Things to Do on O‘ahu in May 2023

Eat your way through Poke Fest, admire the Shinnyo Lantern Floating ceremony, and find your jam at concerts and art events.


Shinnyo Lantern Floating

Photo: Courtesy of Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawai‘i


Shinnyo Lantern Floating

Monday, May 29, 6:30 p.m.

After a three-year hiatus, this beautifully moving ceremony is returning to Ala Moana Beach for Memorial Day. Send off candle-filled lanterns at sunset in honor and remembrance of departed service members and other loved ones. Lanterns are available for free the day of the event, but make sure to arrive early as this popular event draws a large crowd.


Free, Ala Moana Beach,, @shinnyolanternfloatinghawaii



Aku Limu Poke from Tamashiro Market

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino


Frolic Hawai‘i’s Poke Fest

Saturday, May 20, 4 to 8 p.m.

More than a dozen O‘ahu poke shops and restaurants will sell lineups of classic poke and new creations exclusive to this event. Stick around for live entertainment throughout the day, including a set by Kimié Miner, and vote for your favorite dish; the winner will be crowned the new King of Poke Fest. Lines can get long, so we recommend having a game plan before you arrive. Find the list of vendors and what they’ll be offering on our website.


Free admission, Ka Makana Ali‘i, Kapolei,, @frolichawaii


SEE ALSO: Save the Date: Frolic’s 2023 Poke Fest Presented by Fresh Island Fish


Tom Haar Kusama

Tom Haar (b. 1941 Tokyo; lives and works in Honolulu); Yayoi Kusama in her New York studio, 1971; Print for an exhibit in 2017; Gelatin silver print, artist proof; 18.75 x 12.75 in; 24 x 20 in (framed). Photo: Courtesy of Hawai‘i Contemporary


Hawai‘i Contemporary artXchange

May 20 to 28, various times

This weeklong event and fundraiser supports artists and the nonprofit Hawai‘i Contemporary, which hosts the Hawai‘i Triennial art exhibition. Attendees can enjoy a range of experiences, from an immersive benefit (tickets start at $1,000) to free public programs and viewings of professional art up for auction, plus a free young contemporaries exhibit featuring budding local artists. Though the next triennial isn’t until 2025, Hawai‘i Contemporary plans to continue providing access to art and engaging the community year-round.


Various prices, Royal Hawaiian Center,


FAST FACT: May 1 is Lei Day! Celebrate at Kapi‘olani Park from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


The Doobie Brothers

Friday, May 5, 7 p.m.

Come join this Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band for its 50th anniversary tour. Lounge on the lawn or rock in your seats to hits such as “Listen to the Music,” “Long Train Running,” and “Black Water.”


$49.50–$179.50, Waikīkī Shell,, @doobiebrothersofficial



Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher

Friday, May 19, 6:30 and 9 p.m.

This married duo’s sharp-witted comedy covers relatable topics like children, relationships and life’s hilarious daily mishaps.


$35–$45, Blue Note Hawai‘i,, @bluenotehawaii



Bernadette Peters

Saturday, May 27, 8 p.m.

Let this renowned Broadway star and Grammy Award-winning artist serenade you with musical theater standards and hits from her own albums.


$89–$130, Hawai‘i Theatre,, @officialbernadettepeters



The Bodyguard – The Musical

May 26 through June 11, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

Reminisce about the ’90s during this month’s opening weekend of this popular musical with songs originally recorded by Whitney Houston.


$27–$52, Diamond Head Theatre,, @diamondheadtheatre


Looking to get the word out about your upcoming event or activity?