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7 Ways to Celebrate Winter in Honolulu Like a Real Local

We’ll never use snow shovels or sleds in Honolulu, but there are other ways to make it feel like a “real winter” in our Island paradise.


Sure, we’re happy to have the option of being beach-bound 365 days a year. But sometimes, we long for a little changing of the seasons. Here a few ways to make the coldest season of the year a little more merry and bright.


1. Dress for the Cold

Christmas story

Image: Giphy 


We may not need wool gloves or gigantic winter coats, but you know that once the rain comes and the temperature drops—to somewhere around 65 degrees—the time for your “winter wardrobe” has arrived. Go ahead—bust out those boots and fashion scarves while you can; they’ll have to head to the back of your closet again in a few months.


2. Have a Snow Day

Olaf from Frozen

Image: Giphy 


Do you want to build a snowman? During the winter months, various shopping malls and apartment complexes around town hold snow days, trucking in tons of snow for the whole family to enjoy. Check out the one at Salt Lake Shopping Center on Dec. 9—Santa will be bringing eight tons of the powdery stuff. Polynesian Cultural Center is also hosting three snow days on Dec. 2, 8 and 22. There’s nothing more wintery than a good snowball fight!


3. Visit Santa, Local Style

Outrigger Santa



It’s difficult to imagine winter without Christmas. And who can imagine Christmas without Santa? What’s great about seeing old St. Nick in our beloved Islands is that it’s unlike anywhere else. So if you’ve never greeted Santa on his canoe or visited his beach house, put those things on your December to-do’s.


4. Deck the Halls—At Home and in the Office

Video: HONOLULU Magazine Staff 


The quickest way to express your winter and holiday spirit on a large scale is to unleash your inner HGTV interior designer and bring winter to you. We may not have real snowflakes or reindeer, but that shouldn’t stop you from putting vinyl decals on your windows or plastic animals in your front yard. And don’t forget to decorate that tree!


5. Have a Winter Cocktail

Hawaii Five-0

Image: Giphy 


Take a break from the mai tais and lava flows to mix up something new. There are lots of great winter cocktail recipes online, or you can visit one of our great local bars to see what’s brewing on their cold-weather menus. 


6. Sip on Some Hot Chocolate

Hot cocoa



If you’re not into adult beverages, get into the winter mood with a drink from childhood. Make your own at home, or visit a place in town to find the right cocoa for you.


7. Curl up with Christmas Movies

Elf movie

Image: Giphy 


Christmas flicks have a way of getting everyone into a wintery mood, whether it’s Home Alone, A Christmas Story or Elf. On the next rainy day, curl up with a cozy quilt, fire up your Netflix account and binge watch all of your holiday favorites.


Read More Stories by Lennie Omalza 




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Honolulu Magazine December 2019
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