Go ice skating, even in the warm weather
Just because we’re on a tropical island doesn’t mean we can’t partake in a classic winter pastime -- like fumbling over your feet on a sheet of ice. Take your scarves out of storage and cool down at Ice Palace, a skating rink where the temperature is a cool 58 degrees inside. Take a leisure spin around the ice for less than $12 (including the skate rentals), then cozy up with a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy the frigid wintry escape.
Watch the whales on the open ocean
Winter in Oahu is prime time for catching sight of these magnificent aquatic mammals migrating through the Pacific waters to mate. Just book a catamaran tour or a boat cruise in February or March, and you’re practically guaranteed to see the humpbacks up close and in the wild.
Road trip to the North Shore
Check the surf report before you fill up your gas tank, but typically the winter swell brings big waves as big as 30 feet at Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach, and the infamous Banzai Pipeline, where it’s a full sensory experience. You can watch experienced big wave surfers tackle the massive waves, listen to the rushing water, and feel the powerful waves hammering against the sand. After winter is over, the swell softens to a placid swimmable beach day, so get in your ocean ogling while you can.
Feed the Chinese lion for the new year
The Chinese New Year is on February 16 this year, and celebrations will take place all week long, with food, entertainment, and lion dances. Ring in the year of the dog by “feeding” the dancing lions; by handing dollars through the lion’s mouth, you'll get good luck and fortune for the year to come.
Sip a super fresh farm-to-cup smoothie
If you’re in Kahuku and don’t want to wait in the long lines for the shrimp trucks, head across the street to Kahuku Farms where the food and smoothies are so fresh you can see it grow on trees. If you’ve got some extra time, book a $16 smoothie tour, hop in a wagon, and take a 30-minute tour though papayas and apple banana fields with a Papaya Power smoothie in tow, all included in the cost.