Best of Honolulu 2018: Fitness and Outdoor
The 6 editorial and reader picks for the best ways to get out and active.
Aerial Silk Classes
You’ve seen them at events, hanging effortlessly from long sheets of fabric and gracefully twisting their bodies in the air, sometimes dropping 10 feet at a time in one swift movement. If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to become an aerial silk artist, head to Samadhi Hawai‘i. With more than a dozen teachers and students, as well as guest teachers from abroad, Samadhi offers classes year-round. Not sure about making a commitment? Drop-ins are welcome, no membership required. Director Andrea Torres says: “Do not be discouraged if skills seem difficult at first. The benefits of aerials are greater than the hurdles.” (Kids classes are available, too.)
330 Cooke St., Second Floor, (808) 683-6080, samadhihawaii.com
The Smoothie Tour at Kahuku Farms offers more than a drink. Yes, there is a freshly made smoothie using farm-grown papayas and apple bananas at the end. But the 30-minute tour itself is the real reward. You board a tractor-pulled wagon, which weaves through the 5-acre farm, past groves of apple-banana trees, orchards with starfruit and tangerine trees, and fields of asparagus and eggplant. A highlight is the grove of acai palms, which provides the berries used in the acai bowls served at the farm’s roadside café. In addition to learning about this family-run farm, you’ll gain an understanding of Hawai‘i’s agricultural industry and the challenges farmers face, told by the farmers themselves. The tour ($16 for adults and children over 12; $14 for children 5 to 12) is offered twice a week.
56-800 Kamehameha Highway, Kahuku, (808) 628-0639, kahukufarms.com
These warm summer nights are perfect for staying outdoors long past dusk. So why watch Netflix when you can grab a seat at Ward Village’s Courtyard Cinema? Every second Thursday of the month, films curated by the Hawai‘i International Film Festival are shown on the big screen outside the IBM Building. They run the gamut from Oscar nominees to popular holiday picks, movies from the Pacific Rim, foodie films and documentaries, so you can get a dose of HIFF all year long. It’s free—just make sure you reserve tickets in advance, as seats tend to fill up; you are also welcome to register on standby, as with regular HIFF programming.
Ward Village Courtyard, 1240 Ala Moana Blvd., wardvillage.com
Historic Walking Tour
Renowned architect Frank Haines began leading tours of historic downtown Honolulu about two decades ago. Before he died last year, a group of architects, with Haines’ seal of approval, formed a committee and trained to lead the popular 2.5-hour tours, offered through AIA Honolulu (the American Institute of Architects). “Honolulu has this great downtown historic architecture. It’s beautiful,” says Abigail Spencer Mundell, the nonprofit’s executive vice president. “People get an insider’s view and a professional to talk about the things they drive around and see every day.” The tour starts at Fort Street Mall, loops around Kawaiaha‘o Church and the Mission Houses, and back down to Hawai‘i Theatre, hitting more than 20 historic sites along the way. Offered twice a month on Saturdays, the tours cost $15 per person, with groups of up to about 10 people (you’ll need to reserve your spot online). AIA Honolulu also holds special events every April in honor of Architecture Month, including different neighborhood tours, an architectural firm crawl and a family day at the Honolulu Museum of Art.
828 Fort St. Mall, Suite 100, (808) 628-7243, aiahonolulu.org
Place to Kickstart Your Healthy Reboot
Try yoga, weight-training, TRX and a host of other activities. Work out alongside folks your age, from the tiniest keiki in swim class to kūpuna doing tai chi. At the YMCA of Honolulu, you can find a place to fit in at one of the six branches across the island, whether you’re a fitness newbie or a seasoned athlete. Hazel Walker, 68, has worked at the Nu‘uanu Y for 11 years. “It’s very community- and family-oriented; they don’t feel the need to be best dressed or most fit to come here,” she says. Be inspired by members such as 102-year-old Sau Chun, who attends senior and water aerobics classes weekly.
Multiple locations, ymcahonolulu.org
For 40 years, Bikefactory has helped people roll all over O‘ahu. Founder Wally Parcels, his son and vice president, Mitch, and their 20 employees not only bring in the latest bikes, electric bikes, skateboards, rollerblades, scooters and accessories, they’ll work on pretty much anything on wheels. “We’re an old-school traditional store where we service what we sell,” Mitch says. “We’ll make sure bicycles are properly set up, safe, shifting well. Our skate shop will help you customize. We’re willing to create and have fun with you.”
Multiple locations, bikefactoryhawaii.com