Waikiki Christmas

For what to do for Christmas 2013 in Waikiki and Honolulu, click this link: Waikiki Christmas 2013 — Special Holiday Dining & Events

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2009 Waikiki Christmas Events are listed below for reference purposes only. Note that some links will no longer work.

Going to Waikiki this Christmas? If so, you’ll find plenty of fantastic dining and entertainment options that’ll have you in the holiday spirit with a slice of Aloha. You’ll find everything from breakfasts with Santa Claus to lavish Christmas dinner buffets to holiday lights and concerts. Christmas is definitely an exciting time to be in Waikiki.

I’ll organize this long and very detailed list by date. I’ll begin with Christmas Day and work backwards. So, without further adieu, let’s review this excellent selection of things to do this Christmas:

Christmas Day, December 25, 2009

* Oceanarium Restaurant at the Pacific Beach Hotel – For a unique setting, consider having Christmas with the fishes in the Oceanarium Restaurant beside their giant saltwater aquarium. Oceanarium Restaurant will offer Christmas Day brunch and dinner buffets. See their brunch menu here which costs $38.95 for adults and $13.95 for children. Brunch will be served from 9am until 3pm. Their dinner buffet menu will be served from 4pm until 10pm with a price of $43.95 for adults and $15.25 for children.

* Hilton Hawaiian Village’s Rainbow Lanai Restaurant will offer a Christmas Day buffet for $59 for adults and $32 for children. In addition to more traditional items like Prime Rib and Roast Pork,  you’ll also find some interesting Hawaii regional cuisine items, too. See this link for the menu. For reservations, call (808) 949-4321.

* Hilton Hawaiian Village’s Bali Steak & Seafood will present a five-course Christmas menu. This menu includes Poha Berry Chutney & Puna Goat Cheese Tart, Hamakua Tomato Cream Soup, Hirabara Farms Greens & Hears of Palm Salad for starter courses. For entrees, you’ll select from Thyme Seared Pacific Snapper Fillet or Fresh Horseradish Crusted Prime Beef Fillet & Shrimp Oscar or Kona Sea Salt Roasted Prime Rib. The dessert course includes Mocha Raspberry Cake along with coffee or tea. The price is $90 for for adults and $48 for children. See this link for the menu. For reservations, call (808) 941-BALI (2254).

* The Lani Kai restaurant of the Moana Surfrider will offer a Christmas morning breakfast buffet. The (inclusive) price is $35 for adults and $20 for children. For more information call (808) 922-3111.

* The Beach House restaurant of the Moana Surfrider will offer a lavish Christmas champagne brunch buffet from 9am to 1:30pm for $77 for adults and $35 for children. The strolling trio Hala’i will entertain while you feast. For more information call (808) 921-4600 or email tdrc.hawaii@starwoodshotels.com

* Later in the evening (from 5:30pm to 9pm) the Beach House at the Moana Surfrider will offer a three-course tasting menu Christmas dinner. The price is $85 for adults and $40 for children. For more information call (808) 922-3111.

* If you are looking for a Christmas dinner that’s a bit more romantic and sophisticated, The Twist at Hanohano on the 30th floor of the Sheraton Waikiki offers a four-course Christmas dinner from 5:30pm to 9:30pm. Entertainment will be provided by “Dueling Pianos”. The cost if $85 per person or $110 with wine pairings and you can see the menu and learn more here.  (See my post on the excellent views from the Hanohano.)

* At the Sheraton Waikiki, Kai Market will offer a Christmas Day brunch from 10:30am to 3pm. The menu will feature traditional Hawaiian-style dishes alongside holiday favorites for Christmas. The price is $49 for adults and $15 for children ages 6 – 12. For more information and reservations, call (808) 921-4600 or email tdrc.hawaii@starwoodshotels.com

Kai Market at the Sheraton Waikiki will offer a Christmas Day dinner buffet from 5pm to 9pm. The menu will feature traditional Hawaiian-style dishes alongside holiday favorites for Christmas. The price is $59 for adults and $15 for children ages 6 to 12. For more information and reservations, call (808) 921-4600 or email tdrc.hawaii@starwoodshotels.com

