Things to Do Blog

January is coming to a close here pretty soon. Is it just me or is time flying by? I know I am not getting any younger, but time just seems to be going by quickly. I heard one of my friends say this the other day, and I thought it was suiting: the days are long, the years are short. That about sums it up. I know we just closed out 2014 but already here we are a the coattails of January 2015! The Superbowl is upcoming, folks.

With the end of the month here, the last Saturday (as you may know) means Kilauea Art Night! From 4 to 8pm is a night of art and entertainment. OH and there will be food too, if you so choose. I have been before and there are usually food trucks, ice cream, pies, and other goodies. It is during typical dinner times, so it would make sense to eat while you are there enjoying the atmosphere.

It is very easy going and a welcoming atmosphere for residents and visitors alike from what I have seen. You will hear great music, eat tasty food, watch some dancing most likely, and perhaps get treated to another form of art and entertainment such as live art pottery making of cartoonist sketches.

If you are in the area, I highly suggest going. If you are not on Kauai’s North Shore, I urge you to go!

Looking to get involved and do something hands-on and memorable while staying on Kauai? Of course you are! Each day will have its highlights I’m sure. It’s those memories that are made that are so near and dear to people’s hearts.

It is not all about the pictures, although I really do like those too. It is the activities, the moments shared with family and friends that are the most pleasurable, the most treasured. Looking back on those times and reminiscing is what makes them so great.

Ok, so starting today: January 11th from 5-7pm are free beginners and intermediate classes for kids to learn the ukulele! How cool is that? Let me break it down for you:

Classes start today like I just mentioned. Not to worry if you missed it or cannot make it. There are other opportunities. It is a first come, first serve basis anyway. Oh, and did I mention it is free? Yes, free!

Here are the other dates for the free ukulele classes: January 25, February 8, 22, March 8, 22. These are all Sundays, and they are all held from 5-7pm. Dinner will even be provided. This is a sponsored event, it is great that they could provide this opportunity to kids.

The beginners class is for kids aged 6-11. There are enough spots for up to 12 students. If you have a ukulele go ahead and bring it! If not, please do you best to bring one, if it comes to it there are a few that can be loaned out for the duration of the class.

Now for the intermediate class, it is for children aged 11-18. For this class, students must bring their own ukulele–no exceptions. There are more spots available in this class though, at 15 opening.

If you are interested, have questions, want more information or anything of that nature, contact Keola at 808-245-1873. Oh, and it is at the Anahola Clubhouse.

I am just a little bit late to the game. I had it set to record on my DVR and I just watched it this evening. The Biggest Loser Kauai, part 2 just happened! If you missed it, you can watch it online on NBC.com until the network chooses to take it offline. Here is the link for your viewing: http://www.nbc.com/the-biggest-loser/episode-guide/season-16/kauai-part-2/1604

If you follow the television show, you know that it can get emotional and deep when it comes to the contestants and the transformations that they go through. Week after week they have weigh-ins and they are challenged to face their fears and past trust issues.

In this week’s Kauai episode the contestants are challenged. One gentleman is to repel down a waterfall. He is nervous at first and not focused, but then he and his trainer/coach are able to do it with ease. How neat would that be to be able to repel down a waterfall? Kauai presents the opportunity! It really is the place for the great outdoors. :)

Other contestants on the show were faced with rope course type of exercises. They sure got an adrenaline rush on those activities! It is so neat to watch them accomplish those thrilling tasks. Did you know that Kauai offers these kinds of activities to not just Biggest Loser contestants but also to visitors and residents alike? If you look for these kinds of adventures to go on, it will not take you long at all to find them on Kauai. From rope swings, balance walks and other rope related thrilling activities, there are plenty of things to do for those adrenaline junkies.

New year. New beginnings. Fresh starts. I love the feeling of a new year. It make me feel like I just got a haircut, or just got the house cleaned or something. Is it just me or does a new year somehow feel refreshing?

I saw this post today in my news feed on Facebook, and it reminded me yet again of that new beginnings feeling. Check out the photo by Mike Williams. It was taken today at the Kilauea Point Natural History Association. The lighthouse in the back ground is Kilauea Point. It is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Of course the whale in the photo is just minding his or her own business in the water, but regardless I like the whale and the lighthouse in the backdrop.

To learn more about Kilauea Point, visit their website at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/kilauea_point/. There is an easy to navigate section for visitors, seasonal wildlife, an about page and more. The whale photo–I know I keep going back to it–but it sure is a majestic image to behold. It is not every day you get to see a whale do that. Of course it is more common to see that off of Kauai’s north shore coast than other places I suppose!

Hope you and yours had a happy new year! And may this year be a happy year indeed.

