FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER’S SIZZLIN’ NEWS FROM HAWAII, THE BIG ISLAND
Hawaii Island – Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas) is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas day. While temperatures are cooling down across North America, Hawaii, the Big Island is warming up with these sizzlin’ events and specials to celebrate the holidays and New Year.
ADVENTURES, ACTIVITIES & EVENTS
Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden is awash in color this month – perfect timing for the garden’s recently expanded Anthurium Corner. The outdoor display showcases a colorful variety of anthuriums. The garden is also now home to a breathtaking 14-foot tall representation of the Hawaiian God Ku, carved from a monkey pod tree and created by Hilo’s own master carver, Rocky Vargas. The garden is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last entry is at 4 p.m.). For more information, call (808) 964-5233 or visit www.hawaiigarden.com.
Atlantis Submarines Kona has two exciting tour packages with Body Glove Cruises allowing visitors to experience more of Hawaii Island’s unique offerings. Highlighting both packages is Atlantis’s captivating submarine tour in Kailua Bay. Guests descend more than 100 feet to see a beautiful 25-acre coral reef garden teeming with schools of fish and marine life. The Submarine Tour and Historical Sunset Dinner Cruise showcase Hawaii Island’s cultural legacy and the Kona coastline’s beautiful scenery. The three-hour cruise features fascinating stories, a Hawaiian-style buffet dinner in Kealakekua Bay, and a visit to Captain Cook’s monument. The Submarine Tour and Snorkel Adventure lets guests swim amidst Hawaii’s marine life and see bright and colorful fish up-close. Guests receive snorkeling instruction, gear and masks, continental breakfast buffet, and barbecue lunch. For more information, call (808) 326-7827 or visit www.atlantisadventures.com.
Enjoy whale watching from the shoreline on the beautiful grounds of Hilton Waikoloa Village with Ocean Sports. Join expert marine naturalists at Buddha Point at 7:30 a.m. for a whale watch talk to get tips on how to best spot the whales and discover what all those splashes you see from shore are all about. This activity is complimentary for hotel guests and will be available daily from December 1 to April 15. Reservations are recommended. For more information, call (808) 886-6666 ext. 110 or visit www.hawaiioceansports.com.
In addition to the on-shore lectures, Ocean Sports offers three daily trips to see the humpbacks in their prime calving and mating grounds on the Kohala Coast. Step aboard the stable and spacious catamarans where expert marine naturalists answer all of your humpback questions. Excursions are family friendly – keiki (children) ages 6-12 cruise for half price and those under 6 years old can enjoy the ride for free. For reservations, call (808) 886-6666 ext. 103 or visit www.hawaiioceansports.com.
Kona Boys is offering guests one more opportunity to experience the Kealakekua Bay Tour before the Bay closes indefinitely to kayakers. Kona’s original kayak shop is taking 10% off all tours and rentals in the bay for as long as it remains open. Start your day off with an amazing paddle across this pristine deep water bay and snorkel in the marine life conservation district. On occasion, local pods of wild spinner dolphins will make a surprise appearance. For more information, call (808) 328-1234 or call www.konaboys.com.
Queens’ Marketplace at the Waikoloa Beach Resort is inviting keiki (children) to meet Santa Claus at the shopping center’s rotunda. Whether they’ve been naughty or nice this year, holiday visitors can stop by and pose for free photo-ops’ with Santa, Monday through Friday, December 17-21: 4-7 p.m. or on Saturday and Sunday, December 22-23: 12-2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. For more information, visit www.queensmarketplace.net.
Trace the footsteps of ancient Babylonian astronomers at Imiloa Astronomy Center when the popular holiday planetarium show, “Mystery of the Christmas Star” returns for a limited run playing Friday nights at 7 p.m., from December 7-28, 2012. Journey back 2000 years to Bethlehem to discover a possible scientific explanation for the star the wise men followed to find baby Jesus. This program investigates recorded sightings of significant astronomical events during the time of the birth of Christ. For more information, call (808) 969-9703 or visit www.imiloahawaii.org.
Get ready for the biggest New Year’s Eve party on the Kohala Coast at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows. Willie K is headlining an oceanfront concert with supporting acts, Kapena and Kekani. Enjoy a decadent farm-to-table dinner buffet, a spectacular fireworks display and champagne toast at midnight to ring in the New Year, kicking off Mauna Lani Bay’s 30-year anniversary. Tickets are available for $150 for adults and $60 for children (5-12 years). Price includes tax and gratuity. For move information or reservations, call (808) 881-7911 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
American rock band Chicago is escaping the Windy City to perform live in concert in the Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens on January 12 at 7 p.m. One of Billboard’s Top 100 artists of all time, the iconic group continues to rock pop charts with Top 40 albums spanning five decades. Tickets are $65 and $49, available now on www.ticketmaster.com or www.waikoloanights.com.
The Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay was recently named the new headquarter hotel for the Kona Marathon and Family Runs. The timing of the announcement for the road-racing event builds on Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa’s commitment to the community. The 20th annual event kicks off with the family friendly Aloha Keiki Run on June 15, 2013 followed by the Aloha Friday Run on June 21. Then the competition heats up with the marathon, half-marathon, 10K and 5K races on Sunday, June 23, all which experience portions of the Ironman course including the famous “Lava Fields of Kona.” For more information, visit www.sheratonkona.com and www.konamarathon.com.
Kohala Zipline, Hawaii Island’s finest aerial trek, is now offering GoPro HD video camera rentals for riders who want to relive the thrilling adventure once it’s over. The state-of-the art cameras have the ability to shoot both full HD and high-resolution still images. The rental package includes the use of a HD HERO2 camera, an 8 GB memory card, and guide instruction. In addition to the standard helmet mount option, participants can also utilize an exclusive trolley mount and star in their own zipline movie. Cameras can be reserved at the time of booking or rented upon check in. For more information, call (800) 464-1993 or visit www.kohalazipline.com.
The Hilo Palace Theater is presenting several live events in December including:
- The Nutcracker Ballet, performed by students of the Hilo Dance Academy on December 7 and 8 at 7 p.m. and December 9 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for children 12 and under.
- Nahko and Medicine for the People, in concert on December 12, 2012 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door.
- The free, annual Hilo Elks “World of Magic” performance, a ridiculously wondrous holiday, circus-theater production on December 16, 2012, beginning at 11 a.m.
- A Very Special Holiday Concert on December 21, 2012 features Kristian Lei. Tickets are $15 in advance and $17.50 at the door.
For more information about these events or to order tickets by phone, call (808) 934-7010 Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or visit www.hilopalace.com.
Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is offering two great Holiday promotions. With the “Two For One” promotion, guests can enjoy a free room when booking a separate room. The starting rate is $650 per night for a premium ocean view room. The “Third Night Free Holiday Special” offers guests an additional complimentary night after booking two consecutive nights. Rates start at $425 per night for a terrace view room. Both promotions are valid from December 23, 2012 to January 2, 2013. Some restrictions and black dates, holiday policy deposits, and cancellation fees apply. For more information, call (808) 774-6236 or visit www.princeresortshawaii.com.
Puakea Ranch was named to Fodor’s Top 100 Hotel Awards 2012, which honors the most distinctive hotels in the world. The hotel was recognized under the category Local Experience for its distinctive combination of historic charm and modern comfort, including exquisitely renovated historic bungalows with private dipping pools, orchards, organic vegetable gardens, horses, and more. Puakea Ranch is a hidden treasure with sweeping ocean views located near some of Hawaii Island’s smaller towns and a short drive from Hapuna Beach. For more information, call (808) 315-0805 or visit www.puakearanch.com.
Fresh off victories at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colo., Kona Brewing Company continues its winning streak by nabbing two medals at the Great International Beer & Cinder Competition in Providence, R.I. Kona Brewing’s Big Wave Golden Ale and Pipeline Porter earned first and third place honors, respectively, in the Golden Ale and Robust Porter categories. For more information, call (808) 334-BREW or visit www.konabrewingco.com.
In early December, Food Network Star’s season eight finalist, Philip “Ippy” Aiona will introduce “Ippy’s Hawaiian BBQ,” to the Queens’ Marketplace Food Court, presenting his special twist on the iconic Hawaiian plate lunch. Nearby, look for Lemongrass Express, serving Chef TK’s fresh Asian-fusion cuisine, locally sourced and full of flavor. After dining, take a stroll to the new Wishard Gallery for works by some of Hawaii’s favorite fine artists, dive into Blue Wilderness Adventures’ expanded space, or stop in Century 21 All Islands and explore the idea of your own resort home. For more information, visit www.queensmarketplace.net.
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is hosting the Mauna Kea Memories Dinner on Saturday, December 22 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Take a stroll down memory lane with music of the 60’s and savor old favorites of the Batik buffet presented by Chef Polly Pagdilao in the Kauanaoa Terrace. For more information, call (808) 882-5810 or visit www.maunakeabeachotel.com.
Satisfy all your chocolate cravings at the second annual Big Island Chocolate Festival (BICF) on Saturday, March 23, 2013 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii. The highlight of the decidedly decadent festival is the colorful and tasty 5:30-10 p.m. gala with tempting sweet and savory chocolate creations prepared by top island chefs, chocolatiers, and confectioners. Ticket sales start on January 1 and early-bird gala tickets are $60 for the first 100 that are sold. After that, presale tickets are $75, or $85 at the door. The Fairmont Orchid is offering a special event rate of $309 per night for Garden View accommodations including daily breakfast for two. For more information, call reservations at (808) 885-2000 or (800) 845-9905 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.” For more information about the festival or to purchase tickets, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.