Your Weekend: The Best Family Fun in Hawai‘i for December 2–8, 2021

Celebrate Christmas in the country, create art after-hours, watch a royal tale, say ‘aloha’ to Shaka Santa, and register for a marine-themed camp.


North Shore Stables Christmas Photo North Shore Stables

Photo: Courtesy of North Shore Stables

North Shore Stables Christmas Festival

The Halloween trick-or-treat pony rides were such a hit at this new Waialua outpost, that North Shore Stables is keeping the holiday fun rolling with some yuletide festivities. Don your boots and Santa hats for “reindeer” rides on the stables’ ponies; ride the trolley; play carnival-style games; get cuddly with mini horses, a sheep, goats and a mini and regular-size bull at the petting zoo; check out Christmas trees decorated by a dozen elementary schools and preschools; eat down-home food including roasted corn, Mike’s Huli Chicken, cotton candy and other foods; and browse local crafts.

  • All ages
  • $10 for adults, $5 for teenagers 13-17 years, free for 12 years and younger. “Reindeer” pony rides are $25 and with an online reservation. You can also chance ’um the day you visit. If spaces are available, rides will be $10.
  • Friday, Dec. 3 through Thursday, Dec. 23. 1–9 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; 4—8 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
  • North Shore Stables, 67-221 Waialua Beach Road, Waialua
  • (808) 270-5032
  •, @north_shore_stables_hawaii


SEE ALSO: 🎄 Family Friendly Christmas and Holiday Events in Hawai‘i for 2021


Expedition Dinosaurs Exhibit Photo Bishop Museum

Expedition Dinosaur: Rise of the Mammals. Photo: Courtesy of Bishop Museum

Arts Night at Bishop Museum

Did you say free entrance to the museum plus activities by the Art Explorium? Sign me up! Plus, keiki and ‘ohana will explore different art forms with local artists, including Solomon Enos, at this after-hours event. Order dinner from a food truck then picnic and listen to music on the Great Lawn. You can also wander through the galleries and exhibits, but heads-up, you’ll need to pay a $4.95 exhibit fee to see Expedition Dinosaur: Rise of the Mammals.

  • All ages
  • Free with pre-registration. No walk-ins.
  • Friday, Dec. 3 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Bishop Museum. 1525 Bernice Street, Honolulu
  • (808) 847-3511


SEE ALSO: Our Guide: Bishop Museum


Anastasia The Musical Photo Castle Performing Arts Center

Photo: Courtesy of Castle Performing Arts Center

Anastasia the Musical

Live theater is back, and you have one more weekend to catch this production performed by local students. Princess-loving pre-teens (and adults, too) will enjoy this royal tale of Anya, a Russian orphan, on a quest to find out her true identity. COVID-19 policies are in place, including mandatory vaccination, social distancing, face mask requirements and no food or drinks.

  • Ages 5 years and older. Must be fully vaccinated or provide negative test results.
  • $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors. Purchase tickets here. No walk-ins.
  • Friday, Dec. 3 and Saturday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 5 at 2 p.m.
  • Ronald E. Bright Theatre at Castle High School. 45-386 Kāne‘ohe Bay Drive, Kāne‘ohe
  • (808) 233-5626
  •, @castleperforms


Honolulu City Lights 2007 Photo David Croxford

Photo: David Croxford

Honolulu City Lights Tree Lighting

It doesn’t feel like the holidays until the switch is flipped on the city’s annual light display at Honolulu Hale. The tree lighting Saturday night is not open to the public, although you can watch it live on TV, but starting Sunday, you can come take selfies with Shaka Santa and Tūtū Mele, gaze up at the 55-foot Christmas tree, and wander through the festive decorations and scenes on the lawn. We are extra cheerful that the over-the-top (and often humorous) city department tree displays within Honolulu Hale will return this year, starting Dec. 6. The parade, keiki rides, visits with Santa, and concerts won’t be back until 2023. Honolulu City Lights runs through Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022.

Just a note: Kapolei Hale will turn on the lights on its 60-feet-tall Cook Pine Saturday, Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. Those displays will remain up through Sunday, Jan. 9. @kapoleicitylights


Kidz Art Windward Photo Kidz Art Windward

Photo: Courtesy of Kidz Art Windward

Register: KidzArt Hawai‘i Marine Life & Scuba Camp

Need to keep your keiki busy over winter break? Sign up now for this unique camp which pairs art with snorkeling and underwater diving. Over several days, kids will learn about endangered wildlife and microplastics, create gallery masterpieces, and then take a field trip to Le Jardin Academy’s pool to learn how to snorkel or scuba dive.

  • For ages 5-10
  • $350 for 4 days of camp
  • Monday, Dec. 20 through Thursday, Dec. 23, 9 a.m.—2 p.m. Extended care available for an additional fee.
  • KidzArt Windward, 93 N Kainalu Drive, Room 102, Kailua
  •, @kidzartwindward