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16 Best Things to Do on Oahu in December

Are you thinking about planning a trip to Oahu in December? Find out some of the best things to do in Oahu in December that are worth adding to your itinerary!
This list of things to do in Oahu in December was written by Hawaii travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog

Visiting Oahu in December is a fabulous way to enjoy a getaway.

If you live somewhere the cold and blustery weather is putting a damper on your mood, planning a trip to Oahu in December is a great way to get away from that. 

There are many exciting and fun activities to participate in when you travel to Oahu for a Hawaii vacation in December.

From many events and attractions to the warm and inviting Oahu temperature in December, your trip is sure to be a treat.

If you are looking to spend Christmas on Oahu, or celebrate New Year’s Eve in Oahu, there are several ways to do that too. 

Here is your ultimate guide on the fun things to do on Oahu for a Hawaii December vacation!

Don’t have time to read a bunch of Hawaii blog posts and reviews? Here are some of our top picks for visiting Oahu.

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Oahu Weather in December 

The December weather in Oahu still permits swimming, beach days, and lots of outdoor activities. The temperature in Honolulu in December is much the same as on the entire island.

It is important to note that it is the rainy season in Oahu. In fact, it is the wettest month of the year on the island, so pack some rain gear. 

Even though it is the rainy Hawaii weather in December, you won’t have an entire day of rain; it usually is just here and there.

While it is the rainy season, the weather in Honolulu Hawaii in December is still much warmer than in many other parts of the country. 

Overall, the Oahu in December weather is perfect for a Hawaii trip!

Temperature in Hawaii in December

Visiting Oahu in December offers up wonderful temperatures. The average temperatures in Oahu in December remain nice and warm, making it easy to enjoy outdoor activities.

Couple of santa claus hat on tropical exotic paradise sandy beach with ocean waves and rocky coastline in background.
You can definitely hit the beach on Oahu in winter.

The average Oahu temperature in December is a high 81 degrees Fahrenheit. The average low temperature is around 67 degrees Fahrenheit.  The average temperature in Honolulu is about the same.

The interesting thing about the weather in Oahu in December is that on one side of the island could be sunny while the other is rainy.

The water temperatures in Oahu hit about 77 degrees Fahrenheit in December. Which means swimming is imminent. 

Waikiki Weather in December

December is a windy month on the island of Oahu. In December the trade winds pick up, making the air cooler and the waves higher.

Plan to pack a light sweater and some rain gear just in case. The weather in Waikiki Hawaii in December is still sure to impress.

Ultimately, the Honolulu weather in December is perfect and quite different from most states on the Mainland.

Visit Winter in Hawaii to learn more.

Things to do on Oahu in December

There are so many great things to do in Hawaii in December that you are sure to find something that everyone will enjoy. Whether you choose to celebrate Christmas in Honolulu, New Year’s Eve in Oahu, a Waikiki Christmas, or participate in other various events, there is something here for everyone. 

Here are some of the best Oahu things to do when traveling to Hawaii in December:

Christmas on Oahu

Spending Christmas on Oahu is a great way to celebrate the season. Whether you choose to attend a Christmas event in Honolulu, Waikiki, or any other part of this beautiful island, it is sure to create long-lasting memories. 

Here are a few of the Christmas in Oahu activities to enjoy:

Annual Honolulu City Lights

Every year, starting at the beginning of December, this iconic holiday event takes place. If you are spending Christmas in Honolulu this is not to be missed.

Check out Shaka Santa at Honolulu City Lights.

If you are on the island at the start of the month, be sure to take in the opening ceremony that includes an electric light parade and a tree lighting ceremony. 

It is one of the top things to do in Honolulu Hawaii in December!

Visit the Honolulu City Lights Website for more information. 

Book a Family Photo Shoot

Whenever we travel to Hawaii, we almost always book a family photo shoot with Flytographer. They are super easy, affordable, AND it guarantees that I’ll be in some photos. You can get $25 off if you book through this link or use the code HAWAIITRAVEL.

Holiday Lights Trolley Tour 

If you are looking for a great way to spend a Waikiki Christmas, you are not going to want to miss this Holiday Light Tour.

During this wonderful tour, you will take a 30-minute ride through the Honolulu parade of lights. Not only this but you will pass by the Shaka Santa. You can purchase candy canes and more on this tour to make it even more festive. 

After your 30-minute drive, you can walk around and enjoy the festivities. This lights tour is one of the things to do in Honolulu in December!

For more Christmas events check out Waikiki Christmas Activities

Visit How to Spend Christmas with Kids in Hawaii to learn more. 

