Check Off Your List with All Things Christmas in Hawai‘i
From a new way to watch a classic ballet to Christmas-themed cocktails, here are 10 ways to celebrate the season.
Ballet Hawai‘i’s The Nutcracker with the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra
Saturday, December 19 and Friday, December 25, 7 p.m., and Friday, December 26, 3:30 p.m.
My family and I have watched The Nutcracker every year since I was little. Although we can’t watch it in the theater this year, we can still see the Hawaiʻi Ballet and Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra come together for a new televised version of the much-loved story. The special will include scenes from past performances as well as narration from actress and former professional ballet dancer Amanda Schull, a Punahou alum, plus appearances from local celebrities and other surprises.
Airs on KITV channel 4
A Christmas Carol: A Live Christmas Play
Sunday, December 20, 4 p.m. on HPR-1, 88.5 FM
Seats at the recording of Mānoa Valley Theatre’s radio rendition of A Christmas Carol sold out, but you can listen to the Charles Dickens classic dressed up with sound effects on Hawai‘i Public Radio. Gather the kids for a 1940s-style show around the radio. The one-hour recording may re-air another day. We’ll let you know. –Christi Young
Holiday Dining In and Out
Basalt Waikīkī will be open for diners with featured Christmas specials like Croque Madame, beet-cured kampachi, seafood cucciucio and gingerbread cake. The Christmas Prime Rib Family Pack is sold out, but you can still walk in for the eye-catching Christmas Holiday Pancakes, which come with candy canes, white chocolate anglaise, a white chocolate pretzel Christmas tree and a snowman crafted out of whipped cream.
Chef Chai will feed you for days with a Christmas Wiki Wiki Dinner box that comes with eight entrées, two soups and two desserts. On the menu are dishes including Alaskan king crab cakes with mango salsa, jumbo shrimp cocktail and organic Big Island baby greens with raspberry-guava vinaigrette. The restaurant also has a New Year’s Eve Wiki Wiki Box for two that comes with a bottle of prosecco.
$130 for Christmas box, available for pickup or delivery Dec. 23–25. $150 for New Year’s Eve Box, available for pickup Dec. 31 and Jan 1. 1009 Kapi‘olani Blvd., (808) 585-0011, chefchai.com, @chefchaipacifica
MW Restaurant will be closing on Dec. 31. Don’t panic; our 2020 Hale ʻAina Restaurateurs of the year, Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Wade Ueoka, are just moving and will reopen their restaurants next year. Until then, MW is open for takeout only and is offering holiday meals. Pre-order by Dec. 19 the Family Feast for four to six people with miso-honey glazed butterfish, seafood-stuffed whole baked lobsters and a Christmas dessert platter. Bentos are also available and your four-legged friend can enjoy smoked Mountain View Farm pork, kabocha, broccoli, cauliflower, OK Poultry eggs and kale. If you missed it, you can place orders for the New Year’s menu until Dec. 28.
$495 for Christmas Family Feast, $35 for Christmas Bento and $8 for Echigo’s Christmas Dinner for pets. Pickup is Dec. 24 and Dec. 25, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 1538 Kapiʻolani Blvd., Suite 107, (808) 955-6505, mwrestaurant.com, @mwrestaurant
Who doesnʻt love Santa Claus? Malu Bakery has an adorable 6-inch strawberry shortcake featuring the jolly elf’s face. Pre-ordering is required by Saturday, Dec. 19.
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Dipped by Dee
The Disney Holiday Apples from Dipped by Dee that come in Gingerbread Mickey, red or green Minnie Claus and red and green Mickey Claus will satisfy your childlike side and your sweet tooth. You can also order Grinch-themed chocolate covered strawberries and Hot Cocoa Bombs, which are selling quickly. Dipped by Dee is only open for pre-order pickup until Saturday, Dec. 19, and will have a popup shop at Pearlridge Center on Sunday, Dec. 20. The popup opens at 1 p.m., but we would show up at least 30 minutes before that if you want a shot at getting the cocoa bombs and other favorites.
Back by popular demand, the Mō‘ili‘ili bakery is offering its Christmas Stollen ($24 for small, $40 for large), Very Merry cake in flavors ranging from hot cocoa to spiced orange rum ($49 for a 6-inch cake, $68 for an 8-inch cake) and Cranberry Cheesecake ($35 for a 7-inch cake, $49 for 9-inch) for pre-order. The bakery also has decorated gingerbread or sugar cookies (starting at $4.95 each) and cupcake flavors including cranberry white chocolate, hot chocolate and chocolate peppermint crunch (starting at $24 for a dozen mini cupcakes).
Cocktails and Mocktails
The Christmas Bar
Grab your ugly Christmas sweaters and festive masks: Relax while sipping on boozy beverages including Clause-mopolitan on Ice, Apple Pie Moonshine and Naughty and Spice. There are nonalcoholic options including Butter Beer, Peppermint Candy Cane Iced Cocoa and Rich Mexican Cocoa. Arrive early because last call is 30 minutes before Bloomingdale’s closes at 9 p.m. The Christmas Bar’s last day is Christmas Eve.
Bloomingdale’s at Ala Moana Center, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., @thechristmasbarhawaii
Tommy Bahama’s Holiday Cocktails
If you’re looking for some new flavors to make your cocktail merry and bright, Tommy Bahama Waikīkī features a Jalisco Holiday drink with Milagro Reposada tequila, pomegranate molasses, homemade cinnamon syrup and lime juice. Or make your own cranberry-ginger syrup for the, excuse the name, Huladays Cocktail. You can also try it at home with these recipes provided by the restaurant:
- 2 ounces of Milagro Reposado tequila
- 0.5 ounces of Cortas Pomegranate Molasses
- 0.5 ounces of fresh lime juice
- 0.5 ounces of Monin Cinnamon Syrup (recipe below)
Cinnamon syrup: Combine 2 cups of water, 2 cups of sugar and 4 cinnamon sticks in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks.
Cocktail: Combine all ingredients with ice in a mixing tin and shake. Strain over ice into a Collins glass, garnish with pomegranate seeds and a lime peel.
- 1.5 parts Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum
- 1 part cranberry-ginger syrup (recipe below)
- 0.5 part lemon juice
- 1 part prosecco
Cranberry-ginger syrup: Cook 10 ounces of cranberries with 8 ounces of water, 8 ounces of sugar and five 1-inch pieces of ginger. Cook for 10 minutes, remove all but one piece of ginger and put in a blender. Store in a squeeze bottle.
Cocktail: Combine rum, cranberry-ginger syrup and lemon juice and shake with ice in a mixing tin. Strain into a glass and add prosecco. Garnish with cranberry and a mint sprig.
298 Beachwalk Drive, (808) 923-8785, tommybahama.com