Top 20 things to do on Big Island for Nov. 30-Dec. 6: Holiday cheer on tap as well as other events including World of Magic, Red Dress Party, Fashion for a Cause and more

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If you’re looking to ring in the holiday season, the Big Island has a plethora of events right up your alley during the next week.

There’s the 63rd annual Waimea Twilight Christmas Parade, Kailua Village Artists Holiday Receptions, artists studio tours and more craft fairs, along with holiday music concerts, toy drives and more.

For those looking for something else, check out Street Eats on Ali‘i Drive in Kona, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” at the Aloha Theatre, a new exhibit opening at the East Hawai‘i Cultural Center in downtown Hilo, the Red Dress Party at MyBar Kona in honor or World AIDS Day, Fashion for a Cause to benefit the American Cancer Clarence T.C. Ching Hope Lodge Hawai‘i and the World of Magic show in Hilo.

Here are our top 20 things to do on the Big Island for the week of Nov. 30 through Dec. 6.

No. 1 — Kailua Village Artists Holiday Reception (Kailua-Kona, Dec. 1)

Image from Facebook

The longest-operating artists cooperative in Hawai‘i is kicking off its season of giving early this year, bringing together artists and other members of the community who aim to keep Kailua-Kona a great place to live for all.


The public is invited to join all 10 of the co-op’s member artists from 5 to 7 p.m. at Kona Village Artists Gallery, located at 75-5729 Ali‘i Drive, Suite C-110, for pupus, beverages, art, community, charitable giving, peace, friendship and aloha, all to benefit the Rotary Club of Kona Sunrise.

For more information, click here.

No. 2 — Foodie Fridays (Hilo, Dec. 1)

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Hosted on the first Friday of every month in the former Sears service parking lot at Prince Kūhiō Plaza, located at 111 Puainako St., this event from 5 to 8 p.m. features live entertainment, games, craft vendors and plenty of food.

This month’s event will include Aloha Ilio Rescue pups and dogs looking for holiday homes and the Hana Hou Volleyball Club and Hawai‘i Hurricane Baseball Team raising funds with games.


KBIG-FM also will be on-site collecting toys and gifts for Big Island keiki as part of its annual Christmas Toy Drive. Those who donate a gift will be entered to win $100 in free gas! Drop off new, unwrapped toys or gifts Friday or at any of the collection sites throughout Hilo. Gift cards also will be accepted.

Donations received will be distributed to several Big Island nonprofit organizations. Last year, with the help of the community, more than 2,000 toys and gifts were distributed.

The KBIG-FM toy drive runs through Dec. 15. For full details, click here.

No. 3 — 4th annual Holidays in Kahuku (Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Dec. 2)

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The public is invited to join the Friends of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park for this free event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the park’s Kahuku Unit, located near mile marker 70.5 on Highway 11 in Ocean View, featuring music by the Hot Potaytahs, The Kipapa Sisters and Jazz Gardeners as well as crafters selling jewelry, pottery, holiday decorations and more.


Food also will be available for purchase from The Hawaiian Civic Club and 4 Scoops of Aloha. There will be free shave ice minis and face painting and Santa will have gifts for the keiki. Logo merchandise from the park Friends group also will be on sale, with proceeds supporting park projects and educational programs.

For more information, call 808-985-7373 or click here.

No. 4 — “Journey Into The Holidays” (Kailua-Kona, Dec. 3)

Image from Facebook

The Kona Aloha Singers, a nonprofit four-part harmony adult contemporary/popular music community chorus, are getting into the holiday spirit with their 2023 winter concert at 4 p.m. at King Kamehameha Kona Beach Resort, located at 75-5660 Palani Road.

Songs by One Republic, Pink, Maroon 5, Rascal Flatts, The Beach Boys, Miley Cyrus and more will be featured by the chorus of 35 singers and 8 musicians, plus Brother Noland and Binti Bailey as soloists and comedian Justine Smith as emcee.

Advanced tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for keiki or $25 for adults and $7 for keiki at the door. Tickets are available for purchase online.