* The Royal Hawaiian’s Azure Restaurant will feature a sophisticated five-course Christmas dinner from 5:30pm to 9pm and is priced at $125 per person. The menu includes Chilled Kona Lobster, Diver Scallop & Pipkaula “En Sous Vide”, and Tartine of Big Island Abalone & Hamakua Mushroom as the first three courses. For the entree course, you choose from Roasted Hawaiian Onaga & Kahuku Sea Beans or Maple Farms Duck Breast Sous Vide or Prime Rib Eye Steak, Parsley & Garlic Bearnaise. For dessert there’s Spiced Chocolate Pot De Creme with Chestnut Maroon Ginger Bread Ice cream. For more information and reservations, call (808) 921-4600 or email tdrc.hawaii@starwoodshotels.com

* The Top of Waikiki restaurant is offering their regular menu in addition to a special, well-priced holiday menu for either $32 or $39 depending on entree choice. Click here to see their facebook posting of the holiday menu. This unique restaurant in Waikiki rotates so that you get wonderful views of Waikiki. You can either book online on their Website or call (808) 923-3877.

* Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener at the Royal Hawaiian Center will offer special menu for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The turkey dinner option includes slices of turkey, homemade stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes cranberry sauce, green beans and pumpkin pie for $35. The prime rib meal option is priced at $35 also and includes 18-20oz prime rib, mashed potatoes, green beans and a slice of pumpkin pie. The restaurant will be open from 11:30am to 11:30pm on Christmas day. For reservations call (808) 922-3600 or book online at OpenTable.

* Though not Christmas themed, the Waikiki Starlight Luau at the Hilton Hawaiian Village is open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Night.

* The holiday menu at Ciao Mein in the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa features a delicious grouping of seafood, pasta, steak, and for dessert,white chocolate and hazelnut.  The $55 holiday dinner is available December 18 through 30. Ciao Mein is open daily from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  Please call (808) 237-6140 or visit Open Table to make a reservation online.

* Enjoy a flavorful mix of Hawaiian ingredients and yuletide spices at The Colony Restaurant in the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa.  The $39 menu is available December 18 through 31.  The Colony Restaurant is open daily from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.; special holiday hours for December 25 and 31 are from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  Please call (808) 237-6140 or visit Open Table to make a reservation online.

* Waikiki’s Hau Tree Lanai will offer a special four-course Chrismas Day dinner for $55 per person. See the menu here.

Christmas Eve, December 24, 2009

* Hilton Hawaiian Village’s Rainbow Lanai Restaurant will offer a Christmas Eve buffet for $59 for adults and $32 for children. In addition to traditional roast turkey, you’ll also find some interesting Hawaii regional cuisine items, too. Here are a few menu items that caught my eye: Baked Snow Crab Macaroni & Cheese, Pepper Roasted Mahi Fillet, Sage Orange Roast Duckling, and Hawaiian Dark Rum & Brown Sugar Smoked Pork Loin. On the dessert stations, you’ll find Egg Nog Custard Pie Tarts, Caramelized Banana & Chocolate Pudding Shots, Warm Grand Marnier Macadamia Nut Bread Pudding Brule, Chocolate Fondue, and more. See this link for the menu. For reservations, call (808) 949-4321.

* Hilton Hawaiian Village’s Bali Steak & Seafood will present a five-course Christmas Eve menu. (Note: it’s the same menu as Christmas Day.)  This menu includes Poha Berry Chutney & Puna Goat Cheese Tart, Hamakua Tomato Cream Soup, Hirabara Farms Greens & Hears of Palm Salad for starter courses. For entrees, you’ll select from Thyme Seared Pacific Snapper Fillet or Fresh Horseradish Crusted Prime Beef Fillet & Shrimp Oscar or Kona Sea Salt Roasted Prime Rib. The dessert course includes Mocha Raspberry Cake along with coffee or tea. The price is $90 for for adults and $48 for children. See this link for the menu. For reservations, call (808) 941-BALI (2254).

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Breakfast with Santa at the Moana Surfrider

* Have breakfast with Santa Claus at the Moana Surfrider from 9am to 11am. The event includes breakfast buffet, ginger bread decorating and each child gets a one on one visit with Santa as well as a personal gift. The cost is $38 inclusive for children. The price for adults is $45 (inclusive) for adults including mimosa and sparkling wine. For reservations, call (808) 922-3111.

