Holiday Happenings in the Hawaiian Islands

Thursday Dec 15, 2011

Thinking of Hawaii for the holidays? Check out the December 2011 edition of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau's (HVCB) "Holiday Happenings and What's New in the Hawaiian Islands," a monthly update keeping travelers informed of what's new with Hawaii's new developments, events and attractions, transportation updates, and accolades.

    Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from now through December 24, visit Kauai's annual Festival of Lights at the Historic County Building. The holiday display features Christmas trees decorated with touches of Kauai like sparkling rainbows, waterfalls, shave ice and dolphins, or 'Surfin' Santa's Sleigh' pulled by roosters. Other local favorites include the 'SPAM Can', Hula Bear', 'Kilauea Lighthouse', and 'Peacock' trees, and Kauai's own Aloha Recycled Treasures made from plastic water bottles. For more information, visit

    Experience Christmas in Polynesia at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from December 12-23. Guests will take a 25-minute canoe ride that winds through a live production of Kamakana and the Five Fir Trees, a local adaptation of a popular Christmas story, The Three Fir Trees.

    Along the route, the grounds will be decked with elaborate Christmas lights, life-size gingerbread houses, and of course the season's iconic Santa Claus. For more information, visit

    Join the Maui Ocean Center for A Maui FISH-mas now through December 31. Celebrate the holidays with special presentations, exciting children's activities, craft vendors, dining specials, and even a visit from Scuba Claus. Daily Ocean Naturalist presentations will highlight the aquarium's unique marine animals named for their exceptional holiday-themed appearances, including the Angelfish, Christmas Wrasse, Snowflake Eel, Candy Cane Shrimp, and more. For more information, visit

    Come and learn the Japanese traditions of mochi pounding and kadomatsu making to prepare for the New Year on December 28 at the Donkey Mill Art Center. Kadomatsu, made of bamboo and pine branches, is placed at the entrance to homes to greet the New Year. Mochi, a rice cake delicacy served on New Year's Day, symbolizes the many blessings that the family will receive in the new year. Price of admission is $25 per family. For more information, visit

    The roving culinary adventure Outstanding in the Field is making its way to the Hawaiian Islands with four events on four different islands. Outstanding in the Field breaks down the walls of a typical restaurant experience and brings foodies, farmers, producers, and culinary artisans around one table usually in an outdoor farm or garden setting to share their passion for food.

    Guests will take a 25-minute canoe ride that winds through a live production of Kamakana and the Five Fir Trees, a local adaptation of a popular Christmas story, The Three Fir Trees.

    Meals are prepared by a celebrated local chef using mostly all local ingredients sometimes sourced steps from the dining table. The Hawaii tour will include stops at Kilohana Plantation on Kauai (January 14), Kupaa Farms on Maui (January 17), MAO Organic Farms on Oahu (January 21), and Kekela Farms on Hawaii Island (January 25). For more information, visit

    The exotic flavors of the Pacific Rim take center stage at Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort's (Oahu) new Japengo Restaurant. The restaurant's contemporary design features an interactive sushi bar and lounge, private dining rooms, and intimate tables for two. Diners can choose from a variety of handcrafted cocktails and dishes highlighting the authentic tastes of Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, China, and more. For more information, visit

    Relax at Waikiki's newest wine bar and piano lounge bin1901 located in the main lobby of Oahu's Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort and Spa. Open seven nights a week from 5:30-10:30 p.m. with live nightly piano performances, bin1901 offers an extensive collection of more than 100 varieties of wine.

    Menu items from the Beachhouse at the Moana are carefully paired to complement each wine's characteristics, and on Wine Wednesdays Executive Sous Chef Norman Soderberg prepares a special appetizer only available at bin1901. For more information, visit

    SpeediShuttle is now the exclusive on-demand shuttle service at Honolulu International Airport. Arriving passengers can book door-to-door service to any destination point between Kahala and Ko Olina on Oahu at designated kiosks strategically located throughout the terminals or through greeters dressed in aloha attire who can issue boarding passes using tablet PCs. For more information, visit

    Honolulu (Oahu) has been named one of America's 50 Best Cities by BusinessWeek because of its beaches, how the city has dealt with the recession, and the low unemployment rate. Of the 50 cities, Honolulu was ranked third, behind Arlington, Virginia and Raleigh, North Carolina.

    For more information, visit

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