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Kauaʻi Holiday Events

Check out this festive lineup of holiday events on Kauaʻi

Lights on Rice

The holiday season on Kauaʻi is a magical time of year, whether you are visiting for the holidays or call Kauaʻi home. Life slows down a bit, the weather shifts, and the sun is warm but not hot. As we deepen into the rainy season, the Humpback Whales put on their annual dazzling water show, and a certain kind of warm rain falls softly in a way that looks just like light snowfall – the mystical Hawaiian Snow.

Christmas lights begin to pop up, brightly adorning tall palm trees and plump Norfolk Island Pines as the familiar sounds of Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters “Mele Kalikimaka” merrily fill the air. There is a palpable warmth that has nothing to do with the sun but comes straight from the hearts of our island community.

Kauaiʻs abundant beaches, outdoor activities, and laid-back living help keep the overwhelming hustle of Christmas shopping, shipping, gift-giving, and meal-prep at bay. Santa sightings are even possible if you truly believe or just so happen to catch a sort-of-Santa-look-alike surfing the glassy ocean waves in Christmas board shorts and the traditional red Santa hat.

As we near the Winter Solstice, a few days before Christmas, it gets darker earlier at night. There is an invitation to hunker down, get cozy, wrap up the old, and welcome the new. Cause guess what!? The New Year is right around the corner.

But before we head into thoughts of the New Year, here are some local, family-friendly holiday events on Kauaʻi that will leave you full of holiday cheer and ready to welcome the season of joy and giving.

Festival of Lights

Trust me, you want to check this out! Take a drive or stroll down Rice Street in Līhuʻe to see the 27th Annual Festival of Lights at the Historic County Building Park. This bright and beautiful display of Christmas Lights is free and literally lights up the whole block every night from 6pm-11pm, November 28, 2023, through New Year’s Day.

Santa on Kauai

Visit Santa & Mrs. Claus

Every Friday night in December (1, 8, 15 & 22), head to the Historic County Building Porch from 6-8pm and meet Santa & Mrs. Claus. Make sure to put these don’t-miss events on your radar for next year, including Santa’s Gone Kauaiʻian favorites: The Surfin’ Santa, The Mermaid Kingdom, Santa’s Train Village, and the SPAM Can Tree.

Lights on Rice Parade

Make sure to kick start the holiday season right with the Lights on Rice Parade, held annually by the Rotary Club of Kauaʻi on the first Friday of December from 6-8pm. It’s become a favorite local tradition to gather in Līhuʻe for this event. Spectators eagerly line Rice Street to watch the bright, beautifully decorated parade of holiday floats featuring local businesses, school bands, organizations, and more.

The parade runs on Rice Street, starting at Hoʻolako Street and ending at Umi Street. We suggest you get there early and park along Hardy Street. Rice Street and Hoʻolako Street are closed for the parade from 6pm-9pm, so plan accordingly. Kids of all ages will love this event, and so will their parents.

Amy Hānaialiʻi: An Evening of Holiday Hits

Get your ticket, mark your calendar, and get to Anaina Hou in Kīlauea on December 23, 2023 at 5:30pm for a must-experience Christmas concert with Amy Hānaialiʻi. This concert is going to be remembered well beyond the holidays! Hānaialiʻi’s musical talents have earned her 6 GRAMMY nominations and 18 Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards, Hawaiʻi’s version of a GRAMMY award.

It’s time to delve into the heart of Christmas spirit with Amy as she performs her award-winning holiday album “A Hawaiian Christmas,” along with other classic songs. Accompanying Amy are special guests Bronson Aiwohi, Sean Naʻauao, Mailani Makainaʻi, and Eric Gilliom. Tickets are $60 ($70 on the day of the show) and are worth every penny. This is an excellent gift idea for yourself and your loved ones.

Christmas lights on Kauai

Kukui Grove Mall 

This is the place to be during the holidays, with many events suitable for all ages. Meet at the Center Stage at 11am on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month for Toddler Tuesdays. Keiki can sing along with the Showtime Characters and check out the Candy Cane Lane selfie station.

Santa’s House, located in Suite A13 (across from Jamba Juice), has been open since November 24 and will close on December 24, 2023, at 5pm. It is open Monday-Thursday from 12pm-8pm, Fridays & Saturdays from 11am-8pm & Sundays from 12pm-6pm, now through December 20.

The final weekend hours run December 21-23 from 10am-8pm and December 24 from 10am-5pm. Snap your yearly photo with Santa & Mrs. Claus in the Santa House Photo Studio. Professional photographers are on site to capture the sweet moments, and reservations are recommended (register on Kukui Grove Mall’s website). Photo packages start at $39.99.

Lastly, remember to celebrate Santa’s return to the North Pole on December 30, 2023, from 11am-2pm at the North Pole Party, located at Center Stage.

Toys for Tots

Help brighten the spirits of Kauaʻi’s keiki and youth by donating to Toys for Tots this holiday. Christmas can be a tough time of year for many people, especially when money is tight. If you have something extra to give, it could change Christmas Day for a child who might not have much, or anything, under the tree.

Also, watch for the annual Toys for Tots Motorcycle Rally next year, usually at the end of November. Hundreds of riders from all over the island who are part of the Garden Isle Racing Association Motorcycle Class met at the Kauaʻi Veterans Center on Veterans Memorial Highway in Līhuʻe on Saturday, November 25, 2023. They presented Toys for Tots with a generous donation of toys and monetary donations raised during the Garden Island Racing Association’s final 2023 drag race.

We look forward to seeing you at one of these local holiday events. Wherever your holiday plans take you this year, we at Holo Holo Charters wish you a wonderful holiday season full of aloha, joy, peace, abundant good health, and great spirits.

Mele Kalikimaka to our Holo Holo friends near and far!

Mahalo for sharing this journey with us! – – – – –

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