Aloha! Welcome to Waikiki, the world-famous district on Honolulu’s sunny south shore.
Home to Hawaiian royalty back in the day, its name derived from the local term for “spouting water.”
Since the opening of the Moana Surfrider Hotel in 1901, this world-renowned destination has seen tourists flock over to experience its vast offering of wondrous activities, excellent shopping, sumptuous dining, and plush accommodation along the renowned Kalakaua Avenue.
Let us take you on a little journey to explore the top twenty unique things to do in Waikiki at night.
From taking a thrilling sightseeing helicopter tour to attending an authentic Hawaiian luau, you won’t have time to be bored as you discover all that Waikiki has to offer at night!
Top 20 Things to Do in Waikiki at Night
1. Take a Nighttime Helicopter Tour
One of the most thrilling Waikiki evening activities is taking a nighttime helicopter tour. Soaring high above the city, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of Waikiki’s stunning skyline and breathtaking scenery.
Spectacular sites like Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, and Pearl Harbor can be seen from the air for a period ranging from a mere twenty minutes to over an hour. For a more thrilling journey, opt for an open-door tour.
The perfect time to take a nighttime helicopter tour over Waikiki is just before the sun sets.
Nothing compares to witnessing a vivid sunset from the sky.
The horizon and the cityscape are framed with intensely hued colors of pink, orange, red, and yellow. The perfect time to take a leisurely tour over Waikiki is just before the sun sets.
Explore the skies over Waikiki with reputable tours provided by companies such as Magnum Helicopters, Rainbow Helicopters, and Paradise Helicopters.
Experience a unique perspective with memorable thrills like no other.
2. Enjoy a Sunset Dinner Cruise
Sunset dinner cruises in Waikiki offer a unique perspective on the city’s famous landmarks, including Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head.
As you cruise along the Waikiki shoreline, you’ll enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by the boat’s onboard chef and have the opportunity to sip cocktails at the upper deck tiki bar.
Many cruises also offer complimentary beverages and the opportunity to see fireworks on Fridays!
Some popular sunset dinner cruise companies in Waikiki include the Star of Honolulu and Pacific Star. Taking a sunset dinner cruise is just one of the many exciting Waikiki night activities that you can enjoy during your visit.
3. Take a Ghost Tour
No better time than nighttime for ghost tours! Discover the mysterious and spine-tingling history of Waikiki through an intriguing ghost tour.
Witness haunted locations, explore eerie ancient temples, and witness the supernatural stories of Waikiki – narrated by expert guides.
More than a sightseeing tour, the ghost tour gives visitors an unprecedented glimpse at a part of Waikiki that is veiled in mystery, brimming with hauntings and paranormal activity.
Delve deeper into the city’s haunted past, and experience a chilling view of the legend and lore that lingers here.
Oahu Ghost Tours and Honolulu Haunts are two of Waikiki’s most famous ghost tours.
These tours are led by experienced guides who share their knowledge of local haunted history and legends.
4. Watch a Movie Under the Stars
Outdoor movie screenings in Waikiki offer a unique and enjoyable way to watch a film. These events typically occur on weekends and feature family-friendly films on a large screen.
Movie buffs craving a unique experience can find satisfaction in Waikiki’s charming outdoor movie screenings!
From the beach with a 30-foot screen to the family-friendly Dive-In Movie nights at the Beachcomber pool, one can expect a fun-filled night, whether enjoying a romantic night under the stars or a cozy movie night with the family.
Before attending, don’t forget to pack beach blankets and chairs, plus bring snacks and drinks for the perfect viewing atmosphere!
5. Attend a Luau
A luau is a traditional Hawaiian party or feast that typically features food, music, and cultural performances.
At a luau in Waikiki, you can expect to enjoy a delicious buffet of Hawaiian and Polynesian dishes and live entertainment such as hula dancing and fire knife performances.
Some popular luau locations include Chief’s Luau, the Polynesian Cultural Center, Ka Moana Luau, The Royal Hawaiian Experience, Hale Koa Luau, and Rock A Hula.
6. Visit the Honolulu Museum of Art
Home to a wide array of art and cultural education, the Honolulu Museum of Art boasts an awe-inspiring 50,000-strong collection of art pieces spanning continents, civilizations, and centuries.
With aspects of works from Asia, Europe, America, Africa, and Oceania, the museum has something to offer everyone.
