Nowhere in the USA is Christmas celebrated in such a unique way as in Hawaii. While much of the country dreams of a white Christmas with Santa bringing presents on his sleigh on Christmas Eve, in Hawaii, Santa often arrives on a surfboard or outrigger canoe and unless you're at the summit of Mauna Kea, you won't see snow or any cold weather.
The island of Oahu is full of holiday events throughout the month of December. We'll be adding to this list as more events are brought to our attention. If you know of any we're missing, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 2012 Christmas Events on Oahu
November 9-11 - The Nutcracker at the Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall. Friday November 9th at 8:00 p.m., Saturday November 10th at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday November 11th at 2:00 p.m. Check the Blaisdell Center's website for ticket information.
November 23 - Waikiki Holiday Parade Sponsored by Gateway Music Festival & Tours/Superior Bands, this event is expected to have 4,000 marchers, 40 vehicles, & 38 bands. 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.
November 23-25 - Islandwide Christmas Craft and Food Expo Over 450 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. A Christmas concert featuring local artist Melveen Leed will take place on Saturday the 24th at 7:00 p.m. For more information visit their website.
November 24 - Hawaii Kai Christmas Parade Sponsored by Hawaii Kai Lions Club, this event is expected to have 1,000 marchers, 25 vehicles, & 3 bands. It will start at 10:00 a.m. at Kamiloiki Park proceeding to Lunalilo Home Road, and ending at the Koko Marina Shopping Center at around 11:30 a.m.
December 2012 Christmas Events on Oahu
December 1 - Kaimuki Craft & Gift Fair from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at the Aliiolani Elementary School. Free parking is available at the school grounds at the corner of 6th and Waialae Avenues. The public is welcome to this fun-filled shopping and food event. Vendors will be selling exquisite handcrafted items made in Hawaii, clothing, toys, collectibles, seasonings and sauces, gift baskets, a large variety of jewelry, packaged food items, bags and purses, Christmas wreaths and ornaments and many more items that will satisfy all of your holiday shopping needs.
December 1 - Kaneohe Christmas Parade kicks off at 9:00 a.m. The event is expected to have 1,800 marchers, 25 vehicles, 16 floats, & 8 bands. It will start at the Windward Mall at Haiku Road, head to Kamehameha Highway, then over to Kaneohe Bay Drive, and ends at Castle High School at around 11:00 a.m.
December 1 - Mililani Christmas Parade will begin at run from 9:00-10:30 a.m. The parade will start at the Mililani High School Stadium at Kipapa Drive, past Mililani Shopping Center, onto Moenamanu Street, onto Kuahelani Avenue, onto Meheula Parkway, onto Lanikuhana Avenue, to finish at the Town Center of Mililani between Ruby Tuesday and Assagios. The event is expected to have 1,500 marchers, 30 vehicles, 10 floats, and 2 bands.
December 1 - Kamehameha Schools Annual Christmas Concert will take place at 4:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Hawaii Theatre. Admission is free but an RSVP is required. An open dress rehearsal will take place on Friday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m. The Christmas concert includes performances from the children of Kamehameha Elementary School, High School Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Drill Team, Hawaiian Ensemble, and the Concert Glee Club. For more information call 808-842-8496.
December 1 - Outrigger Reef on the Beach Tree Lighting Ceremony will begin at 5:00 p.m. with a performance by a local keiki (children's) hula halau, one of whom will be chosen to press the button to light all of the Christmas decorations throughout the resort. From 6:00-9:00 p.m. Hawaiian holiday music will continue at the Kani Ka Pila Grille where Manoa Madness will perform.
December 1 - 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.
December 1 - Honolulu City Lights opens at Honolulu Hale - Honolulu's City Hall. Celebrating its 28th year in 2012, "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 2 - Pearl City Shopping Center Christmas Parade Sponsored by Pearl City Shopping Center, the parade will take place from 2-6:00 p.m. The event is expected to have 2,000 marchers, 30 vehicles, & 10 floats. It will start at Momilani Elementary School, to Hookiekie St., to Hoomoana St., to Hoolaulea St., to end at Pearl City Shopping Center. Contact: George Cochard 593-1533, Fax: 593-0569 E-mail email@example.com for more details.
December 2 - Toy 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 2012 Toys for Tots Hawaii collection effort.