New Year’s Eve Celebrations on Oahu

If you plan on ringing in the New Year on Oahu, there are several fun events that you can participate in. 

There’s an amazing Waikiki fireworks show for New Year’s Eve.

Waikiki New Year’s Fireworks

Bring a picnic basket and get ready to see a stunning fireworks display. Sponsored by the Waikiki Improvement Association, this is a great evening to be had by all. 

These fireworks are the best way to spend your final day in Waikiki in December.

Visit the Waikiki Improvement Association Website for more information.

New Year’s Eve Midnight Cruise

Celebrate New Year’s Eve aboard a beautiful ship. On the Star of Honolulu New Year’s Eve Cruise, you will get a gourmet dinner, party favors, champagne, and more.

Enjoy some gorgeous Hawaiian music, a pier-side hula, and an ocean view of the fireworks show. 

It is perfect for your Hawaii trip in December, especially in you are on your honeymoon! Read our full Star of Honolulu review.

Mililani’s New Year’s Eve Pineapple Drop

For a truly unique experience visit Mililani’s New Year’s Eve Pineapple Drop. This is a great family-friendly event that has live performances and more.

Watch as the 12-foot pineapple drops. It is synced perfectly to the Times Square Ball Drop in New York. Yell Happy New Year, participate in events, enjoy some giveaways, and more. 

For more great ways to party check out How to Celebrate New Years Eve in Hawaii

Pearl Harbor Anniversary Events

There are a number of events taking place on the island from the beginning of December. That’s because Pearl Harbor Day is December 7th.

Ford Island Control Tower at Pearl Harbor on Oahu
Check out the Ford Island Control Tower at Pearl Harbor. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

There are Blues and Jazz performances, reef laying ceremonies, outdoor movie nights on Waikiki Beach, nights at the museum, an opening gala and block party, and more. 

When visiting Hawaii in December or any month of the year, be sure to head to Pearl Harbor; it’s definitely worth it!

Check out the Pearl Harbor Events Schedule for more.

Top 10 Oahu Attractions in December

There are so many things to do on Oahu in December. From fantastic outdoor attractions to some great indoor activities, you are sure to find something that the entire family will enjoy. 

Whether you are looking for things to do on Oahu with kids, or simply want to plan a trip to Oahu, rich with activities, there is something on this beautiful island for everyone. 

If you are looking for what to do in Oahu in December, any of the following activities will be a blast:

1. Whale Watching 

Whale watching on Oahu in December is a fabulous experience. There are so many different places where you can view these gorgeous creatures in their natural habitat. 

A jumping humpback whale near Oahu Island, Hawaii, America
Be sure to book an Oahu whale-watching tour during the winter.

During the winter in Hawaii, Whales are starting to migrate into the area. This is because they want to begin the breeding process. Hawaii is host to around 10,000 Humpback Whales throughout the winter months, making them easy to spot. 

You can take a whale-watching tour or view the humpback whales from the shoreline. The tours are a fabulous way to learn more about the whales themselves, so consider taking one if you want to get up close and personal with these beautiful creatures.  

Whale watching is one of the best things to do in Hawaii in December!

2. North Shore Oahu 

If you want to go surfing on Oahu, the North Shore is the place to go. The North Shore Oahu waves in December are huge. In fact, the North Shore is host to some of the best surfing competitions in the world. 

Surfer jumping a wave at Rocky Point on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, USA
Surfer jumping a wave at Rocky Point on the North Shore of Oahu.

Just make sure that you leave surfing the gigantic waves to the professionals. If you want to watch some big wave surfing, there are plenty of spots on the North Shore to do it. 

3. Snorkeling 

Snorkeling in Oahu in December is a fantastic activity to participate in. There are so many opportunities to experience a snorkeling adventure in Oahu. 

Find out cool Sea Turtle facts for kids and download instructions to make your own Sea Turtle Life Cycle Lapbook by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of a sea turtle swimming and looking at the camera
Look for sea turtles when you snorkel on Oahu.

Take advantage of the gorgeous waters with an Oahu Snorkel Tour. You will see some of the world’s most unique and exotic marine life. From gorgeous aquatic flora to stunning tropical fish, booking a snorkeling excursion is sure to impress when you travel to Hawaii in December.

4. Waikiki Beach 

Located in Honolulu on the beautiful island of Oahu, this beach is a must-visit. Waikiki Beach in December is especially gorgeous.

It’s hard to beat hanging at Waikiki Beach.

Here you can experience gorgeous views of Diamond Head, find everything you need within walking distance, and sunbathe in the gorgeous sands.  

The beautiful turquoise blue water and stunning white sands are the perfect places to relax, take a swim, and enjoy the local culture. 

