Watch Free Movies and Budget-Friendly Concerts All Summer

On a tight budget? Here are 10 affordable ways to entertain your kids this summer.

Photo: Courtesy of University of Hawaiʻi.

Mogu and Perol, a Japanese animation, will be shown at the Kids First! Film Festival.

You don’t have to spend tons of money to have fun this summer. It’s that time of the year again when parks and theaters across Oʻahu host free outdoor concerts and $1 movies. Here are ideas for affordable entertainment from June to August 2018.

Wildest Show in Town Summer Concert Series 2018 (Purchase required)

Wednesdays, June 6 to Aug. 15. Doors open at 4:35 p.m. Concert is 6 to 7 p.m.

Listen to local music artists every Wednesday on the main lawn of Honolulu Zoo, and participate in pre-show activities for kids including coloring stations and animal trivia. Enter to win a weekly ʻukulele giveaway, Bring your own dinner, or purchase from food vendors. Enter the zoo from the Monsarrat Gate, which is to the right of the main entrance. Keep in mind the zoo and playground close at 4:30 p.m. and are off-limits to concertgoers.

  • June 6: Kapena
  • June 13: Josh Tatofi
  • June 20: Roy Sakuma’s Super Keiki
  • June 27: Keauhou
  • July 11: Beat Lele
  • July 18: Special Guest
  • July 25: Mākaha Sons
  • Aug. 1: Johnny Helm and Friends
  • Aug. 8: Noel Okimoto and his Jazz All Stars–A Tribute To Legendary Jazz Vocalist Jimmy Borges
  • Aug. 15: Jon Yamasato and Iron Mango

$5 per person.Kids under 2 are free. Honolulu Zoo, 151 Kapahulu Ave. (enter from the Monsarrat gate).

Summer Concert Series 2018: Hoʻi Hou Mai I Waimea (Purchase required)

The last Saturday of June, July and August. 3 to 6:30 p.m.

Listen to concerts in Waimea Valley. Bring your own food, low-back chairs and picnic blankets.  

  • June 30: Josh Tatofi, Kapena, Na Hoa, Napua Greg and Hālau Na Lei Kaumaka O Uka
  • July 28: Ekolu, Amy Hanaialiʻi, Keauhou, Kumu Hula Hiwa Vaughan and Hālau Kalehua Tuahine
  • Aug. 25: Kaumakaiwa Kanakaʻole, Ho’aikane, Lim Ohana and Hālau Manaola

$12-$15 single tickets purchased online; $16-$19 single tickets purchased at gate; $30-$38 series pass. Waimea Valley, 59-864 Kamehameha Highway, Haleʻiwa.

Ke Kani O Ke Kai 2018 (Purchase required)

Every other Thursday, June 14 through Aug. 9. Gates open at 5 p.m. Concert begins at 6:30 p.m.

Listen to outdoor concerts at Waikīkī Aquarium, featuring local music artists. Purchase season passes or single tickets. Please don’t bring outside food and beverages, as there will be food booths from Lavern on June 14, Haili’s on June 28, Hawaii’s Food Pantry on July 12, Keamo’s Catering on July 26 and Haili’s on Aug. 9. The aquarium closes at 4:30 p.m. and will be off-limits to concertgoers. The aquarium will stay open so little ones can wander through if they get antsy. Click here to see our guide to the aquarium.

  • June 14: Jeff Rasmussen and Robi Kahakalau, Nathan Aweau, Kaumakaiwa Kanakaʻole and Hālau O Kamuela
  • June 28: Ho‘okena, Maunalua, Amy Hānaialiʻi Gilliom and Hālau Hula Ka Lehua Tuahine
  • July 12: Napua Greig, Kapena and Halau Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka
  • July 26: Kimie Miner, John Cruz and Hapa
  • Aug. 9: Kalani Pe‘a, Natalie Ai Kamau’u, Keahou and Hālau Ka Leo O Laka I Ka Hikina O Ka La.

$15-$30 single-concert tickets for members; $20-$50 single-concert tickets for nonmembers; $45-$120 five-concert tickets for members; and $75-$200 five-concert tickets for nonmembers; free for kids ages 4 and younger. Waikīkī Aquarium, 2777 Kalākaua Ave.

UH KIDS FIRST! Film Festival 2018 (Free)

Sunday June 24, July 1, July 8 and July 15 at 3 p.m.

Watch award-winning children’s films from around the world in the 12th annual UH KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. The Sunday series includes a mix of action, animation and short films for keiki. Parking is free at UH Mānoa Art Auditorium. Get there early for a good seat and for giveaways.

  • June 24: (Ages 3+) Molang and Shimajiro and the Rainbow Oasis
  • July 1: (Ages 5+) Cicada, Dino Dana-Mega Toot, Lemon & Elderflower, Someone Good Will Find You, Outside, Mogu and Perol, Rag Dolls, Sunny and Gerd in Spring Cleaning, CORKY, Daisy’s Oracle, Freestyle and Iron Hands
  • July 8: (Ages 8+) Erin, Owen, and the Loch Nest Monster; The Door; Gypsy Tales/The Fiery Red Snake; Elena and the Shadows; The Bake Shop Ghost; Dreamweaver; Two Balloons; Blows with the Wind; Trigga; and Mom Got Eaten by a Demon Spider
  • July 15: (Ages 6+) The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island (with an introduction and Q&A with writer and producer Dan Chuba.)

