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What’s Winter in Hawaii Like?

Are you looking for a warm vacation destination for winter break? Keep scrolling to find out what winter in Hawaii is like!
This post about winter in Hawaii 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.

Does Hawaii have seasons? Does Hawaii have winter? If you have been wondering what winter is like in Hawaii, you are not alone! 

We have put together this ultimate guide to show you everything that you need to know about visiting Hawaii during the winter season. From the Hawaii weather in winter to what to pack, we have got you covered!

So many people wonder how cold it gets in Hawaii and what it looks like during the winter season.

Here is your ultimate guide on Hawaii during wintertime! 

Want to skip all the planning and just access my detailed Hawaii Itineraries complete with daily schedules, kid-friendly activities, and travel hacks? Click the button below.

When is Winter in Hawaii?

Hawaii seasons are different from seasons on the mainland. And even though the winter season in Hawaii is not cold or anything like on the mainland, it is still considered the Hawaii winter season!

The Hawaii winter months are December, January, and February.

What is Winter Like in Hawaii? 

Here is a brief overview of the winter months in Hawaii. It will go over the different winter temperatures in Hawaii for each of the islands and the different weather in Hawaii in winter you can expect to see during your trip. 

In general, it is the wetter season for most of the islands, so you might see some showers here and there. It is always best to bring a light raincoat, just in case! 

You may be wondering, “How cold does it get in Hawaii?” Check out the average winter temperatures in Hawaii down below.

Hawaii Vacation in December 

In Hawaii in December, you will see temperatures around 72 degrees during the day on Maui. At night, it might get as low as 56 degrees. You might also see a few showers here and there, but not much at all. 

Image of a couple sitting on a beach with santa hats
Christmas in Hawaii is pretty magical!

Christmas weather in Hawaii on the island of Oahu is the coldest it will get on this island. On average, it is usually 79 degrees during the day and can drop to 66 degrees at night. There might be some rain showers that usually last around 5-10 minutes. 

On the Big Island, expect to see the lowest temperatures during winter. It is one of the warmest islands during December, with average days being around 82 degrees. However, during the night, temperatures can get as low as 67 degrees. 

In Kauai, temperatures are around 72 degrees during the day and can be around 55 degrees at night. You can expect to see some rain as it typically rains most of the month. You might want to find some rainy day activities to do during the bits of rain you see, but otherwise, you can still enjoy spending most of your time outdoors in the sun. 

December is the coldest month in Hawaii you will see typically.

Hawaii Vacation in January

Hawaii’s weather in winter on the island of Maui is very similar to what you see in December. Temperatures may drop one or two degrees, but not much. You might see a few showers here and there, but it is usually still very sunny! 

Exploring Molokini Crater in Maui, a guide featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids.
Molokini Crater near Maui.

On Oahu, Hawaii in January, you will see temperatures in the high 70s during the day and mid-60s while you sleep at night. In January, on average, it rains about 5 days on Oahu, so more than likely, you will have good sunny weather. 

The Big Island has temperatures ranging from 66 degrees to 81 degrees in January. You won’t see much rainfall as it only rains two days on average during Hawaii in winter during January! Spend as much time as you can outside and soak up all the sunshine. 

Kauai in winter is still warm and sunny. It doesn’t differ much from December, with temperatures between 54 degrees and 72 degrees. It is a great time to visit all the beautiful waterfalls because of all the rainfall! 

The weather in Hawaii in January is basically the same as in December.

Hawaii Vacation in February 

Maui in winter is a bit colder than in the other months, especially in February. You will see temperatures in the low 70s during the day and mid-50s at night. Winter is Maui’s most rainy season, but you still shouldn’t expect much. On average, it rains 5 days out of the month. 

Image of taro fields with mountains in the background in Hanalei Kauai
Hanalei Valley in North Shore Kauai.

Often, Oahu is the coldest in February, but it still remains around 78 degrees during the day. At night, you might see low 60s, so you might want a lightweight jacket if you plan to be outside in the late evening. 

The Big Island usually has the same temperatures in February as it does in January. Not much changes as it is still in the low 80s during the day and mid-60s at night. You can swim in the ocean and enjoy plenty of outside activities during February in Hawaii! 

In Kauai, February is still exactly the same weather as December and January. Temperatures stay consistently in the lower 70s during the day and mid-50s during the night. It still rains fairly often but doesn’t last all day long. 

Hawaii in February is pretty much the same as the other months with slight changes of each island.

The Hawaii coldest temperature occurs during the winters in Hawaii. But, it is still not “cold.”

The coldest temperature in Hawaii was 52 degrees. You might get some 60-degree nights, but other than that, it will be nice and sunny during the day for typical Hawaii winter weather.

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    Winter Activities in Hawaii

    There are plenty of fun activities to do all winter long on each of the Hawaiian islands. Here are a few of the best winter activities in Hawaii. 

    Christmas Lights 

    Winter in Honolulu is filled with colorful, bright Christmas lights and other fun holiday decorations. Pretty much everywhere you go, you will find coloring lights all over each of the islands! 

