7 Reasons to Get out in December
By Jenny de Jesús
If you get off the couch only one night out of the year, make it this one. Have your pick of the many parties going down around town. There are always the Ala Moana hotspots, Waikiki, Restaurant Row and Aloha Tower Marketplace. Wherever you end up, make sure the night includes the three N.Y.E. essentials: fireworks, friends and champagne. Dec. 31.
Kick off the holiday season Hawaiian style with the 23rd annual Honolulu City Lights celebration. The city Christmas tree at Honolulu Hale is lit on opening night and the festivities continue all month long with food, music and visits with Santa. For more information, visit www.honolulu.gov/csd/citylights. Dec. 1-31.
Ready, Set, Go!
Even if you're not planning to run the 26-plus miles of the Honolulu Marathon, support the 25,000 people who are. The marathon is the third largest in the country and the sixth largest in the world. During race week, even non-competitors can enjoy a concert, lu'au and free expo. www.honolulumarathon.org. Dec. 9.
Sneak a Peak
The Maui Film Festival FirstLight Academy Screenings begin today. Several statue-worthy films will be screened at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center on the largest 35mm screen in the state. Don't miss some of the most critically acclaimed and highly anticipated movies of the year, and place your bets on which ones will make the Academy Awards cut. For ticket information, visit www.mauifilmfestival.com. Dec. 14-30.
Make a Wish
Forget the better-known Perseids and find a dark spot from which to watch the Geminid meteor shower when it peaks tonight. The reliable display is the best star show of the year. Expect to see dozens to hundreds of "shooting stars" radiate from the Gemini constellation as the meteors enter our atmosphere and quickly vaporize. Dec. 14.
During last year's Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Colt Brennan broke the NCAA single-season record for touchdowns. Be at Aloha Stadium this year to catch all the action live, and you may even get on TV-the game is broadcast nationwide on ESPN at 3 p.m. For ticket information, visit www.sheratonhawaiibowl.com. Dec. 23.
While we love to eat mochi all year long, it was once reserved as a Japanese New Year's tradition. This year, celebrate the old-fashioned way at Wailea Village's 10th annual mochi pounding celebration at Akiko's Buddhist Bed & Breakfast on the Big Island. The day-long celebration grows in size every year and involves lots of food, crafts, music and what else-mochi. Dec. 29.