Thanksgiving Events in Hawaii: Celebrating the Season of Gratitude

By Team

Thanksgiving is a time for family and food, and few places do it better than Hawaii.

Whether you’re in the mood for a traditional turkey feast and festivities, or perhaps you want to experience a Hawaii-style Thanksgiving, there’s plenty to celebrate and plenty to enjoy in the islands around Thanksgiving each year.

Oahu’s Thanksgiving Highlights

You don’t have to be in training for the Honolulu Marathon to enjoy the Honolulu Marathon Clinic’s annual Turkey Trot Fun Run. Work up an appetite with a 5K walk/run or register for the 10-mile training run, which has been held each year since 1974. The 2019 event takes place on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, and starts out at the Queen Kapiolani Park Bandstand. Register online through November 26 at the Honolulu Marathon Clinic’s website or register on race-day beginning at 6 a.m. Awards are given to the runners who finish the closest to their predicted times.

Thanksgiving feasts are available at too many Oahu restaurants to list, so you won’t have a hard time finding your favorite traditional Thanksgiving trappings and local twists on Turkey Day. Among the restaurants that earn rave reviews yearly for their Thanksgiving spreads are The MODERN HONOLULU, Hoku’s and Plumeria Beach House — both at the Kahala Hotel and Resort — Beachhouse at the Moana, MAC 24/7 and more.

Luaus and dinner cruises are another great way to celebrate Thanksgiving in Hawaii, but book early because openings disappear quickly.

The Waikiki Holiday Parade takes place each year on the day after Thanksgiving to commemorate the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor by remembering the fallen and honoring survivors and military heroes. The parade, founded in 1998, starts starts at Fort DeRussy Park and ends at Queen Kapiolani Park.

Thanksgiving Festivities on Maui

Tikki Terrace Buffet at Kaanapali Beach Hotel. Photo: Kaanapali Beach Hotel.

The Valley Isle Road Runners hold an annual turkey trot in Kula that starts and finishes at Rice Park. Kick off your Thanksgiving morning with an 8-mile or 16-mile run, and be sure to bring a couple of non-perishable items to donate to Maui Food Bank.

Maui has plenty of Thanksgiving Buffets to choose from, a few of the most popular being the Four Seasons, the Grand Wailea and the Ritz-Carlton. Ocean feasting also abounds on Maui, with at least one beloved annual Thanksgiving Dinner cruise being offered by Pride of Maui, complete with live music. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for whales while onboard, too!

One of our favorites is the award-winning buffet at the Tiki Terrace. Tiki Terrace presents an extravagant all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving feast for Thanksgiving Day.  Start with traditional favorites like Rotisserie Roasted Turkey, Sausage & Sage Stuffing, Fresh Cranberry Sauce, and Candied Yams. Enjoy local favorites including poke, seafood, Pork Lau Lau, Kiawe Slow-Roasted Prime Rib and Passion Fruit Glazed Ham. Of course you can finish with a slice of pumpkin pie – or choose from a wide array of delectable pies, cakes, cheesecakes, or build-your-own shortcake. Children 5 yrs. and under eat FREE with a paying adult. For reservations, call direct: 808-667-0124

A Feast for More Than the Eyes on Kauai


Photo: Blue Dolphin Charters.

On Kauai, Blue Dolphin Charters offers a Thanksgiving boat cruise where patrons can feast on roast turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing and all the fixings while feasting their eyes on the stunning Na Pali Coastline. Be sure to call their office directly, as this is a special tour. The information is not available on their website, and only a limited amount of details are provided on their Facebook page. Blue Dolphin Charters: (808) 335-5553

Holiday Luaus on the Big Island

Hawaii Island’s Haleo Luau, located at the beautiful Sheraton Kona Resort, will offer a Thanksgiving Day banquet as well as Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.

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