumptious holiday feasts and lively New Year’s Eve celebrations, this tropical paradise is brimming with unforgettable yuletide festivities.

Immerse yourself in the Hawaiian “Mele Kalikimaka” spirit as we journey through holiday magic in the heart of Waikiki!

Key Takeaways of Christmas in Honolulu

  • Honolulu offers a unique and unforgettable Christmas experience with warm weather, beautiful decorations, and beach activities.
  • Enjoy magical Christmas events in Honolulu like the Annual Show Aloha Land, Honolulu City Lights, Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, Pearl Harbor Anniversary Events, First Friday Art Walk, Jingle Rock Run, Holiday Lights Trolley Tour, Festival of Lights Boat Parade and Christmas in Polynesia.
  • Indulge in delicious dining options during the festive season at top destinations like Hula Grill Waikiki, Paradise Cove Luau, Prince Waikiki Christmas Dinner, and Duke’s Waikiki.

Ready to dive into the world of Christmas in Hawaii? After reading this blog, check out our in-depth article on Christmas in Hawaii!

Understanding Christmas in Honolulu

The unique weather in Honolulu adds a special touch to the Christmas season.

The Unique Weather

In Honolulu, Christmas weather is warm and unique. Daytime highs reach the 80s while the nights cool down to the low 60s. Windstorms and rain might come in December, but they don’t happen often.

This makes it possible to enjoy beach activities even during the holiday season!

Availability of Christmas Trees in Honolulu

You can buy Christmas trees in Hawaii. Some are local, others come from the Continental US. However, being on vacation and buying a tree may not be practical. So, be sure to check out shopping areas and malls in Honolulu for beautifully decked trees.

The Royal Hawaiian Center shows off a huge 34-foot tall Christmas tree! For special holiday items, stop by the Waikiki Christmas Store.

They have lots of decorations with a unique Hawaii twist. Don’t miss the sand sculptures at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel too! You will see cool art made from sand that shows Hawaiian culture and classic Christmas scenes.

General Atmosphere during Christmas in Honolulu

Christmas in Honolulu is a feast for the eyes. The city lights up with holiday joy. Shimmering decorations fill hotel lobbies from Waikiki Beach Resort to Hilton Hawaiian Village.

There are many live shows available, and you may even spot Santa! Sheraton Waikiki goes all out with sand sculptures shaped like Christmas icons. Over at Alohilani Resort, Scuba Claus makes waves swimming among tropical fish.

Ala Moana Center adds its own touch, too. It decks the halls and hosts hula shows just for the holiday season.

From luaus to carols, uncover the rich traditions of Christmas in Hawaii and see how the islands celebrate in style.

Magical Christmas in Honolulu Events

Experience the holiday magic with various events in Honolulu, including the annual Show Aloha Land, Honolulu City Lights, Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, and Pearl Harbor Anniversary Events.

Annual Show Aloha Land

Annual Show Aloha Land is a magical Christmas event that takes place at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. It features “A Winter Wonderland,” a stunning Christmas light show that dazzles visitors of all ages.

In addition to the light show, you can also enjoy activities like train rides, a petting zoo, and other festive attractions. This event brings together the spirit of Christmas with the unique beauty of Hawaii, creating an enchanting experience for everyone who attends.

So, if you’re looking for a unique way to celebrate the holiday season in Honolulu, be sure to check out the annual Show Aloha Land at Aloha Stadium.

christmas in honolulu - show aloha land

Show Aloha Land (Christmas in Honolulu)

Honolulu City Lights

Honolulu City Lights is a wonderful annual event in Honolulu that celebrates the magic of Christmas. The highlight of this event is the lighting ceremony of a beautiful 50-foot tall Christmas tree at the Honolulu Hale (City Hall).

This tree is adorned with thousands of twinkling lights, creating a magical atmosphere for everyone to enjoy. In addition to the stunning tree, there are also festive decorations throughout downtown Honolulu, including giant holiday wreaths and colorful displays.

Visitors can stroll through the city streets, taking in all the sights and sounds of the season. There are also live performances by local bands and choirs, as well as appearances by Santa Claus himself.

Vans Triple Crown of Surfing

The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is a prestigious surfing competition that takes place at Haleiwa Beach, about a 30-minute drive out of Honolulu. It happens during the Christmas season and attracts some of the best surfers from around the world.

Surfers compete for the title in this exciting event, showcasing their skills on the waves. It’s a thrilling experience to watch these talented athletes ride the waves and compete for victory.

So, if you’re in Honolulu during this time, make sure to make some time and drive up to the north shore to catch some of the action at the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing!

Pearl Harbor Anniversary Events

Honolulu offers a magical Christmas experience with its Pearl Harbor Anniversary Events. These events are held in conjunction with the Christmas festivities and provide a unique and meaningful way to honor the history and significance of Pearl Harbor.

Visitors can attend special ceremonies, memorial services, and concerts that pay tribute to the brave men and women who served during World War II. The Pearl Harbor Pacific Aviation Museum is also open for visitors to explore and learn more about this historic site.