December 5 - Castle Medical Center's (CMC) 28th annual Community Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. Things will kickoff with a Christmas concert by the Marine Forces Pacific Band at 6:15 p.m. which will be followed by the formal ceremony that includes the lighting of the 60-foot Christmas trees thousands of lights, performances by Hoku Award winners Barrett and Tara Awai, and the arrival of Santa at 7:00 p.m. There will be trolley rides into Kailua so see other Christmas lights, compliments of Kaneohe Ranch and the Castle Foundation. There will be a performance by Kailua High School's Junior ROTC, photo opportunities with Santa and Mrs.Claus, Nana Bear and other characters, activities for the children ay yje Wellness on Wheels van and a special holiday concert by Vaihi at 7:30 p.m. Event parking has been reserved at Kailua High School with shuttle buses running regularly from 5 p.m. Trolleys will run between the hospital and the Kailua Town Center (front of Macy’s) beginning at 5 p.m. For more information visit CastleMed.org or call 808-263-5400.
December 5 - Murphy's Ronald McDonald Gift Wrap on Merchant St is celebrating it 25th year. 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 te Hawaii Children's Cancer Foundation. Last year children's movies were screened and free trolley rides offered to see Honolulu City Lights.
December 6 - Kaimuki Christmas Parade from 6:00-8:00 p.m. The event is sponsored by Kaimuki Business & Professional Association and is expected to have 1,500 marchers & 40 vehicles. The parade starts at St. Louis High School/Chaminade University grounds, to Waialae Ave., to Koko Head Ave., to end at Municipal Parking Lot. Parade will be on makai half of Waialae Ave., mauka half to be contra-flowed from 3rd Ave to Koko Head.
December 6 - Kailua Town Christmas Open House. You can visit your favorite Kailua retailers to start your holiday shopping. Enjoy festive decorations, Hawaii's best artisans creating wares right in front of your eyes, gift wrapping, special holiday discounts and pupus and your favorite libations along with live music throughout. Contact Jackie Smythe at SassHawaii@hawaii.rr.com for more details.
December 7 - Wahiawa Town Xmas Parade Sponsored by Wahiawa Community & Buisness Association. The event is expected to have 300 marchers, 10 vehicles, & 2 floats. It will start at Kaala Elementary School, to California Avenue, to North Cane Street, where it will end at Center Street around 8:30 p.m.
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 8:30 p.m. In 2012, the parade will honor the 50th anniversary of the USS Arizona Memorial. For more information, visit their website at www.pearlharborparade.org.
December 7-9 - A Cazimero Christmas will once again take place at the Hawaii Theatre. Concerts are scheduled for Friday December 7th at 7:30 p.m., Saturday December 8th at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday December 11th at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $33, $43, $53 and $78, and can be purchased at the Hawaii Theatre box office, charge-by-phone at 808-528-0506, or online at www.hawaiitheatre.com.
December 8 - Aiea Community Association Christmas Parade sponsored by Aiea Community Association kicks off at 8:30 a.m. The event is expected to have 200 marchers, 10 vehicles, & 2 bands. It will start at Pearlridge Elementary School Parking lot, proceed to Moanalua Road, to Kaamilo Street, to Ulune Street, to Halewiliko Street, to end at the Aiea Sugar Mill Site at around 12:00 noon.
December 8 - Holiday Trolley Party - Family Fun in Kailua sponsored by Aiea Community Association kicks off at 8:30 a.m. The event is expected to have 200 marchers, 10 vehicles, & 2 bands. It will start at Pearlridge Elementary School Parking lot, proceed to Moanalua Road, to Kaamilo Street, to Ulune Street, to Halewiliko Street, to end at the Aiea Sugar Mill Site at around 12:00 noon. For more information please call the church office at 261-6238 or visit www.kailuaumc.org.
December 8 - 12th Annual Kapolei City Lights Electric Light Parade and Celebration starts at 6:00 p.m. from the Kapolei Fairgrounds to Kapolei Hale for the Tree Lighting Ceremony and block party. The organizers are expecting 40 units including 2 marching bands, Santa and surprise guests. The block party will have great entertainment, food vendors, free goodie bags for all keiki that visit Santa and it will end with a bang. (Fireworks) The event ends at about 10:00 p.m.
December 8 - Waimanalo Christmas Parade starts at 9:00 a.m. Sponsored by the Waimanalo Construction Coalition, the event is expected to have 120 marchers, 4 vehicles, 4 floats and 2 bands. The parade starts from the Waimanalo District Park, onto Hihimanu Street, left on Kumuhau Street, left on Humuniki Street, right on Kalanianaole Highway and end at Waimanalo Beach Park around 11:00 a.m.
