On a budget? Here is the free entertainment around Waikiki.
Waikiki is considered the top tourist attraction and the most visited place in Hawaii. Waikiki is famous for its legendary beaches, stunning sceneries and historical monuments and landmarks. Being a dream destination, it certainly does not come cheap! We’ve gathered some of the best things that can be done for free while making a million-dollar memories.
Enjoy the beach
The most obvious activity is also the best. Legendary Waikiki Beach is a 2-mile stretch of beautiful sand and clear waters. Take a stroll along the coastline while admiring the ocean view. Tread the clear blue waters and swim to your heart’s content. Grab your beach chair or lay out your towel, sit back and relax. If you are more adventurous you can catch some waves body boarding at the well know “Walls” surf break. The jetty at Walls has no diving signs but that does not stop all the local kids from taking the plunge. A day a Waikiki beach is rewarded with a mesmerizing sunset spotted with cruise ships and sail boats.
Picnic at the Park
Seek refuge from the busy streets and crowded beaches and find your comfy and cool little spot to chill and relax. Waikiki has several public parks you can stop by for picnic or any type of leisure. Check out Kapiolani Park, the largest public park in Hawaii, where you’ll get to see free entertainment on weekends, the local favorite Ala Moana Beach Park, with a large grassy area calm waters it is perfect for recreational activities, and Fort DeRussy Beach Park, to name a few.
Take History Tours at Two of Waikiki’s Grand Hotels
Royal Hawaiian Hotel
Also known as the Pink Palace of the Pacific, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel offers historic tours every Tuesdays and Thursdays. Meet up at the Royal Hawaiian Bakery at 1:00 pm and learn the rich history of this classic 1927 establishment.
Opened in 1901, the Moana Surfrider is Waikiki’s first hotel, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They offer tours every Monday and Wednesday, and you’ll get to see fascinating memorabilia housed inside this century-old First Lady of Waikiki.
Listen to the Hawaiian Beat
Many hotels, resorts, and shopping centers feature free live band entertainment from some of the local top performers. Enjoy the beat whatever your genre preference is – from jazz, country, to rock, and of course, with a taste of traditional Hawaiian sounds.
Kuhio Beach Torch Lighting and Hula
As the sun paints the sky orange to dark red while it slowly sets down across the horizon, the traditional torch lighting ceremony and the blowing of the conch shells signal the start of the performance. And if you happen to be near the Kuhio Beach area, then gather near the hula mound and watch an authentic Hawaiian hula show. This free hour-long family friendly entertainment is held from 6-7 pm Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Learn Hawaiian Culture
There are hotels, resorts, and stores that offer free cultural classes where you can learn to play the ukulele, dance the hula, or learn how to weave a lei. The Royal Hawaiian Center offers these cultural programs, including learning a massage technique called the Lomi Lomi. The Ukulele Store at the Waikiki Beach Walk and the Ukulele Puapua at the Sheraton Waikiki offer free ukulele lessons, simply check out their store and schedules.
Catch the Royal Hawaiian Band Performs
Once known as the King’s Band, the Royal Hawaiian Band was founded by King Kamehameha III in 1863, and is the oldest band in the United States. Today, they promote Hawaiian culture through their music, and performs regularly in public. You can watch them perform at the Iolani Palace on Fridays and on Sundays at the Kapiolani Park.
Follow the Historic Trail
The Waikiki Historic Trail is a series of 21 markers made of surfboards, starting from Kapiolani Park up to Kalakaua Park. This self-guided trail can be downloaded from the website, with its map, markers and historical descriptions for you to learn and explore.
See the Friday Fireworks Display
Watch the night sky brighten up with a colorful show as the Hilton Hawaiian Village hosts the weekly evening fireworks display. Best seen at the beach, it is totally free and an awesome way to end the day, or rather start a colorful thanks-God-its-Friday night.