Panda Dimsum serves up the most adorable steamed buns about 30 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas. The sweet and savory bun designs include pandas, bees, hedgehogs, frogs, pigs, sunflowers, mushrooms, and more. They also include characters from movies and pop culture, including Minions and Angry Birds.
The buns are tasty, steamed hot when you order, and the creatures’ coloring comes from vegetables. Some buns have vegetable fillings and some have meaty offerings. On the sweet side, the pandas and sunflowers are filled with custard, the Minions contain red beans, the Angry Birds are stuffed with lotus, and the bees sweet potato.
Located in Chinatown Market Place at 1199 Dillingham Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96817 Kalihi (808) 429-2018
The best fruits, vegetables, plants, and more can be found every Saturday morning about 55 minutes from the Ko Olina Beach Villas at the KCC Farmers’ Market.
The farmers and food producers are in attendance to talk about their products, how they grow them, and how to prepare them. Visitors stroll through the many aisles of locally-grown fruits, vegetables, and plants to see the abundance Oahu has to offer. The market also features fresh flowers, handmade items, a variety of live entertainment, and featured restaurants who prepare delicious plates each week. Guests will also find fresh-baked scones, oatcakes, and other baked items to enjoy with a cup of Hawaii-grown coffee.
Every Saturday from 7:30 AM to 11:00 AM
For more information, visit https://www.kapiolani.hawaii.edu/project/farmers-market/.
Enjoy a big Thanksgiving meal without turning on the oven or leaving the Ko Olina resort. Holiday dining options include elaborate buffets, special prix fixe holiday menus, as well as a sliced turkey plate with all of the usual sides. Some require reservations and some do not. A full list of the dining options is below.
Roy’s - A special prix fixe holiday menu will be served. Reservations are recommended. Contact the restaurant directly at 808-676-7697 or visit http://www.royshawaii.com/roys-ko-olina.html for more information.
Four Seasons Resort
Mina’s Fish House - Chef Garrick Mendoza’s special dinner feast will be served from 4PM to 10PM. For more information or to make a reservation, visit https://www.michaelmina.net/restaurants/hawaii/minas-fish-house/#events.
La Hiki Kitchen – Thanksgiving Brunch Buffet will be served from 11AM to 2:30PM (last seating at 2PM). A special dinner menu will be served from 5PM to 9PM. For more information or to make a reservation, visit https://lahikikitchen.com/thanksgiving/.
Noe – An Eatalian Thanksgiving dinner menu will be served from 5PM to 9PM. For more information or to make a reservation, visit https://www.noeitalian.com/thanksgiving/.
‘AMA’AMA – A Turkey Lunch Plate special will be served from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM. A special prix fixe holiday dinner menu will be served from 5PM to 9PM.
Makahiki - A casual all-you-care-to-enjoy holiday buffet will be served from 4PM to 9PM.
Ulu Cafe – A Sliced Turkey Plate will be served from 5PM to 8:30PM.
For more information about Aulani’s Thanksgiving dining options or to make a reservation, visit https://www.disneyaulani.com/activities/seasonal/thanksgiving/.
Madre Chocolate offers the sweetest classes about 30 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas every Wednesday or Friday afternoon. Learn how their chocolate is made locally from bean-to-bar, sample some of their popular flavors, and make your very own chocolate bar. For a more adult chocolate experience, they also offer whiskey or wine pairing evenings (check the calendar). All class/pairing tickets must be purchased in advance.
Guests can take a monthly Cacao Farm to Chocolate Factory tour. The tour starts at a local organic cacao and diversified farm to see the beautiful cacao pods, learn how to tell when they’re ripe, taste the fresh sweet cacao pulp, help harvest cacao, and see how it’s fermented and dried. The tour moves to their shop where they roast, crack, & winnow your own cacao, show how they grind and temper chocolate into bars, and guests dip a delicious local fruit in their rich dark chocolate to eat on the spot.
For more information about classes and tours, visit http://madrechocolate.com.
September 30. 2018. marks the 35th anniversary of the Annual Hale ‘Aina awards recognizing the best food Hawaii’s local restaurants have to offer. Over the last 35 years, Roy Yamaguchi has won a total of 128 Hale ‘Aina awards, more than any other chef.