Free. UH Mānoa Art Auditorium, 2535 McCarthy Mall. 

Twilight Summer Concert Series 2018 (Free)

Thursdays, June 7 to July 26. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. with concerts beginning at 5:45 p.m.

Explore Foster Botanical Garden in downtown Honolulu before settling down to watch free weekly concerts by local bands and musicians. Bring your own dinner as there will be no food vendors. Free admission begins more than an hour before the music so you can wander through the flowers. Click here for our guide the oldest botanical garden on the island.

  • June 7: Army Music 25th Infantry Division
  • June 14: Royal Hawaiian Band
  • June 21: Dragon Beat (taiko drums)
  • June 28: Celtic Pipes & Drums of Hawai‘i
  • July 5: Rob Brummegmann (echoes of Pink Floyd)
  • July 12: Sam & the Sumo Ninjaz (bluegrass)
  • July 19: U.S. Air Force Hana Hou Band
  • July 26: O‘ahu Songwriter’s Group (oldies and original compositions)
  • In addition, Wahiawā Botanical Garden will host two free concerts from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on June 22 and July 27. Bring your own food and beverages.

Foster Botanical Garden, 180 N. Vineyard Blvd.

Keiki Film Hui 2018 (Purchase required)

Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays through Aug. 1. 10 a.m.

Watch kid-friendly movies for $1 at select Consolidated Theaters (listed below). Kids’ snacks are available at discounted prices. You can purchase advance tickets online, but do know that the fee will cost more than the movie itself.

Locations: Consolidated Ward, 1044 Auahi St.; Consolidated Mililani, 95-1249 Meheula Parkway, Mililani; Consolidated Pearlridge, 98-1005 Moanalua Road; Consolidated Kapolei, 890 Kamokila Blvd., Kapolei; Consolidated Koko Marina, 7192 Kalanianaʻole Highway; and Consolidated Koʻolau, 47-260 Hui Iwa St.

  • June 4-6: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
  • June 11-13: The Secret Life of Pets
  • June 18-20: The Boss Baby
  • June 25-27: The LEGO Batman Movie
  • July 2, 3 and 5: Happy Feet
  • July 9-11: Kung Fu Panda 3
  • July 16-18: Sing
  • July 23-25: Despicable Me 3
  • July 30-Aug. 1: Shrek 2


Regal Summer Movie Express 2018 (Purchase required)

Tuesdays and Wednesdays through Aug. 1. 10 a.m.

Watch keiki-friendly movies for $1 at select Regal Cinema theaters listed below. 

Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18, 735 B Iwilei Road; Regal Pearl Highlands Stadium 12, 1000 Kamehameha Highway, Pearl City; Regal Windward Stadium 10, Windward Mall, 46-056 Kamehameha Highway, Kāneʻohe.

(Both movies play on both Tuesdays and Wednesdays.)

  • June 5 and 6: The Iron Giant and Curious George
  • June 12 and 13: Despicable Me and Ice Age: Collision Course
  • June 19 and June 20: Storks and Mr. Peabody & Sherman
  • June 26 and June 27: Despicable Me 2 and How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • July 3 and July 4: The LEGO Movie and Alvin and the Chipmunks
  • July 10 and July 11: Sing and The Peanuts Movie
  • July 17 and July 18: The LEGO Ninjago Movie and Ferdinand
  • July 24 and 25: The Secret Life of Pets and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
  • July 31 and Aug 1: The LEGO Batman Movie and Trolls


Summer Movie Nights 2018 (Free)

Saturdays June 23, July 28 and Aug. 18. 6 to 9 p.m.

Watch free movies in the courtyard of Mililani Shopping Center while eating take-out dinner from nearby restaurants. Wristbands are required to enter the screening area. Kids’ entertainment and wristband distribution start at 6 p.m., and the movie begins at sunset.

  • June 23: Justice League
  • July 28: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Aug. 18: Jumangi: Welcome to the Jungle

Free. Mililani Shopping Center, 95-221 Kipapa Drive, 95-Kuahelani Ave., Mililani.

Hukilau Marketplace Free Movie Night 2018 (Free)

First Friday of every month, 7:30 p.m.

Watch free, family films on the lawn of Hukilau Marketplace at Polynesian Cultural Center, and grab dinner from on-site stores and restaurants.  

  • July 6: The Greatest Showman
  • Aug. 3: Sherlock Gnomes
  • Sept. 7: Infinity War 

Free. Hukilau Marketplace, Polynesian Cultural Center, 55-370 Kamehameha Highway, Lāʻie. and

Screen on the Green 2018 (Free)

Thursdays through July 19. 7:15 p.m.

From 2 to 6 p.m., pick up dinner from the Haleʻiwa Farmers’ Market in Waimea Valley, then watch free movies starting at 7:15 p.m. Bring low-back chairs, pillows and picnic blankets.

  • June 7: Deep
  • June 14: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
  • June 21: Despicable Me 3
  • June 28: The Emoji Movie
  • July 5: Mary Poppins
  • July 12: Pete’s Dragon
  • July 19: Sing

Free. Waimea Valley, 59-864 Kamehameha Highway, Haleʻiwa.