In the winter months, huge swells visit the North Shore of Oahu and bring some of the best waves in the world (about 55 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas). The top surfers across the planet arrive for some of the most exciting surf competitions on earth.
Because surfers are at the mercy of the waves, their competitions work differently than other sporting events. Since coordinators can’t predict the exact surf conditions, there are date windows given for each contest. For example, the window for the Billabong Pipe Masters is December 8 to 20, 2017. During that window, weather and wave conditions are closely monitored and contest officials decide every morning if the contest is on or off. If you’re on Oahu during a contest window, visit the website of the contest host every morning to see if the competition is on.
Take binoculars for optimum surf viewing. Pack snacks, as most competition locations have minimal food (if any at all). Bring your own shade (umbrella/tent), as the sun can still be quite hot in the winter. If you bring an umbrella/tent, be courteous to others and keep it low or set up to the side. Bring a camera (bonus if you have a telephoto lens).
To check surf conditions for all shores, go to www.SurfNewsNetwork.com. For event status, updates, and conditions, call 808-596-SURF.
This year marks the 8th Annual Rice Fest, which will take place on Auahi Street fronting Ward Centre (about 55 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas) from 3 PM to 9 PM.
Visitors will experience Hawaii’s culinary and cultural diversity with live musical entertainment (taiko drumming and ukulele performances), celebrity chefs, and uniquely-Hawaiian eating contests (poke, loco moco, and SPAM musubi).
Most importantly, this event will support Lanakila Meals on Wheels who help feed Hawaii’s hungry seniors. They will be accepting monetary and rice donations all day long at their booth.
Festivities are free. For more information, visit http://ricefest.com/.
Bring the whole family for a celebration of Chinese culture and cuisine in the heart of Chinatown (about 55 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas) on Saturday, August 26, 2017. The day of food and fun runs from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Sample fare from an array of local chefs, peruse crafts and goods, and participate in different cultural demonstrations, including activities for the kids. There will also be live entertainment in a park setting.
For a schedule of the events, entertainment, and more, visit https://www.cidchinatownhawaii.org/taste-of-chinatown-poster.html.
Clay Day with the Hawaii Potters’ Guild is a free, hands-on clay activity for all ages about 45 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas. Have tons of fun making mini-monsters and take a spin on a potter’s wheel (with expert guidance).
This is a popular family event, so be prepared to sign in when you arrive at the museum and be on a waiting list.
Museum galleries will be open and admission is free. Drop in at the second floor Multipurpose Room, No. 1 Capitol District Building any time between 11 AM and 3 PM, allowing about 30 minutes to complete a project. All materials provided.
For more information, visit http://sfca.hawaii.gov/blog/ai1ec_event/second-saturday-save-the-date-10/?instance_id=1345.
Coral Crater Adventure Park, about 10 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas, is Oahu’s best-kept 35-acre secret. The park opened this year and sits inside a former coral quarry on what was once part of Barber’s Point Naval Base. If you and your kids like to climb, swing, zip line, free fall, and more, then this is the place for you.
Guests can enjoy up to six zip-lines, off-road ATV adventures, the King Swing, the Free Fall from 80 feet high, and the state-of-the art Adventure Tower with its 18-element aerial challenge course. If you still have energy at night, try out the “Zombie Apocalypse” where participants use replica M4 laser tag guns to shoot people dressed up as zombies.
For more information, visit https://coralcrater.com/.
The Evening of Jazz, presented by the Hawaii Friends of Civil Rights, is an evening of free live music and art about 45 minutes from Ko Olina Beach villas.
The evening will feature Emme Tomimbang with Al Harrington, Ginai, Starr Kalahiki, Renee Ebalaroza and Mike Lewis & Friends, and special guest Wally Amos. The museum galleries will also be open with free admission.
Parking is available across the street in the Ali’i Place building (enter at 1099 Alakea St., cash only) or metered street parking in the area.
For more information, visit http://sfca.hawaii.gov/blog/ai1ec_event/first-friday-save-the-date-8/?instance_id=1319.
Hawaii Polo Oceanfront Trail Rides, about 45 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas, offers horseback riding adventures unlike your typical ranch trail rides. Experience unforgettable horseback rides along the spectacular coast of Oahu’s North Shore with expert guides.
Group and private trail rides are available during the day and at sunset, as well as polo lessons. For more information about pricing and packages, visit https://oahuhorsebackrides.com/.
The Red Barn Farmstand, about 40 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas, opened in October 2016 on the North Shore in Haleiwa. It is a vibrant spot that sells locally-grown produce and food products. They work with local farmers and artisans to offer the best and freshest fruits, vegetables, and other items. They also prepare and serve breakfast, brunch, lunch, and to-go items. The ingredients they use are from their fields or the fields of their Oahu partner farms.
In April, the Red Barn Farmstand started hosting a Friday event called Farmers & Friends, with a special lunch menu featuring a select farmer or artisan. Visitors can speak with the farmers or food producers and learn how they farm or craft their products and the best ways to use them.
The next Farmers & Friends lunch is on June 16, from 11 AM to 1 PM, and will feature Mānoa Chocolate from Kailua. The entire lunch menu will be designed around its artisan chocolates. The cost is $25 and includes a starter, main dish, drink, and dessert.
For more information, visit http://www.redbarnfarmstand.com/events/farmers-friends-fridays/.
Lantern Floating Hawaii is a Memorial Day ceremony at Ala Moana Beach (about 35 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas) where everyone gathers for a personal and collective moment of remembrance, reflection, and offering of gratitude to those who have gone before us.
Individual lanterns are available from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., or until they run out. There will be a pre-ceremony taiko (Japanese drums) performance at 6:10 PM and the ceremony will start at 6:30 PM.
For more information, visit http://lanternfloatinghawaii.com.
Eating House 1849, a plantation-inspired concept by James Beard Award-winning chef Roy Yamaguchi, opens at the Kapolei Commons (about 10 minutes from the Ko Olina Beach Villas).
The restaurant pays homage to Hawaii’s vibrant culinary heritage with a nod to restaurateurs like Peter Fernandez who opened one of the first restaurants in Hawaii back in the mid-1800s. Peter called his restaurant the Eating House and used what was available from local farmers, ranchers, foragers, and fishermen.
Chef Roy Yamaguchi blends the easy feeling and simple flavors of a plantation town with the innovative modernity of stylish cuisine. The kitchen will be headed by executive chef Randy Bangloy, who was most recently the sous chef at Roy’s Ko Olina. The Waipahu High alum is a graduate of Leeward Community College’s culinary program.
For more information, visit http://www.eatinghouse1849.com/.