It’s almost Christmas again in Honolulu, though there’s not a single snowflake around.

Even with what seems like a year-long summer, residents of Hawaii have taken to continuing the tradition of putting up Christmas lights and sparkling decorations to commemorate the season and spread holiday cheer.


For the 33rd consecutive year, the City & County of Honolulu, aided by the non-profit organization Friends of Honolulu City Lights, has been putting up a variety of lights, decorations, and holiday ornaments in downtown Honolulu for everyone—visitors and residents alike—to enjoy for free.

This year, the decorations went up on Saturday, December 2nd, and will remain until Monday, January 1st 2018.

The lights and decorations are open to the public between the hours of 8 am and 11 pm every day, including Christmas and New Year’s.


In addition, there are a variety of special events that you can attend in the area:

Thursday, December 7 – 501st Legion

6 pm to 8 pm: the 501st Legion of Imperial Stormtroopers will make an appearance near the front steps of Honolulu Hale, where they will be helping collect final donations for the Toys for Tots Collection, a non-profit that gifts disadvantaged children toys for Christmas.

Friday, December 8 – Photo with Santa

6 pm to 8 pm: Santa Claus makes his appearance at the Honolulu Hale Courtyard, courtesy of DTL, with free picture taking available for everyone.

Saturday, December 16 – Moana

7 pm to 9 pm: 7-Eleven Hawaii is hosting a free screening of Disney’s Moana at the Civic Center, the perfect family movie night.

Sunday, December 17 – Hula Performance

5 pm to 6 pm: Halau Hula O Kapunahala O Nuuanu YMCA, a local Hawaiian cultural school, is putting on a holiday Hula performance near the front steps of Honolulu Hale.

Friday, December 22 – Free Milk & Cookies

6:30 pm to 8:30 pm: Free milk & cookies, the best way to begin Christmas Weekend, are being offered by Hawaiian Values Snack Company near the front steps of Honolulu Hale.


You can still walk by any time when the area is open just to enjoy the ambiance and holiday spirit. There are bound to be plenty of interesting things around, making it a great family activity around the holidays.

If you’re just there for the lights and decorations, you can simply drive by any day in December and take in the sights.

Be warned, though, that parking in the area will be all but nonexistent and traffic will be perpetually slowing everyone down. Not that you wanted to go fast anyway.

If you really want to enjoy the lights, I recommend walking or getting dropped off if you aren’t staying close to downtown.

The best option would be to buy a ticket on a Christmas trolley, where you won’t have to worry about driving yourself and will have the option to hop off whenever you’d like.

The tour also includes a return ticket to Waikiki, so you can stay at the lights as long or short as you want.


Whatever option works best for you, the Honolulu City Lights are definitely worth a visit. Even if you can’t make it at night when the lights are in full display, walking past the decorations in the daytime is still a fun tour.

Hawaii has no snowmen or reindeer, but we’ve still got a lot of Christmas.