Top 20 things to do on Big Island for Nov. 9-15: Veterans Day at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Honoka‘a Renaissance Faire, Japanese liqueur tasting and much more

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If you’re looking for something to do on the Big Island during the next week, there’s once again no lack of events, live music and other activities that will keep you occupied.

Veterans Day is Nov. 11. Take your veteran loved one on a trip to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park for free that day.

There’s also an aerial burlesque show in Hilo featuring 11 high-flying acts to a mature audience with a ton of self-expression. You can catch award-winning blues guitarist Lighting Larry Dupio live and don’t forget about the second annual Honoka‘a Renaissance Faire, which is sure to be another medieval hit. There’s even a Japanese liqueur-tasting event at KTA Puainako in Hilo if you want to taste a few spirits from overseas.

Check out those items and so much more in our top 20 things to do on the Big Island for the week of Nov. 9-15.

No. 1 — Veterans Day Fee-Free Day (Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Nov. 11)

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Entrance fees are waived for everyone at all fee-charging national parks, including Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, to honor those who served the nation. In addition, eligible veterans and families are encouraged to pick up a Veterans and Gold Star Family Interagency Lifetime Pass.


The pass provides free lifetime access to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas. Veterans with valid identification and Gold Star families with a printed voucher can get their passes online or in person at the park entrance station.

No. 2 — Aquatica: An Aerial Burlesque Experience (Hilo, Nov. 10)

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For one night only, this ocean-themed aerial burlesque cabaret lights up the stage at the historic Palace Theater, located at 38 Haili St., with 11 high-flying acts, including aerial hoop, fabric, rope, cube and maybe even a mermaid or two. The show features sensual self-expression and is appropriate for those ages 18 and older.

Doors and concessions open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 general admission or $45 for VIP priority orchestra seating.

VIP tickets also include an Aerial Arts Hawai‘i T-shirt, sticker and discount to aerial classes at the Airhouse. Tickets are $5 more the day of the show. For more information or to purchase your tickets in advance, click here.


No. 3 — Choya Japanese Liqueur Tasting (Hilo, Nov. 10)

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Get a taste of spirits from another land from 3 to 6 p.m. at KTA Puainako, located at 50 E. Puainako St., during a special tasting event

Choya specializes in the production and sales of umeshu plum liqueur. The tasting event will feature Choya Yuzu, Umeshu Golden Ume Fruit and Umeshu Uji Green Tea Japanese Liqueur.

Participants must be 21 or older to sample the liqueur. For more information, call KTA Puainako at 808-959-9111.

No. 4 — Greg Shirley’s Big Swing live (Kawaihae, Nov. 11)

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Come out from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Blue Dragon Tavern, located at 61-3616 Kawaihae Road, for a snappy, upbeat, swinging groove from the very first beat. Featuring a three-piece horn section and a full rhythm section, this band covers songs from the Big Bad Voodoo Daddies, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Brian Setzer Orchestra and more.

You can boogie in your seat or give your dance shoes a workout while enjoying a swingin’ evening of great music.

Doors at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance; $15 at the door. Children 12 and younger are free. Click here to purchase tickets in advance.

No. 5 — Nani O Kahuku: A One-Woman Living History Play (Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Nov. 14)

A fence along the Palm Trail in the Kahuku Unit of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is part of relics left over from ranching operations. (National Park Service photo)

Relive a day on historic Kahuku Ranch through this performance adapted by Jackie Pualani-Johnson directly from the diary of Hannah “Nani” Piʻilani Jones. Nani, portrayed by actress Alya-Joy Kanehailua, was the 11th and second-to-youngest child of George W.C. Jones, who owned Kahuku Ranch from 1871-87.

The show starts at 7 p.m. in the Kīlauea Visitor Center auditorium and is part of the ongoing After Dark in the Park series. It is free to attend, but park entrance fees apply.

No. 6 — Mahani Teave North American Debut Recital Tour (Hilo, Nov. 8)

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Teaves is an award-winning pianist, cultural ambassador and pioneering artist who bridges the creative world with education and environmental activism. She also is the only classical musician from her native Easter Island. BBC Music Magazine noted her “natural pianism” and “magnificent artistry,” and her debut album “Rapa Nui Odyssey” has topped the Billboard charts twice.