December 29, 2014 by, Lindsey

Alright, so if you are going to be visiting Kauai in the new year, be sure to stop by Lihue (where you will more than likely be flying into and/or out of). Friday, January 2nd of 2015 is the date. (Note: I am typing out the year just so I can try to get used to purposefully writing out the right year.)

On that night, from 5pm until 10pm there will be free laxer lights train rides. There will be food for purchase, as well as music and entertainment and other vendors. It is on Lihue Mill Road. If you are seeking more information, the flyer I saw has a contact number of 808-639-8222.

Here is a link to the flyer I saw. It’s on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10204159432599781&set=gm.835717936499142&type=1

I know it seems weird to be making plans for the new year, but I’m sure you readers have other things already on the calendar. Perhaps it is the closeness to the new year that is making it seem so all-of-a-sudden.

November 30, 2014 by, Lindsey

I know that some people are sensitive to what topics are brought up and when. For some it is a rule not to decorate, play music, or to prepare for the next holiday when there is still a holiday coming up first. I am talking about the Thanksgiving and Christmas matter. So, I waited until Thanksgiving was officially over before I shared my next holiday-type of event here on my blog.

The Festival of Lights has come to Kauai’s Historic county building! Here is the street address for your reference, direction needs, GPS navigation, etc. 4396 Rice St, Lihue. Since it is in Lihue, this is perfect for as you are coming or going to the airport. I highly recommend staying on Kauai’s North Shore, and this makes for something fun and that “little something extra” to do on your way coming or going on Kauai. I have gone in years past and it is neat to see the people’s faces (kids especially) light up with the magic of the holiday. It is something special to be a part of, to view and share with others. I remember it like being in a magical land and the others around me were happy, and were a part of my dream-like state with me. The lights make it a magical, special time for all who go and see.

You’d like to know when it is exactly? Let me tell you! It is Friday, December 5th from 6-8pm. There are other times to go and see it. The parade is the first night, on the 5th, and then on all Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights thereafter until December 24th in the evening the lights will be on display. I say if you can make it to at least one of the showings, go!

November 6, 2014 by, Lindsey

Sunday, November 9th from 9am to noon is a volunteer opportunity too good to pass up. I think so at least. It is the first of 4 volunteer days to help set up an educational farm and sustainable agriculture research center that will be made available to the community. It is a part of the Kauai School Garden Network that teaches hands-on, kinesthetic learning to school-aged children.

There are three locations to volunteer at:

~ Kilauea at Malama Kauai Community Farm

~ Wai Koa Plantation

~ Kalihiwai Ridge

The more the merrier! It is a free event, child-friendly too. Come one come all to get your hands dirty, make a difference, and more than likely make a new friend in the process. Residents and visitors alike are welcome to come. If you have a green-thumb, great! Come! If you do not, that is okay too. You are not responsible for keeping a plant alive, but rather just to prepare the way for plants to grow. The work and time put into this project will lead to children getting some hands-on gardening activity and education in due time. That concept alone is a glorious thing… to teach the upcoming generations about sustainable agriculture and farm education. Very cool!

These volunteer days are being organized by the community-based nonprofit organization, Malama Kauai. Find out what they are all about here: http://www.malamakauai.org/mk/

For questions pertaining to this volunteer opportunity, call 808-828-0685 and ask to speak with Megan.

November 5, 2014 by, Lindsey

If Zumba is not your style, then perhaps a fine arts exhibit is? Options are nice–just saying. This coming weekend on Friday and Saturday is the Annual Princeville Community Fine Arts Exhibit. It will be held at the Princeville Community Center, located at 4334 Emmalani Drive, Princeville, HI 96722. If it suits you better, here is the location on Google maps.

It is an indoor event with fine art such as paintings, drawings, sculptures, and other media pieces by arts in the area. Most of the artists will be there; that is my understanding. Friday night from 4-8pm the exhibit will be open, and then Saturday afternoon from 1 to 4pm is the plan. This event is totally free! I love it when I get to say that. :)

From what I hear, last year was a low-key, fun time was had by all kind-of time. All are welcome to attend. This is a great place for conversations to be had, connections made and homemade, handmade art to be enjoyed. This would be the place to go if you are looking for a unique gift for someone, if their art is indeed for sale at the exhibit–not just on display. Talking with the artist makes for a neat atmosphere as well. It puts a new twist on the piece I think, for I think it has become more and more uncommon for someone to meet the artist behind the artwork. After getting to know the creator, it may help you understand their intent or inspiration for the piece. I like the concept of connecting the dots between the artist and his or her artwork.

