Whether you’re traveling interisland for fun or visiting family, there’s tons to do in April and May. Check out what’s coming up across the Hawaiian Islands; support for these events is provided by Hawaii Tourism. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #HIexperiences to tag your photos if you go — this will help you easily search for other family-friendly events at the same time.
'Watcher of Waipuna,' Kumu Kahua Theatre
What: Based on Gary Pak’s short story, this local fairy tale-like parable includes a chorus of housewives and supernatural elements as it examines the powerful connection between humans and the environment—loyalty to our land, connections to place, corporate development and local displacement. In this Kumu Kahua Theatre production, Gilbert Sanchez is the ‘watcher of the Waipuna’, defending his tiny corner of paradise against evil commercial expansion and greedy family members.
When: April 4-20
Where: Kumu Kahua Theatre
Cost: Tickets cost $5-25
Showtimes: Thru April 20, 2019
Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.: April 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20
Sundays at 2 p.m.: April 7, 14 (no show Easter Sunday, April 21)
Hawaii Book & Music Festival
What: The 14th annual Hawaii Book & Music Festival is a free family event presented by Bank of Hawaii. Multiple pavilions and stages will feature 150 events throughout the two-day festival, introducing Hawaii’s multicultural heritage to the world through its literary and musical arts, and introducing Hawaii to new worlds of books and music beyond the Islands’ shores.
When: May 4-5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Frank F. Fasi Civic Center Grounds
Details: Festival goers can look forward to readings, presentations and book signings by local, national and internationally published authors; music and hula performances by award-winning Hawaii artists and hula halau; storytellers, youth performers and other entertainment for the festival’s younger audiences; the popular Bank of Hawaii Book Swap and more. A multi-ethnic, open-air food court keeps festival people fueled through a weekend of books, ideas and music.
Hololea Historical and Cultural Tours at Loko Ea Fishpond
What: Experience Native Hawaiian culture and “old Hawaii” at Loko Ea through hands-on, interactive activities while learning the history and functions of a traditional Hawaiian fishpond. The tour includes a guided cultural tour and boat tour of the 400-year-old Native Hawaiian fishpond in Waialua, Oahu, as well as throw-net demonstrations, kapa stamping and coconut leaf weaving.
When: April 13, May 11; 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. year round
Where: Loko Ea Fishpond in Haleiwa
Cost: $49 per adult, $35 for keiki (12 years and under), Kamaaina rate: $35 per adult, $20 for keiki
Details: Tour is approximately three hours long.
11th Annual Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival
What: This free festival celebrates the Hawaiian steel guitar, the only instrument thought to be indigenous to Hawaii. The event features master players in performances, workshops and jam sessions, along with presentations, exhibits and cultural activities. Some of the master players showcased include: Alan Akaka, Bobby Ingano and Geri Valdriz (check out the display of his vintage steel guitars at the Story of Hawaii Museum while you’re at the festival). The 2019 festival program will have early morning thru late afternoon Open Stage performances, Friday and Saturday hoolaulea programs, public kanikapila jam sessions and Saturday workshops.
When: April 12-13, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; April 14, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Outlets of Maui (April 12-13), Queen Kaahumanu Center (April 14)
Chinese Festivals – Chinese Kite Festival
What: Come make and fly your own kite with the Master Kite Flyer. Kite Festival presents two days of family fun with kite-making and spectacular kite displays. The Wo Hing Museum and the Cookhouse are decorated with colorful and unique kites from around the world in traditional and modern styles. There will also be kites available for purchase in the gift shop. Presentations in the historic Cookhouse will be made by Dr. Busaba Yip and Kite Master Robert Loera.
When: April 26-27
Where: Wo Hing Museum
Details: Wo Hing Museum, Cookhouse and Grounds will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday with free admission. On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., bring the whole family to fly kites at the lawn adjacent to Lahaina Cannery Mall, where there’s plenty of free parking. In addition to flying their own kites, participants can design and make kites and watch Robert Loera of the Hawaii Kitefliers Association demonstrate advanced sport kite flying. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with free admission during the four days prior to the event.
Maui Classical Music Festival
What: A string quartet known for glistening, vivacious playing and a fun trio are coming back: The Formosa Quartet returns to the Maui Classical Music Festival for the first time since 2007. Hye-Jin Cho plays piano, Christine Harada Li plays violin and Nathaniel Pierce plays cello and performs as a tenor. The concert series also features violinist Yizhak Schotten and pianist Katherine Collier, the Festival’s music directors since its inception in 1982. The Formosa Quartet won the First Prize and the Amadeus Prize at the 10th London International String Quartet Competition in 2006. Violinist Jasmine Lin has won prizes in the International Paganini Competition and the International Naumburg Competition. Also coming is the Koinonia Trio, which was formed in September 2015 and already has earned several prizes.
