These Are The Top 5 Most Enchanting Places to Experience Christmas in Oahu

Get ready to unwrap the magic of Christmas in Oahu

Oahu, the heart of Hawaii, transforms into a winter wonderland with a tropical twist during the holiday season. As the calendar flips to December, the island comes alive with a festive spirit, creating a Christmas experience like no other.

From dazzling light displays to unique Hawaiian traditions, Oahu offers a rich collage of holiday delights.

In this post, we’ll journey through the top 5 places to immerse yourself in the holiday cheer of Oahu. So, grab your flip-flops and reindeer antlers because we’re about to embark on a festive adventure that will warm your heart and leave you with unforgettable memories.

Let’s dive into the magic of Christmas in Oahu! 🌴🎄

1. Friends of Honolulu City Lights

Are you ready to see Honolulu dazzle like never before? Then mark your calendar because from December 2nd to December 29th, the Honolulu City Lights are the place to be! It’s not just an event – it’s a whole city turning into a festive playground, and you’re the guest of honor.

Picture this: the moment December kicks in, downtown Honolulu gets a major glow-up. The star? A magnificent 50-foot Christmas tree in front of Honolulu Hale (City Hall), lighting up the night sky like a beacon of holiday cheer.


A hand making the 'shaka' sign before a Christmas tree, capturing the festive spirit of Christmas in Oahu.

The festivities begin with an opening night parade that’s a feast for the senses. Imagine floats decked out in all their holiday glory, bands setting the festive mood, and Santa himself showing off his aloha spirit. It’s a celebration that brings everyone together, and the energy is contagious.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Stroll around Honolulu Hale and you’ll be in a world of twinkling lights, enchanting displays, and super cool life-sized sculptures. It’s the ultimate backdrop for those holiday photos you’ll cherish forever.

Bringing the kids along? They’ll be over the moon meeting Santa and sharing their Christmas lists.

And the best part? It’s completely free. So come on down, grab a tasty local treat, enjoy the live tunes, and immerse yourself in the holiday spirit of Honolulu.

2. Santa’s Arrival by Canoe at Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort

Get ready for a Santa sighting like no other! This year, on Saturday, December 9, 2023, at 9 a.m., head over to Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort for a truly unique Hawaiian holiday experience – Santa’s Arrival by Canoe. This is a fantastic opportunity to see a different side of Santa, island-style!

Imagine the scene: the sun is up, the beach is glistening, and all eyes are on the horizon. Then, here comes Santa, not on his traditional sleigh, but paddling in on a canoe! It’s a sight that perfectly captures the magic and uniqueness of celebrating Christmas in Hawaii.

A vibrant rack of colorful surfboards on Waikiki Beach.

Santa’s beach landing is not just a spectacle; it’s a family-friendly event where everyone can gather to welcome him. There’s usually a chance to meet and take photos with Santa after his grand arrival, making it a wonderful experience for the kids and a great photo op for the holiday album.

So, make sure you’re on Waikiki Beach by 9 a.m. on December 9th to catch this one-of-a-kind holiday event. It’s a memorable way to start your day and adds an extra sprinkle of festive fun to your Oahu holiday experience.

Remember to check out the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort for more details.

3. Kapolei City Lights: “A Westside Wonderland”

For the third stop on our Oahu Christmas adventure, let’s swing by the Kapolei City Lights. This year’s “A Westside Wonderland” theme is a shout-out to the heart and soul of the Leeward communities, and it’s shaping up to be a holiday blast. Free to all, it’s your ticket to see the Westside in all its festive glory!

Block Party Extravaganza (December 9, 2023) December 9th is your date with fun at the Opening Night Block Party near Kapolei Hale. From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., it’s all happening here. Imagine a street buzzing with live music, a parade of food trucks (hello, delicious eats!), and booths packed with local goodies. It’s a festive frenzy with something for everyone.

The Holiday Parade at 6 p.m. is a must-watch. Picture floats decked out in holiday cheer, cruising from Kapolei High School to Kealakapu St. If you miss the main event, catch the parade highlights on ‘Alohikea St. for a post-parade treat.

And the cherry on top? A glitzy tree lighting by the Mayor at 7 p.m., followed by the AJ Keolanui Band lighting up the stage at 8 p.m.


Softly blurred Christmas lights in Oahu, evoking a warm, festive atmosphere.

