Fun, Free Things to Do in Honolulu
You don’t need to spend the big bucks to have fun in Honolulu! In fact, some of its best attributes don’t cost a dime. Here’s a look at fun activities that are absolutely free.
See the hula & torch show on Kuhio Beach
See the sunset in a whole new way. Gorgeous and memorable hula and torch-lighting shows are free to the public on the west end of Kuhio Beach on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Combined with Kuhio’s stunning sunsets, you’ll have a gorgeous evening in Waikiki. Spots fill up quickly for the show, especially in the grassy area near the Banyan tree. Bring a blanket and arrive ahead of time so you can grab a good spot.
Walk the Waikiki Historic Trail
Did you ever wonder what Waikiki used to look like? Surprisingly enough, it was mostly wetlands but drew Hawaiian royalty for its excellent surf. The Waikiki Historic Trail is a walking tour that winds around the neighborhood and explores its interesting past. Beginning on Waikiki Beach and marked by surfboards, the trail outlines the area’s unique surfing culture, royal coconut groves, and ancient temples. See map.
Check out live shows at Ala Moana Center & the Royal Hawaiian Center
See as many hula shows as you can while in Oahu to get a glimpse of the wide variety of styles and dance! Catch a show at Ala Moana Center’s mainstage, as well as live music performed daily at its center stage. See scheduled showtimes.
The Royal Grove at the Royal Hawaiian Center features outdoor hula and hula kahiko shows all week long. See the center’s entertainment calendar.
Browse the Hawaii State Art Museum
This free museum is a hidden gem in downtown Honolulu, and off the radar to most tourists. It’s also the perfect size for a visit under an hour. Located on the second floor of the Capitol District building, the museum features some of the best contemporary art from across Hawaii. Plus, the gift shop features artwork by all local artists! Open Monday through Saturday 10am to 4pm, and with extended hours on the first Friday of each month from 6 to 9pm.
Make leis at the International Market Place
The International Market Place has its fair share of free programming, such as lei making or music from the Royal Hawaiian Band. Refer to the event page to see what’s on while you’re here.
Watch the Friday firework show on Waikiki Beach
Thousands gather on Waikiki Beach every Friday to watch the splendid firework show presented by Hilton Hawaiian Village. The fireworks shoot off from Kahanamoku Beach around 7:45pm, and lasts about 10 minutes. It’s a great start (or end!) to any Friday night.
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