Christmas on the Big Island of Hawaii: The Ultimate Guide to the Big Island During the Holidays (2023)

by | Oct 6, 2023

Is December a good time to go to Big Island?

December is a great time to visit the Big Island, as it is among the islands with the least rainfall during this month. Additionally, the ocean remains warm and welcoming, making it perfect for water sports enthusiasts and beachgoers who relish the feel of the Pacific Ocean beneath their feet.

Let’s explore more of Christmas on the Big Island together!

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Are you wondering how to make your Christmas more spectacular on the Big Island of Hawaii? I had the same question a few years back, and after spending the 2022 holiday season there, I can assure you that there is much to discover.

This article will guide you through festive events, colorful parades, traditional Hawaiian Christmas music, mouth-watering food venues, cozy rental recommendations, and important weather advisories during Christmas in Kona and Hilo.

Ready to explore Christmas on the Big Island like no other? Let’s go!


Key Takeaways of Christmas on the Big Island

  • Christmas on the Big Island of Hawaii offers unique and festive activities, including dazzling light shows, lively parades, and captivating shows.
  • Hawaiian traditions blend with Western customs during the holiday season, such as decorating palm trees with lights instead of traditional Christmas trees and enjoying special concerts featuring local musicians performing festive hula dances.
  • Visitors can enjoy delicious food and drinks at local farmer’s markets throughout the island. Booking a cozy holiday rental early is recommended for an extended stay during Christmas on the Big Island.

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

Festive Things to Do for Christmas on the Big Island

Experience the enchantment of Christmas on the Big Island with dazzling Christmas lights, lively parades, festive events, and captivating shows.

Christmas Lights on the Big Island

The Big Island lights up for Christmas! You will love Punalights. It is an amazing light show near Hilo, going strong since 2008. There’s also the Kona Christmas House. It sparkles with over 30,000 lights.

This fun house started in 2005 and gets bigger every year! Don’t miss the Ocean View House either. In Ocean View, HI, they know how to dazzle with their warm holiday glow! Everywhere you look on the Big Island, bright Christmas joy waits for you.

Christmas Parades on the Big Island

Let me tell you about Christmas parades on the Big Island. It’s a sight to see!

  • The Waimea Christmas Twilight Parade is first on our list. In place since 1960, it’s a big part of Waimea Town. Trucks and floats light up the road in this parade, yet no candies are thrown around.
  • Second is the Downtown Hilo Christmas Lights Parade. Hilo starts its holiday season with this event. The streets of Hilo get covered in fairy lights.
  • Another fun parade is in Kona. The Kailua-Kona Community Christmas Parade stands out with music and dressed-up dogs.
  • Last but not least, we have the Kailua Kalikimaka Lighted Boat Parade! This one happens at Kailua Bay as boats decked in lights fight for prizes.

Christmas Events on the Big Island

There are many fun Christmas events on the Big Island. The Punalights show near Hilo is always a big hit. This light show has been a favorite since 2008. In Kona, you can find the Kona Christmas House. It lights up with over 30,000 bulbs and has games for kids.

Christmas Shows on the Big Island

Are you visiting the Big Island of Hawaii during the holiday season? If so, you’re in for a treat because there are plenty of festive Christmas shows to enjoy. Here are some of the entertaining performances you can catch on the island:


  • Concerts: Experience the joy of live music with special Christmas concerts held throughout the Big Island. These concerts feature talented musicians performing holiday classics and local favorites that will get you into the Christmas spirit.
  • Choral Performances: Immerse yourself in beautiful harmonies and uplifting melodies by attending a choral performance on the Big Island. Local choirs and community choruses come together to spread holiday cheer with their enchanting voices.
  • Theatrical Productions: Watch captivating theatrical productions that bring beloved Christmas stories to life on stage. From heartwarming classics like “A Christmas Carol” to modern adaptations, these shows offer a magical experience for audience members of all ages.
  • Ballet Performances: Get ready to be enchanted by ballet performances of “The Nutcracker” on the Big Island. Witness graceful dancers tell the tale through their exquisite choreography, stunning costumes, and breathtaking set designs.
  • Hula Shows: Immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture by watching hula shows infused with a festive twist for Christmas. Experience traditional hula dances accompanied by cheerful holiday tunes that blend Hawaiian traditions with seasonal celebrations.
christmas on the big island hawaii

The Spirit of Christmas in Hawaii

Christmas in Hawaii is a special time filled with the spirit of aloha. The warm weather and beautiful landscapes create a unique backdrop for holiday celebrations. In Hawaii, Christmas is not just about Santa Claus and gifts; it’s about coming together as a community and spreading joy.

People decorate their homes with colorful lights, palm trees are adorned with ornaments, and festive music fills the air. Hawaiian traditions blend with the holiday season, such as making leis out of native flowers or enjoying traditional luau feasts.

The Spirit of Christmas in Hawaii is all about embracing the love, happiness, and unity that this time of year brings to the islands.