October 14, 2014 by, Lindsey

Coming up this weekend…

Princess Ka’iulani Keiki Festival is here! This is a celebration festival that honors a princess. Storybook Theatre of Hawaii is hosting the 9th annual festival in Hanapepe Town. Activities start on Friday night at 7pm with the feature film, “In the Footsteps of Our Princess” at the Hanapepe Hawaiian Congregational Church. That is the main event that day; then, on Saturday the 18th from 12noon to 4pm is the main festivities. There will be a hula, a costumed children’s parade down Main Street, Hawaiian music, and then following the parade the Princess will read a story at the Storybook Theatre before attending the rest of the party. By party, it is really a commemorative birthday party that will be held at Sparky’s Garden.

If this is something you would like to take part in, the Hanapepe Hawaiian Congregational Church is located at 3815 Hanapepe Road. The Storybook Theatre is located at 3814 Hanapepe Road, Hanapepe, Kauai… just next door over. If you have any questions or anything, I have looked up the contact info: office@storybook.org

October 10, 2014 by, Lindsey

I enjoy some good history from time to time. I like the hands-on, interactive type of history personally. I can watch the History Channel when a topic interesting comes on, but it doesn’t seem to hold my attention. What I like best are the live and in person history lessons. No, I am not talking about time travel to go back in time (lol) but I do like to in-person see the sights and places that are full of history. When there are stories and interesting facts about a place, I like to connect the dots, hear the stories and see the actual sites of the places in the stories.

The Grove Farm Museum near the airport in Lihue is a place where I (and you) can get your history fix! They have tours Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 2pm. Cost is $20. Please call ahead and ask to speak with Carol at 808-245-3202 to make your reservation. Yes, you do need a reservation for the days and times I listed above.

So what is this place you may ask? Well, it is a site preserved of one of Hawaii’s sugar plantation buildings. It is furnished and has one of a kind collections inside. It is surrounded with orchards and pasture; after all, it is a sugar plantation home! The tour I went on was about 2 hours long, and not rushed at all. It was nice pace but our tour guide was not flustered, rushed, or in a hurry to get the tour over with. I liked that a lot :)

Does the term “sea cave” excite you? It may strike an inner chord of your adventurous side! I thought it might! Let me tell you more…

There are a number of opportunities to kayak Kauai, from rivers to along the shoreline. The Na Pali coast is a great place for those eager to get out there and face the water. I highly suggest and recommend taking a guide with you, however. Here are a couple guides that I will help lead you to:

Kauai Kayak at http://kayakkauai.com/sea-kayak-tour-na-pali/

Na Pali Kayak at http://www.napalikayak.com/napali-day-trip/

I’ll reiterate in case I wasn’t clear; this is for adults or persons over the age of 16. Children under age will be considered per the guide’s recommendation. In general though, individual’s ages 16+ only. This is a rigorous adventure, and an all day trip. The guides are helpful and very knowledgeable. This is a neat way to see Kauai up close and personal. On outing like this, the sights and animals you come across are one of a kind. You will get to see a side of Kauai that you would have likely not seen like this–from the perspective of a kayak!

No, you do not have to be an “ironman” but you do need to be comfortable in the water, and in good physical condition/health. If you are nervous about this, I say contact the tour guides and ask them just by giving them some honest basics about your health and overall build. It is easy to get excited, nervous, anxious, etc about this kind of thing. What I suggest doing (and what I have recently been doing) is reading up reviews on the tours. I am reading about people’s experiences and how their preparedness helped or not. I like to learn from others experiences as much as I can.

I have heard so many good things about these tours. I have a few friends who have done this, and they tell me I should go! I want to, but I just haven’t… not yet. One of my friends said she would go with me, so I am going to take her up on it! I will blog about it afterwards, of course. Ok, I say “Part 1″ because there will be a Part 2 with my story! Ready…set…go!

September 26, 2014 by, Lindsey

Looking for something to do this coming weekend? Remember the Waioli Mission House and Church I blogged about earlier? If not, read about it here: http://www.kauai-vacation-rentals.com/waioli-mission-house-church/

Anyway, tomorrow, Saturday September 27th is Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day, and admission to tour the 1836 Waioli Mission House is free! I just love the word free, for the most part. From 9am to 3pm admission and guided tours are free on the this one day only. If you are in Hanalei or on the Kauai’s North Shore in general, you won’t want to miss this opportunity.

