Spending the holiday season on the Big Island of Hawaii

Hawaii, Cr-flydiamond.com

Hawaii, Credit-flydiamond.com

Let’s be honest. If you are traveling to the big island of Hawaii for the winter holidays, you are probably not looking to go running around from one cultural event to another. More likely, you want to relax on the beach, climb the active volcano, and perhaps drink a little bit of the tasty Kona coffee after a late night of drinking Mai Tai’s on the beach. But suppose this trip is your annual family reunion and you’d rather die than spend another ten minutes with uncle Joe or maybe you are, and I cringe, accompanied to this paradise by your mother-in-law. Whatever it may be, here are a few alternatives to beach bumming that just might keep your friends and family busy enough that they forget to bother you as much as they had planned.

1. Rather than sleep in late yet another day, embrace your inner “green” and volunteer on the third Sunday of every month for Niaulani Forest Work Day. Lasting from 9am to 12pm in Volcano Village, this experience is an opportunity to give back to the community which hosts millions of tourists each year, all the while learning about the specific nature of the Big Island. It’s also a nice thing to throw around at your next dinner party to show how worldly and benevolent you are. “When I was volunteering in Hawaii”

2. In the afternoon, throw a little of your hard earned cash towards the locals and visit any number of festivals or markets. In December stop by the annual Christmas Craft “EG”STRAVAGANZA, which features artists from California as well as Hawaii. Or appreciate the good artists at VAC’s Annual Holiday concert where you can participate in a sing-a-long. The Grow Hawaii festival celebrates local agriculture and lets those of you with green thumbs wave them proudly. Finally Hilo hosts a local fair every second Sunday of each month and sample local vendors while you peruse the aisles.

3. Finally when that Island spirit moves you to seize the free babysitting opportunity, head out for An Old Hawaii night. Held every other year, this benefit supports Family Support Services. It features a silent auction and dinner, along with drinks in front of the Marriott. Or perhaps you rather enrich your own support system. Treat yourself to a ukulele, hula, or lomi lomi workshop and discover whether you have any career prospects here on the islands. If you’re really lucky, stop by the PGA Championship Tour and give a little wink to Tiger to wish him luck on the next hole. And lastly, for the really adventurous, mingle with the locals and ask them about Rainbow Falls.

A well-known haunt with multiple tropical pools is often broken into by locals and by taking a less-known path from the woods, one can relax in solitude at the top of the waterfall. Don’t Forget- If all else fails, there’s a beach around every corner and no noise that a loudly played mp3 can’t drown out so lay back and relax, enjoying one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Article provided by Laura Stewart

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