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101 Free Things to Do on Oahu

Sights, Sounds and Tastes of Oahu


The Haleiwa town welcome sign is seen on Oahu's North Shore, January 28, 2012 in Haleiwa, Hawaii.
Marco Garcia/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Oahu is an affordable, family friendly tropical destination with over a hundred things to do, see and experience for FREE or for $10 or under per person.

Discover the sights, sounds, tastes, art, culture, history, nature and adventure of the island of Oahu. Find all the family fun without all the spending.

  • Listen to the Royal Hawaiian Band at Iolani Palace on Fridays 12:00-1:00 p.m.

  • Relax harbor-side at Aloha Tower Marketplace and listen to the island's most popular entertainers from the marketplace's waterfront stage as boats, barges and cruise ships float past.

  • Listen to Hawaii's best local entertainers performing in the hotels and on the streets of Waikiki.

  • Enjoy "Sunset on the Beach" as Queen's surf in beautiful Waikiki Beach is transformed into and outdoor movie theater, with live entertainment, food booths, and free Hollywood movies.

  • Enjoy a quick snack in Haleiwa, on Oahu's North Shore.*

  • Take a stroll through International Marketplace, a bazaar of clothes, jewelry and souvenirs from the island's colorful merchants set under the shade of a large banyan tree.

  • Stop by Ala Moana Center's Centerstage, the hub for more than 500 performances annually, from keiki (children) hula to rock, from chorale music to street dancing.

  • Close your eyes and relax to the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra during its fall pre-season concerts around the island.

  • Enjoy a few malasadas, Portuguese-style doughnuts without the holes.*

  • Take ukulele or hula lessons at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center.

  • Enjoy food, entertainment, a parade of decorated beds and a race down Kalakaua Avenue for the fastest bed at the annual International Bed Race Festival in April.

  • Enjoy the colorful parades that float down the streets of downtown Honolulu and Waikiki during the Aloha Festivals, King Kamehameha Celebration, Honolulu Festival and Chinese New Year celebrations.

  • Marvel at the Honolulu City Lights which illuminate the sky from the financial district to downtown celebrating the holidays in December and then stop in Honolulu Hale to enjoy the display of decorated Christmas trees.

  • Fly a kite or eat a plate lunch at Kapiolani Park in Waikiki. Then stroll through the park and see all of the activities from soccer games to craft fairs to exercisers and music.

  • Take a self-guided tour through Manoa, Kapahulu and Kaimuki, some of Honolulu's oldest and charming neighborhoods.

  • Pick a team to root for at a polo match at Waimanalo Polo Grounds.

  • Meet Hawaii's local fishermen at the early morning Honolulu Fish Auction at Kewalo Basin, where the fresh catch is displayed and auctioned off to the island's chefs and merchants daily at 5:00 a.m.

  • Enjoy one of over 100 festivals and events throughout the year that celebrate culture, community, music and art, such as the AT&T Hawaii Dragon Boat festival, Chinese new year lion dances, Hawaiian rodeo, ukulele, slack key guitar and hula festivals to name just a few.

  • Cheer on the runners competing in the annual Honolulu Marathon.

  • Visit Hilo Hattie, The Store of Hawaii, and enjoy free juice, entertainment, food samples and craft demonstrations.

  • Watch top local, national and international athletes compete in any of the dozens of sporting events such as the Hawaiian Mountain Tour, Tin Man Biathlon, Waikiki Roughwater Swim and Tour O' Hawaii Cycle Classic.

  • Spend half a day at the Hawaii Children's Discovery Center in the Kakaako Waterfront Park in Honolulu.*

  • Learn more about Hawaii's melting pot of cultures at any of the Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Portuguese and Korean festivals held throughout the year.

  • View the work of local artisans at the Art at the Zoo Fence along the fence of the Honolulu Zoo on Monsarrat Avenue, every Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

  • Experience the fun and excitement of the Aloha Festivals' Downtown and Waikiki Hoolaulea Celebrations in September.

  • Sit in on a Sunday service conducted in the Hawaiian language at Kawaiahao Church.

  • Wonder at the architecture and say a prayer at any of Honolulu's many spectacular churches: St. Andrews Cathedral, Central Union, St. Clements, Lutheran Church of Honolulu.

  • Cheer as the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa hosted fireworks explode into beautiful colors on Friday evenings in remembrance and celebration of King Kalakaua's Jubilee.

  • Enjoy the Honolulu Zoo's Wildest Show in Town summer concert series held weekly from June through August.

*under $10 per person

More free things on Page 2

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