Fun and FREE Hawaii Things To Do in Waikiki!

Waikiki Beach Beauty

If you’re staying in Waikiki, it’s easy to find lots of fun Hawaii vacation activities online or at your hotel’s concierge desk; but there’s a catch.  All advertised Hawaii attractions cost money.

Believe me, I’m all about spending money and having a good time on vacation.  But I’m also all about enjoying free activities when possible.

So if you are hoping to plan a cheap Hawaii vacation – without skimping on the fun – you’re in luck!  Even in the most-touristy part of the island, there are plenty of free Hawaii activities for you to do and see.


There’s always free entertainment in Waikiki.  Just pull up a patch of sand outside one of the many hotel beach bars and listen to some live music.  Watch and/or play beach volleyball at Fort Derussy.  And don’t underestimate the amusement value of people-watching in Waikiki.  We get all sorts!  Or try any of these…

Waikiki Fireworks1

Weekly Waikiki Fireworks Shows:  Watch fireworks on the beach every Friday night at the Hilton Hawaiian Village lagoon.  This never gets old!

Helumoa Light Show at Sheraton Waikiki Hotel

Helumoa Light Show: Twice every night, you can watch a new 3-D mapping light show in the swimming pools and surrounding Helumoa Playground area at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.

Waikiki Torch Lighting Ceremony

Torch Lighting Ceremony & Free Hula Show: Look for it at the stage near the Duke Kahanamoku statue at Prince Kuhio Beach.

Kings Guard Changing in Waikiki

King’s Guard Changing Ceremony: The Hawaiian monarchy has sadly passed into history... and now the King’s Guard has too.  The final performance was on May 16, 2014.  Only time marches on.


Waikiki Beach2

Waikiki Beach:  Catch some waves or some rays on perhaps the most famous pristine white sand beach in the world.

Waikiki Duke Kahanamoku Statue

Duke Kahanamoku statue:  Take a picture with Hawaii’s premier surfer, Olympic athlete, and first sheriff.

Waikiki Diamond Head Crater

Diamond Head Crater: You can see this dormant volcano from everywhere on Oahu’s south shore.  Hike to the top and see it all!

Waikiki Kapiolani Park

Kapiolani Park: Relax in the shade, get some exercise, or maybe even catch an event – all at the foot of Diamond Head.

Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial

Natatorium War Memorial: Closed since 1979, this seawater swimming pool was the home of Hawaii’s Olympic swimming stars – and it may yet re-open to the public one day.

International Marketplace: If you want Hawaii-themed trinkets and the famous old Waikiki welcome from Don the Beachcomber and Duke Kahanamoku, this is no longer that place.  It’s a mall now.

Waikiki Hilton Lagoon

Hilton lagoon: It’s like a hybrid between a beach and a swimming pool just below the Hilton Hawaiian Village Rainbow Tower.

Hawaii culture & history on display:

Waikiki Hawaii Memorabilia

Hawaii memorabilia at the Moana Surf Rider: Stroll through the lobby of this beautiful Waikiki Beach hotel and check out several cases of collectibles.

Waikiki Army Museum of Hawaii

Army Museum of Hawaii: The old Battery Randolph at Fort DeRussy survived two World Wars and proved easier to repurpose for peace than to remove.

Waikiki King's Guard Museum

King’s Guard Museum: Discover the history of the King's Guard Drill Team: a ceremonial honor guard for the only royal palace in the United States!

Waikiki Father Damien Museum

Father Damien Museum: It’s now Saint Damien – the man who gave his life caring for those afflicted with Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy) when nobody else would.

Waikiki Lucoral Museum

Lucoral Museum: View a private collection of jewelry, gemstones, and other unique treasures.

Waikiki Wizard Stones

Wizard stones: Yeah, they look like they're just rocks.  But they come with a story, and they’re just a few feet from a half-dozen other attractions.  You might as well see them all!

Special events:

Honolulu Festival in Waikiki

Honolulu Festival: If you’re here in March, enjoy a full weekend of arts, entertainment, education, exercise, crafts, and culture celebrating our Asia-Pacific influences.

Waikiki Spam Jam

Waikiki Spam Jam: Only in Hawaii can you find an event dedicated to that canned meat we all love to eat!  If you’re here in April, try a Spam® musubi and catch some free entertainment.

Lei Day: It’s May Day in Hawaii!  Celebrate the traditional floral festival with a uniquely Hawaiian appeal.


Pan Pacific Festival in Waikiki

Pan Pacific Festival: If you’re here in June, celebrate Hawaii’s unique blend of Pacific and Asian cultures with three days of hula festivals, arts and events.

Duke's Oceanfest in Waikiki

Duke’s Oceanfest: If you’re here in August, thrill to eight days of water sports celebrating the life of Hawaii’s ambassador of aloha – the greatest waterman who ever lived!

Waikiki: Aloha Festivals

Aloha Festivals: If you’re here in September, witness a cultural reenactment of Hawaii’s royal court and attend celebrations in their honor.

Waikiki Gingerbread Village

Gingerbread village: If you’re here in December, check out the creative confections filling half of the lobby at the Sheraton Kaiulani Hotel.

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