As the last major city on Earth to celebrate the New Year, Honolulu, Hawaii is the best place to spend a New Year’s Eve. Every December 31, the city of Honolulu comes alive with festivities. If you are lucky enough to be in Hawaii during the holiday season, here are some suggestions for spending New Year’s Eve in Honolulu.
Dinner with Family
Events in Hawaii are unlike those in other major U.S. cities and Honolulu’s New Year’s Eve traditions are no exception. The classic, traditional way to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Honolulu is to spend it with your family. Drawing from the Japanese in the islands, many locals enjoy consuming mochi (sticky rice cakes) and osechi (special food made to celebrate the New Year). Extended family parties are common and it is not unusual for four generations of relatives to experience New Year’s Eve together.
Visitors who enjoy a more intimate celebration will find special menus at hundreds of Honolulu restaurants. Be sure to make reservations early as the most popular locations are booked several months in advance. Whether you prefer an upscale venue owned by a famous chef or a quick-serve joint with local grindz, spending time with friends and family is a great way to ring in the New Year in Honolulu.
A stroll down Waikiki Beach is an unforgettable way to experience New Year’s Eve. Every major Waikiki hotel hosts live music and events throughout night and there are a half-dozen different fireworks displays to enjoy. The boardwalk gets more crowded as the night progresses and by midnight there will be thousands of festive revelers anxious to celebrate with friends and strangers alike.
Bar-hopping down Kalakaua Ave is a fun way to spend the early evening, but as midnight approaches you will want to pick a good spot near the beach to view the fireworks shows. Waikiki will be extremely crowded, so arrive early to find parking and leave plenty of time to walk along the beach.
Aloha Tower Marketplace
Aloha Tower Marketplace sits on the makai (ocean-facing) side of Ala Moana Bouvelard giving patrons an unobstructed view of Honolulu Harbor and the ocean. Every New Year’s Eve, Aloha Tower Marketplace hosts the largest fireworks display in the state. While the most spectacular show is reserved for close to midnight, the market hosts live music and events throughout the evening.
Aloha Tower Marketplace usually hosts an extended 21+ party on December 31 in addition to the events conducted throughout the market. Young singles on vacation will enjoy the lounge atmosphere throughout the many bars while older visitors should gravitate toward the pier for a more relaxed view of the fireworks display.
With 70 degree weather and warm sunshine in December, Honolulu is a wonderful place to bring in the New Year. Whether you prefer a dinner with family, a walk along Waikiki Beach, or a party at Aloha Tower Marketplace, you will enjoy New Year’s Eve in Honolulu.