* How about some Christmas Eve college football? The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl starts at 3:00pm (Hawaii Time) in Aloha Stadium.  This year’s bowl matches the Nevada Wolf Pack versus the SMU Mustangs. See this link for Sheraton Hawaii Bowl events.

* The Royal Hawaiian’s Azure Restaurant will feature a sophisticated five-course Christmas Eve dinner from 5:30pm to 9pm and is priced at $125 per person. The menu includes Chilled Kona Lobster, Diver Scallop & Pipkaula “En Sous Vide”, and Tartine of Big Island Abalone & Hamakua Mushroom as the first three courses. For the entree course, you choose from Roasted Hawaiian Onaga & Kahuku Sea Beans or Maple Farms Duck Breast Sous Vide or Prime Rib Eye Steak, Parsley & Garlic Bearnaise. For dessert there’s Spiced Chocolate Pot De Creme with Chestnut Maroon Ginger Bread Ice cream. For more information and reservations, call (808) 921-4600 or email tdrc.hawaii@starwoodshotels.com

* The Top of Waikiki restaurant is offering their regular menu in addition to a special, well-priced holiday menu for either $32 or $39 depending on entree choice. Click here to see their facebook posting of the holiday menu. This unique restaurant in Waikiki rotates so that you get wonderful views of Waikiki.You can either book online on their Website or call (808) 923-3877.

* Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener at the Royal Hawaiian Center will offer special menu for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The turkey dinner option includes slices of turkey, homemade stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes cranberry sauce, green beans and pumpkin pie for $35. The prime rib meal option is priced at $35 also and includes 18-20oz prime rib, mashed potatoes, green beans and a slice of pumpkin pie. The restaurant will be open from 11:30am to 11:30pm on Christmas Eve. For reservations call (808) 922-3600 or book online at OpenTable.

* Though not Christmas themed, the Waikiki Starlight Luau at the Hilton Hawaiian Village is open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Night.

* At the Monarch Room of the Royal Hawaiian, you’ll find a Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet & Show with C&K (Cecilio and Kapono). The cost is $159 for adults and $99 for children ages 5 to 12. Taxes aren’t included, but gratuities are. See this link for the menu and reservation instructions.

* The holiday menu at Ciao Mein in the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa features a delicious grouping of seafood, pasta, steak, and for dessert,white chocolate and hazelnut.  The $55 holiday dinner is available December 18 through 30. Ciao Mein is open daily from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  Please call (808) 237-6140 or visit Open Table to make a reservation online.

* Enjoy a flavorful mix of Hawaiian ingredients and yuletide spices at The Colony Restaurant in the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa.  The $39 menu is available December 18 through 31.  The Colony Restaurant is open daily from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.; special holiday hours for December 25 and 31 are from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  Please call (808) 237-6140 or visit Open Table to make a reservation online.

*  Waikiki’s Hau Tree Lanai will offer a special four-course Chrismas Eve dinner for $55 per person. See the menu here.

Waikiki and Honolulu Concerts and Entertainment Leading Up To Christmas

* Have breakfast with Santa Claus at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach’s Kani Ka Pila Grille on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 22nd and 23rd. (Can you believe he’s taking the time from his busy schedule to have breakfast in Waikiki?) Seating starts at 8am and activities conclude at 10am. The cost is $17.50 per person and inclusive of tax, tip and a free photo with Santa. Children 3 and under eat free. Reservations are required, call 808-924-4990.

* Through December 24th (except Mondays), the Ala Moana Shopping Center will host musical shows, photos with Santa, and candy cane train rides.

* Na Leo’s Holiday Music Spectacular will be held on December 20th, 22nd, and 23rd at the Hale Koa Hotel Luau Grounds. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the event. See this link to Na Leo for tickets and details.

* From December 5th through the 31st, downtown Honolulu will be decorated for the season with lights, Christmas wreaths, and holiday characters. There will even be a 21 foot-tall Shaka Santa. Honolulu Hale at 530 South King Street is the center for the Honolulu City Lights. This annual event is free, but since it isn’t walkable from Waikiki, a great way to get to downtown Honolulu is to take the Waikiki Trolley. See this link for the special holiday lights trolley tour information, tickets and schedules.

