Holidays in Hawaii are all about days in the sun and nights filled with fun. But as the sun sets, it can be hard to figure out what to do on the island. Fortunately, Hawaii is full of activities and events that go late into the night, so no one ever needs to be bored!
My boyfriend and I have been visiting Oahu for years now, and we absolutely love how Waikiki transforms from a tourist-filled hub to a vibrant nightlife destination come sundown. As seasoned veterans of these exciting twilight adventures, we’ve gathered our top recommendations for the best things to do in Waikiki at night.
From lively clubs perfect for dancing and singing, exotic luaus complete with hulas and fire dancers, nighttime cruises on crystal-clear ocean waters, or simply taking a stroll around town admiring its sparkling lights – there’s something here for everyone! And believe me when I say you won’t want your time in this magical place to end once the sun sets!
Since we’ve tried so many night excursions here, I’ve brought you the best ones in this article.
Let’s see the best things to do in Waikiki at night!
Enjoy a Night of Music & Dance
Waikiki is famous for the parties and clubbing that carry out into the night. So you can expect a range of great places like Wang Chung’s offering karaoke, live music and shows at Blue Note, and the most insane parties at Duke’s Waikiki.
Party at Duke’s
A restaurant by day, hosting island-famous parties by night – Duke’s Waikiki is the place to drop by if you want to enjoy terrific music from live shows. They host a range of popular solo singers and bands from Hawaii almost every night, which you’ll love swaying hips to, coupled with a local brew from their Barefoot Bar.
We always try to fit in a night at Duke’s in Waikiki, especially for their gorgeous views of Diamond Head from the patio.
Live Music at Blue Note
Blue Note is an excellent jazz bar in the Outrigger Beach Resort in Waikiki. They have two jazz performances every night, including gigs from famous artists and upcoming stars. The lounge has incredible acoustics, and each performance is better than the last.
In addition, you can get appetizers or a full meal from their dinner menu, which is delicious and makes the whole experience even better.
You’ll love the vibrant nightlife of the many bars and parties in the area, as clubbing is one of the best things to do in Waikiki at night.
- There’s comfortable seating and a great staff at Blue Note.
- Musical shows at Duke’s are from 4 pm-6 pm and 9.30 pm-midnight every night.
- Both places are open for guests every night without any reservations needed.
Enjoy a Picnic and Fireworks on the Beach
You’ll know from just one visit that Waikiki Beach is crowded all day with tourists, but as night falls, the crowds disperse, and you get a quiet beach with only the lights from restaurants and bars illuminating it. That’s the perfect time to pack a picnic and take it to the beach, where the soft sand and cool water make for a great setting.
You should also visit other great beaches in Waikiki, like Sans Souci Beach Park, which is the perfect spot for a beach date as it’s secluded and far from the tourist crowds.
What makes a night on the beach even better are the spectacular fireworks that go off every Friday night, and you can see them clearly from Waikiki’s beaches. However, if you want to see them up close, head to the Hilton Hawaiian Resort, where the fireworks display is set up.
We had some of our first island dates picnicking on the beach at night, an amazing experience and one of the best things to do in Waikiki at night.
- You can also visit the beautiful Kahanamoku Beach at night, close to the Hilton.
- The fireworks are every Friday, starting at 7.45 pm sharp.
- The display lasts 10 minutes and sets off at Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon.
Take a Night Cruise
Night cruises are a terrific experience in Waikiki, with stunning coastline views, marine life spottings, sipping drinks, and enjoying a luxurious dinner. Most cruises set off at sunset, and last two hours, with dinner, drinks, and entertainment.
If you’re looking for a casual cruise, try the Waikiki Sunset Cocktail Cruise, which takes place on a luxury catamaran. The cruise includes alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and tasty appetizers as you glide along the coastline from Waikiki towards Diamond Head while enjoying the vibrant colors of the island sunset.