Hawaiian Christmas Songs and Music

I love the Hawaiian Christmas songs and music! Here are some festive tunes you can enjoy during your visit:

  • Mele Kalikimaka: This classic Hawaiian Christmas song will get you in the holiday spirit with its catchy melody and joyful lyrics.
  • Pō La‘i E: This beautiful song celebrates peace on Earth, bringing a sense of calm and tranquility to your Christmas celebrations.
  • He Lei Aloha No ‘O Waimea: This enchanting song pays tribute to Waimea, a charming town on the Big Island, and is often performed during holiday concerts.
  • Kana Kaloka Ko Makuahine (Santa Claus Is Coming To My Mother): A fun and playful tune that tells the story of excited children waiting for Santa Claus to visit their homes.
  • Ke Aloha Kalikimaka: A heartfelt song that expresses love and warm wishes for Christmas, reminding us of the importance of family and friends during this special time.

Where to Eat and Drink on Christmas

If you’re visiting the Big Island of Hawaii during Christmas, you’ll find plenty of options when it comes to eating and drinking. You can check out the Keauhou Farmers Market in Kailua-Kona, which is held on Saturdays.

They have a wide variety of local produce that you can enjoy. Another option is the Hilo Farmers Market, which runs all week long and has special “Big Market Days” on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Alos, be sure to visit the Volcano Village Farmers Market, which is open every Sunday morning. And if you’re looking for organic goods, head over to Captain Cook for the Pure Kona Green Market.

These markets are great places to find delicious food and drinks during your holiday visit to the Big Island.

Winter Weather in Kona during Christmas

During Christmas in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, the weather is mild and pleasant. The temperature during December ranges from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 27 degrees Celsius).

You can expect sunny days with a gentle breeze, making it perfect for outdoor activities and exploring the island. It’s important to note that sunset occurs around 5:45 pm in Kona during Christmas, so you’ll have plenty of daylight hours to enjoy.

While other parts of the world may be experiencing cold and snowy winters, Kona provides a unique experience with its warm tropical climate. Remember to pack light clothing such as shorts, t-shirts, swimsuits, and sandals for your holiday vacation.

Don’t forget your sunscreen and sunglasses as well! Whether you’re strolling along the beaches or hiking through lush landscapes, you’ll definitely appreciate the comfortable winter weather in Kona during Christmas.

Swap snow for sand this festive season! Uncover the beauty and charm of Christmas in Hawaii with our expert insights. 

FAQs for Christmas on the Big Island

1. What are some popular activities to do on the Big Island of Hawaii during Christmas?

Popular activities on the Big Island during Christmas include attending holiday markets, watching festive parades, going on scenic hikes, and enjoying beach activities like snorkeling or surfing.

2. Are there any special events or festivals held on the Big Island during Christmas?

Yes, there are special events and festivals held on the Big Island during Christmas, such as the annual Waimea Twilight Parade and Festival of Lights in Hilo.

3. What is the weather like on the Big Island of Hawaii during Christmas?

During Christmas time, the weather on the Big Island tends to be warm with temperatures ranging from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21-27 degrees Celsius). It’s a great time for outdoor activities.

4. Can I see holiday decorations and lights on the Big Island?

Yes, you can enjoy holiday decorations and lights on the Big Island. Many towns and resorts are beautifully decorated with colorful lights and ornaments to celebrate the festive season.

5. What is the main topic of this guide?

The main topic of this guide is Christmas on the Big Island of Hawaii and the events and activities that take place during the holiday season.

6. What year does this guide specifically focus on?

This guide specifically focuses on the year 2023.

7. What are some of the Christmas events on the Big Island?

Some of the Christmas events on the Big Island include parades, holiday lights displays, performances at theaters, and fundraisers.

8. Where does the Christmas parade take place?

The Christmas parade takes place in Kailua-Kona.

9. Are there any special events at Volcanoes National Park during Christmas?

Yes, there are special events and activities at Volcanoes National Park during Christmas, such as guided tours and festive programs.

10. What can I expect to see at Volcanoes National Park during the holidays?

During the holidays, you can expect to see the volcanic crater, lava flows, and unique geological formations at Volcanoes National Park.

11. Are there any Christmas events at the Hilo Palace Theater?

Yes, the Hilo Palace Theater hosts annual Christmas events, including performances and festive shows.

12. Where is the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel located?

The King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel is located in Kailua-Kona.

13. What are some of the Christmas events in downtown Kona?

Some of the Christmas events in downtown Kona include live music, arts and crafts, and a marketplace.

14. Is there a Christmas fundraiser presented by the Rotary?

Yes, there is a Christmas fundraiser presented by the Rotary, which is a festivity that supports local causes and organizations.

15. Can I enjoy live entertainment during the Christmas season on the Big Island?

Yes, there are various opportunities to enjoy live music and entertainment during the Christmas season on the Big Island. 

Wrap-Up for Christmas on the Big Island

Experience the magic of Christmas on the Big Island of Hawaii! From dazzling light displays to festive parades and events, there’s something for everyone during the holiday season.

Immerse yourself in Hawaiian traditions, savor delicious food and drinks, and enjoy the beautiful winter weather in Kona. Whether you’re a visitor or a local, Christmas on the Big Island is an unforgettable experience that will fill your heart with joy and holiday cheer.

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.