During the holiday season in Waikīkī, there’s no winter wonderland to walk. Instead of snow glistening in the lanes, here, the Pacific Ocean sparkles and shines under a warm tropical sun. But the spirit of the holidays is on ready display, and it’s on the Pacific where you’ll get to see an enchanting holiday arrival that’s unique to the Islands — Santa in a canoe!
Each year, Santa cruises in on a canoe through the famed waves of Waikīkī, onto the shore fronting the Outrigger Waikīkī Beach Resort, no reindeer necessary (they’re resting up for Christmas Eve). There’s no sight quite like it — Kris Kringle sharing a shaka with Diamond Head in the background. This event is so special that it even gets some major news coverage every season.
Locals and visitors alike bring their keiki (children) to the beach to greet Santa Claus! He’ll be sharing the joy with his grand smile, filled with aloha and jolly HO! HO! HOs! Many families join him in the lobby of the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort for free picture taking and a peek at the resort's festive decorations.
This annual event is sure to become your new favorite (Hawai‘i style) holiday tradition once you've had the chance to experience it yourself. And no worries, Santa will get back to his workshop at the North Pole in time to get everything ready for the big night...after a little rest and relaxation in Waikīkī.
See the magic for yourself and plan to spend some time in the warm Waikiki sun with Santa next year. Mele kalikimaka and happy holidays from Hawaii!