Your Weekend: The Best Family Fun in Hawai‘i for December 9–15, 2021

Find the best lights displays on the island, watch a parade on the water, buy discounted tickets to visit sea animals and sip free cocoa and write a postcard for local healthcare heroes and kūpuna.


Jingle Rock Ride Family Photo Make A Wish Hawaii

A best dressed family at the Jingle Rock Ride 2020. Photo: Courtesy of Make-A-Wish Hawai‘i


Jingle Rock Ride

We all love looking at holiday lights. Sunday, you can take a family drive across O‘ahu while helping to raise money for Make-a-Wish Hawai‘i. A donation gets you a map to the special light displays in various neighborhoods. Prizes will also be given for the best dressed family, best dressed dog and most festive ride. It’s past the deadline to have the map and swag mailed to you, but you can still pick it up in at the drive-thru in Kaka‘ako where the kids will enjoy cheering, seeing Santa, photo ops and other festive fun. You should know that the early time slots are full, but there are still many spaces open for pick up after 7:30 p.m.


Festival of Lights Christmas Boat Parade

The floating parade returns after one year off. Holiday decorated boats will make their way through the Hawaiʻi Kai Marina, starting at Hawaiʻi Kai Shopping Center and going past Koko Marina and ending at the upper marina area. For families, that means grabbing a spot with a good view of the marina before the boats start moving at 6 p.m. (If you were hoping to eat in a restaurant on the water, better get there even earlier.)


Photo: Lavonne Leong

Keiki Tuesdays at Sea Life Park

You have one more week to take advantage of the park’s discounted Tuesdays, when everyone pays keiki prices. The admission includes all usual attractions including the Discovery Reef Touch Pool, shark feedings and, one of our family’s favorites, the aviary. Residents and military will need to show ID at the entrance when redeeming their tickets.


Salt Aloha Sign Photo Our Kakaako

Photo: Courtesy of Our Kaka‘ako

Ka‘ākaukukui–A Celebration of Light

The opening of Salt at Our Kaka‘ako’s holiday display comes with some free fun for families. Saturday, the large letters spelling out “Peace,” “Joy” and “Aloha” will light up in the covered, open-air Barn area near a free Starbucks hot chocolate bar and a postcard station where kids and parents can draw and write messages of support for healthcare workers at The Queen’s Medical Center, Hawai‘i Pacific Health and kūpuna at Lunalilo Home. Sit for a Christmas story or two, read in English and ‘Ōlelo, shortly after the event starts.

  • All ages
  • Free
  • Saturday, Dec. 11, 5–6 p.m. The postcard station and lighted displays are available until Monday, Dec. 20.
  • Salt at Our Kaka‘ako, 660 Ala Moana Blvd., #148


Register: ‘Ōhi‘a Seed Workshop on Family Sunday

Free family fun is back in-person at the Honolulu Museum of Art every third Sunday of the month. In December, along with the free admission to the museum, story time (at 11 a.m. and noon) and gallery hunts,  kids will have the opportunity to learn about ‘ōhi‘a lehua trees, their importance in Hawai‘i and plant a seed to take home for your own back yard or lānai. Pre-register now to reserve your preferred time slot before it fills up.

  • Family Sunday is for all ages. The ‘ōhi‘a lehua workshop is for kids 5 years and older
  • Free
  • Sunday, Dec. 19. Workshops are held every half hour between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.



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Kapolei City Lights

Honolulu Hale had its moment last weekend. Saturday, it is Kapolei Hale’s turn to flip the switch. The 60-foot tree, colorful lights, and holiday displays will be open for photos and family strolls past the new year.

  • All ages
  • Free
  • The lights go on at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 11 and will remain up through Sunday, Jan. 9