The period between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day is one of the most popular times to visit Maui. Many families make annual trips to the island during the holiday season. While you won't be able to have a white Christmas in Hawaii, Maui has plenty of holiday events and activities to help visitors get into the spirit of the season. Here are a few of the most popular events that will take place in 2012.
If you know of other events to add to this list, please email me and I'll add them.
December 1 & 2 - Holiday Lighting of the Banyan Tree Celebration - For the 15th consecutive year Lahaina's historic Banyan tree will be decorated with thousands of Christmas lights. Banyan Tree Square will be the centerpiece of this two-day celebration which will run from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. The celebration will include an appearance by Santa Claus and performances by numerous local choirs and hula halau. There will be plenty of activities for all members of the family. You can even have your photo taken with a Hawaiian snowman. Admission is free.
December 2 - Maui Pops Orchestra Holiday Pops - In the Castle Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center at 3:00 p.m., The Maui Pops Orchestra presents their annual holiday concert with guest artist violinist Ignace "Iggy" Jang, concertmaster of the newly formed Hawai'i Symphony. In addition to holiday favorites, the orchestra will perform movements of The Four Seasons by Vivaldi. Tickets are available online at $10, $25, $35 and $45. You can also call the Center at 808- 242-SHOW (7469).
December 6 - The Katinas in Concert - The popular Contemporary Christian music group, The Katinas, which consists of five brothers originally from American Samoa, are opening their "A Christmas Collage" tour on Maui at 7:30 p.m. at the Castle Theater of the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. They will be performing songs from their current album Collage as well as selections from their 2009 Christmas project, Sounds of Christmas. Tickets are available online at $15, $20 and $30. You can also call the Center at 808- 242-SHOW (7469).
December 8 - MAPA's Nutcracker Sweets - The Castle Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center will host two shows when the Maui Academy of Performing Arts (MAPA) presents Nutcracker Sweets, a family-friendly production of Tchaikovsky's holiday classic. Over 150 MAPA students, alumni and guest dancer Taylor Soma will take to the stage at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Tickets are just $20 for adults and $17 for kids 12 years & under. Buy your tickets now onlie or call the Center at 808- 242-SHOW (7469).
December 9 - Willie Kalikimaka - Willie K returns for his annual Christmas concert, held in the Castle Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at $12, $28 and $37. This show will sell out, so be sure to get your tickets now online or call the Center at 808- 242-SHOW (7469).
December 14 & 15 - MCAA's Winter Holiday Concert - The Maui Choral Arts Association will present their annual winter holiday concert at 7:30 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday at the Kihei Baptist Church at 1655 South Kihei Road. The program will include Magnificat, from the Monteverdi Vespers and Daniel Pinkham's Christmas Cantata. Tickets are $25 for reserved Seating and $15 for general seating. Student and child tickets are available for $5 (Student ID is required). Tickets are available online for advance purchase.
December 15 & 16 - Na Leo Lani O Maui's 4th Annual Holiday Concert - Na Leo Lani O Maui will present their 4th annual holiday concert, "The Bells Ring Out," at the historic Iao Theatre in Wailuku. The Saturday concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday concert will be an afternoon matinee at 3:00 p.m. There are over 80 members of this community choir under the direction of Kumu Hula Uluwehi Guerrero and Gale Wisehart. Tickets are available for assigned seats at $20 each. Contact Richard Castro at 808-281-6547.
Shops at Wailea
One of the the most popular weekly events on Maui, is the "Wailea on Wednesdays" free concert series that takes place under the stars every Wednesday in the Lower Courtyard of the Shops at Wailea, located in South Maui's Wailea resort community.
From 6:30-8:00 p.m., shoppers get to enjoy some of Maui's top entertainers. On December 5, Lanakila & Co. will share song, dance, and stories of old Hawaii, including a featured hula dancer. On December 12, Leokane and CJ "Boom" Helekahi will bring the sounds of Hana to South Maui. On December 19, Bobby Moderow Jr. of the award-winning band Maunalua will play contemporary Hawaiian and slack key.
In addition, the Shops at Wailea offers a number of additional "Holiday Aloha Concerts" in the Lower Courtyard on the days immediately prior to Christmas. On December 22, the Maui Brass Ensemble will entertain from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Additional concerts featuring holiday music, with performers still to be determined, will take place from 6:30-8:00 p.m. on the 23, 24 and on January 1, 2013. A special Christmas Day concert will take place from noon until 1:00 p.m. on the 25th.
West Maui's premier shopping destination, Whalers Village, is centrally located in the Kaanapali Beach Resort, just a few minutes north of historic Lahaina Town and a short drive south of the resort areas of Honokowai, Kahana, Napili and Kapalua.
In addition to the great shopping, Whalers Village will be offering free nightly entertainment on their center stage, located on the lower level near the food court. Included will be hula shows on Monday and Wednesday evenings, holiday jazz featuring Benoit JazzWorks on Thursday evenings and a special Mele Kalikimaka Show on Saturday evenings featuring Tahitian dance with a holiday flare.
From December 16-22, strolling carolers will be making their way around the Village every evening from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Village guests can get a free photo with Santa in an outrigger canoe on December 7,8, 14 and 15 from 3-6:00 p.m. beachside near the Hula Grill and Leilani's.
Queen Ka'ahumanu Center
Maui's largest shopping destination with over 100 shops and restaurants, the Queen Ka'ahumanu Center will be fully decked out for the holidays and offering a large number of special events which will kick off on Saturday November 17, 2012 when Santa will arrive at 11:00 a.m. accompanied by his dancing elves (from the Maui Academy of Performing Arts.) We'll be adding information on additional events and concerts as they are announced.
See our related features on 2012 Christmas and Holiday Events on the Neighbor Islands