Now that I mention it, I have not been in awhile! I think I will make the time to tour the mission house and get a mini history lesson while I’m at it. I love hearing stories, and the folks who used to live here sure have a lot of stories to tell. The guided tours are nice, and I like to hear the questions and answers as well. I can be a bit shy in crowds, so I usually do the listening. If I do have a question, I am the one to say it in my head over and over until I am satisfied with how I phrased it. I am a detailed person and I can get pretty specific in my questions and thoughts! If you happen to be on the tour when I am there, I’ll be the quiet and observant one! ;)

September 25, 2014 by, Lindsey

Want to go to the beach? Can’t seem to decide on which one? I want to give a shout-out to Lumahai Beach in Hanalei, on Kauai’s North Shore.

Lumahai brags of white sandy beaches. Oh that glorious sand is fantastic! I was there just the other day and I enjoyed falling in love with this beach again; the waves, the rocks, the sand. I usually see people just walking the shoreline at sunset. Very romantic spot!

This is not one of those overly populated beaches either, there is not too much influence of humans here, so it is picturesque and all natural in its element. I suggest other beaches for swimming and snorkeling. If you want to feel like you are one of the first people to step foot on a beach, this is the one for you!

If perhaps your or someone in your group is unable to get to the water’s edge for some beach walking, maybe the lookout point from the main road will suffice. It provides a great lookout and photography spot that I recommend. You can also find Lumahai Beach on numerous postcards on Kauai if that is something you prefer to do.

So get on out there and live a little! That is what I was up to this past weekend. I tend to do a lot of thinking during my beach walks, and the water’s rise and fall comforts me and soothes my soul. It is a way for me to think, to heal, to rejuvenate. I encourage my readers to do the same.

Looking for some things to do on Kauai’s north shore? Well, you don’t have to look too hard to find ‘em. Follow my blog and I will share with you things to do, activities, news of events going on, as well as some places to stay.

Today I thought it would be nice to highlight the Waioli Mission House and Church in Hanalei. Here is the trip advisor link to the Mission House. It is a famous Hanalei Town landmark, built in 1837. It is officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. What is so special about this place? It is rich in history–let me tell you!

Abner and Lucy Wilcox were missionaries back in 1837 and this was their home. It has a lava rock chimney and is furnished with timely koa furniture. They couple had eight sons, all born in this house. Oh and what I find fascinating is the clock on the wall that was put up in1866 (my sources tell me) that keeps perfect time still! Also on the property is the Waioli Huiia Church, which started operations in 1834.

From a historical standpoint these two structures stand out to me as special. I love to see history alive. It has always been neat to walk through old places like that, to literally walk in other people’s footsteps from long ago. In another sense, it makes me all the more grateful for what amenities we have today! I’m just being honest. :)

September 16, 2014 by, Lindsey

Waterfalls are simply breath-taking (in a good sense of the phrase) and gorgeous. I can get lost in a waterfall oh so easily. And by lost, I mean one of those awe-striking moments where you are completely absorbed by it. If awesome means “awe inspiring” then Opaekaa is awesome to its core!

Opaekaa Falls is one of the major waterfalls on Kauai that is most easily accessible for viewing. It is literally a drive, park, view kind of access. There is even parking and restrooms for visitors of the falls.

If you are on Kauai’s east side, up Kuamoo Road, you will see signs indicating the Falls are coming up. It is technically in Wailua. If you are looking for it, you will find it. If you are not looking for it, but are paying attention to the roadways, signs, and natural beauty surrounding you, you will find it. Here is what Trip Advisor has to say about the falls…

For those history buffs who are wondering the meaning of or origin of the name Opaekaa, it means “rolling shrimp.” At one point in time, the stream that flows from the falls had a lot of shrimp in it.

From the lookout you will get a grand view of these falls. If you choose to, you can walk uphill a ways and on the other side of the road you will get a nice view of the Wailua River and the valley that it rest in.

Charge your camera battery! You will not want to miss out on capturing this kind of beauty. As a rule of thumb, I suggest charging your camera and cell phone battery each night so that the next day you have plenty of life in your devices to snap some great photos.

August 19, 2014 by, Lindsey

Do you recall my previous post about how Kauai vacationers can take a dog on a field trip while they are staying on the Garden Island? If you do not, check it out here, “A Doggie Vacation.” What can happen is the Kauai Humane Society will have dogs (and cats I believe) that are available to go on long-term field trips while tourists stay on Kauai. At the end of their trip, the dog (or cat) can then be adopted or returned to the shelter, no strings attached. If anything, it is a benefit for the dog (or cat) to live a little and for the vacationers to host a lovely pet while they are on staying on Kauai. It’s a real win-win situation.

