Christmas on Maui November 27, 2016

Are you coming to Maui in December? Do you love Maui, but are you having a hard time reconciling it with the Christmas season? It’s true, temperatures in the mid to high-80s doesn’t make you want to bundle up and sip hot chocolate. Christmas decorations look a little odd to mainlanders used to seeing them accompanied with snow. But on the plus side – there is no snow to shovel and you get to go to the beach and work on your tan! There are plenty of holiday activities to check out this December on Maui. Here are some of our favorite Christmas on Maui activities.

Five Things to do this Christmas Season


1. The Holiday Express Sugar Cane Train 

The Sugar Cane Train is back – at least temporarily! The train has been shut down for a few years now, but new owners have brought it back for the month prior to Christmas. The Holiday Express is running weekends, Friday through Sunday at 6:30 and 8pm. The ride is approximately 45 minutes and leaves from the Pu’ukolli Station in Kaanapali (NOT the historic Lahaina station! The historic trestle bridge is in need of repairs, so the train does not cross it). Tickets are $30/person (children 2 and under free on parents’ lap). Book now – some dates and times are already sold out. Look for it when driving at night!

2. The Lighting of the Tree

You have two trees to check out on Maui that are both equally fun and exciting!

The 19th Annual Lighting of the Banyan Tree in Lahaina on Sunday December 3rd at 6:30pm with kids events taking place starting at 2pm when Santa arrives. Festivities continue the next day (December 4th) as well. Festivities are free but a food bank donation is requested.

The 3rd Annual Lighting of the Holiday Tree at Ulupalakua Ranch (upcountry) on December 10th from 4:30-8:30pm. Santa, comfort food, keiki activities, a sparkling toast, live music and an outdoor movie (Home Alone). This is upcountry, so bring some warmer clothes, chairs and beach towels for the movie. They also recommend flashlights and carpooling if possible.

3. Theater and Ballet

Nutcracker Sweets – Maui’s own performance of portions of the Nutcracker Ballet presented by the Maui Academy of Performing Arts. Two shows only, December 10th (7pm) and December 11th (3pm) at the Castle Theater (Maui Arts & Cultural Center).

Mary Poppins – while not a holiday show, definitely a fun family event. Check it out at Maui’s historic Iao Theater. Performances November 25-December 11, 2016.

4. The 12 Days of Fishmas

One of my personal favorites at the Maui Ocean Center. Every year Santa and his elf come visit the sharks in the aquarium’s Open Ocean exhibit. Have you ever seen Santa scuba-diving? Dates and times have yet to be announced, but keep tuned at their website for more information.

5. Santa Sightings

Every year there is speculation, how is Santa arriving on Maui this year? Is it by outrigger canoe, or by jetski, or does he have a completely different transportation in mind this year? Every Christmas Eve Santa arrives at Polo Beach in front of the Fairmont Kealani. Meet him and Mrs Claus between 12-2pm for Christmas goodies.