Kapolei Hale Lights Up (December 9, 2023 – January 2, 2024) The glow doesn’t end with the block party. Kapolei Hale lights up from December 9 to January 2, turning into a sparkling winter wonderland. It’s the perfect spot for an evening of holiday wonder, surrounded by lights and the festive spirit.

4. Ala Moana Center (Honolulu)

The Ala Moana Center in Honolulu is another must-visit during the holiday season!

Did you know the Ala Moana Center is the largest open-air shopping mall in the world?? This mall is transformed into a festive wonderland with stunning decorations, including over 7,600 ornaments, 160 garlands, and 500 poinsettias! It sets the mood for a perfect Christmas shopping experience.

A traditional Santa hat resting on a green Hawaiian print fabric, blending classic Christmas and Aloha spirit.

You can meet Santa at his Surf Shack, enjoy daily hula shows with a holiday twist, and even bring your pets for a special photo session with Santa.

For those looking to contribute, the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree is there to spread more joy. With extended holiday hours, this largest open-air shopping center offers a unique blend of shopping, dining, and holiday festivities, all wrapped up in the warm spirit of Hawaii.

For more detailed information about holiday events at Ala Moana Center, visit their official holiday page.


5. Breakfast with Santa at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach

Alright, get ready for the coolest Christmas breakfast ever at Hilton Hawaiian Village! This is where Santa ditches his sleigh and arrives in style – on a canoe in Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon. How awesome is that?

Mark your calendars for December 22, 23, and 24 because this is one breakfast you won’t want to miss.

Just imagine chilling in Waikiki, sipping on some morning coffee or juice, and watching Santa paddle in, Hawaiian style, around 8:45 a.m. It’s a sight that’s sure to bring out the kid in everyone. And hey, it’s not every day you get to see Santa cruising in a canoe!

The tranquil Hilton Hawaiian Village Lagoon, bordered by vibrant tropical plants and framed by palm trees, with the resort's distinctive architecture in the background.

Once Santa hits the shore, it’s time to dive into a yummy breakfast buffet. We’re talking about a spread that’ll make your taste buds sing holiday tunes. And of course, there are plenty of fun activities and photo ops with Santa himself – perfect for those holiday Insta posts.

This event at Hilton Hawaiian Village is more than just a meal; it’s a festive experience that you and your family will remember for years to come. It’s all the fun of a traditional Christmas, with a delightful Hawaiian twist.

Just remember to book in advance because this popular event fills up faster than Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve!

For more details on the Breakfast with Santa event and to secure your spot, check out the Hilton Hawaiian Village website. Trust me, this is one festive feast you don’t want to miss!

Is Christmas a Good Time to Visit Oahu?

Visiting Oahu during Christmas has its perks, with pleasant weather and a festive atmosphere. You’ll experience unique events like Santa’s Arrival by Canoe and Honolulu City Lights. However, keep in mind that it’s a peak tourist season with higher prices and larger crowds. Planning and booking in advance are essential for a memorable holiday trip.

A joyful couple wearing Santa hats and leis celebrates Christmas in Oahu on a pristine beach, embodying the festive spirit of the holidays in a tropical paradise.

Is Oahu Nice in December?

Yes, Oahu is quite pleasant in December. The weather is mild, with temperatures in the 70s°F (around 24°C), making it a comfortable time to visit. Additionally, Oahu embraces the holiday spirit with festive decorations and events, creating a unique and enjoyable atmosphere. It’s a great month to experience both the island’s natural beauty and holiday charm.

The Wrap-Up: Christmas in Oahu

As our festive journey through Oahu’s 5 most enchanting places to experience Christmas comes to a close, it’s clear that the holiday spirit in Hawaii is as warm and inviting as its sunny skies.

From the dazzling Honolulu City Lights to the unique Breakfast with Santa at Hilton Hawaiian Village, each event and destination we’ve explored offers a slice of holiday magic, Hawaiian style.

These experiences not only highlight the diversity of holiday festivities in Oahu but also the uniqueness of a Hawaiian Christmas. It’s a place where the traditions of the season meet the beauty of the islands, creating a holiday experience unlike any other.

So, whether you’re sipping a tropical drink under the twinkling lights at Waikiki Beach, marveling at the holiday parades, or finding that perfect gift at Ala Moana Center, the spirit of Aloha is ever-present, making your Christmas in Oahu an unforgettable experience.

Mele Kalikimaka and may your holiday season be filled with joy, warmth, and the enchanting spirit of Hawaii!

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