Honolulu has no shortage of fun activities to enjoy during the day, from surfing to hiking. While the sunshine can deliver a lot of fun memories and views of the island, the nighttime activities can be just as exciting. If you’re going to visit the “aloha” state and want to do more when the sun goes down, then the options below will not disappoint. They’re fun for everyone, whether you’re traveling with a crowd or are backpacking solo.
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Fireworks at The Hilton
Every Friday night the Hilton on Waikiki Beach hosts a fireworks show on the beach. Normally, this starts around 7:45 pm and lasts for 15 minutes, although this does vary based on day and season. It’s a great way to see fireworks up-close since you can sit on the beach and watch them over the water.
If you’re looking for a good time, you’re certain to find one in Honolulu. This is especially true if you enjoy singing and want to enjoy karaoke with other travelers and locals. There are many different spots you can go to for this evening activity, although many recommend the Warrior lounge that’s inside of the Hale Koa Hotel. In addition to a great sound system, they also have a beautiful dance floor, section for people who do not smoke, and a lot of fun talent that comes in throughout the week. This is a great spot to meet people and enjoy the fun-loving vibe that Hawaii is so well known for.
The Honolulu Zoo is a great place to visit during the day, although it can be busy with families and tourists. Fortunately, you can also visit this attraction at night and enjoy a nice break from the crowds. You can do this by joining the zoo’s twilight tour, which is hosted on Friday and Saturday nights. While you’re here, you’ll see how some animals get ready to go to sleep and how others, who are nocturnal, wake up for the day. The guides also provide you with information about the behavior of the animals and how the zoo helps protect them from endangerment.
If you’re traveling during the summer and don’t want to attend a tour, the zoo also hosts stargazing on Friday nights. This is a 2-hour event where you can look through telescopes and learn about astronomy. This program also includes refreshments and a craft, so you will be entertained from start to finish.
If you love swimming but the heat of the sun is too much during the day, then try it at night. One of the best spots to enjoy this activity is on Waikiki Beach where there is enough light from the spotlights of nearby hotels. This will allow you to safely swim along the beach and enjoy the nice weather without the heat of the sun.
A safe alternative to swimming in the open water is the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon. This is located on Hilton property but is open to the public and doesn’t draw large crowds. The water here can be a little bit chilly, but it’s a great place to splash in the water when evening temperature is still high.
Hiking at night in Honolulu is generally not recommended because trails are not lit. However, guided sunset hikes are excellent alternatives that will provide you with incredible views. To ensure you’re able to do this safely, it’s recommended to take part in a sunset hiking tour. These are generally done with small groups so you’ll still be able to enjoy the quiet as you take in the views of the sun going down around the island.
If you don’t want to go on a guided tour and plan on leaving before the sun completely sets, then the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail is one of the best. You can whale watch and enjoy seeing the sunset before you walk back down.
Go on a Moon Walk
The MoonWalk in Waimea Valley provides a moonlit view of a rushing waterfall and the lush greenery that Hawaii is so well known for. This walk begins at 8:30 pm and lasts until 10 pm, with an optional dinner starting a couple of hours before. Although there are no guides on this walk, there are instructors who will give you safety advice, tips, and guidelines before you begin. If you love nature, then you’ll appreciate the thousands of varieties of plants that live within the botanical gardens here. The cost for this is minimal, although it will increase if you plan on attending dinner beforehand.
You can’t go to Honolulu without taking part in a fun and lively luau. These are hosted throughout the area and generally include fire dancers, live music, authentic Hawaiian food, and hula dancing. You can book most of these ahead of time or find one last minute at most hotels in the area. Although the price of an evening luau can seem a little high (normally $100+ per person), it’s a good deal considering you get a buffet, live entertainment, and drinks along with an unforgettable experience. Since the items included will vary based on the luau host, it’s important to compare your options to find which is going to work best for you.
Blue Note Hawaii is one of the best spots in Waikiki to listen to live music from local bands. They also host international artists, so it’s a lively place that always attracts large crowds for a fun night out. You can check out their calendar ahead of time to see who is playing and decide which night you want to attend. However, it’s unlikely you’ll be disappointed with any of the bands that you see.
If you’re looking for another place to enjoy live music, then try Jazz Minds Honolulu. They host popular jazz bands throughout the month and have a calendar with booked acts readily available online. This spot also has excellent food and drinks, so you can easily spend a night here.
Evening cocktail cruises will give you an uninterrupted view of the coast of the island. Sometimes, this is even complemented with the sunset so you can see the beautiful colors in the sky as you sip on a few cocktails. Since there are many cruises offered in the area, it’s important to research your options to find which suits you the best. Some are more expensive but do include an open bar and food, which can save you money if you plan on having several drinks as you cruise.
If you want to make the experience extra special, then consider making an evening of it and having dinner as the sun goes down. This will give you views of the island before sundown and after, so you can see how the lights change throughout.
Visit the Aquarium
The Waikiki Aquarium hosts nighttime reef exploring on certain nights of the year. With this, you will go outside after dark and look for lobsters, octopuses, crabs, and octopuses in the water. It’s a great experience for adults and children alike and is fairly affordable at only $20/adult or $15/ child. The aquarium also hosts special evening activities throughout the year, so there may be options you can partake in while you’re visiting. They have a calendar on their website or you can call ahead of time to find out if they have nighttime activities while you’ll be there.
The ArtafterDark art party hosted by the Honolulu Museum of Art is a great way to see this attraction after hours. It’s hosted January through October and lasts until 9 pm. If you love art, then you’ll enjoy the over 50,000 works of art that are on display for visitors. Your admission also includes food and drink served throughout the evening, along with live entertainment and demonstrations. You can easily go to this night activity by yourself and have a good time, so it’s perfect for solo travelers.
Go to the Beach
For something affordable and easy to do if you’re traveling alone, a trip to the beach is the perfect evening activity. Bring a blanket and food and you’ll have all you need to enjoy a nice evening listening to the waves crash on the beach. If you’re looking for a little bit more excitement, then the Kuhio Beach Torchlighting and Hula Show is an excellent alternative. This is free and hosted on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm. As you attend, you’ll see men and women dressed in authentic Hawaiian gear dancing, blowing the conch shell, and playing live music.
What’s On Your List?
With so many evening activities in Honolulu, it’s recommended to plan what you want to do the most before you leave. This will ensure you’re able to book tickets or simply plan out your schedule so you can see it all and do it all. Even if you’ve traveled to this island in the past, you’ll have a new appreciation for it when you experience all it has to offer at night.
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