Your Guide to the Perfect Labor Day Weekend in Honolulu: Aug. 31–Sept. 6, 2023
Celebrate Okinawan culture and Queen Lili‘uokalani’s birthday, attend a statewide vigil for Maui and pau hana for elephant conservation.
The 41st Okinawan Festival
Saturday, Sept. 2, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The festival is one of the largest ethnic events in the State, celebrating different elements of Okinawan culture. Head over to the family-friendly festival to marvel at Okinawan music, performing arts, cultural education, arts and crafts, historical exhibits and the largest indoor bon dance on O‘ahu.
Kīpuni Aloha no Maui Statewide Vigil
Friday, Sept. 1
Native Hawaiian Sunrise Ceremony, 6 to 7:30 a.m.
Noon Ceremony (including diverse faith-based leaders), 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Native Hawaiian Sunset Ceremony, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Join all of Hawai‘i for a one-day statewide vigil in support of Maui. Live stream ceremonies will take place across the Islands on TV and online via HONOLULU Magazine, ‘Ōlelo, Akakū Community Media, KAKU 88.5 FM, Maui Stream, Hawai‘i News Now, KITV4, KHON2, Nā Leo TV, Hō‘ike TV and other media partners. The vigil is centered around emotional and spiritual healing rooted in traditional Native Hawaiian practices and will include leaders from diverse faiths.
Family-Friendly Event, free, streaming live and in-person at various locations, hawaiisoul.org/maui
Get Tickets for the Hale ‘Aina Celebration: Whimsical Wonderland
Saturday, Sept. 9, 6 to 9 p.m.
Tickets are on sale now for the 40th anniversary Hale ‘Aina Celebration presented by First Hawaiian Bank Priority Destinations® World Elite MasterCard. This event unites our restaurant winners, including 100 Sails Restaurant & Bar, Arancino at the Kāhala, Kapa Hale, Miro Kaimukī, MW Restaurant, Tim Ho Wan and The Seaside. VIPs can enter early at 5 p.m. 10% of ticket sales will go to the Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund.
Fridays on Sept. 1, 8, and 15, 6:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Discover the art of experimental ceramics in this workshop led by Ayaka Takao. Create your own sculptural ceramic vessel that can be used to showcase unique ikebana arrangements. The class is designed to unleash your creative expression as you learn about traditional techniques. All supplies will be included. Participants under the age of 12 must have a chaperone, and chaperones will need to purchase a separate seat.
E Ulu A Pa‘a Fundraiser
Through Monday, Sept. 4, 9 p.m.
Check out Bishop Museum’s annual fundraiser, E Ulu A Paʻa, for an online auction featuring dozens of curated Bishop Museum experiences and other one-of-a-kind treasures. Think a custom experience or private screenings in the Planetarium, a private lava pour pizza party, Ni‘ihau shell lei, book bundles from Bishop Museum Press and much more.
Goodwill Kaimukī Grand Reopening
Friday, Sept. 1, 9:30 a.m.
Shop til you drop at the new Kaimukī store and donation center located in the all-new Civil Beat Plaza. The first 100 shoppers (18 years or older) in line will receive free gift cards. Plus, enjoy complimentary refreshments and entertainment, and enter to win gift cards from neighboring Kaimukī businesses—including Daily Whisk Matcha, Noods Ramen Bar, Chubbies Burgers and more—provided by 3650 Wai‘alae.
First Friday at HiSAM
Saturday, Aug. 26, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Soak in an evening of art and music at HiSAM. Explore the Lē‘ahi Gallery and Sculpture Garden and enjoy live performances in the garden by Ko-Njoro Trio, Michael de Lara, and Rhiana and the Texans. Plus,ʻUkulele Project Hawaii will also be holding a ʻukulele drive for keiki on Maui.
The Legendary Wailers ft. Junior Marvin
Wednesday, Sept. 6 & Thursday, Sept. 7, 6:30 & 9 p.m.
Jamaican-born guitarist Julian “Junior” Marvin has performed with both Stevie Wonder and Bob Marley & The Wailers band. The famous Exodus LP became Junior’s debut with Bob Marley & The Wailers, and he continued to be lead guitarist and musical contributor on all subsequent Bob Marley & the Wailers albums, touring worldwide with them until Marley’s passing in 1981.
North Shore Stables 2nd Anniversary
Saturday, Sept. 2, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The whole ‘ohana will delight in exciting activities such as pony rides, keiki ATVs, vendor craft fair, bounce houses and more.
SEE ALSO: Best of HONOLULU Family
Closing Day at Hawai‘i Polo Club
Sunday, Sept. 3, doors open 11:30 a.m., show begins around 5 p.m.
You have one more chance to cheer on the polo players and enjoy live music by The 11th Hour and food from Hometown BBQ HI. The match begins around 2:30 p.m., but get there early to secure your spot, tailgate and even take a dip in the ocean. Keiki will especially love the pony parade and exciting half-time activities.
Friday, Sept. 1, 7 p.m.
Indie folk singer and songwriter Nicole Zefanya, better known as NIKI, is a talented musician who opened for Taylor Swift’s The Red Tour at 15 years old. She released her debut album Moonchild in 2020 and her most recent album Nicole came out in August 2022.
Queen Lili‘uokalani’s Birthday at Waimea Valley
Saturday, Sept. 2, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In celebration of the Queen’s birthday, kama‘āina can enjoy free admission to explore this lush valley on the North Shore. Wander through the historical site and world-class botanical garden and interact with cultural artisans, plus enjoy refreshments and snacks by Ke Nui Kitchen. After a quick trek, take a dip in the waterfall to cool off.
Brews for the Zoo
Thursday, Aug. 31, 5 to 10 p.m.
The Honolulu Zoo Society and Aloha Beer Co. have partnered to fundraise for elephant conservation. Pau hana with the new limited-edition beer “Trunks Up: an Indian Elephant Pale Ale.” A dollar of each ale sold benefits the Honolulu Zoo Society and Aloha ʻĀina Conservation Fund. Proceeds from the sales of the limited-edition 6-pack and exclusive Aloha Beer x Brews for the Zoo T-shirts support the zoo elephants Mari and Vaigai and the Asian Elephant SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) conservation initiatives through the Aloha ʻĀina Conservation Fund.
78th Anniversary of the End of World War II
Saturday, Sept. 2, 9:02 a.m., guests seated by 8:45 a.m.
Attend a special ceremony commemorating the 78th anniversary of the end of World War II aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial. This year’s ceremony theme is “Heroes of the Homefront: Celebrating the Shipyard Workers of WWII,” paying tribute to shipyard workers who constructed and repaired the naval vessels that turned the tide of the war. Complimentary round-trip shuttle service from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center begins at 8 a.m. Note that bags are not allowed at the Center, so put your wallet and phone in your pocket and carry bottled water by hand.
Build a Microscope at Home Depot
Saturday, Sept. 2, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
On the first Saturday of each month, Home Depot offers a free workshop for keiki, typically ages 4 to 12. Build a microscope, then analyze a variety of real samples using a magnifying glass.
Family-Friendly Event, free, Home Depot locations, homedepot.com