The Wai Kai’s Ono Grindz & Mākeke Farmers Market is only 20 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas and is held every Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. It features food trucks and local vendors selling food, produce and fruit, crafts, unique art, and gift items. There are water filling stations onsite, so bring a refillable water bottle. If visitors need cash, there’s an ATM on the lower boardwalk café level. Ample free parking is available onsite in the Wai Kai parking lot and a separate event parking area.

For more information, visit https://www.onogrindzandmakeke.com/.

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The Honolulu Festival, about 50 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas, is back. The ever-popular grand parade starts at Saratoga Road and continues along Kalakaua Avenue, filling the streets with spectacular cultural performances and floats. The parade starts at 4:00 p.m. and concludes at 8:00 p.m. on March 10.













The Nagaoka Fireworks Show is the finale of the annual Honolulu Festival from 8:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. It is a message for world peace as beautiful fireworks bloom in the night sky over Waikiki Beach.

The festival’s main theme, “Pacific Harmony,” hopes to cultivate friendship among people of the Pacific and play a role in contributing to world peace. Some other featured events over the weekend include a Japanese film festival, Sake and Food Fest, Art Market, Craft Fair, Bon Dances, and cultural performances and exhibits from the Pacific Rim. Admission to all of the events is free. For more information, visit https://www.honolulufestival.com/en/.

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JAN 31


Explore the North Shore and the charming town of Hale‘iwa at night from a glowing LED stand-up paddleboard, about 40 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas.

Ke‘alohi Surf has patented their design with lights built into the underside of the board providing a unique and unforgettable experience. Before entering the water, all guests are offered life jackets and a safety briefing/paddling lesson. A professional photographer tags along on all tours and snaps stunning photos and drone footage (available for purchase).

The tour starts at Hale‘iwa Beach Park paddling in Waialua Bay and leads into the calm waters of the ‘Anahulu River under the historic double arches of the Rainbow Bridge. Spot honu (Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles) as they swim up the river to sleep for the night. Fewer city lights on the North Shore make for great stargazing.

Keiki are welcome to paddle their own LED stand-up paddleboards or sit tandem on the tour guide’s board, depending on their height, weight, and skill level. Expect to get wet. Swimsuits and rash guards are recommended. For safety reasons, the tour may be cancelled due to high surf, wind, or rain. While there is a beach shower, there’s no convenient place to change clothes or use the restroom at the tour location. Bring towels and sweatshirts to warm up afterwards.

For more information and to book a tour, visit https://www.kealohisurf.com/.

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808 Craft House and Farm to Barn Café + Juicery have opened at Ko Olina Center and are a 3-minute drive or a 15-minute walk from Ko Olina Beach Villas.

808 Craft House is an upscale gastropub with a focus on local food and beverage. As a proud member of the Waikiki Brewing Company, 808 Craft features a bar with craft cocktails, draft beer, and wine. Its menu features Hawaiian beef, chicken, and produce with something for every family member, including handmade Sicilian pizzas, a pupu menu, burgers crafted with a blend of Hawaiian Beef and American Wagyu, steaks, and sustainably-caught fish.

Farm to Barn Café + Juicery is a popular health bar. Its menu includes cold-pressed juices, Maui-made kombuchas, smoothies that taste delicious and are designed to heal and repair the gut, wellness shots and elixirs, acai and coconut sorbet bowls, salads, wraps, bagel sandwiches, melts, flatbreads, and breakfast toasts.

For more information about opening hours and to view the menus, visit https://www.808craft.com/ and https://www.farmtobarncafe.com/.

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NOV 30


Honolulu City Lights, about 40 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas, will be on display at the Frank F. Fasi Civic Center grounds from December 2 to December 29. The city’s 50-foot holiday tree and other outdoor decorations are lit nightly at approximately 6:00 PM and remain on until dawn, switching off at approximately 6:00 AM.

Honolulu City Lights will be open daily from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM and food vendors will be available nightly from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. To avoid the larger crowds, skip the weekends and go on a weekday. This is a great option, as it will get even busier closer to Christmas and the new year.

For more information, visit https://www.honolulucitylights.org/.