My boyfriend and I love taking the Sunset Dinner Cruise, which sets off from Honolulu towards Waikiki at sunset. The cruise ship has a friendly staff that accommodates everyone well and a delicious seafood dinner made from fresh catch. They also have a tiki bar on deck for cocktails and mai tais.
You’ll love moving through Oahu’s waters on its best cruises, as it’s one of the most fun things to do in Waikiki at night.
- Try the Waikiki Fireworks Tour to enjoy the Friday fireworks from ocean waters.
- The cruises cost nearly $100 per person and require reservations.
- Both cruises last one and a half hours and end at Waikiki.
Related: Things To Do in Oahu for Couples
Walk Around the Kalakaua Avenue
Kalakaua Avenue is Waikiki’s main shopping street, opposite its golden-sand beaches, and filled with restaurants, bars, retail outlets, and local stores. Although most people stop by here to grab a meal or shop during the day, it shines at night – with torches lining both ends of the Avenue and the sound of Ukuleles livening the street.
You can stop by great places like Hard Rock Cafe for live music performances or head to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel for drinks in its celebrated Mai Tai Bar.
However, nighttime events make this street terrific, like Eat the Street, where nearly forty food vendors gather and throw a great culinary feast. You can also see many parades passing through this street, and our personal favorite is a bicycle tour of the Avenue’s best bars!
Kalakaua Avenue is an amazing place for tourists and regulars alike, and walking down this street is one of the best things to do in Waikiki at night.
- There are events on every major holiday, like Christmas, Halloween, and the 4th of July.
- Eat the Street happens on Kalakaua Avenue on the last Friday of every month.
- The brands and restaurants on this street aren’t cheap, so be prepared to leave with empty pockets!
Capture Memories With a Photography Tour
If you think Waikiki and Honolulu are limited to only crowded tourist hubs, take a photography tour of the area and discover their hidden beauty. Multiple tours take you to hidden and secluded spots in Waikiki, with guides advising the best places to stop and capture the scenery.
If you want to leave the crowds behind, take a sunset tour of East Oahu that takes off from Waikiki to the calm planes of the island’s windward coast. You’ll get to witness the gorgeous island sunset and capture amazing shots with the help of your photo guide’s tips.
Another sunset photography tour includes views of Hanauma Bay, moving towards a lookout point at Lana’i, and a stop at the Koko Crater botanical gardens. Near the tour’s end is a stop at Waimanalo’s food markets, where you can explore local stores and enjoy a delicious plate lunch.
The sunset and approaching dusk make this tour a stunning experience and the most beautiful thing to do in Waikiki at night.
- The tours cost around $90 per person.
- Tripod stands for taking solo pictures, and free wifi is included in the tour.
- The tour guide provides you with any pictures they’ve taken for free.
Attend a Luau or Watch a Hula by Torchlight
Luaus are traditional Hawaiian events with lots of Hula dancing, buffet-style food, and drinks, and no one does them better than Waikiki’s hotels. You can find terrific luaus at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, with fire dances, live performances, and delicious food.
The Hilton Hawaiian Hotel also hosts multiple luaus, like the Waikiki Starlight Luau, a secluded event with an interactive hula dance and a gourmet-quality buffet.
However, if you don’t want to spend money on luaus (some can get expensive), head to Kuhio Beach Park, where there’s a sunset torchlight ceremony, followed by a great hula performance. We loved witnessing this part of authentic Hawaiian culture, and it’s a great way to appreciate the local traditions.
Make sure to take part in these fun events, whether luaus or watching the hula, as they’re some of the best things to do in Waikiki at night.
- The Waikiki Starlight Luau at the Hilton is from Sundays through Thursdays.
- The Kuhio Beach hula is on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at the Kuhio Beach Hula Mound.
- Luaus can get rowdy with tourists, so please be kind to the dancers and respect their space.
Sight Marine Life at Waikiki Aquarium’s Night Tour
Want to witness Hawaii’s incredible marine life all in one place? Head to Waikiki Aquarium, home to diverse and rare species, such as Hawaiian monk seals and tropical fish. The Aquarium hosts many events for tourists, but the best one is its night tour.