* See a giant gingerbread village at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani. The impressive village is over 14 feet tall and comprises 60 pounds of dark chocolate, 20 pounds of white chocolate, 30 pounds of gingerbread and 120 gallons of icing. The hotel’s executive chef gathered his team and spent more than 250 hours designing and constructing this gift to their guests. This gingerbread village at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani is so impressive that Orbitz picked it as one of the top 10 hotels decked out for the holidays.

* On December 19th and 20th, Outrigger Reef on the Beach presents special Christmas musical entertainment at Kani Ka Pila Grille from 4pm to 5pm. This Christmas Mele is open to the public and guests and locals are invited to join in the holiday festivities.

* On December 20th, the Honolulu Boy Choir will perform special holiday concert at the fourth floor Grand Lanai of the Embassy Suites-Waikiki Beach Walk. The concert begins at 4pm. The concert is free and open to the public while seating allows.

On December 22nd, the Honolulu Boy Choir will perform again at the Royal Hawaiian’s Monarch Room. This free concert will be held from 7:00 to 7:45pm. Call The Royal Hawaiian at (808) 923-7311 for more information about this special Christmas concert.

Notes:

  • I recommend you make reservations as soon as possible to secure the place and time you like.
  • Unless otherwise stated, you can assume that taxes and gratuities are not included in the listed prices.
  • Most Waikiki hotel-based restaurants will be open on Christmas day. Check directly with the concierge of your accommodations for their special Christmas meals and events.
  • As Christmas approaches, most likely, I’ll be adding more events, so do check back.
  • Learn how to say Mele Kalikimaka, Hawaii’s way to say Merry Christmas.
  • If you’ll be on Oahu to welcome in the New Year, see this list of New Year’s Eve Events and Fireworks on Oahu.


Ohana Beach Rentals

About Sheila Beal

Sheila Beal is the founder and editor of Go Visit Hawaii. You can connect with Sheila Beal on Twitter, Go Visit Hawaii on Facebook, or Sheila Beal on Google+.

23 comments

  1. Wow! – That’s a pretty comprehensive list you got there. This is right up there with your huge list of EVERY 4th of July fireworks display.

    Your detective work is much appreciated! :)

    • Thanks, Dave. You don’t know how much I appreciate your appreciation! :-)

      It takes hours and hours of searching writing, sifting, phone calling, and emailing to publish this list. I aim to provide the most comprehensive list on the web.

  2. Thanks Sheila for the heads up for reservations. Just called the Oceanarium Restaurant at the Pacific Beach Hotel for the Dinner Buffet, they are booked solid. Just snuck in at the Sheraton of Waikiki.
    Thanks for the awesome list of events. Can’t wait to get there.

    • Natalie – thanks for letting us know that the Oceanarium is already booked. Wow! That was fast.

      Did you opt for the Hanohano Room or Kai Market at the Sheraton Waikiki?

      • We went with the Kai Market..Menu looks great. How are the reveiws for the Market since it’s new?

        • Natalie – as you mentioned, it is very new. I’ve not tried it myself, so I can’t speak from experience. I do like their concept of farm to table — e.g. emphasizing what’s freshly grown and harvest in Hawaii.

          I like what they have planned for Christmas, too. “Kai Market’s Executive Chef Darren Demaya has created a Christmas menu reminiscent of his small kid time growing up in Hawaii.” It sounds like you’ll have a chance to sample some authentic Hawaiian cuisine.

          Here’s a write up on Kai Market from the Honolulu Advertiser: http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009911200304

          After you’ve returned from your trip, I’d be interested in hearing how you liked it.

