Christmas Events & Traditions in Hawaii

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas day. But after you've opened the holiday presents in your best-in-class ocean-view Waikiki hotel room or suite, how can you make the most of Christmas in Hawaii? You don't need snow to feel festive. Step onto the bustling streets of Waikiki and Honolulu to celebrate Hawaiian Christmas traditions in the heart of the Aloha State.


4 Best Holiday Events and Activities in Waikiki

From the North Pole, it takes Santa Claus approximately 4,746 miles to get to Honolulu. Despite the long commute, nothing can stop the holiday spirit from taking over Waikiki's balmy beaches and sunny shores.


1. Honolulu City Lights

  • Full Info: Official Website
  • Location: Downtown Honolulu in and around the grounds of the Honolulu Hale (530 S King Street)
  • Date: The official Christmas tree is lit at 6:30 p.m. on December 4th, with tree exhibits and decorations available through to the end of the month.
  • Festivities: The annual event is returning after being canceled in 2020. The building and grounds of Honolulu City Hall are decked out with thousands of lights and larger-than-life Christmas statues and decorations. Attending Honolulu Hale requires a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination.


2. Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade

  • Full Info: Official Website
  • Location: Pearl Harbor and the Waikiki strip
  • Date: The opening ceremony begins on December 7th at 4:30 p.m. at Fort DeRussy Park, followed by a 6 p.m. parade down Waikiki's Kalakaua Avenue
  • Festivities: This is one of the biggest holiday parades in Waikiki. It celebrates both Christmas and American veterans on the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. See floats, Christmas-lighted military vehicles and helicopters, and full marching bands.


3. Waikiki Trolley Holiday Lights Tour

  • Full Info: Official Website
  • Location: Ward Village Victoria Ward Park at 1020 Auahi Street
  • Date: Every 30 minutes from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on December 5-26
  • Festivities: Hop onto a trolley fully decked out in Christmas decor, and let your tour guide drive you around the most festive spots in Waikiki and downtown Honolulu. You'll even get to take part in Christmas carols and Hawaiian holiday stories.


4. Winter Wonderland at the Aloha Stadium

  • Full Info: Official Website
  • Location: Aloha Stadium parking lot (99-500 Salt Lake Blvd)
  • Date: 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. from November 19-December 26
  • Festivities: Take the on-site holiday shuttle or drive your rental car through more than 2.5 million LED lights that are choreographed to music. Don't miss the 600 feet of dazzling tunnels, a full elf village, and a sneak peek of Santa flying 80 feet above you.


Making the Most of the Holidays in Hawaii

Most of the above events take place outdoors. However, some festivities and Christmas celebrations may still require:

  • Proof of vaccination, and/or
  • Proof of a negative COVID-19 test, and/or 
  • Masking and physical distancing

Because the regulations in Hawaii change frequently, always check the event page before attending.

And no matter how you choose to embrace the Christmas spirit while vacationing in Waikiki, let the beautiful beach views and joyful customer service at the Waikiki Resort Hotel welcome you home for the holidays. 

Our hotel's safe, central location means you're just steps from our world-famous beach, and only minutes from some of the city's most festive hot spots. Book your stay at the Waikiki Resort Hotel online or call us at 1-800-367-5116 to discover a world-class destination that's just steps (literally) from iconic, historic sights and sounds.