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10 Things You Won’t Want To Miss This Holiday Season in Oahu

December 2, 2022

Are you ready to spend your holidays in Oahu? Oahu is one of the most popular destinations for vacationers in Hawaii. The island boasts an array of interesting attractions and amenities, so it’s no wonder many people choose to spend their vacations there.

Exciting activities and stunning natural places can be seen and done from just about any spot on the island of Oahu. The North Shore’s big waves, the New Year’s Eve fireworks, and the cherished Honolulu City Lights are just a few of the island’s many attractions. This season, visitors of Oahu can choose from many exciting activities.

Can’t decide what to do first? We have some awesome ideas for those who just can’t make up their minds.

1. Honolulu City Lights

Rating: ★★★★★

One of the best things to do this December with your family is to spend your holidays in Honolulu. You can start your holiday with Honolulu City Lights, Hawaii’s biggest Christmas event!

The holidays in Hawaii officially begin when Shaka Santa and Tutu Mele take their customary positions in front of Honolulu Hale and the towering pine tree above them is lit. 

Honolulu City Lights has a variety of light shows that are perfect for families with small children. On the first night, pictures of Santa are all over the house. In addition, there are several kid-friendly attractions — including rides, food stands, and events — that are free for attendees.

2. The Nutcracker

Rating: ★★★★★

You could also start your holiday in Hawaii by watching Ballet Hawaii’s annual tradition and production of “The Nutcracker” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. This year, the ballet put on a Nutcracker with a Hawaiian theme set in the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1858.

Septime Webre handles the choreography, and guest performers include those from the New York City Ballet, the Pacific Northwest Ballet, and the Carolina Ballet. The Hawaii Symphony Orchestra will play the music of the show.

The timeless story of The Nutcracker and the regal splendor of the Hawaiian monarchy make a perfect pairing for a holiday celebration.

3. Holiday Luau

Rating: ★★★★★

This is a great treat if you plan to visit and spend your holiday in Waikiki. A luau is a celebration where you enjoy each other’s company. You can play traditional Hawaiian games, listen to live local music and watch a KaluaPork Imu ceremony. You can also try a “hukilau” where people pull a big fishnet from the ocean and watch Polynesian and hula performances throughout the night.

By trying this experience, you can immerse yourself in a luau celebration and enjoy the Hawaiian culture. 

4. Oahu’s North Shore

Rating: ★★★★★

This is the time of year to be on Oahu’s renowned North Shore if you’re into big waves and surfing. A perfect spot for your holiday in Oahu, the North Shore is recognized for its large waves and professional surfing competitions, such as the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing and the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational. 

In the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, surfers compete at Haleiwa, Pipeline, and Sunset Beach. In contrast, 55 surfers are invited to participate in this historic surfing competition of the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational. In this competition, waves must exceed 20 feet.

A huge number of surfers visit Hawaii in December because Waimea Bay on the North Shore is known to have waves as high as 30 feet throughout the winter, and this attracts large crowds.

5. Whale Watching

Rating: ★★★★☆

If you travel to Oahu’s south and west coasts in the month of December, you may see humpback whales breaching the water. These magnificent animals travel from the Gulf Coast to Hawaii in December, where they spend the winter. You can embark on a catamaran or monohull boat ride with a small group tour from either Waikiki or Ko Olina.

6. Pearl Harbor

Rating: ★★★★☆

If you’re spending your holiday in Waikiki, you should make time to see the Pearl Harbor National Monument. During December, some events are happening to commemorate Pearl Harbor’s anniversary and memory.

The continuous tradition includes live jazz and blues band concerts, outdoor cinema screenings on Waikiki Beach, and reef-laying ceremonies, among other activities. Some activities have a block party, opening night gala, museum tour, award ceremonies, and memorial services.

7. Honolulu Marathon

Rating: ★★★★☆

Oahu still has lots to offer if you’re not much of a celebrator and want a pre-holiday vacation. You can enter the Honolulu Marathon, one of the world’s largest and most well-known road marathons!

The fourth largest marathon in the world, Honolulu Marathon is always held on the second Sunday of December. During this marathon, you will undoubtedly experience the spirit of “Aloha,” as there is no time constraint, and the entire 26-mile course is breathtaking.

8. Polynesian Cultural Center

Rating: ★★★★☆

You can also visit the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie to escape the rush and bustle of Waikiki. The Christmas event includes a 10-minute boat trip in the center’s lagoon, live entertainment by award-winning Hawaiian performers, Keiki train rides, photos with Santa, and discounts on shopping within the center town.

9. New Year’s Eve Fireworks

Rating: ★★★★☆

Activities for kids and adults alike abound during the Countdown to Christmas on Waikiki Beach. On New Year’s Eve, you don’t need elaborate plans. You can enjoy a free, spectacular fireworks show over Waikiki Beach, with more than 1800 shells let off at midnight.

You can also enjoy a 10-minute boat ride over the center’s lagoon and listen to award-winning Hawaiian performers perform live.

10. Waikiki Beach Yoga

Rating: ★★★☆☆

If you desire a tranquil vacation and wish to spend your holiday in Waikiki quietly, you can practice yoga on the beach or the grass. The yoga session focuses on power vinyasa and restorative yoga for 75 minutes. 

As the sun sets, you can do yoga and enjoy the moon’s rise. You don’t need to worry about carrying your own items since they are all provided in the session.

Final Thoughts

Oahu attracts more than half of Hawaii’s annual tourists, making it the most visited island in the state. The island receives more than half a million tourists in December then any other island.

Unless Christmas snow and ski slopes are at the top of your vacation wish list, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Oahu. This place is perfect for all adventurers and those who want to escape it all.

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