Some of the most prominent examples include the Arts of Hawai‘i Gallery, featuring traditional and contemporary Hawaiian art, as well as the extensive collection of art from China, Japan, Korea, India, and Southeast Asia housed in the museum’s Asian Art galleries.
The Honolulu Museum of Art also offers a variety of events at night, including HoMA Nights. These events typically feature live music, food and drinks, and special access to the museum’s galleries.
7. Go on a Moonlight Snorkel Tour
Embarking on a moonlight snorkeling escapade in Waikiki provides a unique viewpoint of the area’s marine life.
Brandishing a flashlight and plunging into the sea’s dark depths, it is possible to observe mysterious creatures of the night, like octopuses, eels, and lobsters, revealing a secret world.
When attempting a night tour in Waikiki for snorkeling, packing the essentials such as a swimsuit, towel, and reef cream is advised.
Some agencies may include snorkeling gear and flashlights in the package like Waikiki Catamaran Cruise and Snorkeling; however, confirming all details in advance is best.
8. Walk Along the Waikiki Beach Path
Walking along Waikiki Beach at night is a magical experience.
The soft sands between your toes and the rhythm of the waves ceaselessly rolling onto the shoreline form a tranquil environment. Beautiful views of the vast sea and the bustling city skyline can be enjoyed along its gentle path along the coast.
There are a variety of shops and restaurants along the path. From modest souvenirs to opulent shops, your wallet will find something that fits it.
In Waikiki Beach Walk, beauty and convenience exist side by side. Whether for sightseeing, shopping, or just lounging, it is the idyllic haven for every type of traveler.
9. Take a Star Gazing Tour
Taking a star gazing tour in Waikiki is a great way to experience the beauty of the night sky. Several companies offer stargazing tours in Waikiki.
Taking a stargazing tour – preferably on a dusky night with minimal light pollution and little cloud cover – allows one to explore the vast expanse of the night sky. The time of year affects the visibility of certain stars.
Waikiki Adventures and Stars Above Hawaii offer laser-guided stargazing tours at Ko Olina.
10. Visit the Kapiolani Community College Farmers Market
Every week, the bustling Kapiolani Community College Farmers Market invites food lovers to a unique experience full of visual delights, olfactory pleasure, and culinary variety.
At the Kapiolani Community College Farmers Market, you can try a variety of local foods and products. Visitors can also sample and take home a selection of vibrant ingredients and products.
The KCC Farmer’s Market is open on Saturdays from 7:30 AM to 11:00 AM. There is a lot of free parking available to get to this market.
11. Check Out the Waikiki Aquarium
For the ultimate nighttime adventure, look no further than the Waikiki Aquarium.
With a plethora of aquatic exhibits, prepare to be transported to an otherworldly realm in Waikiki.
“Evening at the Aquarium,” is a popular event where guests have the opportunity to meander through the illuminated exhibits, where the sunset’s rays effortlessly dance amid the mesmerizing display.
There are other interesting things to do at the aquarium.
Find the sleeping spot for the humuhumunukunukuapua’a. See the night coloration on the pyramid butterflyfish. Discover the animals that only emerge at night.
12. Enjoy a Night Out at the Blue Note Hawaii
Blue Note Hawaii has been declared “Hawaii’s Best Live Music Venue” by both Honolulu Magazine and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
It showcases two remarkable shows every night, covering styles such as jazz, pop, rock, reggae, and traditional Hawaiian. Visitors can expect an exclusive dinner and entertainment experience.
Guests can watch some of the planet’s most celebrated artists and the island’s finest local performers at the Blue Note Hawaii.
For information on tickets, visit their website or call their box office.
13. Take a Moonlit Hike
Moonlit Hiking is another famous night activity in Waikiki. Experience the fresh air, lush forests, and picturesque waterfalls as you hike through safe trails during the night.
Some trails may be difficult, but the stunning views complementing the night is worth it. Manoa Falls Trail and Kuliouou Ridge Trail are beautiful examples you can hike on.
Be sure to wear appropriate footwear, cover yourself well to prevent getting cold, and inform someone before you leave.
It is also important to check the weather forecast and stay on marked trails.
14. Go on a Glow Paddle Tour
Glow paddle tours are a fun and exciting way to experience the waters of Waikiki at night.
On these tours, you’ll paddle on a stand-up paddleboard equipped with powerful underwater LED lights that allow you to see into the water after dark.
One recommended tour company that offers glow paddle tours in Waikiki is Nocturnal Adventures Hawaii, which offers unique and memorable paddle experiences for visitors.
