Thanksgiving and Christmas Events in Waikiki and Downtown Honolulu

an Illuminated Christmas Tree Surrounded By a Couple of Palms, Long Exposure, Low Angle View, Hawaii, USA
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This year, for the benefit of our holiday visitors to Honolulu and Waikiki, we have created a separate listing of holiday events in those areas alone.

The holidays are the perfect time to visit Hawaii and I’m sure most visitors will want to join in the holiday cheer as only you’ll find in Hawaii.

If you know of any we're missing, drop me an email at john_fischer@mindspring.com.

November 2016 Thanksgiving and Christmas Events in Waikiki and Downtown Honolulu

November 19 – December 24 - Santa's Beach House - Stop by Santa's Beach House at the Ward Entertainment Center, Box Office Level (near Ward 16 Theatres) throughout the holiday season for photos with Santa and a chance to share your wish list. Santa photo packages will be available starting at $22

November 24 – Kai Market’s Thanksgiving Dinner at the Sheraton Waikiki – Dinner will feature a sumptuous buffet featuring a variety of selections including a chef carving station with slow-roasted prime rib, country ham; holiday favorites like roasted butternut squash bisque, soy-braised boneless beef short ribs. The cost is $75 for adults and $35 for children (no discounts for Thanksgiving dinner), and reservations are available for seating between 4 and 9 p.m. To make reservations, call Sheraton Waikiki Dining Reservations at (808) 921-4600. Menu

November 24 – Thanksgiving Dinner at the Royal Hawaiian - Azure Restaurant’s Chef Shaymus Alwin and Azure Restaurant present a very special dinner on Thanksgiving evening.

First seating is 5:30 p.m., 6:00 p.m.   Second seating is  7:45 p.m and 8:15 p.m. and the cost is $125 per person or $151 with wine pairings (not including tax and gratuity). You can view this year’s menu.

 November 26 – Thanksgiving Dinner at the Moana Surfrider - Thanksgiving dinner buffet begins at the Beachhouse on Thursday, November 26 at 3 p.m. and will continue through 8 p.m. The cost is $80 per person, and $40 for children under the age of 12 (prices do not include tax and gratuity).

Reservations can be made by calling Dining Reservations at (808) 921-4600.The extraordinary dinner spread is created by Beachhouse Chef David Lukela and Moana Sous Chef Jason Watanabe. The full Thanksgiving dinner buffet menu is listed on the hotel's dining page.

November 25 - Waikiki Holiday Parade this year commemorates the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is expected to have 4,000 marchers, 40 vehicles, & 36 bands including over 30 bands from the mainland. It will start at 7:00 p.m. at Saratoga Rd/Kalakaua Avenue to Kalakaua Avenue, to Monsarrat Avenue., to end at Queen Kapiolani Park at around 9:00 p.m. For more information visit http://www.waikikiholidayparade.com/.

Late November to Early January - The Ward Village Ice Rink will offer a special open-air skating experience for a limited time only from Nov. 27 to Jan. 10 at the Ward Village Information Center Courtyard (former IBM Building). The Ward Village Ice Rink will be open daily, with tickets (including skate rentals) available at the rink at $15 per person for a one-and-a-half hour skate time. Kope Coffee Co. will offer hand-crafted beverages and refreshments, including hot cocoa, espresso drinks and more.

Rink hours, a calendar of events and additional information are available at www.wardvillageshops.com/icerink.

November 25-27 - Islandwide Christmas Craft and Food Expo Over 400 island vendors offer their island and holiday crafts at the Neal Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. This is one of Hawaii's largest and best attended craft fairs with over 30,000 expected to attend.  For more information visit http://www.islandwidecraftexpos.com/fall/index.php.

November 30 – Holiday Tree Lighting at the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort at 6:00 p.m.  The event will be preceded at 5:00 p.m. by a Keiki Hula Show. Admission is free.

December 2016 Christmas Events in Waikiki and Downtown Honolulu

December 1-31 - IBM Building Holiday Light Show is presented evenings throughout December. Enjoy a holiday-themed light show on the iconic façade of the IBM Building, home to the Ward Village Information Center and Sales Gallery, throughout the holiday season.

December 3 - Mayor's Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony/Parade sponsored by the City and County of Honolulu will begin at 6:00 p.m. and run till approximately 11:00 p.m. The event is expected to have 2,000 marchers, 40 vehicles, 15 floats and 15 bands. It will start at Aala Park to King St., Kokohead on King Street, to end in a closed-off portion of King Street, between Punchbowl & South Streets. Mayor Kirk Caldwell will light the city’s Christmas tree at 6:30 p.m.

December 3 - Honolulu City Lights opens at Honolulu Hale - Honolulu's City Hall. Celebrating its 31st year in 2014, "Honolulu City Lights" is the focal point for Oahu's Christmas celebration. Honolulu Hale (City Hall) and the Civic Center Grounds come alive with a 50-foot Christmas tree, wreath exhibits, giant Yuletide displays and live entertainment. Read our feature and photos about Honolulu City Lights. Visit honolulucitylights.org/ for more information.

December 4 - Street Bikers United Toys for Tots Caravan — Street Bikers United Hawaii clubs will cruise together down Kalakaua Avenue to Kapiolani Community College. Bring a new, unwrapped toy or donation to Kapiolani Community College for the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program after the parade. The parade starts at Magic Island at 11 a.m. and will end at approximately 12:30 p.m. This toy run typically draws more than 6,000 motorcyclists. Learn more about the 2015 Toys for Tots Hawaii collection effort.