Starting at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Performing Arts Center, located at 200 W. Kawili St., Teaves will perform music by Bach, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff and from her native land.

Tickets are available at Most Irresistible Shop, Basically Books and the UH-Hilo box office. Prices are $25 general admission, $20 for seniors 60 and older and $10 for students.

No. 7 — Knead a Friend workshop with Blaize Morningstar (Hilo, Nov. 11)

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This transformative experience from 4 to 7 p.m. at Hot Yoga Hilo, located at 336 Kamehameha Ave., will teach simple and effective techniques to provide tension-relieving massages to loved ones in the comfort of your own home, without the need for any special equipment.

Prepare to embark on a journey of relaxation, connection and wellness. Get ready to unlock the power of touch in a warm and nurturing environment.

Click here to reserve your spot today. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to enhance your well-being and share the gift of massage with those you care about.

No. 8 — “Dreams of the Heart”: Kristian Lei live in concert (Hilo, Nov. 11)

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Lei is a Hawai‘i recording artist and international music star, from Broadway musicals “Miss Saigon,” “The King and I,” Disney’s “Festival of the Lion King,” “Once on this Island” and more.

This show at the Palace Theater, located at 38 Haili St., includes a special Veterans Day Tribute with special guest Mel Ona.

Doors and concessions open at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 general admission or $65 for VIP. There is a 10% discount for veterans, seniors 55 and older and students and children 12 and younger. Tickets are $5 more the day of the show.

Click here to purchase tickets in advance or for more information.

No. 9 — West Coast Night (Kailua-Kona, Nov. 11)

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The Big Island Social Dance Club, located in Suite A-1 at 74-5583 Luhia St., all the way in the back and at the top, is hosting a night of West Coast swing from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. that is sure to get everybody on their feet and dancing.

During the evening, Warren D’Aquin will work his magic to entertain and educate West Coasters about all levels with some sweet tips and tricks to help elevate your WCS dancing experience.

Cost is $15 at the door. For more information, click here.

No. 10 — Second annual Honoka‘a Renaissance Faire (Honoka‘a, Nov. 11)

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Hear ye, hear ye! Honoka‘a is going medieval again for the second year and everyone is invited to don their best Renaissance and fantasy garb — or come as the lords and ladies you already are — for a fun-filled day of food, drink, live music, performances, handmade wares, activities for all ages and more.

You can test your mettle in the Valhalla Arena, with engaging physical activities throughout the day; visit various villages throughout town to discover unique and magical gifts; follow your nose to the Kaukau Caravan food truck alley for a smorgasbord of flavors from around the Big Island; and much more. Keiki can join in the fun too by listening to a storyteller under a tree, finding an animal to hold, painting their own sword and shield, playing fun games or going wild in a bouncy castle.

The festival is slated for 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Honoka‘a County Park, located at 45-541 Akia St., and throughout town. Admission is free. Maps and schedules will be available by scanning QR code flyers around town to plan your day.

For more information or if you have questions, email to [email protected].

No. 11 — Kaʻūmana Sunrise live (Pāpaʻaloa, Nov. 9)

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It’s Thirsty Thursday at Pāpaʻaloa Country Store & Cafe, located at 35-2032 Old Māmalahoa Highway, and there’s no better way to quench your thirst than with some good tunes and drink specials from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Kaʻūmana Sunrise loves playing all of your chang-a-lang upbeat acoustic local favorites. So come out to the country store and enjoy some live music.

For more about the store and its events, call 808-339-7614.

No. 12 — AfterHours Chamber Networking Event (Waimea, Nov. 15)

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Enjoy an evening of networking, delicious pupus and refreshing drinks with your friends from the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce and the Big Island community from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Parker Ranch Center, located at 67-1185 Māmalahoa Highway.

The event will be hosted by Hawaiian Airlines and the Parker Ranch Center, with a business card raffle that includes lots of chances to win Hawaiian Airlines miles and Parker Ranch Center tenant gift cards.

Cost to attend is $20 for chamber members and first-time attendees or $40 general admission. Register online.

No. 13 — Liv-a-Little Drag Bingo for Get Ready Hawai‘i (Kailua-Kona, Nov. 12)

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Get ready for an awesome afternoon Sunday Funday beginning at 4 p.m., with amazing performances, epic prizes and lots of good laughs. Each month, MyBar Kona, located at 74-5606 Luhia St., and Liv Lively partner to raise funds for a different Big Island nonprofit. Get Ready Hawai‘i’s annual Dear Santa Christmas gift project is this month’s featured program.