It’s a wonderful opportunity to combine the holiday spirit with reflection on America and Hawaii’s history.

First Friday Art Walk

The First Friday Art Walk in Honolulu is a unique event that takes place during the magical Christmas season. It is an excellent opportunity for art enthusiasts to explore the vibrant art scene in Chinatown, Honolulu.

During this event, galleries and shops stay open late, allowing visitors to browse through various artworks including paintings, sculptures, and photography. Local artists often showcase their work and engage with visitors through live demonstrations and discussions.

The atmosphere is lively, with street performances and music filling the air. Visitors can also indulge in delicious food from food trucks and enjoy cocktails at local bars. This unique art walk provides a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the creativity of Honolulu while experiencing the festive spirit of Christmas.

Jingle Rock Run

The Jingle Rock Run is a special event on Oahu every year. Just a 30-minute drive from Honolulu, It takes place on the beautiful beach at Ko’olina, and people can join in by registering online.

This event is not just about running – it’s also a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which helps children with critical illnesses.

During the Jingle Rock Run, there are many fun activities to enjoy like live entertainment, photo opportunities, and even a visit from Santa Claus himself! So you can have a great time while supporting a good cause.

Holiday Lights Trolley Tour

The Holiday Lights Trolley Tour is a must-do activity during Christmas in Honolulu. This tour allows visitors to experience the festive atmosphere and see the beautiful Christmas decorations throughout the city.

The tour offers a 30-minute ride through the Honolulu Parade of Lights, where you can enjoy the holiday spirit and admire all the twinkling lights. Afterward, you’ll have free time to explore and take photos of the various Christmas scenes and attractions.

It’s a popular activity that shouldn’t be missed if you want to immerse yourself in the magic of Christmas in Honolulu.

Festival of Lights Boat Parade

The Festival of Lights Boat Parade is a magical Christmas event in Honolulu. It takes place during the Christmas season at Hawaii Kai Towne Center. This special event features beautifully decorated boats illuminating the night sky with festive lights and colors.

It adds to the overall holiday atmosphere and provides a unique experience for both locals and visitors alike. The Festival of Lights Boat Parade is just one of many events that make Christmas in Honolulu truly special.

Dining Options during Christmas in Honolulu

Experience a feast of flavors at top dining destinations like Hula Grill Waikiki, Prince Waikiki Christmas Dinner, and Duke’s Waikiki. Don’t miss out on the mouthwatering delights that await you during this festive season in Honolulu.

Click here to discover more about these dining options!

Hula Grill Waikiki

Upstairs from Duke’s Waikiki, Hula Grill Waikiki is a popular dining option for Christmas celebrations in Waikiki, Hawaii. This restaurant is recommended for those looking to enjoy a festive atmosphere and delicious food during their vacation in Honolulu.

Hula Grill Waikiki will be open on Christmas Day, making it a great choice for those wanting to have a special meal on this holiday. It is one of the many dining experiences available in Waikiki during the Christmas season, providing visitors with an opportunity to savor local cuisine while immersing themselves in the holiday spirit.

christmas in honolulu - hula grill waikiki

Photo by Hula Grill Waikiki

Prince Waikiki Christmas Dinner

Prince Waikiki offers a special Christmas dinner in Honolulu. It is one of the dining options during Christmas in the city. To secure a table, it’s recommended to book reservations for Christmas Eve dinner by mid-November since tables tend to fill up quickly.

Prince Waikiki provides a unique and festive dining experience for visitors and locals alike during this holiday season.

Duke’s Waikiki

Duke’s Waikiki is a popular dining destination during the Christmas season in Honolulu. Known for its delicious food, Duke’s offers Christmas dinner options that are sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Located in the heart of Waikiki, this restaurant is a top choice for both locals and visitors looking for a memorable dining experience during the holiday season. So if you’re in Honolulu and searching for a place to enjoy a festive meal on Christmas, be sure to check out Duke’s Waikiki.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Honolulu

Experience an unforgettable New Year’s Eve in Honolulu with exciting events like the New Year’s Eve Moonlight Cruise, Legends in Concert, Aloha Tower New Year’s Party, and dazzling fireworks.

New Year’s Eve Moonlight Cruise

The New Year’s Eve Moonlight Cruise in Honolulu is a popular event that offers a unique and magical way to celebrate Christmas and welcome the new year. This cruise provides attendees with a romantic and memorable experience as they enjoy a gourmet buffet, live music, and breathtaking views of fireworks while sipping champagne.

It’s an all-inclusive experience, so everything from food to entertainment is taken care of, making it hassle-free for couples looking for a special way to ring in the new year.

Legends in Concert (Rock-a-Hula)

Rock-a-Hula is an exciting event that happens during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Honolulu. It offers a unique opportunity to enjoy live performances by talented tribute artists who impersonate popular music icons.

This show attracts both tourists and locals, providing them with entertainment and excitement as they celebrate the holiday season. You can expect to see incredible performances that pay homage to legendary musicians, making it a memorable experience for all who attend.