When: May 8-17
Where: May 10: Makawao Union Church, 7 p.m.
May 13: Keawalai Congregational Church – Makena, 7 p.m.
May 15: Wananalua Congregational Church – Hana, 6 p.m.
May 17: Keawalai Congregational Church – Makena, 7 p.m.
19th Annual Maui Matsuri – A Japanese Festival
What: The first event of each year’s Matsuri is the annual Kick-Off Celebration at Queen Kaahumanu Center. The event on Friday, May 17 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. is free to the public and features taiko (Japanese drumming), classical and folk dancing from Maui’s local Japanese practitioners, a coloring contest sponsored by Sanrio Kaahumanu and other entertainment. The evening concludes with a practice session of Japanese bon dancing open to all. The Maui Matsuri Multicultural Festival is 6-9 p.m. on May 24 and the Maui Matsuri Festival is 2-9 p.m. on May 25. The festival features Japanese and Okinawan entertainment, free children’s crafts, food booths, craft booths, kids’ games, exhibits, cosplay exhibition, martial arts demos, saimin and natto eating contests, manga and art drawing contests and a community bon dance to honor ancestors.
When: May 17, 24-25
Where: May 17 – Queen Kaahumanu Shopping Center; May 24-25 – UH Maui College
Anaina Hou Community Park Enrichment Program
What: Enjoy freshly harvested produce, locally prepared foods and local artisan crafts at the farmers’ markets three times every week. Farmers’ markets are good for the environment, strong support for local producers and a chance to get to know the families growing your food. Connect with Anaina Hou on Facebook for the latest updates and share your photos. The Saturday market is Anaina Hou’s signature farmers’ market, featuring live music, local and seasonal fruits and veggies, hot prepared food and cool treats. Hosted by local farmers and vendors, the Monday market is always a unique experience from crafts to food, local fruit and veggies and even massages. The Tuesday market is hosted by the Waipa Foundation. On Pau Hana Fridays, unwind and relax at the North Shore’s Anaina Hou Porter Pavilion. Enjoy live music and entertainment coupled with ono food from food trucks and drink specials. This event is family friendly with games, and adults can enjoy half-price draft beers and a great selection of wines.
When: Year round; Saturday market 9 a.m.1- p.m., Monday market 2 p.m.-dusk, Tuesday market 2 p.m.-dusk, Pau Hana Fridays 5-8 p.m.
Where: Anaina Hou Community Park, Kilauea
Island of Hawaii
Kau Coffee Festival
What: The Kau Coffee Festival is a 10-day celebration showcasing the rural heritage district of Kau as a premium coffee-producing origin. The 11th annual Kau Coffee Festival celebrates its award-winning brews with a host of events.
When: April 26-May 5
Where: Pahala Community Center and various venues
Details: 2019 Kau Coffee Festival Activities include:
April 26: Paina Open House
April 27: Miss Kau Coffee Pageant
April 28: Kau Coffee Recipe Contest
May 1: Kau Mountain Water System Hike
May 2: Kau Valley Farms Tour
May 3: Kau Coffee & Cattle Day, Kau Stargazing
May 4: Kau Coffee Hoolaulea, Kau Coffee Experience, Farm & Mill tours
May 5: Kau Coffee College educational series
Hawaii Kuauli Pacific and Asia Cultural Festival
What: A celebration of the Island of Hawaii and its beauty as a cultural melting pot. Presentations of cultural dance expression, culturally based education programs, food, music, fashion, art and traditional arts and crafts workshops will be held throughout the three-day event. The festival is a culturally based experience for residents and visitors. It’s organized as a combined multigenerational effort, including members of the community from all spheres of influence, providing them with a platform to showcase the gifts and talents of the cultures of Hawaii.
When: May 17-19
Where: Courtyard Marriott’s King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona
Details: The festival schedule is as follows:
May 17: The event begins Friday evening with protocol from the various cultures represented.
May 18 and 19: Saturday is filled with a wearable arts fashion show, arts and crafts demonstrations and the Second Annual Kuauli Keiki Hula Competition. Saturday and Sunday include amazing cultural workshops and education. Sunday also includes a Taste of Pacific & Asia.
travel2change Voluntourism Program
What: travel2change is a Hawaii-based nonprofit that connects travelers and local communities around fun activities that give back to Hawaii’s nature and culture. Their activities are hands on, off the beaten path and authentic. They include events like:
- Guided hikes to waterfalls with native planting along the way
- Beach cleanups that offer tools and education to enjoy the water in a way that leaves no negative environmental impact
- Outrigger canoe paddling lessons to sustain a Hawaiian tradition
- Treks through botanical gardens while removing invasive species
- Yoga-combined food drives
- Cultural walking tours that encounter social issues rather than detour around them