The Best Things to Do on O‘ahu in October 2020

Remember when October was all about pumpkin patches, sunflower fields, Honolulu Pride and ethnic festivals? Then everyone’s grand plans for the start of a new decade were postponed or canceled. Thankfully there are still so many reasons to stand by #LuckyWeLiveHonolulu—but we recommend calling ahead to check for any event changes.

The only thing that’s certain nowadays is uncertainty. So we recommend calling ahead to check for any event changes.



LISTEN to the latest album from local musicians

iration band
Photo: ryan hadji


Iration sure was productive during quarantine. The Hawai‘i-bred but Cali-based band released its latest album, Coastin’, in July, and while it could be pegged as a summer soundtrack, we bet fans of Island reggae will still be needing these positive vibes in the fall. The band’s seventh album boasts collaborations with fellow musicians with Hawai‘i ties: Eli Mac (we’re already loving “Guava Lane”) and Common Kings, as well as Stick Figure and Rebelution lead singer Eric Rachmany., @iration



SUPPORT Honolulu Pride


This year’s “Shaka and Shine” theme for Honolulu Pride is filling our hearts with so much joy—something we all desperately need right now. Despite not hosting the annual parade and festival in Waikīkī (originally scheduled for Oct. 17), the Hawai‘i LGBT Legacy Foundation is encouraging the LGBTQ+ community and supporters to continue to follow its Instagram and Facebook accounts for up-to-date information on how the event will get a virtual makeover. While you wait for celebration news, listen to local artist Keilana perform the official song of Honolulu Pride., @honolulupride



BUY local goods outdoors


Some of us are uncomfortable being in closed spaces. Some of us are all about supporting local. And some of us are both! Either way, Hawai‘i Farm Bureau farmers markets and the FarmLovers markets in Kaka‘ako (at Ala Moana Boulevard and Ward Avenue) and Pearlridge Center on Saturdays and at Kailua’s Pali Lanes on Sundays have been keeping hungry locavores well stocked and fed. Grab your mask and tote bags and round up the human and fur babies for a socially distant and responsible open-air farmers market. Don’t forget a cooler for fresh meat and seafood.,


Arts & Entertainment

ATTEND a virtual book and ideas festival


Back in February—pre-pandemic—HONOLULU’s Don Wallace wrote about the Hawai‘i Book & Music Festival’s big move from a weekend in May at Honolulu Hale to a full season this fall at UH Mānoa. A mention of possible TED Talk-esque programs excited fans. Well, we all know what happened next. So now, from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1, the festival is going virtual with sessions on sustainability, how to move forward from COVID-19 and, of course, talks with local authors all under the theme, “Shaping Our Future—Hawai‘i 2.0.”



WATCH a blockbuster

Editor’s note: New release dates have been added. If you want to stream something now, check out Hawai‘i International Film Festival’s Virtual Cinema at



Going to the cinema might be a possibility but we’re expecting the biggest movies scheduled for release in October to go online. Badass queen Gal Godot kicks off the month with Wonder Woman 1984 on Oct. 2 (as of Sept. 30, this will be released on Dec. 25, 2020), followed by Jordan Peele’s Candyman, a “spiritual sequel” to the ’90s horror flick, on Oct. 16 (as of Sept. 30, this will be released in 2021). Then Kenneth Branagh takes on another Agatha Christie murder mystery, Death on the Nile, starring Gal Gadot (we won’t tire of her), Armie Hammer, Annette Bening, Russell Brand and a whole bunch more; it’s slotted for release on Oct. 23 (as of Sept. 30, this will be released on Dec. 18, 2020).



RENT kayaks, boards and snorkeling gear for cheap


It’s been touch and go with what we can and can’t do outdoors. But one thing has not changed: Water sports are allowed (just watch, as soon as we print this we’ll all be banned from entering the ocean). Several water adventure companies have been offering great kama‘āina and military deals, including Kailua Beach Adventures, with the biggest discounts on weekdays., @kailuakayaks



STAY TUNED for a dining feast

PHoto: seth buckley


Now in its 10th year, the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival is always a highlight of a local foodie’s year. The team behind HFWF launched a virtual event series, Talk Story & Pau Hana with #HFWF, and invited renowned chefs to discuss their struggles, predictions and hopes during the pandemic, so we can guess they want to keep the momentum of supporting the industry going into the fall. This year the festival organizers plan to throw a multi-island extravaganza from Oct. 3 to Nov. 8 with quarantine-friendly ways to safely party (and eat!)., @hifoodwinefest


This story originally appeared as “October Picks” in the October 2020 issue of HONOLULU Magazine. Get your copy at and subscribe to the print and digital editions now.



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