Legends in Concert adds an extra dose of fun and energy to the New Year’s Eve festivities in Honolulu.

christmas in honolulu - rock a hula

Aloha Tower New Year’s Party

The Aloha Tower New Year’s Eve party is a popular event in Honolulu that attracts many visitors. It takes place at the iconic Aloha Tower and features live bands and DJ performances.

Guests can enjoy dancing, music, and a festive atmosphere throughout the night. Food trucks are available at the party, offering delicious food options for attendees to enjoy. One of the event’s highlights is a spectacular fireworks display that lights up the sky as midnight approaches.

It’s a fun way to ring in the New Year with friends and family while enjoying great entertainment and tasty food in a vibrant setting.

Thinking of a tropical holiday escape? Discover what makes Christmas in Hawaii a unique and unforgettable experience.

FAQs for Christmas in Honolulu

1. What are some Christmas events happening in Honolulu?

Some Christmas events happening in Honolulu include parades, tree lighting ceremonies, holiday concerts, and special performances.

2. Where can I find good places to dine during the Christmas season in Honolulu?

There are many good places to dine during the Christmas season in Honolulu, including restaurants offering festive menus and traditional holiday dishes.

3. What festivities can I expect during Christmas time in Honolulu?

During Christmas time in Honolulu, you can expect festivities such as holiday markets, gingerbread house displays, visits from Santa Claus, and fireworks shows.

4. Are there any free events or activities for families during the Christmas season in Honolulu?

Yes, there are free events and activities for families during the Christmas season in Honolulu, such as outdoor movie screenings, community light displays, and family-friendly workshops or craft sessions.

5. What is the Ultimate Guide to Christmas in Honolulu, Oahu?

The Ultimate Guide to Christmas in Honolulu, Oahu is a comprehensive resource that provides information about the various Christmas activities and festivities taking place in Waikiki and other parts of Oahu in 2023.

6. What are some popular Christmas activities in Waikiki?

Some popular Christmas activities in Waikiki include the Honolulu City Lights, Waikiki Christmas Parade, Hawaiian Christmas Show, Waikiki Christmas Trolley, and the Holiday Lights Tour.

7. What is the Honolulu City Lights?

The Honolulu City Lights is a month-long Christmas event held in downtown Honolulu. It features a massive Christmas tree, festive decorations, live entertainment, and a grand lighting ceremony.

8. Are there any Hawaiian Christmas traditions in Waikiki?

Yes, Waikiki embraces the Hawaiian Christmas spirit with events such as the Hawaiian Christmas Show, Hawaiian Christmas Lights in Waikiki, and a special Christmas menu at local restaurants.

9. Can I spend Christmas in Waikiki?

Yes, Waikiki offers a fantastic Christmas vacation experience with its beautiful beaches, holiday events, and festive atmosphere. Many resorts, such as Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort, offer special packages for Christmas vacationers.

10. What is the Waikiki Christmas Parade?

The Waikiki Christmas Parade is an annual holiday event that features colorful floats, marching bands, and performers. It takes place along the streets of Waikiki, spreading Christmas cheer to locals and visitors alike.

11. Where can I see the best Christmas lights in Waikiki?

To see the best Christmas lights in Waikiki, you can take the Waikiki Trolley Holiday Lights Tour. This guided trolley tour takes you to various locations in Waikiki and beyond, showcasing the most spectacular holiday decorations and lights.

12. What are some other Christmas events in Oahu?

In addition to Waikiki, Oahu offers a variety of Christmas events and activities. Some notable ones include the Polynesian Cultural Center’s Christmas Luau, the Holiday Parade around Honolulu, and the Ward Village Holiday Market.

13. Can I visit Pearl Harbor during Christmas?

Yes, you can visit Pearl Harbor during Christmas. While the Arizona Memorial might be closed on Christmas Day, other parts of the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites, such as the USS Missouri and the Pacific Aviation Museum, may still be open for visitors.

14. What are some other things to do in Oahu during the holiday season?

Besides Christmas-specific activities, Oahu offers a range of attractions and experiences. You can explore the beautiful beaches, visit the North Shore, go hiking in the stunning nature reserves, or simply enjoy the holiday decorations and festive atmosphere all around the island.

christmas in waikiki

Wrap-Up for Christmas in Honolulu

Experience the magic of Christmas in Honolulu with a wide range of events, delicious dining options, and festive celebrations.

Whether you’re enjoying the Annual Show Aloha Land, exploring the Honolulu City Lights, or indulging in a special Christmas dinner at one of Waikiki’s renowned restaurants, there’s something for everyone to enjoy during this wonderful time of year.

Soak up the unique atmosphere and create unforgettable holiday memories in beautiful Hawaii.

Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy, owner of Hawaii’s Best Travel, is a certified Hawaii destination expert from the Hawaii Visitors Bureau. He actively participates in the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau as a member and has a strong educational background focused on local culture and sustainability. As the host of “Hawaii’s Best Travel,” a top-30 US travel podcast, Bryan combines his years of experience with valuable insights. He connects with a broad online community, reaching nearly half a million people, and offers a richer, more responsible way to experience Hawaii.