Spooky season is right around the corner and, while Oahu is typically all about the spirit of ohana, things look a bit different when Halloween festivities begin to ramp up. Suddenly, top attractions take on eerie vibes and, while many decorations and celebrations retain a distinctly Hawaiian charm, there is no denying that they are meant to spook locals and vacationers alike.
If you adore all things Halloween and are expecting to spend time on Oahu in the lead-up to this great holiday, you’re in luck — plenty of amazing events are planned, including annual extravaganzas that’ll make you feel like a local. Whether you prefer tricks or treats, you will definitely want to check out these local favorites:
As Honolulu’s most memorable Halloween tradition, this cleverly named event brings frighteningly good fun to the Chinatown Arts District. Artsy vibes abound, but many people visit for the live music and the tasty eats (found at the region’s best food trucks). You can feel good about attending this event, as a portion of the proceeds will be dedicated to important organizations such as Women Speaking Out and The Arts at Marks Garage.
For 2023, Hallowbaloo will be held a few days before Halloween: on Saturday, the 28th there will be a street fest in the early evening followed by a club event for the nightlife crowd. Dozens of craft beers will be available, along with a special stein that makes for a distinctive souvenir. An impressive entertainment lineup can be enjoyed on three separate stages, with a costume contest and a drag show accompanying the many excellent bands expected to play.
Halloween Bash at Tiki’s Grill & Bar
For the ultimate in Halloween nightlife, hit up Tiki’s Grill & Bar at the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel. On the 31st, this already distinctive bar will be the talk of the town. Live bands take over in the early evening, when entry for the event is free of charge. Later on, a DJ will spin the spookiest and most danceable tracks. This annual extravaganza is so beloved, Tiki’s actually hosts a Halfway to Halloween event in the spring so that regulars don’t have to wait so long to show off their costumes. The October bash, however, is the real deal, and it’s not a party you’ll want to miss.
Histories & Mysteries Tour at the Honolulu Zoo
Perfect for younger visitors, this haunted history tour is held at the Honolulu Zoo. During this event, guides share stories of spooky phenomena that they experienced or that were witnessed by Hawaiians throughout the islands’ history. While older kids and teens love this event, it’s definitely not recommended for preschoolers. Wear a high-quality pair of shoes, as there is a decent amount of walking involved. If you are unable to take advantage of this particular offering, however, don’t worry: the Honolulu Zoo also hosts a twilight tour that, while not nearly as spooky, is absolutely worth attending.
Ghost Bus Hawaii
Created by the legendary Michaelty Yamaguchi, this tour limits the need to walk through narrow haunted house hallways and, instead, presents all the spooks you need from the vantage point of a cursed bus. The terrifying vehicle is situated at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, where the ghost experience can be enjoyed every day.
Good news if you’re unable to spend Halloween in Hawaii: This is a year-round attraction, so you’re welcome to check it out at your convenience. It’s just as eerie throughout the remainder of the year, so you can enjoy a taste of Halloween whenever you desire. No matter when you stop by, the experience will be short, but memorable — and the bus remains stationary, so you don’t need to dedicate a significant part of your day to a typical, lengthier bus tour.
Haunted Plantation at the Hawaii Plantation Village
Hawaiians largely regard the Haunted Plantation as Oahu’s spookiest haunted house. See for yourself during the last two weeks of October, with a showcase that enthusiasts have referred to as “Disneyland for haunted things.”
Situated at the Hawaii Plantation Village, his attraction is definitely not for the faint of heart — but if you can stomach it, you will witness some truly terrifying characters. These appear far more realistic than your average haunted house occupants. Such thrills are unique to the location, as they feature the spirits of Old Hawaii. If you’re into thrills and you can only set aside time for one Oahu Halloween excursion, this should be it.
Nightmare Bar at Ala Moana Center
The Ala Moana Center is best known as an amazing open-air mall, but it takes on a creepier aesthetic when the Nightmare Bar arrives. This pop-up bar is made possible by the spooky geniuses behind the Haunted Plantation, so you know it will be good.
Don’t worry: this particular location is nowhere near as terrifying as its haunted house counterpart. Yes, there is eerie imagery throughout, but that shouldn’t stop you from relaxing as you enjoy all that’s weird and wonderful about Halloween. If nothing else, you will appreciate the themed beverages.
Keiki Costume Ball at the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center
The Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center always delights youngsters, but it will become especially spooktacular during a ticketed event on October 29th. This is when children are encouraged to dress up and trick-or-treat throughout the center. Kids can also expect a variety of seasonal games and crafts. In addition to this event, the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center hosts a special workshop that highlights the oozing fun of spooky science. Held on October 21st in the exhibit galleries, this is a great option for kids who aren’t afraid of the mess.
Putting the AH! Into Oahu
Hawaii is usually more calming than scary, but that all can change in the blink of an eye as late October approaches. There truly is something for everyone on this surprisingly spooky island, so don’t miss this chance to partake in unique festivities. You will thank yourself for planning an amazing vacation that’s chock full of tricks and treats,