5 Nighttime Outdoor Adventures on O‘ahu

Some of O‘ahu’s coolest adventures happen outdoors at night.
One Saturday a month, HAS holds free star parties at Geiger Community Park and Kahala Community Park.
Photo: Dallas Nagata White


1. Look to the Stars 

Not sure if you’re looking at the North Star or Jupiter? Try gazing at heavenly bodies with the guidance of experts from the Hawaiian Astronomical Society. One Saturday a month, HAS holds free star parties at Geiger Community Park and Kahala Community Park. If it’s not quite dark enough, once a month between third-quarter and new moon, “dark sky” parties are held at Dillingham Airfield. Telescopes are available for use, or bring your own. Star parties start at sunset and run for about three hours. For Dillingham Airfield, arrive before 6:30 p.m., when the gates are locked to latecomers.

For a schedule and more information, visit hawastsoc.org.


2. Under the Reef

From late fall to early spring, take to the reef with Waik​īkī Aquarium in search of nocturnal crabs, lobsters and eels (oh my!). Like wading through a natural aquarium, reef explorers use clear viewing boxes to scoop up critters that call the reef their home, from tigerfish to tiny octopus, sea cucumbers to brightly colored angelfish. Reserve your spot in advance. And bring your flashlight.

2777 Kalakaua Ave., 440-9011, waikikiaquarium.org.


3.  Late Night Skinny Dipping

We don’t condone breaking the law, but we’re OK with noting that local nudists have carved out a niche at Polo Beach, a section of Makaleha Beach on the North Shore. If you’re shy, don’t give up, you can still swim out in your bathing suit and disrobe once you’re sufficiently away from shore. The bare experience is worth it. Polo Beach’s distance from city lights make for romantic moonlit skies and twinkling stars. Keep it classy and frolic safely. 

Makaleha Beach Park off Farrington Highway in Mokuleia.


4. Bombs Bursting in Air

Dig fireworks but hate Waikīkī crowds? Catch the Friday 7:45 p.m. Hilton Hawaiian Village fireworks show like a local—from the ocean. One of our resident surfers recommends swimming or paddling out from Kaimana Beach and treading water while the colorful explosions blossom overhead. The show lasts a brief 10 minutes, but you’ll love every burst.

Hilton Hawaiian Village, 2005 Kālia Road, 949-4321.


5. Commune with the Spirits

Ancient Hawaiian folklore says Ka‘ena Point, the scenic western-most tip of O‘ahu, is the jumping-off point for souls leaving this world into the next one. Storyteller and expert on Hawai‘i’s supernatural Lopaka Kapanui says anywhere stretching from Yokohama Beach in Wai‘anae to Ka‘ena Point is also traditionally known to be a path for night marchers, the spirits of ancient Hawai‘i warriors.

Kaena Point, end of Farrington Highway.


Want more outdoor adventure ideas? Check out our full list of 23 Outdoor Adventures to Enjoy Now.