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Welcome to Dream Vacations, a lifestyle column on travelling to amazing destinations with practical advice and my revelations about locales from years of personal experience. Tired of freezing your knackers off at the annual ball drop or outdoor party for New Year’s Eve? Or simply just want to get away from your home for a different style of New Year’s Eve celebration? Consider Hawaii’s beauty!  

A Hawaiian New Year’s Celebration

New Year’s celebrations throughout the islands are similar to mainland US celebrations with a few exciting twists.

As the beauty of the Ocean beckons one and all, many of the celebrations focus on the water with beach gatherings, firework displays, Japanese-inspired Fukubukuro lucky bags and cruises that witness nature’s beauty at the stroke of midnight in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou! On Kauai

The scenic island may not feature the most extensive displays for New Year’s Eve, but spending your evening at Poipu Beach Park is an excellent option for families. Lively beach gathering includes live music, food trucks, fireworks, Keiki activities and even a movie.

Just be sure to wish your Hawaiian friends an island salutation with “Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!” the equivalent of Happy New Year’s.

The Big Island Celebration

Hawaii’s Big Island celebrations are quite legendary with each of the major resorts providing New Year’s Eve galas that regale, entertain and keep guests in thrall for the entire evening. Many of them offer tickets for sale without having to be a guest. Be sure to book NOW, as time is running out for these events. Notable Resort galas and events include Hilton’s Hawaii Village, Grand Naniloa Resort, Gertrude’s Jazz Bar Roaring 20’s New Year’s Eve Party.

Make it Maui

Looking for the option of both the sizzle and the sazzle (a little less sizzle for a quieter experience)? Maui offers the sizzle of big celebrations from the resorts and beaches near Wailea with one of the Island’s grandest fireworks displays. You can view the fireworks from the Wailea beach, but it might be wise to book a special beach Luau if you are not staying at the Grand Wailea or even book a restaurant in Wailea and then walk the Shops at Wailea before staying for the fireworks.

If you are staying in Lahaina, you can enjoy a quieter New Year’s Eve by watching local fireworks or by booking a New Year’s Eve dinner cruise. The Pacific Whale Foundation’s cruise allows children and is the most well-regarded tour and cruise company in Maui, but there are others with adult-only options as well. These cruises typically head down to Wailea to witness the major fireworks displays from the ocean, providing a real treat.

Whether you finally want to experience a warm New Year’s Eve countdown or simply relax and get away from the holiday congestion back home, Hawaii offers the best of both worlds.


*NOTE: I want to clarify, that none of the business operators included in my posts are affiliated with Dream Vacations in any way. I highlight those businesses that I have generally heard good things about, had good experiences directly with, or are generally known to have good industry reputations. Of course, your experience may differ.


Tags: Hawaiian Christmas, Maui, Hawaii, family vacation, Christmas vacation