Your Guide to the Perfect Weekend in Honolulu: June 2–8, 2021

Celebrate a historic palace, listen to live music in person, tailgate on the North Shore and more now that summer is unofficially upon us.



The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace’s 55th Anniversary Celebration

June 6–13

1966: The year John Lennon says the Beatles are more popular than Jesus. The It’s A Small World attraction opens at Disneyland. The Black Panther Party forms. Star Trek premieres. And The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace forms to preserve and protect one of Hawai‘i’s most important historic places. Celebrate the latter with a weeklong event, beginning with an online auction June 6, followed by virtual screenings of two films directed by George Tahara on June 7 and 9 ($10 each; free for members), a discussion of the palace’s restoration efforts, and a virtual “Pulama the Palace” concert on June 12. The concert features artists such as Robert Cazimero, Amy Hānaialiʻi, Kuana Torres Kahele, Natalie Ai Kamauu, Marlene Sai and the Royal Hawaiian Band and costs $55. Make sure to register online here.


SEE ALSO: ‘Iolani Palace’s New Tour Provides a Behind-the-Ropes Look at Rooms and Collection You Won’t See on Display



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Mele in Hawai‘i: a Night of Mele and Hula

Saturday, June 5, 7–9 p.m.

It’s been a while since many of us have gone to see a live music performance. Because of that, Haku Collective began streaming Mele in the Hale last year, entertaining audiences virtually with some of Hawai‘i’s favorite comedians and musicians performing from their homes. But now, Mele in Hawai‘i is jumping to the stage at WorkPlay in Kaka‘ako, where Kimié Miner, Nāpua Greig and others will be joined by former Merrie Monarch Festival participants and cultural practitioners for a live taping of the show. Call WorkPlay to make a reservation. If tickets sell out, you can still catch the event online: It streams Saturday, June 19, at 4 p.m. on YouTube and Facebook.


WorkPlay, 814 Ilaniwai St.,, @hakucollective


SEE ALSO: Honolulu Summer Bucket List: The 41 Best Things to Do This Summer on O‘ahu



Hawai‘i Polo Club Opening Day

Sunday, June 6, gates open at 11 a.m.

Kentucky Derby: always sneaks up on us and is over too fast. Hawai‘i Polo Club: plays every Sunday, June through September, with a nine-hour window of activities that should be fun whether you care about sports or not. If you really want to make a day of it, upgrade your experience all the way to a VIP clubhouse table for eight ($350). Otherwise, reserved parking starts at $25 (required), and admission, which is separate, starts at $15. Bring your own food or pick up something from Tin Hut BBQ on-site. There won’t be any live music or alcohol for sale, but you can bring your own to spike a mocktail from the bar. Then sit back, relax, cheer and tailgate until the sun goes down.


68-411 Farrington Highway, Waialua,, @hawaiipolo



Tig Notaro

Saturday, June 5, 7 p.m.

The comedy superstar, bestselling author, acclaimed producer and Grammy/Emmy nominee will finally perform in Honolulu this weekend after postponing her original date more than a year. There are still seats available in every section of the theater, from the $29.50 balcony to the $54.50 front row (just one!). But if I’ve learned anything from going to comedy shows, it’s that you should never sit close enough to make clear eye contact with whoever is onstage unless you don’t mind getting picked on. Speaking from multiple embarrassing experiences here.


Hawai‘i Theatre, 1130 Bethel St.,, @hawaiitheatre


SEE ALSO: The Best Events and Things to Do on O‘ahu in June and July


Other Ideas


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First Friday at The Arts at Marks Garage

Friday, June 4, 5 p.m.

It’s so weird to type this, but First Friday is back! Come by The Arts at Marks Garage for an artists reception of the new exhibit, Collage and Clay, created by a group of artists known as the SRA Gals, in honor of the late collage and ceramic artist Susan Rogers-Aregger. (The exhibit runs through June 26; there will be another reception on June 19 from 2–5 p.m.) Then the music kicks off at 5:45 with a performance by Kiana Luna, followed by NP3 and GWA Trio at 7:30 p.m. It’s $10 for both shows, which benefits the nonprofit Arts at Marks Garage. The bookstore and coffee counter will also be open.


1159 Nu‘uanu Ave.,, @artsatmarks



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Open Your Hearts Wide

Available online June 3–22

This was meant to be a live play commemorating the bicentennial of the arrival of the first missionaries to Hawai‘i, but with the past year’s restrictions, PlayBuilders decided to tell this story on screen instead, with dozens of local actors and descendants of missionaries bringing to life the work of Marion Lyman-Mersereau, Mark Branner, Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak and Vicky Holt Takamine. The resulting film took community input to heart in telling a story that often elicits complicated emotions about our history. Once you begin watching, you’ll have 24 hours to view the film.





Children’s Literature Hawai‘i 2021 Biennial Conference

June 4–8

It’s a good weekend for fans of children’s literature. First, the 2021 Read To Me Virtual Conference kicks off on Thursday, June 3, with tips on how to support kids’ social-emotional development through reading. Registration for that conference is closed, but you can still attend the Children’s Literature Hawai‘i 2021 Biennial Conference from June 4–8, with sessions geared toward adults and kids alike. Workshops and sessions—organized into interpreting literature, using literature and creating literature—are free except for the professional sessions with award-winning authors Lehua Parker and Caren Loebel-Fried, which cost $25. Many sessions will also be recorded and available post-conference. Find the schedule here and register here.



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You Had Me At Aloha

Premieres June 5

Oh, Hallmark. Even though there’s no way the two main characters in this new rom-com could ever possibly get along, there’s something special bringing them together once they arrive in Hawai‘i, even prompting Ben to say—wait for it—“I like who I am when I’m with you.” Will it be cringey? You betcha. But with enough popcorn, booze (come up with all the Hallmark movie clichés you can think of for a drinking game) and cameos from local actors, it could be fun, maybe?