Beat the winter blues with a trip to sunny, seaside Oahu. Here are 10 things to do on this Hawaiian island in January.
Fill your stomach with pho and soft-serve slushies at Piggy Smalls
Local restaurant The Pig & the Lady is a staple of Honolulu’s dining scene, and its sister restaurant Piggy Smalls, which opened in Ward Village this past October, is also well worth a visit. Grab a seat inside the casual eatery and choose from dishes like scallion corn cakes, Mama Le’s pho bac and bahn mi sandwiches. End your meal with the soft serve slushie of the week, which has recently been offered in flavours such as cranberry orange and chai tea coconut.
Go ice-skating on an outdoor skating rink
Oahu is known for its sunny weather and sandy beaches but, this month, you can partake in winter activities. Every day until January 16th, outdoor skating is offered at the rink at Ward Village in Honolulu (skates are available for rent). Special events at the rink include trivia nights on Wednesdays and beach themed nights on Thursdays.
Learn about various Polynesian cultures
For more than half a century, visitors have been going to the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu’s North Shore to learn about the history and culture of Polynesian islands such as Samoa, Fiji, Hawaii, Tahiti and Tonga. The facility offers an immersive experience that includes cooking demonstrations, spear throwing and a canoe pageant held in the lagoon each afternoon.
Take in a laser light show
On the evening of January 7, rock out to the illuminated music of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd at the Bishop Museum’s J. Watumull Planetarium. This is the final date of the planetarium’s laser light show season.
Shop at the newly redeveloped International Market Place
Waikiki’s International Market Place had a major facelift this past summer, making it a must-visit shopping destination. A slew of new, big-name retailers includes Saks Fifth Avenue, Christian Louboutin and Trina Turk. Once you’ve shopped up an appetite, visit one of the centre’s handful of restaurants.
Check out the Hawaii State Art Museum on the first Friday of January
Once a month, art aficionados can check out the exhibits at the downtown Hawaii State Art Museum after hours during its First Fridays events. This month there are four exhibits on display and the night will also include live entertainment.
Spend the day in Haleiwa along Oahu’s famous North Shore
About an hour’s drive from Honolulu, the community of Haleiwa offers a reprieve from the bustle of the big city. Haleiwa is located along the island’s North Shore and is a prime spot to see some of the best big wave surfing in the world. Other highlights in the area include quaint boutiques and shops, colourful shave ice from Matsumoto Shave Ice and plenty of food trucks serving up fresh seafood and shrimp dishes.
Treat yourself to dinner at one of Honolulu’s newest restaurants
After more than a year of anticipation, celebrated chefs Anthony Rush and Chris Kajioka have finally opened their new restaurant Senia. Its main dining room features rustic brick walls and booth seating. Here you’ll enjoy regional American dishes such as mushroom and kale lasagna or bone-in pork belly. Or, book a spot at the chef’s counter to get a view of the kitchen while enjoying a multi-course tasting menu.
Visit Kapiolani Park to see art from more than 75 local artists
Show your appreciation for the Hawaiian arts scene during the Pacific Island Arts Festival on January 21 and 22. Now in its 18th year, the free festival packs Kapiolani Park with work by more than 75 local artists. Also featured are artist demonstrations, live music, vendors serving shave ice and more.
Watch free fireworks on Waikiki Beach
If you couldn’t stay awake until midnight on New Year’s Eve last month, you can still catch a spectacular fireworks show on Waikiki Beach thanks to the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort. The hotel stages a fireworks show on Friday nights starting at around 7:45 p.m., which can be seen by hotel guests and pedestrians from the beach.
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