What new information I wanted to blog about, is that there is a leash-free North Shore Dog Park! Like most dog parks, there is a section for large dogs and a section for small dogs. The North Shore Dog Park is located at 5445 Kahiliholo Road in Kilauea, just off of Kuhio Hwy 56. This is a very nice dog park I must say! It is ADA accessible I should also note. It is a dawn till dusk park, and is open year-round. This is a great way to get out, exercise your dog and talk with other dog-lovers in the community. I highly recommended it. See here for the Dog Park Rules. I reviewed them myself and they are typical of any dog park, really. Good to know nonetheless.

August 10, 2014 by, Lindsey

I saw this in my newsfeed this morning, and knew I had to blog about it. I think it is so neat and something that we could all learn from! Here’s the specs on this upcoming event…

What It’s a free class on Hawaiian Medicinal Plants (La’au Lapa’au). Here is the link to the facebook site.

Who This class is hosted and taught by Gabriel Monaghan. (I wonder how long he has been doing this, and what credential backing he has to prove his research and everything. Well, I guess I’ll find out!)

Where It is this Wednesday night at the Hanalei Community Center (also referred to as Hale Halawai ‘Ohana ‘OHanalei). 55299 Kuhio Hwy C, Hanalei, Hawaii 96714 is the address.

When The free first class is this Wednesday, August 13th from 5pm to about 6:30pm. The post I saw says there are 12 classes for a fee, but this first introductory class is free and open to the public.

Why Why is this news worthy? I know there are medicinal healing abilities in plants. I am oh so curious to know more about the plants around us and how I can use them. At the very minimum, my curiosity has peaked and I want to know what kind of info this guy has to say.

August 3, 2014 by, Lindsey

Here is a darling place I wanted to blog about and share with the world, the Banana Patch Studio at Kong Lung Center in Kilauea. This is the place to go if you are looking for something homemade or hand painted. You will find a souvenir (or two or three or four) for someone or perhaps for yourself. They have home décor as well and the style is all things Hawaiian.

One of my favorite items they have are the “Hawaiian Style” little placards that say something like, “Mahalo for removing your shoes” and then you place that in the entry way of your home so visitors can see it. It is a very kind way to let them know that you would like them to enter your home with no shoes. I have seen these in people’s homes, and I like the different styles I have seen, with the hand painted images on them. Check out the Banana Patch Studio website and you can see what I am talking about. :)

Did I mention? This company is a Kauai Made member, meaning that all that they sell is made here on Kauai. I love homemade. If you are coming to Kauai and looking for something authentic from Kauai, go to a shop like this and you will not be disappointed.

Banana Patch Studio has two locations. One is a studio and gallery in Hanapepe, and the other is on Kauai’s north shore at 2474 Kaneke Street, Kilauea, Kauai. HI 96754. I looked up their store hours, too: Monday – Saturday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and then Sunday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

If you are anything like me, you simply love the beach. The ocean, the waves, the sand, the sun, the whole package! I am pleased to share that one of my favorite events is back this year, back on the beach. The Sand Castle Contest in Hanalei is coming up on Saturday, August 2nd from 11am to 4pm.

I am excited to watch these artists at work. I do not compete myself, no, I am one to observe and appreciate the skill and effort put into these pieces of art. This is a free contest and all artists are welcome. Yes, that means kids through adults, all are welcome to compete. Years past have been very easy going where it comes not feel like a competition at all, more like groups coming out and ‘playing’ in the sand. Individuals are welcome, as well as teams of any size and age range. I love that about this friendly competition. Note that there are prizes, but really I think the experience is the gemstone here.

This is a family friendly event in Hanalei Bay. Schedule it into your plans that Saturday and enjoy some good times out by the water’s edge with some great sand art. I am adding this to my planner, that’s for sure.

Want to volunteer? There are many jobs to do to help prepare for this event before, during and after. Click here if you want to know more about this neat opportunity, or to know more about the event in general. Also see some pictures from past years contests. :)

July 18, 2014 by, Lindsey

Well, I am still on cloud 9 a little bit for our Island rankings on Travel + Leisure Magazine’s Best of 2014 List. On that note, I thought I might share about another great beach on Kauai, Kee Beach!

Kee Beach is in Haena, on Kauai’s north shore. The beach starts the beginning of the Napali Coast, and Kee has a reef that keeps it inclusive, if you will. The reef makes for great snorkeling and swimming adventures. The water is clear, clean, and shallow for most of it. More good news: this beach is great for children and families. There is a lifeguard on duty, and there are restrooms and showers.

Where is this beautiful beach? It’s at the end of Highway 560. There is parking available, but know that this parking lot is also used by Kalalau trail hikers. If you prefer to hike, this is a great base camp; if you prefer to go in the water, go out and have a good time in the water or simply soaking in the sun and the view. Let me tell you though, the sand on this beach is divine! It is extra fine, which I love.