Sonya and Baby Toma came to visit us in Honolulu during the first week of December. On Saturday, December 3rd we took the bus to downtown Honolulu to watch the Honolulu City Lights Parade. We arrived at the Honolulu Hale (City Hall) around 5pm and walked around to see the decorations. There were also keiki rides, but Toma is still too small for those.
There were food vendors selling junk food and I bought some overpriced nachos, since I was hungry! We found a place to sit in the grass near City Hall and waited around until the Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6pm. Toma kept wanting to crawl off to investigate strollers and meet other babies and he found a friend to play with for a bit who was about his age.
The tree lighting ceremony had a prayer, speeches, and some singing, but the best part was when the tree lit up!
Since we were at the end of the parade route, we had to wait a while for the parade to make it’s way down King Street. By the time the parade got to us, people were standing up and we were a ways back from the road, so it was hard to see the participants and floats. It’s a good idea to get there early and stake out a spot near the road!
I was hoping Toma would get to see Santa Claus at the end of the parade, since it’s his first Christmas time, but he was already asleep by the time Santa rode by on a decorated fire truck. After the parade there was going to be free photos with Santa and a concert until 10pm, but we were all tired and fighting off colds, so we headed home. We had to walk for a bit past the road closures before we were able to catch a bus back into Waikiki.
The city lights and decorations stay up through January 1st, so we are planning to go back another night to take more photos.
Trolley Rides to the City Lights
There are a couple trolleys that you can take to see the Honolulu City Lights. The Waikiki Trolley offers a Holiday Lights Tour for $22/ adult and $13/child general admission through December 30th. Kama’aina discounts are available for $16.50 per adult and $11.00 per child. The Waikiki Trolley lets you get out at the Honolulu Hale and enjoy the decorations for 30 minutes before riding back into Waikiki. We have seen the trolley go by in the evenings and the passengers on board all seem filled with holiday spirit, waving and wishing a Merry Christmas.
The McCully Shopping Center offered a FREE holiday trolley on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays through December 21st. Looks like it’s too late for that trolley ride this year, but hopefully they will offer it again next Christmas time.
And there is always The Bus, which will only cost you $2.50/adult to get to downtown. And if you stay less than 2 hours, you can use your transfer to get back to Waikiki. That’s what we will be taking!