As you’re making your Christmas vacation plans, I wanted to give you some fun and meaningful ideas to celebrate the season with Maui-style. Here are my suggestions for the top things to so this year:
1. See Lahaina’s famous banyan tree wrapped in Christmas lights
The sprawling banyan tree will be wrapped in thousands of colored lights.Where else but in Maui will you find such a sight as this one? The banyan tree is located off Front Street in Lahaina town.
2. Ice skate by the ocean
Yes, you read that right – there will be an ice skating rink in Kaanapali at the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas. The rink is not actually covered in ice. A synthetic polymer is topped with a lubricant to act and feel like real ice. The rink is open Monday to Friday from 4pm to 9pm and Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 9pm. Rental rates start at $15. See more details from this link.
3. Celebrate FISH-mas at the Maui Ocean Center
Scuba Claus and Elf host interactive underwater presentations at the Maui Ocean Center. They’ll wear special dive masks that allow them to speak to the audience. Scuba Claus presents at 11am, while Elf makes his appearance at 3pm. This presentation is included with the paid aquarium admission. After you’ve had a walk around the ocean center, perhaps you’d like to enjoy a cookie and cup of eggnog while you look for humpback whales from the restaurant terrace. For more information see this link.
Christmastime is a special time to shop in Maui. Consider buying locally made crafts and artwork for gifts. Of course Lahaina has lots of shops, but for a uniquely Maui shopping experience, head up to Makawao or into Paia.
5. Attend a Christmas Eve Church Service
When you arrive on Maui, pick up a copy of the Maui News as Christmas Eve approaches. They’ll have a comprehensive listing of church services across Maui. In the meantime, here are a few Christmas Eve services that caught my eye:
- The Kaanapali Beach Hotel has a tradition of hosting a non-denominational Christian service in their courtyard. This worship service will include both song and hula.This year’s Christmas Eve service will start at 9:30pm. For more information, call 808-661-0011.
- Hope Chapel in Kihei offers three Christmas Eve services at 4pm, 6pm and 8pm. The 8pm service will be the candlelight service. See this link for more information.
- In South Maui, Keawala’I Congregational Church in Makena will host a Christmas Eve Candlelight service at 6:30pm. See this link (scrolling down) for more information.
6. Catch a free Christmas show at Whaler’s Village
This shopping center located in the heart of Kaanapali is offering a number of free holiday performances including strolling carolers, a Holiday Cantata and more. See this calendar for more information.
7. See Santa Claus’s grand arrival
You’ll have at least two opportunities to speak to Santa on Christmas Eve as he takes a quick visit to Maui before heading back to the North Pole to load up his sleigh.
- At about 10am on Christmas Eve, Santa makes a pit stop at the Makena Beach & Golf Resort. Two years ago, he arrived by outrigger canoe. Last year he came by jet ski. You’ll have to go to see for yourself how Santa will arrive this year. Once Santa comes to shore, you’ll have the chance to meet him. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, see this link.
- At noon, Santa makes a grand appearance via outrigger canoe at Polo Beach in front of the Fairmont Kea Lani. Santa will be available for photos following his arrival.
8. Enjoy a Christmas feast
Many resorts across Maui will offer scrumptious multi-course dinners and/or buffets with menus specially designed for the holidays.
I hope you’ll have a wonderful Christmastime on Maui. While you’re there, make sure you know how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Hawaiian.