No. 5 — World of Magic (Hilo, Dec. 3)

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Hilo Elks Lodge 759 presents this free annual event from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the historic Palace Theater, located at 38 Haili St., showcasing the talents of magician Kaulana.

Born and raised on Oʻahu, Kaulana grew up knowing that he was different from everyone else. He discovered the art of magic when he was 8 years old and by the time he was 12, he was performing for audiences around the island. He since has toured around the world and earned the title of “The Most Unique Magician in Hawaiʻi.” Kaulana offers high-energy entertainment, leaving each audience with a magical experience they will never forget.

The audience will also get to meet the Big Island Elks occupational therapist Chrystalyn Naccarato and the master of ceremony will be by East Hawai‘i magician duo Bruce and Jennifer Meyers. Santa will even stop by to share some cheer (and presents).

Donations are welcome. For more information, call 808-796-3111.

No. 6 — Street Eats (Kailua-Kona, Dec. 2)

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Hana hou! Street Eats returns for its second installment from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Ali’i Drive, which will be closed to vehicle traffic for this festival of food offering a variety of cuisine options from food trucks, food vendors and restaurant pop-ups from around the Big Island.

There will be multiple ono lunchtime and early dinner options to satisfy the cravings of community residents and visitors alike.

Entertainment throughout the day also will be provided by Halau Halau Ka‘eaikahelelani under the direction of kumu hula Yuki Ka‘ea Lyons and Lily Kahelelani Lyons Dudoit, Darlene Ahuna and Grammy-nominated Natalie Ai Kamauu.

No. 7 — “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (Kealakekua, opening Dec. 1)

Image from Aloha Theatre website

Set against the backdrop of the Second World War, this story follows four young children who wander through an old wardrobe and find themselves in the strange, magical and unsettling new world of Narnia, where they soon discover that all is not well.

You’ll recognize all your favorites on stage from the mighty Aslan to the kindly Mr. and Mrs. Beaver and the flighty faun Mr. Tumnus. There’s no better way to celebrate the season than with this beloved story of hope, perseverance and courage.

This family-friendly show, adapted by Joseph Robinette, opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday and runs for three weekends at the Aloha Theatre, located at 79-7384 Hawaiʻi Belt Road, closing with a final performance at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 17.

Tickets, which are $27 for adults, $25 for seniors and $10 for keiki, can be purchased online.

No. 8 — Jingle Bell 5K Beer Run (Kohala, Dec. 2)

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Everyone’s invited to participate in this first event to benefit the Hawai‘i Island Health Center’s Healthy Mamas program, which provides one-on-one guidance, medical care, health education, baby supplies and in-person support for pregnant mothers in need around the Big Island.

There will be prizes for age group winners and beer division winners, jingle bells and T-shirts for all participants and beer on tap for participants 21 and older. Bring a new pack of any size diapers or wipes as a donation and receive a ticket for a prize drawing.

Registration is at 8 a.m. and the race begins at 10 a.m. from the Shops at Mauna Lani, located at 68-1330 Mauna Lani Drive, Suite 100. Participants are encouraged to wear festive attire and get their jingle on.

The cost to participate is $30 pre-registered or $40 the day of the race. You can pre-register online.

A Holiday Market will follow, featuring costume contests, bounce houses, face painting, shave ice, selfies with Santa and more.

No. 9 — Fashion for a Cause (Waikōloa, Dec. 1)

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The public is invited from 5 to 8 p.m. at Kings’ Shops, located at 250 Waikōloa Beach Drive, to help support the American Cancer Society Clarence T.C. Ching Hope Lodge Hawai‘i, which provides a home away from home on O‘ahu for cancer patients and their caregivers from throughout Hawai‘i when they travel for treatment.