Visitors and locals can experience Roy Yamaguchi’s unique Hawaiian fusion fare at any of Roy’s four Oahu locations: Roy’s Ko Olina Golf Club (five minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas), Roy’s Waikiki, Roy’s Beach House at Turtle Bay Resort, and The Original Roy’s in Hawaii Kai. His original location, Hawaiʻi Kai, also holds the record for the most awarded restaurant—70, to be exact.
For more information and to make a reservation, visit http://www.royshawaii.com/.
Locals and tourists are going bananas for Banán’s nondairy, banana soft serve creations available at four Honolulu locations (about 45 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas). Visitors can enjoy up to seven different flavors offered in nine different creations, including floats. One of their signature items is a Papaya Boat, which allows guests to eat their dishware.
They use locally sourced foods and buy at least 90 percent of their ingredients from the Islands. This approach ensures the freshest and most flavorful product for consumers and supports local farms and suppliers, It also helps the environment by reducing the need to import food and burn additional fossil fuels. Banán closes the food waste loop by returning their banana peels and other food waste to Waiahole and Waianae farms, which helps feed the pigs or make compost.
For more information about their menu, locations, farm suppliers, and more, visit https://www.bananbowls.com/.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honolulu offers an architectural walking tour of Downtown Honolulu every other Saturday (about 30 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas). It is a special experience for visitors to explore downtown Honolulu through the eyes of an architectural historian.
The walking tour visits the restored Hawaii Theatre, Our Lady of Peace Cathedral, St. Andrews Cathedral, Washington Place, State Capitol, Iolani Palace, Honolulu Hale, Kawaihao Church, Mission House Museum, Aliiolani Hale, the Kamehameha Statue, and more.
The tour must be booked ahead ($15 per person) and runs from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM (check in at 8:45 AM). Tour group sizes range from four to twelve walkers. Comfortable walking shoes, water, sunscreen, and an umbrella are recommended.
For more information, visit https://www.aiahonolulu.org/?WalkingTours.
Celebrate all things mango, Hawaii’s most precious fruit, at The Mango Jam Honolulu (about 30 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas). This two-day event offers visitors a taste of island culture by featuring various types of live entertainment, food and craft booths, a beer and cocktail garden, and a farmer’s market full of fresh island produce including the magnificent mango. There will also be a mango cook-off (sweet and savory) and a mango barbecue cook-off between local celebrity chefs.
The event starts on Friday, June 29, from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Festivities continue on Saturday, June 30, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Entry is free and free parking is available at the city’s municipal parking lot and nearby Kalanimoku building.
For more information, visit http://www.mangojamhonolulu.com/.
The Arch Project Climbing Center offers 2,000 square feet of climbing surface and a custom 16-inch-thick padded floor in Waipahu, about 25 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villa. The center supplements the Arch Project Hawai‘i nonprofit that organizes beach and hiking trail cleanups, holiday food drives, and screens documentary films about sustainability. They also support other nonprofits, including 808 Cleanups; Big Brothers Big Sisters; the anti-sex trafficking organization, and Ho‘ōla Nā Pua; Project Hawai‘i Inc., which provides support for homeless children.
“Climbing builds confidence and evens the playing field between gender, age, height. We’re just trying to get people enthusiastic about climbing and taking care of the community.” says creator Nathaniel Lam.
The gym features an amphitheater-style wall designed by Futurist Climbing and built by WALLTOPIA and provides a wide range of angles to climb on while challenging both beginners and experts.
For more information about pricing, visit https://www.archprojectclimbing.com/.
Take a guided ATV tour of scenic valleys and remote areas rarely visited by others, only 50 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas. Visit iconic Hollywood filming locations, explore some of Kualoa’s secret spots, and take in sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean.
Kualoa Ranch offers one or two-hour tours on single passenger or multi-passenger ATVs. Tours cross streams and cut through jungle trails, rain or shine, so be sure to wear closed-toe shoes, long pants, and sunscreen.
For more information about pricing and booking a tour, visit http://www.kualoa.com/oahu-tours/atv-tours/.