5 Free Events in Honolulu in January 2019

Start your year by giving back and remembering a simpler time, participating in a beach cleanup on the North Shore and attending a two-day Pacific Island Arts Festival.

“Foundation Meets Dancehall” Night at Downbeat Lounge

Jan. 4

Foundation at Downbeat
Photo: Courtesy of Downbeat Lounge


For an old-school reggae experience, don’t miss the “Foundation Meets Dancehall” event at Downbeat Lounge for an all-vinyl evening. Featuring live sounds from Pacific Sounds Outernational, Zacharaijah and more, this one-year anniversary event will feature the best of reggae from the present and the past. Rudie’s Hi-Fi, a reggae radio program based out of Honolulu, will provide the playlist of roots, rocksteady and dancehall music that will leave you wondering how we ever strayed away from the sound of a classic vinyl.


9 p.m., Downbeat Lounge, 21+, 42 N. Hotel St., facebook.com


SEE ALSO: The 9 Best Events on O‘ahu in January 2019


26th Annual New Year’s ʻOhana Festival

Jan. 13

New Year’s ʻOhana Festival
Photo: Courtesy of Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaiʻi


Celebrate the Year of the Boar at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaiʻi with a day filled with traditional fare from bentos to hand-pounded mochi and craft booths for the whole ʻohana. Besides live entertainment from several Japanese dance groups, don’t miss the Chinese lion dancers that will make their way throughout the festival grounds.


9:30 a.m., Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaiʻi, 2454 South Beretania St., nyof2019.com


Cat Café Pop-Up: Popoki + Tea

Jan. 12

Photo: Courtesy of Popoki + Tea


If you’ve ever wanted to pet a kitten while drinking boba tea, catch Popoki + Tea’s Cat Café Pop-Up event at The Public Pet on Waiʻalae Avenue. This free event will allow cat lovers to meet adoptable cats and purchase cute kitty cookies and boba while they socialize.


2 p.m., The Public Pet, 3422 Waiʻalae Ave., instagram.com


19th Annual Pacific Island Arts Festival

Jan. 19–20

Pacific Island Arts Festival
Photo: Courtesy of Handcrafter’s and Artisan’s Alliance


Experience art from across the Pacific Islands at the 19th Annual Pacific Island Arts Festival. The two-day event will feature an art display by more than 75 different artists as well as live music, hula and a visit from the lion dancers from Au’s Shaolin Society on Sunday to ring in the Chinese New Year. Apart from all of the festivities, this might just be a good excuse to enjoy some shave ice at the park during (arguably) the nicest part of the year in the Islands.


9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Kapiʻolani Park, 3840 Pākī Ave., gohawaii.com


Mokulē‘ia Army Beach Cleanup

Jan. 26

Beach Cleanup
Photo: Courtesy of Keiki O Ka ʻĀina


Start your year off with a good deed by helping to clean up Mokulē‘ia Beach with Keiki O Ka ‘Āina. Bring your reusable water bottle, reef-safe sunscreen and cleanup supplies (the group will provide some if needed) and don’t forget your bathing suit in case you want to take a dip after the work is done.


9 to 11 a.m., Mokulē‘ia Beach, 68-945 Farrington Highway, eventbrite.com