Surf lessons, tanning on the sand, and snorkeling above Pacific reefs are sure bets in Hawai‘i. Once you’ve gotten your fill, these community events, performances, and parties are perfect outings for the socialite or curious traveler.
Image by Rachel Halemanu
Ru Paul’s Drag Race | Hula’s Bar & Lei Stand (O‘ahu) | Every Monday, 9:30 p.m.
Host Cocoa Chandelier sets the stage for Hula’s weekly viewing party of Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Enjoy drink specials and the beautiful faces you are sure to see at the show.
Upcountry Farmers Market | Kulamalu Town Center (Maui) | Saturdays, 7 to 11 a.m.
Drive out to this eclectic market complete with crafters, farmers, and bakers. If you want to get a taste of local produce, this is for you! Expect fun treats ranging from the classic to the innovative, including Maui Cones (We recommend the mochiko chicken.). If you can’t make it, don’t stress—there are markets all around the islands on various days.
The 52nd Annual Merrie Monarch Festival | Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium (Hawai‘i Island) | April 5 – 11, various times | Prices vary
Merrie Monarch is more than just a festival. It is the beating heart at the center of Hawai’i’s hula world. Celebrate the art of hula during this weeklong affair with a parade, free events, and much more.
‘Ohana Slack Key Guitar & Ukulele Concert | Hanalei Community Center, Hanalei (Kaua‘i) | April 10, 4 – 6 p.m. | $20
Enjoy the sounds of Hawaiian slack key guitar, a tradition that originated when vaqueros (cowboys) from Mexico and Spain came to Hawai‘i Island to pass on knowledge of sustainable cattle ranching to paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys). They left behind guitars, and the paniolo came up with their own style of playing. Today, its sound is synonymous with the islands.
Hawaii International Film Festival | Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18, Honolulu (Oahu) | April 10 – 19
This spring festival is a showcase of amazing films, from ones debuted at Sundance to others that wowwed in Asia. Headed by Lei profile Robert Lambeth, HIFF is an amazing source for film and inspiration. Films play throughout the ten day festival.
Kaua’i Open Studios Art Tour | Artists’ studios around Kaua‘i | April 18 and April 26 | Free
Pick up a tour guidebook for this two-weekend event at the Kauai Art Tour studio at Kukui Grove Center and then head out around Kauai to visit artists at work in their studios. Weekend one covers ground from Lihue to Waimea; weekend two covers Wailua to Hanalei.
Kanikapila Community Concert & Picnic | Hale Halawai, Kailua-Kona (Hawai‘i Island) | April 18, 4 p.m. to sunset
Kanikapila is Hawaiian for a musical jam session, roughly. Tradition at luau and community gatherings, kanikapila are also a chance for visitors and locals to gather around with picnics, a nice sunset view, and soak up the tunes.
Kokua Kailua Village Stroll and Hulile`e Palace Performance | Kailua Village (Hawai‘i Island) | April 19, 1 – 6 p.m.
Enjoy free Hawaiian tunes performed by Merrie Monarch’s Men’s Glee Club accompanied by hula by Kumu Hula Etua Lopes and his halau Na Pua U`i O Hawai’i on the Palace’s South Lawn at 4 p.m. (Bring your own beach mat or chair!) Before and after the performance, enjoy the sights and sounds of the village.
22nd Annual Haiku Ho’olaule’a and Flower Festival | Haiku Community Center, Haiku (Maui) | April 25, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Free
This is a good one if you have keiki (Hawaiian for children), or want to learn more about those beautiful lei that are a symbol of the aloha spirit. Expect live entertainment, keiki activities, tasty dishes, a bake sale, and floral and lei making design.