January 2021: New Things to Try in the New Year

January 19, 2021

Blog banner featuring hula dancer & musician teaching a class with 3 people in Waikiki

While spectacular aerial fireworks lit up the sky across Hawaii on New Year’s Eve, our typical year-end celebrations were not the same this time around. Many didn’t fly home for the holidays out of caution, and most family parties turned into digital cheers through FaceTime and Zoom with the current restriction on large gatherings. Yet the potential for a better 2021 made us feel more hopeful than ever as the clock struck midnight.

As with the start of any new year, you might be thinking of ways to change up your routine whether it’s learning something new or committing to a goal. If you’re still trying to figure out what to do, here are some easy ideas.

Pick Up a New Hobby

Take Ukulele Classes

Two men holding ukuleles & flashing a shaka with their handsLocated on the second floor of Waikiki Beach Walk®, The Ukulele Store offers free daily ukulele lessons to those interested in learning how to play Hawaii’s favorite stringed instrument. It’s a great way to not only gain a new skill but experience a cherished part of Hawaiian music and culture firsthand.

Lessons start at 4:30 p.m. each day and are led by Nā Hōkū Hanohano music award winner, Tyler Gilman, who brings over 25 years of experience teaching ukulele. To sign up, call 808-888-5469.

While there, check out The Ukulele Store’s wide range of instruments for beginners and experts, including basic starter sets, custom ukuleles, guitars, and basses. In addition, they carry all the ukulele accessories you need along with CDs and handmade Hawaiian crafts.

learn hula

Multicolored banner featuring the words Ka Lei Hula on the left and a female hula dancer on the right.
If you started working from home last year and your goal is to be more active, why not try hula dancing? Our free Ka Lei Hula class takes place from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. weekly and is a fun, easy way to get your body moving as you start off the week. Groove to a special lineup of Hawaiian music every Sunday at the Plaza Stage on the lawn in front of Waikiki Beach Walk®.

Each class only has 15 spots available, so be sure to visit the Ka Lei Hula Eventbrite page to make a reservation. We will be checking temperatures upon arrival to the hula lesson, and face masks must be worn at all times.

Catch a Wave

Boy on a blue surfboard riding a wave & flashing two shakas with his hands
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Surfing is one of the top things to do in Hawaii, so if you haven’t tried it yet, there’s no better time to learn. The ocean is an incredibly therapeutic place to be. Add in a surfboard and it becomes a fun, full-body workout that can help increase your strength and balance while keeping you connected to nature.

With any new hobby, it’s always a good idea to learn from an expert, so spice up your typical beach day with surf lessons from Big Wave Dave Surf & Coffee. Each surf instructor has at least 10 years of teaching experience and will show you techniques, basic rules and etiquette, how to read the waves, and how to position yourself on the board. To book a lesson, click here.

If you’re not quite ready for surfing, Big Wave Dave offers bodyboarding and stand up paddle boarding lessons as well.

Flex Your Mental Muscles


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While most people are quick to set physical fitness goals in the new year, don’t forget that keeping your mind fit is equally important. Puzzles are beneficial brain boosters that can help with improving memory and problem-solving skills.

If you’re looking for a real challenge to keep your mind sharp, try breaking out of one of the cleverly designed escape rooms at Breakout Waikiki. You have 60 minutes to find clues and solve puzzles to complete your mission, whether it’s stopping a runaway train or preventing a meltdown that could end the world. You don’t know what you’ll come across until you’re playing, so it’s the ultimate brain teaser and an exciting group activity as well.

Escape rooms must be reserved in advance at

Discover New Music

3 local musicians, each wearing red lei & holding guitars while singing into microphones
While you may already have go-to playlists for studying, working out, and commuting, there’s always room for new music. If you’re searching for some songs to wind down to, join kumu hula Blaine Kia for our weekly live Hawaiian music performance every Tuesday from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

The Ku Ha'aheo musical showcase takes place at our Plaza Stage if you’d like to come by and listen in person or you can tune in via live stream on the Waikiki Beach Walk® Facebook and Instagram pages to enjoy local Hawaiian music at the office or at home.

Support Local

Everyone has been affected in some way by the pandemic, and Hawaii businesses have taken an especially hard hit. As we approach one year of being in our “new normal,” it’s never too late to start thinking about more ways to buy local. It not only helps keep the business afloat, but the benefits often trickle down to support other local establishments and resources they partner with as well as the local workers they employ.

Roy’s Waikiki

Overhead shot of Roy's Waikiki 3 Platter Pack featuring assorted nigiri sushi, szechuan baby back ribs, & kalbi chicken bao buns
Known as the culinary pioneer behind Hawaiian fusion cuisine, chef Roy Yamaguchi makes it a point to partner with as many local farms and fishermen as possible. By using the freshest local ingredients available, Yamaguchi’s restaurants are able to serve up the distinct flavors of Hawaii that we love while supporting a growing list of important agricultural resources right in our community. Even a decision as simple as where to order takeout from can have a positive ripple effect that goes beyond the restaurant itself. Roy’s Waikiki is a good place to start.
Along with a full selection of signature Hawaii favorites, Roy’s Waikiki also offers a Craveworthy Carryout Special each day of the week. To view the menu, click here.

Honolulu Cookie Company

Established in 1998 by Keith and Janet Sung, the famous pineapple-shaped shortbread cookies have become an island staple representing Hawaiian hospitality. These premium treats are baked fresh every day following Sung’s original recipe, which consists of only the finest ingredients. Once out of the oven, each cookie is tended to by hand to ensure the best quality whether they are being hand-dipped in premium chocolate, given a tropical fruit morsel at the center, or being individually wrapped and packed.

This level of attention to detail and quality is what sets many local businesses apart. So if you’re in need of a gift or a delicious treat for yourself, Honolulu Cookie Company has only the best.
3 pineapple-shaped cookies from Honolulu Cookie Company upright in front of the 2021 red & yellow Year of the Ox packaging.

Their latest collection is inspired by the Chinese zodiac and comes just in time for the 2021 Lunar New Year. There are 12 different animal signs in the Chinese zodiac and 2021 happens to be the Year of the Ox, which is typically associated with endurance, honesty, and dependability.

This special edition box of treats comes filled with 16 cookies in 6 different flavors for your enjoyment. Now available online at

Waikiki Beach Walk® Farmers Market

White tents along the front of Waikiki Beach Walk for the weekly farmers marketOur weekly Beach Walk Open Market is back every Monday from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Featuring locally grown or manufactured Hawaii products, the farmers market provides a wonderful opportunity to connect with local artisans and vendors directly. This means access to produce at peak freshness or discovering unique crafts you can’t find anywhere else.

Shopping at the farmers market can help local family farms and keep more of your money closer to your community. Stop by and see what you can find!