The holiday season is on its way back to the islands. As with so many other things, The Gathering Place will be the epicenter of it all. Electric light parades, epic seasonal markets, historical commemorations, and more are all lined up to arrive on the shores of Oahu this holiday season.
So, without further ado, here are the most exciting events and festivals coming to Oahu in December 2023.
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2023 Events and Festivities
39th Annual Honolulu City Lights
Honolulu's City Lights is one of the most iconic holiday events in all of Hawaii. The visual marvel runs for almost the entire month of December, but if you’re in town early in the month, be sure to catch the opening ceremony on December 2nd, which includes a tree lighting ceremony and an electric light parade.
When: Starting December 2nd, 4 PM - 12 AM
Where: 530 King St, Honolulu (Chinatown)
More Info: Honolulu City Lights
82nd Commemoration - National Pearl Harbor Remembrance
December also marks the anniversary of one of the most significant historical events in Hawaii’s history - the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. For the 82nd time, Oahu will commemorate the event at the very site where it happened. Visitors, veterans, and survivors will all gather to retell the story and honor the legacy of this moment that forever changed the world.
When: Wednesday, December 7th
Where: 1 Arizona Memorial Pl, Honolulu (Pear Harbor National Memorial)
More Info: Pearl Harbor Events
Aloha Home Markets
The islands’ premier pop-up market takes place across several dates and in 2 locations on Oahu this December. Whether in Honolulu or Kailua, this is a unique way to support countless small local businesses while getting lost in a dazzling array of local goods - everything from furniture to jewelry to clothing to food. Best of all, admission is entirely free!
When: December 3rd, 9th, 10th, 17th; 9 AM - 2 PM
Where: 1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu; 340 Uluniu St, Kailua
More Info: Aloha Home Market
2023 Mele Kalikimaka Marketplace
This holiday gift fair is a one-stop shop for locally made goods and awesome holiday gifts for friends and family. The nearly all-day event has diverse live entertainment to keep spirits high.
When: December 16th, 10 AM - 8 PM; December 17th, 10 AM - 5 PM
Where: 777 Ward Ave, Honolulu (Neal Blaisdell Center)
More Info: Mele Kalikimaka Marketplace
December is also the month of the Honolulu Marathon. This has far and away been the largest marathon in Hawaii since its first instance in 1973, and in fact, it is among the largest marathons in the world, drawing runners (many of them first-timers) from all around the world. Roughly 25,000 runners finish the race every year!
When: Sunday, December 10th 10 AM
Where: 1201 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu (Ala Moana Beach Park)
More Info: Honolulu Marathon
We hope you find this a helpful guide to planning your December in Oahu. As always, mahalo, and best wishes for your visit!