December 3-30 - Honolulu City Lights Trolley Tours -: Experience the ultimate holiday outing by taking a swing through the state's most anticipated light display with Ward Village's Honolulu City Lights Trolley Tour. A portion of proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Hawai'i Foodbank.  Tickets available online at  www.wardvillageshops.com/events starting Nov. 16 at $6.50/person, children three and under ride free.

December 7 - Pearl Harbor Memorial Anniversary Parade The event which begins at 6:00 p.m. is expected to have 2,000 marchers, 40 vehicles, 8 floats, and 10 bands. It will start at Ft. DeRussy Park then onto Kalakaua Ave. where it will end at Kapiolani Park at around 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit their website at www.pearlharborparade.org.

December 5, 12 & 19 - Ward Village Holiday Concert Series - 7:00-8:00 p.m. Ward Village presents its annual Holiday Concert Series with free live entertainment every Saturday in December from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Ward Warehouse Amphitheatre, including:  Dec. 5: Jacob Kailiwai - falsetto of the Ching Trio; Dec. 12: Natalie Kamau'u; and Dec. 19: Mark Yamanaka & Kuapoa.

December 7 - Murphy's Ronald McDonald Gift Wrap on Merchant Street takes place from 6-10:00 p.m. Merchant Street will be closed from Nuuanu Avenue to Bethel Street. Over 300 participants are expected. Attendees are encouraged to bring one or more unopened, unwrapped toy which will be wrapped by the event's volunteers and given to the children of the Ronald McDonald House and kids with the Hawaii Children's Cancer Foundation. Last year children's movies were screened and free trolley rides offered to see Honolulu City Lights.

December 10 – Santa Arrives by Canoe at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort at 9:00 a.m. Greet Santa on the beach as he arrives on his canoe.  No reindeers needed for this Hawaiian Santa! Santa will be available for a free picture taking session in the lobby.

December 10 – The Oahu Choral Society presents “Tidings of Comfort and Joy” at 7:30 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Honolulu. This is a perfect way to ring in your holiday season. Enjoy the glorious sounds of the OCS ‘ohana and organist John Renke as they rouse the spirit of the season with classic and endearing music. Be ready to join in the singing of carols at a concert featuring fun for the whole family. To purchase tickets for this concert, visit the OCS website at http://www.oahuchoral.org or call 808-392-0382.  Ticket prices are $25 for regular seats and $35  for premium seats. Students and active-duty military with ID save $10 off the standard price.

December 13 - Gay Men's Chorus of Honolulu presents “Way too Merry.” Join the Gay Men’s Chorus of Honolulu for their rollicking Holiday Concert. Circle the holidays with traditional sleigh rides and jingle bells, then add a dash of camp with A Drag Queen Christmas and Deck the Rooftop. Round out the evening with the tight harmonies of madrigal numbers and a hearty Merry Merry to all. For more information visit http://www.hawaiitheatre.com/events/way-too-merry/

Mid December TBA - Breakfast with Hawaiian Santa at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach from 8-10:00 a.m. Get your reservations in early for this special morning with Santa Claus. A buffet breakfast, picture taking, balloon art, and face painting are all part of the morning's activities. The buffet menu will include scrambled eggs, steamed white rice, country fried potatoes, crispy bacon, Portuguese sausage, assorted pastries, fresh fruits, cereal and a choice of coffee, milk or Juice. Price is $27.00 per person, inclusive of tax, tip and a free photo with Santa; $14.00 children 5 - 11 years; children 4 years and younger eat free. Validated valet parking will be available at $5 per car. Reservations required: 808-924-4990.

December 16-18 – Ballet Hawaii presents The Nutcracker at the Neil S. Blaisdell Center at 7:30 p.m. For more information visit the event’s website. Tickets will be available by phone: 800-745-3000 at the Blaisdell Box Office or online at ticketmaster.com

December 17 - The Amy Hanaialii & Willie K Holiday Show takes places at the Hawaii Theatre Center. Tickets are $22-95 but are selling out quickly. Na Hoku Hanohano Award winners Amy Hanaiali`i and Willie K will present their unique brand of musical artistry in this one of kind holiday performance. The evening will be filled with solos and duets backed by their full band. The popular duo will perform many of their holiday favorites including Willie K.’s version of “O’ Holy Night,” which has been called “the best version” of any Christmas song out there.  For more information visit http://www.hawaiitheatre.com/events/the-amy-willie-holiday-show/

December 16-18 - Season’s Best Craft & Gift Fair at the Neal Blaisdell Exhibition Center. For more information, visit their website.

December 18 – Jingle Rock Fun Run sponsored by Make-A-Wish Foundation/Boca Hawaii. The event expected to have 3,000 runners.  It will start at Iolani Palace, to King St., past Ward Ave., left onto Victoria St. . left onto Beretania St., ewa on Beretania, left onto River St., left onto King St., left onto Maunakea St., right onto Pauahi St., right onto Smith St., left onto King St., kkhd on King St., to end at Iolani Palace.For more info, visit their website or for the route http://www.gmap-pedometer.com?r=6155727

December 21-25 - Employee Gingerbread Display at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort. View the creative gingerbread works of the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort ‘s employees as they show off their creative and culinary skills. The public is invited to enjoy the delightful gingerbread works of art at this annual event. Free and open to the public.

If you know of any we're missing, drop me an email at john_fischer@mindspring.com.

See our related features on 2016 Christmas and Holiday Events on the Neighbor Islands