If you want to capture the beautiful experience, remember to bring a waterproof camera or phone case!
15. Check Out Kalakaua Avenue
Kalakaua Avenue is Honolulu’s main shopping avenue, named after King David Kalakaua. Kalakaua Avenue has luxury shopping side by side with affordable gift and clothing shops.
From the sweet and dulcet syrup of the cane juice that percolates, to an array of savory snacks, to the alluring traditional Hawaii plate lunches, visitors have a range of scrumptious offerings to sample.
Don’t forget to time your visit with one of the frequent parades and street festivals like the ʻOhana Block Party Festivals!
Some of these festivals extend into the night and are vibrant and colorful under the dark sky. Admission is free to the public.
16. Visit the Iolani Palace
A short drive away from Waikiki lies the Iolani Palace, a living symbol of Hawaiian national identity. Built-in 1882 by King Kalakaua, it is recognized as the Hawaiian islands’ spiritual and physical multicultural hub.
Serving as the official residence and the focal point of the kingdom’s political and social life, Iolani Palace was the abode of Hawaii’s last reigning monarchs until the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893.
This historical site is not just a remarkable restoration of the bygone era but also a testament to the vibrant resilience of the Hawaiian people.
Various tours are currently offered Tuesday through Saturday. You can choose from a guided tour with a Palace Docent or a Self-Led Audio Tour. Specialties tours are also available, such as Hawaii’s Royal Connection to Japan and Chamberlain’s Tour.
17. Enjoy a Nighttime Surf Lesson
Many surfing schools based in Waikiki Beach offer lessons for all experience levels. You can sign up for lessons that go well into the night. The warm tropical waters mean a fall from your surfboard will not be unpleasant.
During a typical surf lesson, you can expect to learn the basic techniques of surfing along with a brief safety overview.
The lesson consists of things like a technique slide show, a safety briefing, and time spent in the water catching waves.
Some schools provide all the equipment for your lesson, including a surfboard and leash.
Depending on your preference and skill level, you can choose from different types of lessons, such as group lessons, semi-private lessons, or private lessons.
A recommended school is Faith Surf School Hawaii, which is located in the heart of Waikiki Beach in front of the famous Duke’s Restaurant in the Outrigger Resorts.
They teach people worldwide to surf and stand-up paddle, as well as ride waves on the ancient Hawaiian Canoe.
18. Visit the Honolulu Night Market
The Honolulu Night Market is a monthly event held on every third Saturday of the month. It features local Hawaii food and retail vendors and is an always-changing event with vendors refreshed every month to attract visitors again and again.
At the Honolulu Night Market, you can find a variety of vendors ranging from jewelers to clothing to art. You can also enjoy local food from various vendors.
The Honolulu Night Market holds on every third Saturday of the month. The event schedule may vary, but you can expect to find fashion runway stages, live street art, or even dance nights in the barn.
19. Watch the Friday Night Fireworks
The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort puts on a weekly fireworks show on Duke Kahanamoku Beach every Friday night.
The 10-minute show has been a long-standing tradition since 1988 and can be seen from various parts of the neighborhood.
The best vantage point to watch the fireworks is on Waikiki Beach—between the Hilton Hawaiian Village and Outrigger Reef.
To be safe, make sure you’re far enough from tall buildings and arrive at least 30 minutes before snagging a good spot.
A blanket or towel may be needed in case you want to sit on the ground while watching the fireworks. Snacks and drinks are also a good idea. Some can be bought from the shop vendors near the area.
20. Dance the Night Away at a Nightclub
The vibrant nightlife scene of Waikiki offers a broad spectrum of choices when it comes to partying.
From upscale nightclubs where patrons can enjoy drinks and dance the night away to friendly bars and pubs where conversations over a round of drinks will always be exciting, there is something for everyone.
Playbar Waikiki Night Club is popular for its fun and energetic atmosphere.
Another option is The District, which is located several minutes from Waikiki and across from Ala Moana Shopping Center.
It offers a specially-designed 23-foot DJ booth and leveled dance floor. Dress codes and admission fees vary by club.
Waikiki offers a wide variety of unique and exciting things to do at night.
From going on a nighttime helicopter tour to visiting the Honolulu Market, dancing at a nightclub, watching fireworks, going on a sunset cruise, or attending a luau, there’s something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, Waikiki has it all.
So don’t hesitate to come and explore this amazing place and create unforgettable memories. You won’t regret it!