Tickets are $10 and include your first Bingo card; additional cards will be available from Get Ready Hawai‘i for a $5 donation.

Doors open at 3 p.m. For more information about the Dear Santa project, click here. Purchase tickets in advance online.

No. 14 — Jazz in the Forest: A Potpourri of Jazz (Volcano, Nov. 11)

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From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., the Jazztones will take you on an enjoyable ride of America’s greatest music from the past 100 years, featuring classics from Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis and more.

Come up to the Volcano Art Center, located at 19-4074 Old Volcano Road, for another memorable musical evening with this potpourri of jazz.

Tickets are $25 for Volcano Art Center members or $30 for non-members. There also will be pupus, beer and wine available for purchase. Get your tickets today online or at administration office.

No. 15 — Creative Outlet: DIY Screen Printing (Holualoa, Nov. 15)

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This is screen printing made simple! Explore a new skill by designing and printing your own artwork on your favorite shirt, tea towel or fabric of choice from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Donkey Mill Art Center, located at 78-6670 Māmalahoa Highway.

The class, hosted by Donkey Mill Art Center Program and Marketing Manager Cynthia Smith, will cover all the basic steps of design, color selection and the process of transferring your artwork through the screen. All levels are welcome to come, design, print and walk away with wearable art.

Registration closes at midnight Nov. 10. For more information or to register, click here.

No. 16 — Live music by Tom Holland of Nervous Jenny and Island Open Mic (Waimea, Nov. 9)

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Vocalist and guitarist Tom Holland of Nervous Jenny will be playing the band’s tunes solo and bringing them upcountry on the Big Island from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Big Island Brewhaus, located at 64-1066 Hawai‘i Belt Road.

Nervous Jenny is an indie rock band influenced by the British blues Invasion to modern and Americana rock. Their songs are lean and strong, with stories and characters and big guitar hooks.

Holland will also open up the mic to local musicians for some great musical fun. For more information, call Big Island Brewhaus at 808-887-1717.

No. 17 — Tavana live (Kawaihae, Nov. 9)

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Tavana is a multi-instrumentalist from Honolulu, who uses his feet to lay down a variety of grooves while simultaneously playing guitar, banjo, lap steel or ukulele and singing soulful, island-inspired rock and blues. He has performed with such legendary musicians as Henry Kapono, John Cruz, Willie K, The Doobie Brothers, Lily Meola and Leon Mobley.

Don’t miss this performance from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Blue Dragon Tavern, located at 61-3616 Kawaihae Road.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door; children 12 and younger are free. Click here to purchase tickets.

No. 18 — The Green live (Kailua-Kona, Nov. 10)

Screenshot of image from Ticket Tailor website

Kona town will come to life from 5 to 11 p.m. at Umeke’s Fish Market Bar & Grill, located at 74-5599 Pawai Place, with the reggae stylings of this O‘ahu-based band. Also in concert that night will be Kolea, Hoaikane and Hammah House Band.

This is an all-ages event. Food vendors will be on site. There also will be two bars for the 21-and-older crowd.

Tickets, which start at $49, can be purchased online.

No. 19 — Lightning Larry Dupio live (Kawaihae, Nov. 10)

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Inspired by blues masters including Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Albert King, Roy Buchanan and Jimi Hendrix, award-winning blues guitarist Dupio is a two-time Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winner. He has played alongside giants in the industry such as Charlie Musselwhite, Davy Jones, Johnny Lang, Ziggy Marley, Mick Fleetwood, Willie K and many others.

Don’t miss this chance to see Dupio perform from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Blue Dragon Tavern, located at 61-3616 Kawaihae Road.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance or $13 at the door; children 12 and younger are free. Purchase tickets in advance online

No. 20 — The Sounds of Niaulani Musical Forest Tour (Volcano, Nov. 12)

Image from Volcano Art Center website

Learn about distinctive native Hawaiian plants and the environment from 10 to 11:15 a.m. at the Volcano Art Center, located at 19-4074 Old Volcano Road. Song and story by Dina Kageler will be featured during this playful and educational event touring a Hawaiian rainforest.

Adults and children of all ages are welcome; children younger than 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Free to attend.

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