Free stuff to see and do in Waikiki

So often, clients will come to My Vacation Lady with dreams of a honeymoon or vacation to the Hawaiian Islands but they are so concerned about spending too much money to be able to see and do things while they are there.

Hawaii is one of the few travel destinations where you can find lots to see and do for very little money— if not completely free.

Let’s talk about what there is to see and do for free in Waikiki.

Between  torch lighting ceremonies and hula shows and Hawaiian arts and crafts classes, visitors to Waikiki can keep pretty busy and not have to spend money!  And with Waikiki being such an easy place to walk, it’s easy to stroll around the area without having to add money for a car rental or taxi.

Here are some popular freebies in Waikiki:

Aloha Friday at Hyatt Regency Waikiki
Enjoy free festivities every Friday from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM near the waterfall in the Great Hall on the first floor.  Performances may include a Polynesian show, hands-on lei making demonstrations, hula dancing, Polynesian art tattooing, and a Samoan Fire knife dancer.  See more Here 

History  and Botanical Tours at the Royal Hawaiian
Take a tour of The Royal Hawaiian and enjoy fascinating stories about this iconic resort, including answers to fun questions like “Why is the resort pink?” and plenty more. A complimentary walking tour is offered every Tuesday and Thursday at 1pm to educate guests about the resort’s rich history and famous guests.  Explore the garden oasis surrounding the Royal Hawaiian and learn about the various origins, ancient Hawaiian uses and mythological beliefs about the fascinating plant species.  This complimentary guided tour is offered on Wednesdays from 1:00pm to 2pm.

Kuhio Beach Torchlighting and HulaOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The shows are held every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, weather-permitting from 6:30pm to 7:30pm (6:00pm to 7:00pm Nov-Dec-Jan) and are  free to the public.  They’re held  at the Kūhiō Beach Hula mound on Kalākaua Ave near Uluniu Avenue across from the Hyatt Regency Waikīkī.

Royal Hawaiian Band
The Royal Hawaiian Band performs and marches in over 300 concerts and parades each year but they offer weekly public performances on Fridays at ‘Iolani Palace and Sundays at the Kapi‘olani Park Bandstand.

Royal Hawaiian Center Classes and Entertainment
We stopped in a couple of times and there was always something going on at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center.  You can take ukulele or hula lessons, learn how to make traditional Hawaiian quilts, hear a Hawaiian storyteller, create a lei using fresh tropical flowers or try your hand at lomilomi massage– and it’s all free.  Almost every evening there’s a band playing music as well.

Sunset on the Beach
A 30 foot movie screen gets set up right on the beach for family friendly movies on Saturday and Sunday nights right across from the Honolulu Zoo. Come early for live entertainment (usually about 2 hours before the movie starts).   Be sure to check the online schedule, since it only happens once every other month or so at

Waikiki Historic Trail
With 4 distinct sections, this self-guided outdoor tour leads visitors to a series of 21 surfboard markers in significant locations. Each spot shares fascinating legends and stories of the area, from Hawaiian Royalty to tales of the famous Waikiki beach boys. Download the free map and guide at

Fireworks at Hilton Hawaiian Village
On Friday nights, the Hilton Hawaiian Village has a fireworks show on their property.  One of the best places to view the display is at the reef in the beach in front of the Outrigger Reef on the Beach.  The resort offers an Aloha Friday evening with hula performances, torch lighting and more for a fee but you can watch the fireworks for free from Waikiki Beach.    In addition to the fireworks display, you can visit the resort and check out the Turtle and Fish Feedings at 8:30 and 9am for free (Mondays-Fridays).

Yes, airfare can be expensive to get to Hawaii but you don’t have to spend a fortune on activities to keep you busy.  My Vacation Lady is a Hawaii Destination Specialist and we offer our clients lots of info on what you can see and do and experience while you’re in the Hawaiian Islands.   We can help make your honeymoon to Hawaii or dream vacation to Hawaii one that you’re sure to remember for a long time!

About the Author:

Mindy Gilbert of My Vacation Lady has been helping clients, just like you, plan their dream vacations, cruises and honeymoons since 1994.