Top 10 things to do on Big Island for March 14-20: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, enroll your keiki in a Spring Break program, explore the moon and more

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Put on your best green garb, grab a 4-leaf clover and get some luck of the Irish during the St. Patrick’s Day Party at Island Hopper Taproom this weekend at the Shops at Mauna Lani on the Koahala Coast.

Next week is also Spring Break, and there are programs available to keep your keiki learning while they’re out of school, including a culinary program hosted by La‘i‘ōpua 2020 and two theater-related camps at Aloha Theatre in Kealakekua.

Check out ʻImiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo for an interactive science and cultural experience showcasing the moon. Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi’s Kula Kiʻekiʻe Hōʻike is featuring the reprise of the rock opera “Kū I Ka Mana.”

There’s once again something for everybody to enjoy during the next week around the island.

Here are our top 10 things to do on the Big Island for March 14-20.

No. 1 — St. Patrick’s Day Party (Kohala Coast, March 16)

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Celebrate all things Irish from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Island Hopper Taproom at the Shops at Mauna Lani, located at 68-1330 Mauna Lani Drive. Enjoy family-friendly festivities including food, games, an Irish dance performance and of course pints a-flowing of your favorite Irish beers.

There also will be an artisan vendor market and fundraiser car show for the amazing local nonprofit For Children to Flourish.

Bring your friends and don’t forget to show your green! For more information, check out the event’s Facebook page or click here.

No. 2 — Spring Break youth camps (Kealakekua, March 18-22)

Spring Break means playtime at Aloha Theatre! The theater, located at 79-7384 Hawaiʻi Belt Road, is offering two youth camps.


Spring Break Into Shakespeare is for keiki ages 8-18 and runs 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students will be introduced to Elizabethan English, explore well-known titles of the Shakespeare canon and get a brief and brave look into the beauty of the Bard! The week ends with a student showcase Friday afternoon. Tuition is $350 for the week. Register online.

Spring Teens Behind the Scenes is for youth ages 13-18 and runs from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Participants will learn how to build the backbone of any good show and support the performers of the above camp to put on a powerful presentation. Tuition is $100 for the week. To register, click here.

No. 3 — “Kaulana Mahina: Look Up, Look Down, Look All Around!” (Hilo, through June 9)

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ʻImiloa Astronomy Center, located at 600 ʻImiloa Place, is hosting this special traveling exhibit that engages learners of all ages to explore the mahina (moon), connect with Hawaiian practices and learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Created by the Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture, the exhibit is an interactive science and cultural experience showcasing the moon, its relationship to environmental practices such as fishing and planting and scientific observation through Hawaiian culture.


Admission is included in ʻImiloa’s regular admission fee. Members get free general admission. Click here to see prices for non-members.

No. 4 — “Kū I Ka Mana” (Keaʻau, March 14-15)

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This year’s Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi’s Kula Kiʻekiʻe Hōʻike will feature the reprise of this rock opera at 6 p.m. both days in the Koaiʻa Gymnasium on the school campus located at 16-714 Volcano Road. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

The show dramatizes, in music and dance, the political intrigue behind and leading up to the events of the election of 1874 after the death of King William Charles Lunalilo left the Kingdom of Hawai‘i without an appointed successor to the throne. In the running are the charismatic David Kalākaua and beloved by the people, Queen Emma Rooke. This year marks the 150th anniversary of that pivotal event in Hawaiʻi history.

Tickets are just $8. For more information, including how to purchase tickets, click here. Funds raised from these performances support enrichment opportunities for the school’s Hōʻike a Haʻi performing arts club.

No. 5 — Youth Culinary Program (Kealakehe, March 18-22)

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Kona youth ages 13 to 17 are invited to join an enriching culinary program during Spring Break at Laʻiʻōpua 2020, located at No. 74 at 74-5210 Keanalehu Drive, geared toward learning lifetime kitchen skills. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day, the program offers comprehensive instruction in basic cooking and food preparation skills.

The program aims to empower students with essential culinary skills, enabling them to actively contribute to household meal planning and cooking. The week concludes with a ho‘ike for families at 2 p.m. March 22.

Participation in the program is free, however, a refundable $150 deposit is required. To be eligible for a refund, students must attend each day of the program. Space is limited. To apply, click here. For more information, call La‘i‘ōpua 2020 at 808-327-1221.

No. 6 — Babies, Books and Blankets (Kailua-Kona, March 20)

Image from Big Island Events calendar submission

Bring your babies and a comfortable blanket to sit on and join Kau‘i the Kids’ Librarian for a lapsit for keiki 2 years old and younger from 10 to 10:30 a.m. at the Kailua-Kona Public Library, located at 75-138 Hualālai Road.

Together, you will review books, action rhymes, songs and incorporate playtime to encourage family bonding and help build early literacy skills for the littlest library users.

For more information, click here.

No. 7 — Understanding Rat Lungworm Disease (Hawaiian Paradise Park, March 16)

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The Big Island Invasive Species Committee’s 3rd Saturday Education Series returns this month from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Paradise Park Community Center, located at 15-1946 17th Ave.

This month’s session is all about rat lungworm disease. Learn more about the life cycle and biology of the parasite that causes the disease and measures you can take to reduce the risk to you and your ‘ohana.

For more information, call the committee at 808-933-3340.

No. 8 — Brown skin, white minds: Colonial mentality and mental health among historically oppressed communities (Hilo, March 14)

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The Abot Kamay na Pangarap Project and Samahang Filipino Club of Hawai’i Community College are excited to welcome renowned Filipino-American psychologist and scholar E.J.R. David.

Centering on the experiences of Filipino-Americans and other historically oppressed peoples, David will talk about the mental health implications of colonial mentality or internalized oppression and how this insidious phenomenon can exist and operate outside of our awareness, intention or control.

The lecture will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in UCB 127 at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, located at 200 W. Kawili St. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jeanne Batallones at [email protected] or Celia Bardwell-Jones at [email protected].

No. 9 — Women of NASA: Pioneers in Mars Exploration and Beyond (Kailua-Kona, March 16)

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Who are among the most prominent NASA women in humankind’s endeavors to explore Mars? Should future Mars missions have all-female crews?

Presenter David Lehman from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab will answer these questions and discuss more about the Mars Exploration Program, the Mars Sample Return Program and the ARTEMIS program, with a goal to send the first astronauts to Mars.

The event is from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Kailua-Kona Public Library, located at 75-138 Hualālai Road. Young children must be accompanied by a parent or adult caregiver. Click here for more information.

No. 10 — Evening of Wine & Cheese Tasting (Hilo, March 16)

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Courtney Hurt of Hilo Bottle Shop will provide wines and there will be various cheeses and pupus to accompany your tasting experience during this special event from 5 to 8 p.m. hosted by the Hilo Woman’s Club at its clubhouse, located at 7 Lele St.

Atypical Band will provide musical entertainment. To top off the night, there will also be a silent auction featuring various items gifted from local businesses. This adult-only event is one of the club’s most popular events of the year and is open to the public.

There is a suggested donation of $40 per ticket. All proceeds and donations will support the Hilo Woman’s Club Scholarship and Community Project Fund. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the clubhouse at 808-935-9838.

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