Guide to Thanksgiving in Waikiki and Honolulu

Dukes Canoe Club on the beach at Waikiki

Ann Cecil / Getty Images 

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to visit Hawaii: The weather is beautiful and a roster of fun seasonal events is sure to bring holiday cheer. Although Hawaii locals celebrate with the traditional Thanksgiving dinner and tree-lighting ceremony leading up to the holidays, there are also plenty of beach-themed activities that go hand-in-hand with Hawaii's laid-back island attitude. Additionally, you'll find historic events such as the Waikiki Holiday Parade, which commemorates Pearl Harbor by honoring survivors and veterans in memory of the attacks.

If you're planning on a Hawaiian holiday, book far in advance as hotels, flights, and events tend to sell out quickly.

01 of 06

Kai Market’s Thanksgiving Dinner at the Sheraton Waikiki

Hawaii, Oahu, Waikiki, front upward view of Moana Hotel

Tomas del Amo / Getty Images 

Thanksgiving dinner at the luxurious Sheraton Waikiki will feature a sumptuous buffet with a variety of selections including a chef carving station with slow-roasted prime rib, butterball turkey, and country ham, plus holiday favorites like mashed potatoes and steamed broccolini. You can also enjoy a huge selection of local items like ahi poke, Hawaiian style oxtail soup, and clams. With the open-air dining room, you can take in the views and the sounds of Waikiki Beach while enjoying this unforgettable Thanksgiving meal.

The cost in 2019 is $80 for adults and $40 for children, and reservations are available for seating between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.

02 of 06

Thanksgiving Dinner at the Royal Hawaiian

Thanksgiving dinner table at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel

Courtesy of Royal Hawaiian Hotel 

Chef Shaymus Alwin presents a specially designed dinner on Thanksgiving at the Azure Restaurant, located at the Royal Hawaiian Resort in Waikiki. The restaurant begins seating at 5:30 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m. The cost for adults in 2019 is $150 per person, and while it may seem steep, that gets you a decadent four-course meal of a fall salad, poached lobster, roasted turkey breast, and kabocha pumpkin confit to finish it off. The ambiance is perfect for a romantic Thanksgiving meal, with candlelit tables, plush seating, and the majestic backdrop of Waikiki Beach at sunset.

To spend your Thanksgiving dinner at Azure, request a reservation.

03 of 06

Islandwide Christmas Craft and Food Expo

Neal S. Blaisdell Center

Courtesy of Neal S. Blaisdell Center

More than 400 island vendors offer their island and holiday crafts at the Neal Blaisdell Exhibition Hall the weekend after Thanksgiving, on November 29, 30, and December 1, 2019. This is one of Hawaii's largest and best-attended craft fairs with more than 30,000 people expected to attend. Some of the crafts include hand-blown glass, clay pottery, feather accessories, Polynesian carved pendants, and more. There is also live music entertainment from local performers to enjoy as you peruse the various vendors.

04 of 06

Thanksgiving Dinner at the Moana Surfrider

Dining area at the Moana Surfrider

Courtesy of Marriott International, Inc

Thanksgiving dinner buffet begins at the Beachhouse on Thursday, November 28, 2019, at 3 p.m. and continues through 8 p.m. The cost is $95 per adult and $45 for children under the age of 12 (prices do not include tax and gratuity). The extraordinary dinner spread is created by Beachhouse Chef David Lukela and Moana Sous Chef Jason Watanabe. The Moana Surfrider building is a National Historic Place, and the 19th-century architecture paired with the pristine views of Waikiki Beach is one-of-a-kind in Oahu.

For dinner, there will be a carving station with prime rib, roast turkey, and a whole suckling pig as well as main courses including steamed snow crab, Kiawe smoked ham, Kona lobster pasta with truffle cheese, and a seafood clam bake.

Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06

Waikiki Holiday Parade

Waikiki Holiday Parade

Jimmy Smith / Flickr / CC BY 2.0


The Waikiki Holiday Parade commemorates Pearl Harbor by honoring survivors and veterans in memory of the attacks. Thousands of people gather in Waikiki the day after Thanksgiving to witness or be a part of this event, that not only memorializes an important part of U.S. history but also celebrates Polynesian culture. The parade includes bands from the island and the mainland, Hawaiian dancers, Pearl Harbor survivors, military members, and more. It starts at 7 p.m. on November 29, 2019, at Saratoga Road and Kalakaua Avenue, and continues on to the end at Queen Kapiolani Park.

06 of 06

Honolulu Turkey Trot

Queen Kapiolani Park in Oahu, Hawaii

LanaCanada / Getty Images

On Thanksgiving Day, Turkey Trots are happening in cities all across the country, and that isn't limited to the mainland. Honolulu will be holding its 45th annual Turkey Trot in 2019 on November 28, Thanksgiving Day. The race begins at Queen Kapiolani Park in Waikiki, and there are options to run (or fun run) two, four, or eight miles. Before filling your belly later in the day, join this active morning event to work up your appetite for turkey.

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