If you’re looking to spend your holidays in Maui, then you are guaranteed to have a great time. You will find the island decked out in lights, colorful ornaments, and fun events during this time of the year! Indeed, Maui knows how to celebrate the holidays the Aloha way.

As you are making your plans for a fun-filled holiday in Maui, you might be interested to know which events are taking place on the island during your visit. Below, check out this list of fun events to look forward to in December and January.

The Shops’ Wailea Window Wonderland

Staying in Wailea is a great idea if you’re going to Maui for a holiday. It’s home to some of the nicest vacation rentals in Maui, as well as luxury resorts and hotels like the Four Seasons Hotel and Grand Wailea. The area is also much quieter than the other resort communities in Maui, so you can truly enjoy a peaceful and relaxing vacation. But this doesn’t mean that your stay in Wailea will be boring.

The Shops at Wailea, a famous shopping mall, is hosting holiday festivities, such as the Wailea Window Wonderland, giving families and guests a chance to capture holiday memories with Santa. To ensure the safety of everyone and curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus, Santa will be sitting behind the storefront window in The Shops’ Upper Valley. As an added treat, Santa’s elves will also be there and will be going around to hand out complimentary Peppermint Macadamia Nut Cookies!

Keiki Holiday Festival

Imua Family Services, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping kids and their families reach their full potential, will be hosting the Keiki Holiday Festival on December 11. This event used to be limited only to their clients, but after acquiring the 6-acre Discovery Garden, they have expanded their annual holiday festivities to the broader community. The Keiki Holiday Festival is an outdoor event intended for kids aged two to seven, including their families. It will include appearances of Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, tree-lighting, holiday caroling, and so much more.

For the safety of everyone, the event will be operating with safety precautions in place. Families interested in joining the fun festivities should register in advance at the website of Imua Family Services. The event will take place at Imua Discovery Garden in Wailuku. If you are staying in South Maui, such as in one of the condos in Maalaea Bay, the Imua Discovery Garden is only a few minutes away.

Santa Arrival at Grand Wailea

Grand Wailea, one of the most popular luxury resorts in Maui, will be hosting fun festivities this holiday season. One of the most awaited events is Santa’s Arrival on the beach. Happening on Christmas Eve at Wailea Beach, guests will witness Santa arriving in a decorated outrigger canoe instead of his sleigh! It’s a wonderful opportunity for families to have photos with Santa. After that, guests can join in some fun cultural activities by the beach.

If you are staying in any of the vacation rentals in Wailea, the Wailea Beach should only be a walking distance away. The beach has paved walkways connecting it to the shoreline, where you will find Wailea’s top hotels, shops, and restaurants. Before Santa’s arrival, you can swim or snorkel at the beach or dine and shop at the nearby restaurants and shops.

Annual Lighting of Banyan Tree in Lahaina

The lighting of the Banyan Tree in the historic area of Lahaina is one of the most popular events to look forward to in Maui this holiday season. For the entire month of December, the 147-year-old Banyan tree will be decked with festive holiday lights every 6 PM until midnight. Hosted by the Lahaina Restoration Foundation, everyone is invited to witness this fun tradition.

The lighting of the iconic Banyan tree is a popular tradition on the island and something that you should not miss when you visit Maui in December. To keep the tradition alive, the Lahaina Restoration Foundation encourages the public to witness the lighting of the tree every 6 PM. After the lighting ceremony, stroll through Lahaina Front Street and visit the shops and restaurants in the area.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks at The Grand Wailea

Another fun event to watch out for in Maui is the New Year’s Eve Fireworks Display at The Grand Wailea. Known as the grandest New Year’s Eve fireworks on the island, witnessing Grand Wailea’s fireworks display is a must! If you are staying in a Wailea condo rental, the fireworks display should be visible from your place. But if you want to witness it up-close, go to Wailea Beach and witness the magical explosion of colors from the shore!

If you plan on going to Wailea Beach on New Year’s Eve, take note that public parking space can be scarce. For those staying in the other parts of the island, it’s not practical to travel to Wailea since traffic can be bad. But you should find several fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve all over Maui. Some hotels and resorts often set off fireworks at the beaches to welcome the coming year.

New Year’s Eve Cocktail Cruises

On New Year’s Eve, the Pacific Whale Foundation will be organizing cocktail cruises that will depart from either Lahaina or Maalaea harbors. As your boat cruises along the Pacific Ocean, you will indulge in decadent desserts, cocktails, and other delicious treats. Aside from the sumptuous feast, DJs will also play live music, a perfect way to ring in the New Year.

You should book this activity as early as possible. This tour is often in high demand, so the earlier you book, the better. Lahaina Harbor is closer to the resorts in West Maui; however, parking in Lahaina can be really difficult, especially on New Year. On the other hand, if you’re staying in any of the vacation rentals in South Maui, you can join the cruise from Maalaea harbor. This place is closer to Wailea, which has more spacious parking space compared to Lahaina.