It is one of the best things to do Oahu has to offer!

5. Waikiki Aquarium 

Check out the fascinating, engaging, and colorful exhibits at the Waikiki Aquarium. You can see so many different amazing sea creatures.

From Bluefin trevally to Hawaiian Monk seals, you can learn so much about the gorgeous underwater life of Hawaii.

This is possibly one of the best things to do on Oahu with kids. Especially since it provides so many great opportunities to learn and interact with the exhibits. 

6. Hawaiian Railway Society Train Rides

Take in the beautiful scenic views all while learning about the Railroad and its history in Hawaii.

The Hawaiian Railway Society is committed to preserving the railroading history in Hawaii. Through this non-profit organization, you will have the chance to ride on the track that runs along old Ewa. 

Whether you are a train lover or simply want to learn more about Oahu’s history, this experience is a fantastic one.

There is a toy train museum, as well as an ice cream shop where you can purchase a delicious treat. 

Plus, sometimes they do an awesome Christmas-themed train ride in December too, making it another one of the things to do in Hawaii for Christmas.

7. Ala Moana Center

This breathtaking open-air shopping mall is sure to impress everyone who visits. Featuring over 350 services, shops and restaurants, 11,000 parking spaces, and more, this mall is a great place to get your shop on. 

There are SO many places to shop at Ala Moana Center.

There are even opportunities to watch live entertainment. There are hula shows, orchestras, dance recitals, Hawaiian bands, and more. 

Check out the Ala Moana Center and enjoy a fantastic shopping experience. You can even get some presents for December in Honolulu here too or some awesome souvenirs.

8. Nu’uanu Pali

If you are looking for great things to do in Oahu with kids, this is a great choice. Visit Nu’uanu Pali and take in endless panoramic views of the Northeast Coast. 

View of the windward coastline of Oahu, Hawaii, from the Nuuanu Pali Lookout in the mountains above Honolulu
View of the windward coastline of Oahu from the Nuuanu Pali Lookout in the mountains above Honolulu.

With several scenic trails, amazing natural landscapes, and more, this iconic island landmark is to impress. 

9. Hawaiian Luau

Peppered throughout the island, these family-friendly events are not difficult to find. There are several Hawaiian luau experiences to be had on Oahu in December, so make sure to find one that you will enjoy. 

Experience Nutridge Luau in Honolulu. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

These luaus will give your littles a chance to learn all about the vibrant and rich culture of Hawaii all while experiencing exciting dances and traditional entertainment. You may even be able to participate as well!

There are several different luaus to choose from. Check out the Toa Luau or Experience Nutridge Luau as they offer some fantastic entertainment options.

A luau is one of the top must-dos for your Hawaii trips in December.

10. Hanauma Bay State Park 

This is a great place to view the rich marine life of Hawaii in its natural habitat. This protected marine life conservation and underwater park is a must-visit on Oahu. 

Hanauma Bay on Oahu in June
Go snorkeling at Hanauma Bay on Oahu

Inside the cone of an ancient Volcano, Hanauma Bay is a gorgeous place to view various species of marine life, along with a diverse ecosystem. 

You can go snorkeling here, enjoy a Spinner Dolphin Excursion, and more. 

If you are wondering what to do in Hawaii in December, try out Hanauma Bay; you won’t be disappointed!

December in Oahu FAQs

What is the weather like in Oahu in December?

The weather is pretty nice still in December in Hawaii. The Oahu average temperature for December is around 81 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 67 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

Is it cold in Hawaii in December?

The Oahu Hawaii weather in December is not cold at all, especially when compared to snowy places on the mainland. It might get a bit chilly at night, so you will want to bring a sweater, but other than that, you shouldn’t be cold during the day.

Can you swim in Hawaii in December?

Yes, absolutely! The ocean temperature in December in Oahu is around 77 degrees Fahrenheit, making it so nice and warm!

What is the best Hawaiian island in December?

While each island is awesome, I think the best places to visit in Hawaii in December are on Oahu. Because it is a tourist island, there are tons of things to see and do in December!

Oahu Hawaii in December Wrap-Up 

There are so many exciting things to do in Oahu in December. Whether you choose to celebrate Christmas on the island, enjoy New Year’s Eve, or simply take part in one of the amazing attractions, you are sure to remember this vacation. 

Visiting Oahu in December is a great choice when it comes to experiencing great weather and more. Don’t delay, get your exciting vacation booked today. 

Looking for more Oahu travel content? Find out the most beautiful places on Oahu, surprising facts about Oahu, how to get around Oahu, and how many days on Oahu you really need!