Holidays in Hawaii: Kauai


Celebrating the holiday season on Kauai is about more than beautiful beaches and adventure sports. Enjoy fun events and give back to the communities where you stay. Here are a few ways to get into the season's spirit from the Garden Isle.

The Festival of Lights

Kauai’s annual Festival of Lights illuminates the night leading to Christmas on the island. Held at the historic County Building Park in Lihue, the displays of twinkle lights tell the story of the season while embodying a spirit of sustainability through trash-to-treasure decorations art directed by Elizabeth Freeman and created by local teens. You can see the lights every night from 6 to 11 pm from the end of November through New Year. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there on Fridays in December from 6 to 8 pm.

Lights on Rice Parade

The Lights on Rice Parade, held each year in Lihue, is one of the top holiday attractions on the island. Held the first Friday of December, the parade holds over 60 units with over 3,000 performers, making for a magical celebration. Find your spot along Rice Street for a front-row view of the festivities. The Rotary Club of Kauai gets the whole community involved in this event.

Kauai Sings Christmas

Kauai Sings is the annual fundraiser to help raise money for Malama Pono Health Services on the island. Purchase tickets in advance, or get them at the door, and enjoy an evening of music for a good cause.

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New Year's Eve on Poipu Beach

For a family-friendly New Year celebration, the shindig at Poipu Beach Park is one to put on your calendar. Plus, it’s free and open to the public. With an outdoor movie screening, food trucks to fuel you up, and a fireworks display, you can ring in the new year with plenty of time for a good night’s sleep afterward. That just leaves more energy for adventures as the new year starts.

Photos with Santa at Healing Horses

In years past, Healing Horses has held photos with Santa as a fundraiser for their organization, which offers equine-assisted activities and therapies to the community. Even if they don’t offer this donation-based photo op each year (you bring the camera, they bring the horses), you can still give the equestrians in your family a festive way to engage during your time on the island by scheduling a private party or riding lesson during your visit. Or, in the spirit of the holidays, give back to this organization that does a lot of good.

Wailua Bay Creator’s Fair

Holiday shopping just got better with the monthly Wailua Bay Creator’s Fair. Held the fourth Sunday of the month, this event brings together vendors from around the island. And it’s the perfect opportunity to find Christmas gifts for those on your list.

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Kauai Museum Christmas Craft Fair

All day on the first Friday of December, the Kauai Museum Christmas Craft Fair offers goods from local crafters, bound to make the ideal Christmas gifts for your loved ones.

Kauai Island Crafters Fair

Held in 2023 from 8 am to 2 pm, the Kauai Island Crafters Fair is another great opportunity to shop for gifts while supporting local artists and artisans.

When you travel for the holidays, your accommodation can help you enjoy the best of your destination while giving you the amenities you value most at home—book one of Starry Night’s Kauai vacation rentals for comfort and room to relax for the holidays.