Things to do in Honolulu

Top Hula Shows in Honolulu, Hawaii

Take a musical journey through Honolulu led by expert hula dancers.

Oahu is a region that embraces its ancestral roots, and hula dancers perform everywhere, from shopping centers to scenic beaches. With its delicate, symbolic movements set to rhythmic melodies and chanting, this traditional dance tells a story. Sometimes, it's folklore, and other times, it's historical.

Some shows are paired with luaus, traditional feasts, and cultural get-togethers. Each performance is a special celebration of Hawaii’s rich culture, and attending a hula show is a must-see addition to your list of things to do in Honolulu.


Waikiki, on the southern shore of Honolulu, is world-renowned for a reason. What once served as royalty’s paradise is now the heart of artistry. Hula is ingrained in the culture, and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to appreciate it.

1. House Without A Key at Halekulani

At House Without A Key, you can sip drinks and listen to leisurely music while relaxing under the shade of a 130-year-old kiawe tree. As the sun sets and stars fill the sky, hula dancers step in and sway to the melody.

This venue is part of the Halekulani Hotel. It upholds the spirit of Hawaii by offering cocktails and music against the stunning backdrop of the sea and Diamond Head. Once dinner service begins at 5 p.m., the show starts. Entertainment featuring hula and live Hawaiian music plays until 10 p.m. nightly.

House Without A Key is a popular spot where guests gather for sunset drinks, including its signature mai tai. Even literary genius Ernest Hemingway visited this legendary location in the 1940s, preferring Table 97 for its amazing views.

Source: Halekulani Hotel

2. Ala Moana Center

The largest open-air shopping center in the world adds a touch of whimsy to errands and retail therapy. In the evening, the daily hula show takes place on Centerstage. Dancers draw attention away from the shopping and dining options to share a touch of local culture with tourists.

During the 20-minute show, skilled dancers introduce viewers to traditional and modern hula. On Sunday afternoons, the Keiki Hula Show brings children into the mix, showcasing how this vibrant tradition is passed down to younger generations.

3. Waikiki Starlight Luau

Waikiki Starlight Luau embraces the diverse traditions of the Pacific Islands each night from the top of the Mid-Pacific Conference Center. Under the stars, a feast unfolds, filling the air with tantalizing scents. As live music serenades guests, hula dancers sway to the beat as they weave tales with their motions.

Throughout the night, other performances mesmerize viewers. Watch the heartstopping moment when fire-knife dancers safely catch the blade. Or, lose yourself in the rhythm alongside the Samoan and Tahitian dancers.

As the show comes to a close, admire the views of the city skyline and the vast expanse of stars overhead. If you're there on a Friday, you’ll have phenomenal seats to the Duke Kahanamoku Beach fireworks show from your rooftop vantage point.

4. International Market Place

O Nā Lani Sunset Stories brings Polynesian song and dance to the International Market Place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

As the sunset paints the sky with vivid colors, the show begins with the Lamakū Torch Tower lighting ceremony before everything moves to Queens Court. The dancers craft a tale of the beloved Queen Emma on a stage illuminated by torches.

5. Rock-A-Hula at Royal Hawaiian Theater

While many of Hawaii’s hula shows take place on simple outdoor stages or in hotels, Waikiki’s Rock-A-Hula revolutionizes the performance with a touch of modernity. With state-of-the-art sound and lighting, the show is a fully immersive experience. The dancers have a penchant for artistry akin to our own.

Although the performance begins at 7:40 p.m., the experience starts two hours earlier with a traditional luau. You’re welcome to join a hula lesson before the big event. If you don't like dancing, sip a mai tai and enjoy the preshow festivities.

This journey takes you through Hawaii’s recent history, from the 1920s to the present. It has the largest cast of performers in a single show on the island. Great music sets the mood for dancing and fire-knife performances.

Source: Rock-A-Hula Hawaii

6. Pualeilani Atrium Shops

Just minutes from Waikiki Beach, Pualeilani Atrium Shops welcome visitors in the heart of Honolulu. This open-air atrium might be a hub for shopping and dining, but it also invites exploration of Hawaiian culture.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, traditional entertainment tastes live, local music. On Aloha Fridays, Hawaiian and Polynesian music fills the Great Hall and entices curious visitors to venture further. Step inside to watch the hula and other traditional dance performances.

7. Ka Moana Luau

The iconic Aloha Tower is far more than a landmark. It’s also home to Ka Moana Luau, where precision and creativity collide. Experience the visceral chants, dances, and songs ingrained in Polynesia’s diverse cultures for generations.

You'll get a crash course in these artistic expressions, from hula’s intricate movements to the fast-paced Tahitian ʻoteʻa set to drums. Before the show, interactive cultural activities set the mood. You'll be able to learn the art of lei-making, take a hula lesson, and weave your headband.

Indulge in a farm-to-table luau with impressive kalua pig and regional favorites, such as poke and lomi lomi.

8. Kuhio Beach Hula Shows

In true kanikapila fashion, the Kuhio Beach Hula Show invites guests on a musical voyage. Kanikapila refers to jamming at a beach or family gathering while enjoying good company and great music.

If you are on the beach on a Tuesday or Saturday, the sound of pu kani, created by blowing into a conch shell, invites all to join. Settle in on the grass or bring your seating and prepare to be dazzled by Hawaii’s best hula dance troupes and performers.

Be sure to check the beach’s upcoming events calendar before attending. The hula show gets canceled when parades or block parties shut down Kalakaua Avenue.