        • I went Thursday December 17th eve to Kai Market. As proposed, there’s lots of local ingredients. The dining room is beautiful and overlooks the pool and water. Food is very good, and there were some dishes, including a braised beef with hamakua mushrooms, that I just wanted to savor with the delicious gravy over rice. It took me a while to remember that the white rice was back by the salads & chowder. They used much bigger shrimp than the usual buffets, also appreciated. Desserts also very good. The fish was great.
          Cons: Service was laid back and friendly (that’s ok), but a tad slow. Also, we were seated near the window adjacent to the Polynesian show. That music was loud enough to hamper our conversation.
          One last note: one of our party had forgotten her cane, and had to rest between the valet and the restaurant. The hotel speedily offered wheelchair service, which we used when we went back to our car. That extra touch meant a lot.
          With the 25% kamaina (local) discount it was a very good meal. I would happily go back especially to try the “fancier” menus on weekends and holidays.
          See also recent reviews at the Star Bulletin’s Weekly Eater, and Honolulu Magazine

  3. Just wanted to add that Nobu is open on Christmas Day: http://www.waikikiparc.com/dining/nobu/

  4. Just updated the list to add the options from Top of Waikiki. Very nice well-priced options for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

  5. More additions:

    – Starlight Luau at Hilton Hawaiian Village on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

    – Wolfgang Steakhouse is open on both Christmas Eve & Christmas day with special holiday menus. (Well priced for a traditional meal @ $35)

    – Special dinner buffet and concert at the Monarch Room of the Royal Hawaiian on Christmas Eve

    – The Honolulu Boy’s Choir performance at the Waikiki Beach Walk on December 20th.

  6. Just added 2 restaurant options at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki. Their special holiday menus are available on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

  7. thank you sheila for that long detailed list, wow makes more excited. we will be arriving there around 9:00 pm on the 25th. how late are the restaurants open?

    • Most of them are only open until about 9pm. Wolfgang Steakhouse is open until 11:30.

      Just heard that Tiki’s Grill is open late night on the 25th with live entertainment. It’s a casual atmosphere there and they’re serving their regular menu of burgers, salads, fish, chicken, etc.

  8. Just got into the Oceanarium for the dinner buffet. Sounded like they only had 1 more opening at 8:30 which was a little late for us. Thanks so much for providing this!

  9. I love that you did that list. Is there one for Maui as well? My family will be there Dec. 23-Jan.3 and it would be great to know what is going on. We are staying in Kaanapali but can go about anywhere…except on New Years Eve, we’d rather stay in Kaanapali. Thanks for any info you can pass along :)

  10. Thank you for “Waikiki Christmas 2009″ posted Dec. 10, 2009!

    The week before Christmas 2001 I heard beautiful instrumental
    and vocal groups in the lobbies of several 4/5 star Waikiki
    hotels. Do you have a schedule of their performances for
    2009?
    Peter
    Hayward, CA
    peterreimer@sbcglobal.net

    • Peter – did you see this in the list:
      * On December 20th, the Honolulu Boy Choir will perform special holiday concert at the fourth floor Grand Lanai of the Embassy Suites-Waikiki Beach Walk. The concert begins at 4pm. The concert is free and open to the public while seating allows.
      I’d love to check that one out myself.

      Other than that the only other choral performance that I know of is on Christmas Eve at the Moana Surfrider lobby by the grand staircase from 5:30 – 5:45. It’s a performance by the employees.

  11. More updates:

    Added listing for Hau Tree Lanai’s four course dinner for $55 per person. It’s a beautiful setting there. They’re offering the holiday menu on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.Also, for those of you staying through New Year’s Eve, they have a nice NYE menu that you’ll find from the link, too.

    Added listing for December 22nd Honolulu Boy Choir concert at the Monarch Room of the Royal Hawaiian. It’s free!

  12. Hi Sheila,
    Fantastic list, and given me some good ideas, but I will be in Waikiki this coming December for 8 nights over Christmas ( 2010) Will you be updating your list? I do hope so,
    thanks,
    Tom

    • Aloha Tom –

      I do intend to prepare a round up of great 2010 Christmas events in Waikiki. Most likely I will not have enough details available to publish that list until sometime in December.

      One of the biggest challenges in preparing this list is receiving the details from the venues — they usually don’t finalize their plans until early/mid December.

      So, to stay up to date, plus to hopefully find some useful information for your Waikiki vacation, consider subscribing to our free daily updates. Here’s information on why and how to quickly sign up: http://www.govisithawaii.com/2008/04/20/are-you-subscribed-to-go-visit-hawaii/

      You might also benefit from checking out our free Oahu online vacation guide with unbiased advice: http://www.govisithawaii.com/oahu-vacation-guide/

      Hope that helps and stay tuned!

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