Best places to find free entertainment and cultural activities in Hawaii

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Getting to and staying in Hawaii can leave a dent in your wallet, but once you’re there, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy local culture. As we’ve visited Hawaii over the past decade, we’ve been pleasantly surprised at the quality and availability of free entertainment. We’ve enjoyed everything from free music performances from award-winning musical artists to free hula shows.

Many shopping centers, restaurants and hotels across Hawaii offer free entertainment. What’s in it for them? They hope you might shop or dine with them.

How do you find free entertainment on your Hawaii vacation? A great starting point is to check the website of your hotel for an events calendar. In addition to free entertainment, you might also discover free or inexpensive cultural activities such as ukulele lessons, lei making and hula lessons.

On top of what your accommodation offers, we recommend the following venues that have offered quality entertainment in our opinion.

Oahu

– Waikiki Beach Walk offers a nice variety of free entertainment, Hawaiian cultural activites and fitness classes. You can check their website for the upcoming events, but make sure you also take a look at their facebook page where they usually share a more detailed listing.

– Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki offers complimentary culture programs and free entertainment.

– See the free hula show at Kuhio Beach Park in Waikiki that’s presented on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

– Enjoy free music and usually hula at the House Without A Key in Waikiki Beach, which is one of our favorite places for a sunset drink in Waikiki.

– The Koko pub location for Kona Brewing Company in Hawaii Kai hosts Grammy-winning Ledward Kaapana playing the slack key guitar on most Sunday nights. It’s a bit of a drive from most Oahu hotels, but hearing Mr Kaapana play and the nachos topped with Kalua pork make the drive worth it. Call 808-396-5662 for more information on Mr. Kaapana’s performance schedule.

Maui

– Whalers Village in the heart of  Kaanapali offers a free cultural class and/or hula show just about every day of the week. See this link for more information and their calendar of events.

– In South Maui, check out the Wailea on Wednesday events at the Shops at Wailea.

Kauai

– Poipu Shopping Village on the South Shore offers a free hula show on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

Hawaii, the Big Island

– The Shops at Mauna Lani offer free Polynesian show including fireknife dancing two nights per week in addition to cultural classes and other entertainment.

– The two shopping centers — Queens’ MarketPlace and  Kings’ Shops — at Waikoloa Beach Resort offer free entertainment and classes

Please note that schedules are subject to change. In each case, I’ve provided links that you can follow for finding more information along with contact details to reach the venues.

For more ideas for stretching your Hawaii vacation activities budget, see Saving Money on Hawaii Vacation Activities.

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+.

8 comments

  1. Never been to Hawaii, but have always considered it too expensive.
    These are great ideas for free entertainment.

    Thanks!

  2. I’m in love with Oahu, such a paradise place. Hope to make it there one day 🙂 Would be my dream come true x

  3. This is such an informative post. We’ve included it in our biweekly web wrap

  4. I’ve spent a lot of time on the Big Island and you are totally right, in the middle of the outdoor shops in Mauna Lani and in Waikoloa Village there is a wide variety of entertainment. On any given day/night you will find Hawaiian dancers of all ages, fire shows, singers, ukelele players, as well as movie nights which are great for the kids. Both places are an awesome source for free entertainment.

  5. Mahalo for the Kauai tip. The husband and I will be going in September and we love finding free stuff to do.

  6. While I am always a but dubious when I hear of “cultural” attractions, the ones you have listed seem like they are pretty legit. My husband has been obsessed with Kona since I bought him a sampler 6 pack last Christmas, so I know where he will be going. Great list!

  7. It’s been a while since I’ve been to Hawaii, but reading this brings back some really great memories and makes me want to get back there soon!

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