    Find out where to see Christmas lights in Hawaii by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of an outdoor Christmas tree in Honolulu.
    Find out where to see Christmas lights in Hawaii.

    Many islands have Christmas parades where they officially light up the streets and buildings in town, but the Christmas lights will always be shining at night. Enjoy going around and feeling the holiday spirit, even if there isn’t any snow! 

    The Honolulu City Lights is a fun gathering where you get to see the huge shaka Santa Claus! In Maui, they will light up the famous Banyan Tree in Lahaina with a big celebration. Take some pictures around these fun decorations, as they are not what you are used to on the mainland! 

    Surfing 

    During the wintertime, the waves are stronger, so it is a great time to surf if you know how. You can always take a surfing lesson to help you learn and be more comfortable in the water. If you go surfing, stay safe and don’t go in waters that are very choppy. 

    Image of a girl surfing
    Learn how to surf in Hawaii.

    If you don’t surf, you can always watch surfing competitions! There are plenty of great surfing competitions along the North Shore of Oahu, where you can go and enjoy some of the best surfers on the water. 

    Whale-Watching

    You can spot some incredible whales on any of the islands during the winter months. Plenty of great whale-watching tours will take you on the water and get close to the whales. 

    The Best Kauai Whale Watching Tours featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids
    Check out humpback whales in Hawaii.

    However, you can usually spot them on any of the beaches too! Bring some binoculars, and you will be sure to see at least one during your Hawaii vacation!   

    Christmas Dinner Cruise

    Dinner cruises are very fun and make for the perfect romantic activity, especially around the holidays. For this special Christmas cruise, you can go for brunch or dinner. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet along with complimentary drinks as you sail the ocean. 

    Mauna Kea Stargazing

    On Mauna Kea, the tallest part of Hawaii, you might get to see some snow! They have plenty of stargazing tours that take you up the mountain.

    It is a fun way to experience the cold in Hawaii. Be sure to bring warm clothes as it does indeed get very cold on Mauna Kea! 

    The Hawaii temperature in winter on this once got as cold as 12 degrees!

    Polynesian Cultural Center

    The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) in Laie, Oahu, always has fun Christmas activities for both families and adults. From a lagoon ride to a “snow” day, you will find activities to help bring a smile to your face all winter long! 

    Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival

    In February on the Big Island, you can enjoy some of the most beautiful cherry blossoms! While it may still be a bit early for the mainland, these gorgeous trees bloom early here in February. Each year, a special festival celebrates the start of spring. 

    What to Pack for Traveling to Hawaii in the Winter

    Besides the regular beach clothes and vacation items, you will want to bring the following if you plan to vacation in Hawaii during the winter: 

    • Light sweater. It can get a bit chilly in the evenings. 
    • Lightweight raincoat or umbrella. You might experience some rain every now and then, especially in Kauai. 
    • If you plan to visit Mauna Kea, you will want warmer clothes since it gets cold up there. 
    • Tennis shoes, especially if you plan to hike. Bring ones you won’t mind that they get muddy! 

    Hawaii during Winter FAQs

    Does it get cold in Hawaii? 

    You are probably wondering: “Does Hawaii get cold?” A Hawaii winter does not get cold like the mainland. While it is colder than the summer, it stays pretty warm. You usually don’t see temperatures under 70 degrees during the day and 60 degrees at night.

    How cold does Hawaii get in the winter?

    During the day, it rarely gets below 75 degrees. At night, the Hawaii winter temperature can get anywhere between 58 degrees and 70 degrees. The coldest day in Hawaii was 12 degrees on top of Mauna Kea, but in Honolulu, it was 56 degrees.

    Is Hawaii warm in December? 

    Yes, Hawaii is definitely still warm in December, especially compared to the mainland! You can expect sunshine and warm days even during Hawaii’s winter!

    Is Hawaii worth visiting in the winter?

    If you live in a cold place, Hawaii is definitely worth visiting in the wintertime! You will love the warm winter weather in Hawaii and all the holiday festivities that take place in December. The Hawaii winter season is usually cheaper to visit too!

    Can you swim in Hawaii in the winter? 

    You can swim in Hawaii all year long! While the water temperature may drop a degree or two, it is usually never below 70 degrees, making it swimmable all year long.

    Does it snow in Hawaii?

    It does, in fact, snow in Hawaii! But, it is pretty rare, and it only snows on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Learn how to go skiing in Hawaii!

    When is hurricane season in Hawaii?

    Hurricane season in Hawaii is from June to November, so not during the Hawaii cold season.

    When is Hawaii rainy season?

    The rainy season in Hawaii is from November to March in addition to the cold weather in Hawaii. You might have a Hawaii storm, but most of the time, it rains for a few minutes at a time.

    Winter in Hawaii Wrap-Up

    If you plan to visit Hawaii during the winter, you will find it full of holiday festivities and slightly cooler weather. It is still bright and sunny and the perfect destination if you want to get away from the cold and snow!

    Looking for more Hawaii winter posts? Check out the best things to do in Hawaii during winter, best Hawaii Christmas hotels, and what to add to your Christmas in Hawaii packing list!