9 Fun Things to Experience on Maui This December

Here in the Hawaiian Islands, our holiday season gets started earlier than in many places on the mainland. When the Makali`i star cluster (also known as the Pleiades, or the Seven Sisters) reveals itself in the night sky – typically by early November each year – the period known as Makahiki begins. The appearance of Makali`i signals not only the arrival of the cooler temperatures and refreshing rains of winter, but a time of rejuvenation and celebration.

Hawaiians have traditionally marked Makahiki with festivities dedicated to Lono, the deity associated with agriculture, rain, fertility, music, and peace. Makahiki brings feasting, dancing, games, and other events – so it’s no wonder that it’s so easy to find so many fun activities on Maui this month.

five presents floating on a blue background

1. Lighting of the Banyan Tree in Lahaina

Every year in early December, we get to see the dramatic lighting of the banyan tree in Lahaina. The opening ceremony includes a visit from Santa, live music, face painting, cookie decorating, and a holiday-themed arts and crafts fair. Through the end of the month, the tree’s 6,500 lights are illuminated each night from 5:45 p.m. until midnight.

2. A Christmas Carol in Kihei

This year from December 9 through December 18, Maui residents and visitors have an opportunity to enjoy the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, at ProArts Playhouse in Kihei. The play runs Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7 p.m., as well as Sundays at 2 p.m. Before each show, Maui musicians lead the audience in holiday caroling.

3. Santa at Ka`anapali Beach

Santa arrives at Ka`anapali Beach in front of Whaler’s Village this December 18. Once he hops out of his catamaran and hits land, he’s available for photos with keiki of all ages.

4. Festivus 5K Run & Keiki Dash

Also on December 18 this year: the Festivus 5K Run & Keiki Dash! The events begin at Kanaha Beach Park in Kahului. The half-mile keiki dash is for kids eight and under, and the Valley Isle Road Runners will collect donations for the Maui Food Bank.

5. Willie Nelson & Friends at Maui Arts & Cultural Center

Longtime Maui residents Willie Nelson & Family have a show scheduled at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center on December 23 this year – that’s big news around here! The evening will include appearances by Willie, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, and Particle Kid (Micah Nelson).

6. Hui Holidays in Makawao

For those who haven’t already visited the Hui No`eau in Makawao, the holiday season is the perfect time to do so. Through December 24, the visual arts center hosts Hui Holidays, an expanded shopping experience with handmade gifts from more than 70 local artists. From jewelry to ceramics, and from textiles to bath products, shoppers can find something for everyone on their list here!

7. Santa in Kahului

Also through December 24, Santa will be in residence at the Queen Ka`ahumanu Center in Kahului. Keiki can visit with Santa for free, and photo packages are available for parents to purchase.

8. Bill Maher at Maui Arts & Cultural Center

On December 30, Bill Maher will headline a comedy show at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. This will be the 11th annual appearance on the Valley Isle for the Emmy-winning host of HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher.” This year’s show will also include fellow comedians Jeff Ross and Wendy Liebman.

9. Whale Season

And last but not least, did I mention that December 15 is the official start of whale season here on Maui? Makahiki brings so much to celebrate and enjoy!

Want to Know More?

Please don’t hesitate to contact me today if you’re interested in learning more about life on Maui or Maui real estate.

Leslie Mackenzie Smith, REALTOR(S), RS-42147

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