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Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman Ko Olina (a 2-minute drive or 10-minute walk from Ko Olina Beach Villas) is a certified member of Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants program. The program recognizes restaurants committed to making sustainable choices for our ocean so people can dine with peace of mind.

The ocean-friendly restaurants all follow these mandatory criteria:

  • Only reusable food ware is used for onsite dining
  • Paper straws are provided only upon request
  • No expanded polystyrene use (aka Styrofoam)
  • No plastic bags are used for takeout or to-go orders
  • Single-use utensils, straws, condiments, and other accessory items are provided only upon request
  • Beverages are not sold in plastic bottles
  • Proper recycling practices are followed

Ocean Friendly Restaurants first launched in 2013 with Surfrider’s Huntington Beach chapter. The program quickly expanded throughout Southern California and Hawaii, becoming a nationally recognized program in 2018. Currently, there are 520 certified restaurants.

For more information about the program and to find an Ocean Friendly Restaurant near you, visit https://www.surfrider.org/programs/ocean-friendly-restaurants.

Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman Ko Olina is open everyday from 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM at 92-1048 Olani Street, Kapolei. To book a table or view the menu, visit https://www.monkeypodkitchen.com/dine_ko_olina.

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Minasa, a beloved food stall at local events, has opened their first brick-and-mortar about 20 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas. The new store is in Tropicana Square, near the Pouhala rail station.

Minasa’s signature dish is Ube Churros. Three churros are coated in ube sugar with a generous ube drizzle and custard filling. The churros are crunchy and softly creamy with a silky smooth sweetness.

Minasa means “to mix” in the Filipino dialect of Tagalog. Maleko Lagmay says he created Minasa to pay homage to his grandparents, who instilled in him a passion for cooking. There are a couple of staple dishes, others come and go based on what Maleko wants to showcase.

There are four tables that can each seat up to five adults and two counters for two. There’s also the takeout option, which is very popular.

Minasa is open Wednesday to Saturday from noon to 4:00 PM at 94-866 Moloalo St. D12, Waipahu. For more information, visit https://minasahawaii.com/.

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SEP 13


The Aloha Festivals ‘Ohana Event and Royal Court Appearance is less than 20 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas at Ka Makana Ali‘i’s Center Court on Saturday, September 16 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. Aloha Festivals has become a state-wide celebration of Hawaiian culture with major events on the island of O‘ahu.

Visitors will celebrate one of the most cherished traditions of Hawai‘i and enjoy hula, music, storytelling, and pageantry that honors Hawai‘i’s ali‘i in a stately ceremony. The Royal Court will don regalia worn only by ali‘i of the highest rank. This year, Aloha Festivals continues to explore our relationship to the land with the theme pili‘āina, meaning “to have kinship with the land.”

For directions to the event, visit https://www.kamakanaalii.com/event/Aloha-Festivals-Ohana-Event-and-Royal-Court-Appearance/2145575945/.

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Ko Olina Beach Villas has partnered with Royal Hawaiian Beach Services to offer a multitude of beach services for a relaxing day at the Honu Lagoon. Guests can book ahead to reserve chaise lounge chairs, beach umbrellas, stand-up paddle boards, snorkels, and a beverage bar cooler full of ice and drinks. This service includes set up and disassembly. Multiple day reservations are available at a reduced rate.

Royal Hawaiian Beach Services also offers a traditional canoe ride at sunset. Guests will ride on a traditional double-hull Hawaiian canoe with a cultural evening canoe torch (simulated torch) while enjoying Hawaiian stories and conch “pu” shell blowing. This experience is meant to transcend time and place for one to cherish for a lifetime.

Guests can also book a 90-minute Lei Making Workshop where they can bring back the nostalgia of old Hawaii by celebrating the recognition of love that occurs each time a lei is made, given, and received. This is a most cherished symbol in Hawaii.

For more information and to book ahead, visit https://royalhawaiianbeachservices.com/?page_id=177.

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JUN 26


The North Shore Chamber of Commerce hosts their second annual Haleiwa 4th of July Fireworks and Car Show Festival for 2023 about 40 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas.

Activities throughout the day include a vintage car show, food vendors, live musical entertainment, hula, fire knife dancing, keiki (kid) activities, food eating contest, and more. The fireworks show starts at 8:00 PM. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit https://haleiwajuly4thfestival.com/.

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