The evening of style and purpose includes a fashion show featuring Tiffany & Co., Tori Richard, Michael Kors, NoaNoa, Travis Mathew, Mary Jane’s and Hualakai as well as delectable food tastings from A-Bay’s Island Grill, Foster’s Kitchen and Roy’s Waikōloa Bar and Grill and refreshing drinks from Ola Brew and 12th Hawai‘i Distiller. Live music by Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winning artist Blayne Asing and a silent auction also are part of the evening.

Tickets are $50. To purchase tickets, click here. For more information, contact Sarah Luchenbill at [email protected].

No. 10 — “A Classical Christmas” (Kailua-Kona, Dec. 3)

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The Chamber Orchestra of Kona returns after a 3-year COVID hiatus to entertain classical musical lovers with this holiday concert experience at 3:30 p.m. at Grace Community Church, located at 74-4889 Palani Road, featuring music by Bach, Mozart and Handel, selections from “The Nutcracker” by Tchaikovsky, classic carol “O Holy Night” and holiday favorites by Leroy Anderson.

Admission to the concert is free, but donations are always welcome. For more information, email to [email protected].

No. 11 — 63rd annual Waimea Twilight Christmas Parade (Waimea, Dec. 2)

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‘Tis the season to sparkle as Christmas magic fills the air. Feel the holly-jolly vibes and celebrate the holiday season with this long-standing Big Island tradition starting at 5:30 p.m. This year’s theme is “E Lauhoe Mai Na Wa’a” (“Everyone Paddle the Canoe Together) and parade grand marshal is Pete Hendricks.

Mark your calendars to enjoy holiday lights on a blissful winter night in Waimea! For more information and to view the new parade route, click here.

No. 12 — “Naoko Tosa’s New Media Art: Reconceptualizing Traditional Japanese Theater” (Hilo, Dec. 1-Jan. 26)

Scenes from a four-channel video titled “Noh: Izutsu” that is part of the new exhibition “Naoko Tosa’s New Media Art: Reconceptualizing Traditional Japanese Theater” at the East Hawai‘i Cultural Center in Hilo. (Courtesy image)

Ancient Japanese tradition and experimental video techniques combine in interactive art at the East Hawai‘i Cultural Center, located at 141 Kalākaua St., for a unique experience that awaits visitors with the center’s newest exhibition “Naoko Tosa’s New Media Art: Reconceptualizing Traditional Japanese Theater.”

The collaboration between cultural center and University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Humanities Division and Art Department includes works inspired by traditional Japanese visual and performing arts such as sansui (ink monochrome painting), rimpa (decorative painting of the 17th and 18th centuries), noh (classical theater of the imperial and samurai classes, typically refined and austere) and kabuki (a more emotive style of drama featuring extravagant costumes, props, and expressiveness).

An opening celebration will be at 6 p.m., accompanied by a variety of free events beginning at 5 p.m., including performances of taiko drumming and koto performance, a modern tea ceremony and modern ikebana. The exhibition will be on view through Jan. 26, 2024.

For more information, click here or call 808-961-5711.

No. 13 — Red Dress Party (Kailua-Kona, Dec. 1)

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Get that red dress on and come out to honor those lost and join the effort to reduce harm and fight the stigma of HIV/AIDS. Honor World AIDS Day with this event at 9 p.m. at MyBar Kona, located at 74-5606 Luhia St., by being visible and showing support with Kumukahi Health + Wellness.

Hosted by the talented and charming Sabel Scities with a champagne toast and special performances! Don’t miss this. Cover is $10, with proceeds benefitting Kumukahi.

No. 14 — Paradise Studio Tour 2023 (Hawaiian Paradise Park, Dec. 2-3)

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This year’s tour will feature 23 of the Hawaiian Paradise Park community’s wonderful artists in eight locations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Seven working studios and the HPP Community Center are included.

The 2023 Paradise Studio Tour will also again sponsor the Abled Hawai‘i Artist’s Annual Sale at Studio D.

Visit the tour website for information about the artists, studios and a printable map.

