The 8 Best Things To Do in May 2017

Psst! Mother’s Day is May 14, so take Mom to dance performances, festivals and a bar to celebrate all month long. (And don’t forget the flowers.)


The Natives Are Restless

May 5 and 6

The Natives are Restless
Photo: Lin Cariffe

Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu’s groundbreaking production, which premiered in 1998, is back with new choreography and live music performed by Kūpaoa. The San Francisco-based dance troupe is led by kumu hula Patrick Makuakāne, who was born and raised in Honolulu and has been dancing since age 13. The performance delves into the story of Hawaiian sovereignty and Western influence. Want to know more? Buy a copy of The Natives Are Restless: A San Francisco Dance Master Takes Hula into the 21st Century, by Constance Hale, who will sign books before each performance.

7:30 p.m., book signing at 6:30, Hawai‘i Theatre, $30–$40,


SEE ALSO: This Maverick Choreographer is Taking Hula into the 21st Century



Hope Gala: Midnight in Honolulu

May 6

Hope Gala
Photo: Courtesy of American Cancer Society

The local chapter of the American Cancer Society hosts this annual gala to raise funds for its programs, including cancer research, patient support, prevention information and education, and detection and treatment. The evening starts off with a cocktail reception and silent auction at The Modern, a new venue this year, followed by a program, dinner and entertainment.

5:30 to 9 p.m., The Modern Honolulu, $300,



Hawai‘i Book and Music Festival

May 6 and 7

Book and Music Festival
Photo: Courtesy of the Hawai‘i Book and Music Festival

Bookworms of all ages will find something to love at the 12th annual Hawai‘i Book and Music Festival, with 140 events across 10 venues. Start reading your new favorite books by local and international authors as you listen to local award-winning musicians performing on the main stage, including a singer-songwriter competition. New this year: a Food & Cookbook pavilion, a storytelling program, and a “Disrupt Aging” program sponsored by AARP.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Honolulu Hale Civic Grounds, free,



Michael Franti & Spearhead

May 12

Photo: Thinkstock

Sure, everybody loves “Say Hey (I Love You),” but we bet you didn’t know the group’s version of The Police’s “Roxanne” was featured in the movie Good Burger.

The Republik, $38 plus fees,


Did you know? Lei from the city’s annual Lei Day Celebration are taken to Mauna ‘Ala on May 2 and laid upon the tombs of the ali‘i.




May 18 through 27

Photo: Thinkstock

Subtitled “The story of a young local girl’s journey through foster care,” this play, in collaboration with The Foster Care Training Committee, uses real stories as inspiration, and even stars some former foster youth.

The Arts at Marks Garage, $12–$15,



Kahumana Farm Festival

May 20

Photo: Thinkstock

This year’s festival is all about cultivating change through education, crafts, art, music and local agriculture. Check out the seed and plant exchange, workshops and plenty of live entertainment. 

Kahumana Organic Farm & Café, free,



Lantern Floating Hawai‘i

May 29

Lantern floating
Photo: Courtesy of Shinnyo-En Hawai‘i

This Memorial Day ceremony should be on every local’s list, either to witness the beautiful lanterns floating or to participate. Individual lanterns are available from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., or until they run out. Can’t make it to the beach that day? Stop by the Shinnyo-en Hawai‘i temple on Beretania Street through May 19 to write a note on a collective remembrance lantern, or submit one online through May 20, and volunteers will transcribe it for you.

Taiko performance begins at 6:10 p.m., ceremony at 6:30, Ala Moana Beach, free,



Pint + Jigger’s Fifth Anniversary

May 31

Photo: Thinkstock

One of our favorite gastropubs turns 5 this month! If you haven’t been lately, revisit the Scotch egg and bacon-wrapped strawberries, which have been on the menu since day one. 

Pint + Jigger,


Sign up for our Weekend Picks newsletter!