It may be a tropical paradise, but Oahu still gets into the holiday spirit with activities for adults and kids.
Through Jan. 2, the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani in Waikiki is featuring a 24-foot-wide, 14-foot-tall edible winter wonderland. Executive Chef Ralf Bauer has incorporated familiar structures into his “Hawaii and the World, a Global Holiday Celebration” attraction.
It began a few years ago as a diorama drawn from memories of Bauer's childhood in Germany and has expanded for 2012 to include Paris’ Eiffel Tower and a Japanese pagoda.
Besides gingerbread, the village incorporates 50 pounds of white chocolate and 140 pounds of dark chocolate. To achieve the winter effects, Bauer used 250 gallons of icing, along with dustings of powdered sugar. A team of culinary experts worked about 800 hours to create the masterpiece.
Through the end of the year, the Honolulu City Lights festival will center on the 50-foot-tall Christmas tree on the lawn of the Honolulu Hale (City Hall). Vendors sell collectible ornaments with an island flair. New for 2012: Santa snorkeling among sea creatures in Hanauma Bay.
Other communities will say “Mele Kalikimaka” in their own styles. North and west of Honolulu, Christmas parades will be held Dec, 15 at Ewa Beach and Waianae. A list of activities is available online.
The Polynesian Cultural Center, on the north shore near Laie, reprises its “Christmas in Polynesia” attraction. As canoes wind through the site, “The Littlest Star,” a religious story, is shared by live actors and animals amid a backdrop of holiday lights and decorations. Rides will be offered at 6:30 p.m. Friday (today), Saturday, Monday, Wednesday, Dec. 14 and Dec. 15.