No. 15 — Winter Craft Fair (Kea‘au, Dec. 2)

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Still looking for that perfect gift for a loved one or friend? Come check out the 80 local craft vendors, small businesses, food vendors and food trucks throughout the grounds of the Puna Hongwanji Mission, located at 16-492 Old Volcano Road, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Puna Hongwanji Boutique will also be open so come find a treasure or more. Entry to the craft fair is free.

There will also be raffles, a silent auction and a vendor wreath contest. Entertainment will be provided throughout the day by Paradise Country Band, Daughters of God, Puna Taiko, Lynn & Lila, Kama Paulo-Galsote and Ho‘aikane, which will close out the event.

No. 16 — Youth Art Series 3rd annual Holiday Sale (Hilo, Dec. 1)

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Come down to the annex at East Hawai‘i Cultural Center, located at 141 Kalakaua St., from 5 to 8 p.m. to get your hands on handmade items made by local artists including Dena Nakahashi and from the East Hawai‘i Cultural Center Ceramics Studio, Hawaiʻi Handweaversʻ Hui, Jelly Cakes Hawaiʻi, N3rdy Hawaiʻi and the Waiākea High School Key Club and Waiākea Intermediate School Art Club.

There also will be a special free YAS² holiday-themed art activity for keiki.

For more information, call 808-961-5711.

No. 17 — Santa Photos (Waimea, Dec. 2, 9 and 16)

Image from Facebook

It’s never too early to prepare for Christmas cheer! Mark your calendars for a jolly good time with Santa Claus and experience the magic of Christmas as the Big Man makes his way to Parker Ranch Center, located at 67-1185 Māmalahoa Highway, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 9 and 16.

Santa’s here to listen to all your Christmas wishes, whether you’ve been naughty or nice.

Don’t forget to visit the giveaway table Saturday for free keiki prizes before strolling through the center to visit your favorite shops and eateries!

No. 18 — Gifts from Gays (Hilo, Dec. 1-2)

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It’s the most wonderful time of year and Hawai‘i Island LGBTQ+ Pride wants to make it even brighter for kids on the Big Island. The organization is once again hosting this toy and gift drive to benefit children and young adults of the East Hawai‘i Family Guidance Center, which provides behavioral health services to keiki ages 3 to 20 years old.

Stop by from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Prizma Hawai‘i LGBTQ+ Center at 120 Keawe St., Suite 202, or from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Hilo Town Tavern, located at 168 Keawe St., to drop off gifts or donate. Ideas for items include Legos, art supplies, bracelet kits, baseball equipment, dinosaurs, journals/pens, Pokémon cards, other toys and gift cards from Target, Walmart, Ross, T.J.Maxx and Regal Theaters.

Don’t have time to shop? Send e-gift cards to [email protected] or earmark a donation online.

No. 19 — Holiday Craft Faire and Rummage Sale (Kea‘au, Dec. 3)

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The Big Island is invited to this festive event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Malamalama Waldorf School, located at 15-1834 Maku‘u Drive, to indulge in delicious treats at the bake sale, explore unique crafts at the rummage sale and discover handmade treasures from local artisans participating in the craft fair.

The fun doesn’t stop there. There will be entertainment for the whole family, including crafts, live performances and more.

It’s a day of community, joy and holiday spirit. Admission is free, so bring your friends and family to join in the celebration.

No. 20 — 26th annual Hōlualoa Village Music & Lights Festival (Hōlualoa, Dec. 2)

Image from festival web page.

Hōlualoa Village rolls out the holiday red carpet, inviting visitors and residents to ring in the holidays Hawaiian style from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The community lights up the night with the annual lighting of the town Christmas tree, plus an appearance by Santa, lots of live music, gallery gatherings, art openings, food, drink and more.

Musical entertainment this year features John Keawe, the Kona ‘Ukulele Player’s Association, Dusty Best, Jeff Tree, The Mauka High Notes and many more special guests.

Gallery owners also will open their doors to kick off the holiday shopping season, while at the same time bringing the local community together for a night of socializing, mingling and fun. It’s a chance for attendees to catch up with old friends, make new friends, or put names to familiar faces.

For more information, click here.

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