December 8 - Hawaiian Santa Arrives by Canoe at the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach at 9:00 a.m. Hundreds are expected on Waikiki Beach as Santa sheds his sleigh for an outrigger canoe powered by Waikiki beach boys. Keiki from Halau 'O Pua Kahale will be on hand to greet Santa with a gift of hula. The arrival will be followed by complimentary photo-taking with Santa in the hotel lobby. Free and open to the public.
December 8 - Gentry Waipio Community Association Christmas Parade sponsored by Gentry Waipio Community Association kicks off at 10:00 a.m. The event is expected to have 800 marchers, 13 vehicles, & 1 band. It will start at C, to Waipio Uka St., Ukee St., to Ka Uka Blvd., to Waipio Uka St., to end back at Gentry Waipio Shopping Center at around 11:30 a.m.
December 8 - Waipahu Christmas Parade sponsored by Lighthouse Outreach Center Assembly of God kicks off at 2:00 p.m. The event is expected to have 10 vehicles. It will start at Waipahu District Park at Paiwa Street, to Farrington Highway, to Pupukahi Street, to Waipahu Street, to Leoku Street, to end at Leolua Street behind Waipahu Town Center.
December 8 - Manoa Community Christmas Parade sponsored by East Manoa Lions Club kicks off at 5:00 p.m. The event is expected to have 800 marchers, 15 vehicles, 2 floats, & 4 bands. It will start at Noelani School., to Woodlawn Drive, to Kolowalu Street, to East Manoa Road., to Lowrey Avene, to Manoa Road and finish up at Manoa Park finish around 7:00 p.m.
December 9 - Haleiwa Christmas Parade sponsored by North Shore Community Chamber of Commerce/Haleiwa Main Street kicks off at 6:00 p.m. The event is expected to have 250 marchers, 25 vehicles, 4 floats & 4 bands. It will start at Weed Circle, to Kamehameha Hwy., thru Haleiwa Town, to end at Haleiwa Beach Park. For moew information visit www.GoNorthShore.org.
December 13 - Kapahulu Moiliili Christmas Parade sponsored by Kapahulu-Moiliili Lions Club kicks off at 6:30 p.m. The event is expected to have 250 marchers & 5-8 vehicles. It will start at Kuhio Elementary School, to King Street, to Beretania Street, to Isenberg Street, and end at Old Stadium Park at around 8:00 p.m.
December 14-16 - King's Chapel Oahu Presents: Birthday of a King: The Musical King's Chapel East Oahu, 5740 Kalanianaole Hwy, Honolulu. The doors open at 6:00 p.m. each night. Tickets $10 for Adults, $5 for Children 3-11, Children under 3 free. Tickets are available online. Call 808-373-7416 for more information.
December 15 - Waianae Coast Christmas Parade sponsored by Waianae Coast Rotary Club licks off at 10:00 a.m. The event is expected to have 1,000 marchers, 30 vehicles, 30 floats, 5 bands & 3 horse groups. It will start at the Waianae Boat Harbor, to Farrington Highway and end at the Waianae Mall at around noon.
December 15 - Ewa Beach Lions Club Christmas Parade sponsored by Ewa Beach Lions Club kicks off at 10:00 a.m. The event is expected to have 1,200 marchers, 80 vehicles, 12 floats & 2 bands. It will start at Ilima Intermediate School Parking Lot, to Ft. Weaver Road, to Kuhina Street, to Hanakahi Street, to North Road, to Ft. Weaver Road and end at the Ilima Intermediate School Parking Lot at around noon.
December 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 - Hawaii State Ballet Presents The Nutcracker These annual performances of the holiday classic take place at the Mamiya Theatre of St. Louis School. For tickets visit hawaiistateballet.com or call 808-550-8457.
December 17-25 - Employee Gingerbread Display at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach. View the creative gingerbread works of the Outrigger Reef'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.
December 18 & 19 - 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 $25.00 per person, inclusive of tax, tip and a free photo with Santa; $12.50 children 5 - 11 years; children 4 years and younger eat free. Validated valet parking will be available at $5 per car. Reservations required: 808-924-4993.
December 20, 2012 - Holiday Hula Show with Na Kupuna o Ko`olau in the lobby of the at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach from 10:00-11:00 a.m. Free and open to the public.
See our related features on 2012 Christmas and Holiday Events on the Neighbor Islands