HVNP Offers Hawaiian Cultural & After Dark in the Park Events in December

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Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (HVNP) continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture, After Dark in the Park talks, and other programs throughout December. In addition, everyone is invited to lend a hand to save native rainforest through the park’s volunteer stewardship opportunities.

Many of the park’s guided hikes and programs like “Life on the Edge,” treks to Pu‘uloa petroglyphs, “How It All Started,” and more, continue at no charge. Check the park’s online calendar of events and look for program flyers posted after 9 a.m. on the bulletin board at Kīlauea Visitor Center.

The park is open 24 hours a day. On Dec. 25 (Christmas Day) and Dec. 31 (New Year’s Eve), Kīlauea Visitor Center will close early at 2 p.m. but the park will remain open. Park programs are free, but entrance fees apply. Some programs are co-sponsored by Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association. Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

All About Anchialine Pools. Dena Sedar of Hawai‘i State Parks will present the wonderful world of anchialine pools – enclosed water bodies or ponds with an underground connection to the ocean.

Anchialine pond .PC: Dena Sedar of Hawai‘i State Parks.


Hawai‘i is the only state in the U.S. where anchialine pools are found, and are home to endemic ‘ōpae‘ula, tiny red pond shrimp that help anchialine ecosystems thrive. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free (park entrance fees may apply).
When: Dec. 4 at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

A Walk into the Past with Dr. Thomas A. Jaggar. Walk back to 1912, and meet the founder of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Dr. Thomas A. Jaggar, at the edge of Kīlauea Volcano.

Actor Dick Hershberger as Dr. Thomas A. Jaggar. PC: HVNP

Dressed in period costume, Ka‘ū actor-director Dick Hershberger brings the renowned geologist to life. Dr. Jaggar will take you on a tour of his tiny lab located below the Volcano House to see original seismograph equipment and other early instruments. You’ll learn what motivated Dr. Jaggar to dedicate his life to the study of Hawaiian volcanoes, and how his work helps save lives today. Space is limited; pick up your free ticket at the Kīlauea Visitor Center’s front desk. Supported by the Kīlauea Drama Entertainment Network (KDEN). Free (park entrance fees apply).
When: Dec. 4, 11, & 18 at 10 a.m., noon & 2 p.m. Each performance is about an hour.
Where: Meet at the Kīlauea Visitor Center


Stewardship of Kīpukapuaulu. Help remove troublesome plants at Kīpukapuaulu, home to an astonishing diversity of native forest and understory plants.

Couple at Pu‘u Pua‘i Overlook The park will be open on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, but the Kīlauea Visitor Center will close at 2 p.m. both days. PC: NPS Photo/Janice Wei

Bring clippers or pruners, sturdy gloves, a hat, and water. Wear closed-toe shoes and clothing that you don’t mind getting permanently stained from morning glory sap. Be prepared for cool and wet or hot and sunny weather. New volunteer? Contact Marilyn Nicholson or for more information email [email protected].
When: Every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. (Dec. 6, 13, 20 & 27)
Where: Meet at the Kīpukapuaulu parking lot, Mauna Loa Road, off Highway 11 in the park.

Stewardship at the Summit. Volunteer to help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a World Heritage Site. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, raingear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. Under 18? Parental or guardian accompaniment or written consent is required. Visit the park website for additional planning details.
When: Dec. 7, 15 and 22. Meet at 8:45 a.m.
Where: Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center on any of the above dates.


He Inoa No Hi‘iakaikapoliopele. Many of us are familiar with Hi‘iakaikapoliopele and her role as Pele’s favorite younger sister. But who are the other Hi‘iaka, and what are their roles in the Pele ‘ohana? Why is it important that Pele hula end with the line, “He Inoa No Hi‘iakaikapoliopele?” Join us for a discussion with Ku‘ulei Kanahele of the Edith Kanaka‘ole Foundation on Hi‘iaka and her role in volcanism. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free (park entrance fees apply).
When: Dec. 11 at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Huewai Demonstration. Water-carrying gourds were used by most ancient civilizations. Hawaiians decorated their ipu (gourds) with elaborate designs. Join Momi Greene as she shares her knowledge of cultivating, carving and dyeing ipu using endemic, indigenous or Hawaiian-introduced plants. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free (park entrance fees apply).
When: Dec. 12 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

How to Make Haupia. One of the most popular desserts traditionally made in Hawai‘i is haupia.

Haupia dessert on ti leaf with red hibiscus. Courtesy photo.

Made from the pia root (arrowroot) and mixed with coconut milk or cream, then steamed, boiled or baked into a pudding, haupia is a popular and authentic cultural dessert. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free (park entrance fees apply).
When: Dec. 26 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

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