7 Free Events in December 2018

Gift shopping got you on a tight budget? From a holiday block party to an open dance class, check out these free events to offset your busy month with a little holiday spirit.

Honolulu City Lights Block Party

Dec. 1

Honolulu City Lights
Photo: Courtesy of Honolulu Hale


Celebrate the annual lighting ceremony on opening night of the Honolulu City Lights at Honolulu Hale with a slew of vehicles for a holiday parade, a block party with local grinds, and the annual Christmas tree lighting to kick off the monthlong Christmas lights display downtown. Catch local-favorites Bao Tao’n, Uncle Lani’s Poi Mochi and other street food vendors for the launch. Don’t miss the other free events held at Honolulu Hale for the entire month (free milk and cookies, anyone?) to keep the Christmas spirit going.


4–10 p.m., Honolulu Hale, 530 S. King St., honolulucitylights.org.


SEE ALSO: Ultimate Guide to Honolulu City Lights Opening Night


Christmas Tree Lighting with Josh Tatofi

Dec. 5

Josh Tatofi
Photo: Courtesy of Josh Tatofi


Catch Mr. and Mrs. Claus, trolley rides, and Nā Hōkū Hanohano-winning artist Josh Tatofi for Kailua’s annual community Christmas tree lighting at Castle Medical Center. Bring the whole ʻohana to participate in the keiki activities and indulge in complimentary Christmas cookies and popcorn (while they last). End the evening with a performance by Tatofi.


6:15–9:30 p.m., Castle Medical Center, 640 ‘Ulukahiki Street, Kailua. Parking with trolley service available at Kailua Long’s parking structure beginning at 5 p.m., gohawaii.com.


Winter Swell Surf Exhibit at HiSAM

Dec. 7

Steven Keane
Photo: Courtesy of Steven Kean


Because there’s nothing as awe-inspiring as the giant North Shore swells in the winter months, witness how two local artists translate these powerful waves into an equally inspiring surf art exhibition at the Hawaiʻi State Art Museum Gallery Shop x Mori by Art + Flea. Steven Kean and Hawaiʻi Five-O star Laura Mellow will open Winter Swell with sounds from big wave-surfer, DJ Keala Kennelly and rock band Men in Grey Suits.


6–9 p.m., HiSAM Museum Gallery Shop x Mori by Art + Flea, 250 S. Hotel St., sfca.hawaii.gov.


Billabong Pipe Masters


Holding Period:

Dec. 8–20

Billabong Pipe Masters
Photo: Courtesy of Billabong Pipe Masters


Catch the exhilarating Pipe Masters event on North Shore to watch the best surfers in the world compete in what is considered one of the world’s most challenging surf breaks. Don’t forget your low-lying chairs, snacks and reusable water bottles so you don’t have to a miss a single heat.

Check worldsurfleague.com to see when the competition will be on.


Santa Arrives by Canoe at the Outrigger

Dec. 8

Santa at the Outrigger
Photo: Courtesy of Outrigger Waikīkī Beach Resort


Come for the photo op of the season as Santa rides a wave (no reindeers needed) to launch himself onto the shores of Waikīkī. Santa will be available inside of the Outrigger Waikīkī Resort for a free picture taking session in the lobby afterwards.


9 a.m. on the beach in front of Outrigger Waikīkī Beach, Outrigger Waikīkī Beach Resort, 2335 Kalākaua Ave., outrigger.com.



Hawaiʻi Kai Towne Center Festival of Lights

Dec. 15

Hawaii Kai Boat Parade
Photo: Courtesy of Hawaiʻi Kai Marina


The 22nd Annual Festival of Lights Boat Parade will make its way around the Hawaiʻi Kai Marina. Watch as modest boats turn into themed holiday floats for an evening filled with holiday spirit. Don’t forget your hot chocolate and blankets to watch the boats compete for a grand prize.


Entertainment begins at 3 p.m., the parade begins at 6 p.m., Hawaiʻi Kai Towne Center, 333 Keāhole St., hawaiikaitownecenter.com.



Holiday Open House Dance Party

Dec. 28

Holiday Open House Dance Party
Photo: Courtesy of Arthur Murray Dance Center Hawaiʻi


Need an excuse to wear your festive attire and dance? Arthur Murray Dance Center Hawaiʻi will hold a free dance demonstration followed by group dance lessons and end with a show from the professionals. Come learn how to waltz, foxtrot, tango, swing and salsa, witness the pros and enjoy light pūpūs.


7:30–10 p.m., Arthur Murray Dance Center Hawaiʻi, 770 Kapiʻolani Blvd., register here.