Your Weekend: The Best Family Events-Dec. 5, 2019

Our picks for the weekend’s best family events.

Photo: Courtesy of Honolulu City Lights

After the Electric Lights Parade passes Honolulu Hale, keiki can meet Santa Claus from 7:30 to 9 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 7, inside Mission Auditorium.

Christmas Countdown Calendar Workshop

Bring your keiki to a holiday-themed workshop Saturday morning at The Home Depot, where they each receive DIY wooden kits, stickers, sanding tools and hammers to make their own Christmas countdown calendars. Adult supervision is required, of course. Sorry, you can’t nap in the car while they work. Your keiki leave the workshop with finished calendars, commemorative pins and orange Home Depot aprons to wear to the Jan. 4 workshop (if they want to make mini hockey games). 

  • All ages
  • Free
  • Saturday, Dec. 7. 9 a.m. to noon
  • The Home Depot-Honolulu, 421 Alakawa St., (808) 521-7355, register for this location at   
  • Pearl City, 1021 Kamehameha Highway, (808) 455-1200, register for this location at
  • Kapolei, 4600 Kapolei Parkway, (808) 674-6120, register for this location at 

Are the monthly Home Depot workshops worth your precious Saturday morningsRead “We Tried It: The Home Depot Workshops for Kids.” 

Honolulu City Lights 

On Saturday evening, downtown Honolulu comes alive with the Electric Lights Parade, 50-foot-tree-lighting ceremony and giant lawn ornaments. Arrive at the Civic Center Grounds as early as 4 p.m. for keiki rides and food booths, see the tree lighting at 6:30 p.m., watch the parade pass Honolulu Hale before 7 p.m., then visit Santa from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in the Mission Auditorium. Don’t forget to snap photos of your family in front of Shaka Santa, Tūtū Mele and other characters! Read our 11 tips for opening weekend and the rest of the month (and a time lapse of Santa on the move) in “Inside Look: Honolulu City Lights 2019“.

“Warm Fuzzies” at Family Sunday 

Bid aloha and farewell to Spalding House on Sunday. This is the last time the Makiki Heights art gallery—listed for sale—participates in “Family Sunday,” a free monthly program of kids’ art workshops. At Spalding House, keiki can make colorful tea light lanterns, listen to stories, play on the lawn and dance to live local musicians. The main hub of Family Sunday is Honolulu Museum of Art, where kids can build Filipino star lanterns, fashion reindeer out of clothespins and make Christmas cards for their peers living at homeless shelter Institute for Human Services (IHS). This month’s Family Sunday is all about giving, so you might want to encourage your kids to bring donations for IHS. For donation ideas, click here

  • All ages
  • Free
  • Sunday, Dec. 8. Keiki activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; galleries close at 4:30 p.m. 
  • Honolulu Musuem of Art, 900 S. Beretania St. 
  • (808) 532-8700
  • Spalding House, 2411 Makiki Heights Drive
  • (808) 526-1322

Want to know where to park, what to eat and what to do at Family Sunday? Read “Our Guide: Family Sunday at Honolulu Museum of Art.”

Holidays in Mililani

Get ready for a trio of events in Mililani on Saturday! First, the town parade from 9 to 9:45 a.m. on Kipapa Drive. Then, snow play day from 9 a.m. to noon at Mililani Shopping Center. To participate, bring a cash donation or brand-new toy for Toys of Tots. Down the street at Town Center of Mililani, a post-parade party happens from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There, keiki can make snowman stockings, take photos with Santa and cover themselves in holiday-themed tattoos. Toys for Tots also collects toys and cash at the town center.

  • All ages
  • Free; donate cash or a new, unwrapped toy for access to snow play
  • Saturday, Dec. 7. 9 a.m. to noon 
  • Mililani Shopping Center. 95-221 Kipapa Drive and 95-390 Kuahelani Ave., Mililani, (808) 521-2611,
  • Saturday, Dec. 7. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Town Center of Mililani. 95-1249 Meheula Parkway, Mililani, (808) 625-0108,

For a schedule of neighborhood holiday parades this month, read “Christmas and Holiday Parades in Honolulu.”

Festival of Lights Boat Parade 

On Saturday evening, a parade of illuminated boats pass the marina fronting Hawaiʻi Kai Towne Center, Koko Marina Center or Hawaiʻi Kai Shopping Center. And, if you pay close attention, you hear holiday music on some of the boats and see lawn ornaments attached to their roofs. Bring your family to one of the centers’ restaurants for an early dinner before the parade starts at 6 p.m. 

  • All ages
  • Free
  • Saturday, Dec. 7; activities from 3 to 8 p.m.; parade begins at 6 p.m.
  • Hawaiʻi Kai Towne Center, 333 Keahole St. 
  • (808) 396-0766