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10 Reasons Why the North Shore is Just as Cool as the North Pole

Posted on Sun, 2018/10/07 - 11:35pm by Jessica Gellert

Everyone knows Christmas in Hawaii doesn’t include snowflakes, snowball fights, and snow angels but that doesn’t mean the North Shore of Oahu isn’t as cool as the North Pole during the holiday season.

Here are 10 Island inspired festive activities you can enjoy in paradise.


1. Giddy-up with a Reindeer Ride

Horses santa hats hawaii

Our horses, we mean reindeers, will take you on a whimsical ocean view trail ride. These North Shore Christmas excursions begin December 20 and run through the 27th. Rides are daily at 1:30 p.m. Make sure you bring your camera, There will be a special opportunity to capture holiday photos - the perfect souvenir of your Christmas in Hawaii!

Learn more about Reindeer Rides

2. Eat Hawaiian Snow, AKA Shave Ice

Haleiwa Shave Ice

Did you know we have snow on Oahu’s North Shore!? Okay, it’s not real snow. It’s actually a sweet treat that is perfect to cool down with any time of year. It’s called shave ice. It looks like a snow cone. The ice is shaved into thin flakes, packed into a ball and then covered in fantastic flavors that melt in your mouth. The historic town of Haleiwa is just a 20-minute coastal drive away from Turtle Bay Resort and is famous for this sweet treat. Here’s our guide to shave ice stops.

3. Surf or Kayak with Santa’s Helpers

santa kayaking

Why snowboard when you can surf or kayak? We’ve spotted Santa himself hanging ten off our pool bar. He likes to hang out at Turtle Bay before he makes his journey around the world spreading Christmas cheer. You can learn to surf with Rocky and his surfing dogs, which is always a fun and memorable outing, no matter what time of year. We also offer kayaking and canoeing at the pristine Kawela Bay Santa style, with festive red hats. Show your Christmas spirit with a family photo kayaking in Santa hats!

Santa Hat Kayaking

4. Make a Sandman and Sand Angels

We don’t have snow but we have miles of golden sand. Add some water, pick up some driftwood and decorate with some shells to create your very own sandman! We guarantee you’ll get tons of love on Instagram when you share your tropical version of a snowman! Instead of freezing your bum off creating an angel in the bitter cold snow, why not relax on the beach and make a sand angel? No frostbite here, but you may get sun-kissed - and what’s wrong with that?!

5. Make Marvelous Memories with a Merry Mermaid

mermaid Kariel

The North Pole doesn’t have mermaids but the North Shore does! Make a splash with Mermaid Kariel at our main swimming pool every Monday and Saturday from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

6. Cook a Holiday Meal with our Executive Chef

Turtle Bay Cooking Classes

Join us for one of a series of holiday cooking classes hosted by our Executive Chef, Joe Rose. We'll have all the food and cooking utensils set up for you to enjoy this fun cooking experience in our fine-dining restaurant, Pa'akai. You'll savor a full lunch and drink pairings while learning how to prepare some of the most popular holiday sweet and savory dishes. All the while enjoying ideal ocean views during your class, as only found at Turtle Bay Resort. Space for this event is very limited, and seats will sell out quickly. Please reserve your spot early!


7. S’mores Galore and Storytime on the Beach

Beach Bonfire

Every Monday and Friday from 5:30- 8:00 p.m. December, 17-28. We'll transport you out to one of our favorite coves on the Turtle Bay Resort property, where we've setup a beach bonfire for you to enjoy, complete with S'mores and stories around the fire with one of Santa’s elves! Children will be entertained with our holiday story-telling fun! Just bring a light jacket and an appetite for dessert!



8. Get Artistic and Create a Masterpiece

Christmas Palm Tree

Grab a paintbrush and create a cheerful, Hawaiian Christmas themed work of art – the perfect souvenir to your holiday retreat. Not an artist? No problem! Our pro will teach you how to paint step by step. Enjoy a glass of wine and cheese platter to complete the mood. The Paint Paina sessions will be available several days a week. We highly suggest signing up in advance as this is an intimate painting class and will sell out.

Holiday Paint Party Sign-Up

9. Hangout with Santa’s Elves

Santa at Turtle Bay

Santa isn’t the only one who likes to chill during Christmas in Oahu. Some of his elves are staying at Turtle Bay and will be spreading Christmas cheer around the resort.

  • Dec. 17 - 28, every Monday and Friday from 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. elves will be at the S’mores Galore event.
  • Dec. 24, 9 -10:30 a.m. Elves will be decorating cookies with guests on Christmas Eve. All ages are welcomed! Make sure you save some for Santa!


10. Spend Time with Santa

Santa Brunch

Santa will be hosting two very special holiday breakfasts at our Pa’akai. Enjoy a full breakfast spread, with adult beverages available for parents. Plus, everyone will get to interact and take photos with jolly ol’ St. Nick.

Santa breakfast dates:

  •  December 16 - 9 a.m.-11 a.m. ·
  •  December 23 - 9 a.m.-11 a.m.

You can learn more and pre-book Breakfast with Santa here.

Oh but there’s more… Learn about all of our holiday offerings here.

Of course, there are other things you could do in Hawaii that you can’t do anywhere else during Christmas. How About hanging your stocking on a great, big coconut tree? You could even decorate a pineapple. What are you looking forward to the most when it comes to your Christmas in Hawaii? Share in the comment section below or reach out to us on our social media accounts @TurtleBayResort.