With only two seasons: summer and winter (called kau and ho‘oilo in Hawaiian), Hawai‘i residents enjoy some of the best, most consistent weather of any of the 50 states. Average temperatures range from 78 to 85º Fahrenheit. But even our beautiful island home experiences some rainy days. We are happy to report that even in rainy weather, O‘ahu offers plenty of appealing indoor diversions. We wanted to share our short list of favorite rainy day activities that are entirely unique to O‘ahu–experiences that you won’t find anywhere else!
Take In a Live Performance
What better way to avoid a downpour than to duck into a theatre to while away the afternoon in warm, dry comfort? While there are plenty of movie houses around town, at the Hawai‘i Theatre Center you can catch a live play or musical performance instead. The City and County of Honolulu’s premier concert venue, the Neal S. Blaisdell Center boasts an enviable calendar of exhibitions, concerts, comedians, speakers and sporting events. Its concert hall is also home to the Honolulu Symphony and Hawai‘i Opera Theatre. The Waikiki Shell is an outdoor concert venue located in Kapiolani Park. To read more about these venues, check out our recent post about Honolulu’s best performance venues.
Visit Honolulu’s Cultural & Historical Landmarks
When the weather isn’t cooperating with your outdoor plans, spend a day exploring Hawaiæi’s rich cultural history. The Queen Emma Summer Palace, or Hānaiakamalama, is a wonderful place to deepen your knowledge of Hawaiian history, culture and tradition. It is conveniently located in Nu’uanu. You’ll find it’s just a quick stop off the off the bottom Pali Highway in Honolulu, as you’re headed to Kailua, just across from the O‘ahu Country Club. Or pay a visit to ‘Iolani Palace, the former home to Hawaiian royalty until the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893. Located in the heart of downtown Honolulu, the palace offers guided and self-guided tours, exploring the history of the Native Hawaiian people. Fun fact: the palace had electricity before the White House did. For more info, check out our recent post about Honolulu’s royal palaces.
Browse Haleiwa’s Many Art Galleries
Historic Haleiwa town, on the North Shore of O‘ahu, is home to a cluster of wonderful art galleries displaying and selling a variety of ocean- and surf-themed creations. You’re sure to find something to suit your tastes and budget. Poking around Haleiwa’s shops and galleries is a great way to pass an entire morning or afternoon. Take in the breathtaking big wave photography at Clark Little’s gallery, or admire the more whimsical creations at the Polu Gallery next door. Famous marine artist Wyland has an outpost on the North Shore, too. You’ll find an eclectic selection of photography, sculpture, paintings and more at Wyland Galleries. Stop for lunch at one of our favorite lunch spots and continue on to the nearby Tabora Gallery. For more info about the North Shore’s rainy day (or any day) art shops, check out our post Haleiwa Art Gallery Gems You Won’t Want to Miss.
Enjoy Honolulu’s Rich Arts Scene
All this lush, verdant scenery and spectacular ocean access inspires O‘ahu residents to make and appreciate art. Honolulu has a thriving arts scene that offers tourists and locals lots of dry land alternatives to the beach on rainy days. From the Honolulu Museum of Art to Doris Duke’s stunning Islamic Art collection at Shangri La, Honolulu has it all. Outside of their daily exhibiting hours, the Honolulu Museum of Art’s monthly ARTafterDARK event draws some 2,000 art lovers for a themed party in the gorgeous courtyards and galleries of its main building.
A visit to Shangri La offers the perfect rainy day change of pace from surfing, hiking, and beach-going. The former home of heiress and philanthropist Doris Duke in the posh Black Point neighborhood is a must-see for residents and visitors alike, for it truly is an experience like no other. Tuck into the Doris Duke Theatre for an interesting matinee film on a rainy day. Or if it’s the first Friday of the month, join the crowds at First Friday Honolulu Art Walk, an evening when Chinatown art galleries throw their doors open into the evening, often serving wine and treats to throngs of gallery goers.
To read more about our arts scene, check out our posts ARTafterDARK – Honolulu’s Premier Art Appreciation Event and Honolulu’s Lively Arts Scene Makes Hawai‘i Life More Colorful.