However, this tour is held only at certain times during the year, so check their website before you go.
The tour includes visits to various tanks where you can find nearly 3500 species of sea creatures, spot jellyfish, sea dragons, sea horses, and even an octopus. In addition, the tour involves heading out to the Waikiki shoreline and exploring the marine life found in coral reefs.
This tour is engaging, with guides explaining the Aquarium’s history and providing information on every exhibit. We highly recommend taking it as it’s one of the best things to do in Waikiki at night.
- The Waikiki Aquarium opened in 1902 and is the second largest in the US.
- The tour costs $20 for adults and $15 for children.
- If your trip doesn’t align with this night tour, check the Aquarium’s website for other interactive tours.
Wrapping Up: The Best Things to Do in Waikiki at Night
Waikiki is every tourist’s first destination upon landing in Oahu for its spectacular ocean views and vibrant nightlife. The area stays bustling with activity until later, as tourists and locals attend parties, events, and shows.
We love Waikiki’s island nights that have entertainment for all age groups and a range of activities to partake in so no one gets bored. From Hilton Hawaiian Village with its luxurious Resort hotel to exploring the Island’s main party district, there are plenty of fun things to do.
Looking for a night of Music of Hawaii and dance? Hit the Blue Note, Bar 35, Mai Tai Bar, and Duke’s. You might even get lucky and witness a performance of authentic Hawaiian music.
Want to attend a family-friendly event? Try a luau at the Hilton and the Royal Hawaiian hotels. You might also catch some Hula dancers spreading the Aloha spirit.
Want to see marine life during the night? Take a night tour at Waikiki Aquarium or a twilight tour on the South Shore. If you’re lucky, you might spot some Nocturnal animals.
Looking for a place to get great food and shop till you drop? Don’t miss Kalakaua Avenue. You can find delicious Hawaiian cuisine and pick up some luxury goods while you’re at it.
The best things to do in Waikiki at night are never-ending! For instance, hiking up the Diamond Head volcanic cone, enjoying a pizza at Maui Brewing Company, or snorkeling under the moonlight.
Is it safe to walk in Waikiki at night?
Waikiki is Oahu, Hawaii’s prime tourist destination, so it’s fairly safe to roam the area at night, even for kids. It is a kid-friendly neighborhood in Honolulu, Hawaii with many tourist attractions in close proximity. However, the odd incident can occur, so try to stay with a group or in crowded areas. And if you’re going somewhere secluded at night, ask your hotel first since they know the safest places. Always consider carrying a flashlight for added security.
Does Waikiki have nightlife?
Yes, Waikiki’s nightlife is terrific and well-known in Oahu for its insane parties, live Hawaiian music events on every corner, bars open through the night, and late-night events. You’ll find many options from low-key wine bars to over the top clubs. There’s also a diverse selection of venues such as the Blue Note Hawaii, an upscale jazz club with a lively atmosphere, to enjoy. Plus, the party places vary in price, so there’s something for everyone to attend.
Can you walk Waikiki Beach at night?
Absolutely! In fact, Waikiki Beach stays occupied all night, with some daring surfers braving the waves and people taking a late-night dip in the Pacific Ocean. You’ll also find couples and families taking walks and on picnics, so the area always stays well-lit. It’s one of the fun things to do in Hawaii and is especially vibrant during the Friday Night Fireworks display.
Does Waikiki Beach close at night?
The beach is open 24 hours daily for all to visit. It’s part of the Hawaiian Islands’ charm. The beachfront is near the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort, a popular luxury resort, and the lively Diamond Head Park. For those interested in Hawaiian history, a hike up Diamond Head to the Diamond Head Lighthouse offers stunning twilight views of the shore.