9. Waikiki Beach Walk

Waikiki Beach Walk features live entertainment and activities most days of the week. On Tuesday evenings, regular music concerts with classic hula dances occur at Waikiki Beach Walk Plaza.

Then, people of all ages and skill levels can join a free morning hula class on Sunday morning. Instructors teach five basic hula steps, what they mean, and the choreography of a Hawaiian song.

Once per month, local award-winning performers take over the plaza stage for Mele Hali’a. They bring their traditions and ancestral folklore to life in an awe-inspiring display. Visit this spot for some of the best live music in Honolulu.

10. ‘Aha’aina, A Royal Hawaiian Lūʻau

Prepare for an adventure that evokes all the senses at ‘Aha’aina, A Royal Hawaiian Lūʻau. Begin your luau with island favorites, such as lomi salmon and local produce, before diving into kalua pork, misoyaki salmon, and other traditional foods.

As you indulge, a storyteller discusses the history of the cuisine and the ground you stand on. It’s known as Helumoa, which translates to “chicken scratch.” The name was given by Chief Kākuhihewa, referencing a supernatural rooster called Ka’auhelemoa. Music and dance give way to the story.

Source: Aha’aina, A Royal Hawaiian Luau]


Prepare for delectable feasts, passionate dancing, and endless entertainment in Kapolei.

11. Germaine’s Luau

Germaine’s Luau cultivates a traditional luau experience on West Oahu's shores. Festivities await around every corner. As you enter, someone will hand you a Hawaiian shell lei as pu kani sounds play in the background.

The scent of roasted pig wafts through the air, preparing your appetite for the all-you-can-eat buffet. Once everyone takes their seats, the performance begins. Flashing colors, breathtaking music, and nearly constant action create a nonstop journey through Polynesian traditions.

The performers welcome you into the culture with elegance and artistry in motion, much like we do. These events book quickly, so be sure to make reservations in advance.

12. Ka Wa’a

An exhilarating adventure awaits at Ka Wa’a—Aulani’s luau. Aulani is Disney’s Hawaiian resort and spa, elevating this island paradise with a touch of magic you won’t find anywhere else.

Venture to Hālāwai Lawn as the sun sets to depart on this musical odyssey. The show’s start time varies by season, and you’ll need advanced registration to join the festivities. Preshow demonstrations expose you to traditional arts, such as flower arranging and pa'i'ai taro pounding before the oli begins.

As you settle for an unforgettable night, a buffet-style luau brings mouthwatering fare, such as sea salt-crusted prime rib and local fish. Three hours of song and dance will take you back to when the first ancient explorers reached Ko Olina’s shores.

The passion exuding from each performer is tangible. You'll feel it as they dance atop a stage shaped like a ship, clad in eye-catching costumes.

13. Paradise Cove Luau

Discover Hawaiin culture at Paradise Cove, which spans 12 oceanfront acres. You'll be greeted with a mai tai as traditional music fills the air. While you await the big show, participate in the arts and crafts demonstrations, where you can learn to weave a lei or get a temporary Polynesian tattoo.

Dare to join a canoe ride through the cove or discover the art of underground oven cooking to get a sneak peek at the kalua pork being prepared for dinner. Once the sun sets and guests have their food, the show begins on the Paradise Cove main stage and continues well into the night.

Traditional songs and dances from Hawaii and Polynesia offer impressive displays, from juggling torches to performing powerful choreography.

14. Chief’s Luau

Hold onto your mai tai and jump into Chief’s Luau. Known as the Coconut Man, Chief Sielu guides the way through feasts and fun thanks to his prowess as a fire-knife dancer. He’s been featured on numerous talk shows, bringing international fame to his stage.

Choose from three experience levels. Each includes an all-you-can-eat luau featuring lomi salmon, barbecued chicken, fresh fruit, and the quintessential kalua pork. Upon entry, you’re given a lei and led to your seat.

The show brings dancers onto a stage extending onto a tiered waterfall backdrop. With palm trees framing the view, the finale is on fire—literally.

Source: Chief’s Luau Hawaii


The windward side of Oahu is home to Sea Life Park, where stunning sights, the spirit of aloha, and some of the most unique things to do in Oahu converge.

15. Aloha Kai Luau at Sea Life Park

After a day of exploring Sea Life Park, another tropical adventure awaits at Aloha Kai Luau. The venue is situated in the park. It overlooks Rabbit Island, offering breathtaking views as you take in the award-winning production.

The staff welcomes you with a lei and makes you feel like family. While the food finishes roasting, you can learn to weave a lei, cast a fishing net, or do a few hula moves. The imu cooking ceremony showcases making kalua pork in an underground oven. It’s an all-day affair, but the flavor of the succulent meat justifies the labor of love.

The show begins the same way it ends: with fire. The performance offers a war dance, hula, and fire dancing alongside entertaining commentary. Audience participation is highly encouraged.

Source: Aloha Kai Luau

Tradition and Innovation Shape the Legacy of Hula Shows in Honolulu, Hawaii

Hawaiian culture invites an appreciation for the finer things in life. When the luau ends, our adventure begins. That’s where we come in: We tell a story with daring acrobatics and stunning choreography that pushes the limits of human biology to the extreme.

Our performers are just as passionate about our work as the hula dancers, creating larger-than-life adventures in whimsical worlds. Our shows in Honolulu will leave you breathless.

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