Also, don’t miss the torch lighting ceremony which provides a glimpse into the local culture and is a part of the authentic Hawaiian nightlife. A visit to the Moana Hotel for a lei (garland) making class is also a must. For shopping enthusiasts, Ala Moana, Honolulu’s premier shopping mall, is a great place to find souvenirs and luxury items.
What are some free things to do in Honolulu at night for a memorable Waikiki vacation?
Taking romantic walks along Waikiki Beach, enjoying the beautiful beaches and moonlit swim, admiring the stunning Waikiki skyline and experiencing vibrant Waikiki nightlife are some of the free things you can do in Honolulu at night for an unforgettable getaway.
Where can you take kids for fun nighttime activities when exploring things to do in Waikiki at night with kids?
Late-night Aquarium Waikiki visits, witnessing sea life during a moonlight walk on Queens Beach nearby, or joining an evening stroll through the Honolulu Zoo offer fantastic experiences that your kids will love during your time in Hawaii.
Can families experience Hawaiian culture vibrantly by attending traditional luaus while staying around Hilton Hawaiian Village or other locations on all the Hawaiian islands?
Yes, traditional luaus like the Royal Luau hosted near Hilton Hawaiian Village offer guests opportunities to immerse themselves in exquisite dance floor performances, enjoy upscale restaurant meals and soak up views of oceanfront bars lit by conch shells while learning more about historical hawaiian royalty’s lifestyle.
What makes rock-a-hula an ideal activity for Saturday night-out plans featuring historic sites such as Pearl Harbor observation decks or picturesque spots like Diamond Head Road coastline drives?
Rock-a-Hula provides a unique blend of entertainment featuring live music and dancing. Taking part in this event after visiting historic sites like Pearl Harbor or taking scenic drives along Diamond Head Road allows visitors to appreciate capital city’s fresh air ambiance accompanied by delightful romantic sunset views over beautiful shorelines before heading out into an electrifying world where Moana Surfrider tunes perfectly set up honolulu-at-night moods.
Are there fun things and tourist attractions to experience in Waikiki, Hawaii for kids on a family vacation?
Yes, Waikiki is packed with kid-friendly activities designed for an unforgettable family vacation. From Honolulu Zoo’s exotic animal exhibits to Queens Beach’s relaxing shoreline tailored for safe swimming adventures, there are plenty of fun experiences for kids. Consider going for a Segway tour or a trail hike during the day. You could also enjoy a picnic under a banyan tree or catch a free hula show at Kuhio Beach. For those looking for shopping experiences, the International Market Place is an upscale shopping venue with something for everyone.
In Oahu, Hawaii, what kind of nightclub options and unique experiences does the downtown Honolulu nightlife offer?
Downtown Honolulu boasts an exciting nightlife scene featuring vibrant nightclubs like Rumfire offering not just dance floors but showcasing traditional Polynesian culture elements as well! If you prefer live jazz music instead, venture out to Blue Note Hawaii situated near the famous beach strip. The Waikiki nightlife is indeed unique and offers a variety of experiences from listening to blues at a music venue to enjoying an alcoholic beverage at a local bar. Don’t forget to try out Hawaiian food at a local food truck!
Would twilight tours be a part of our Oahu itinerary including Waikiki evening activities such as attending luaus or cocktail cruises?
Yes! Consider taking a guided tour that glides past oceanfront bars while observing romantic sunsets over Kaimana Beach. The Oahu Sunset Cocktail Cruise will provide both panoramic sea views and exclusive tropical decor onboard settings against idyllic backdrops – ensuring your experience remains magical under moonlit skies all the way! You may even spot a humpback whale during the cruise!
Can you also catch fire dancing performances at night?
In addition to those captivating day trips mentioned above, guests staying near Ko Olina Resort may witness breathtaking fire-dancing performances right next door adding even more excitement during their nighttime stay besides enjoying extraordinary opportunities spotting majestic humpback whale migrations off Owahnee shores throughout seas & enjoying balloon art creatives provided by local artists or instructors catering different age-groups alike too.
Last Updated on May 31, 2023 by Brigitte