The Waikiki Insider: Oct/Nov 2012

October 1, 2012 | By Mona Wood-Sword

It’s time to do the “Monster Mash” in Waikiki—my absolute favorite time of year—Halloween! I’ve celebrated the special day in many different cities, and Waikiki ranks right up there as a favorite destination—for locals and visitors—to party on October 31.

My husband and I usually do the “couple” thing. We’ve been sultan and harem girl, cop and criminal, and this year, we pay homage to the Scottish side of his family by wearing kilts—a Halloween version, of course. Corny, yes, but we’re usually pretty tame among the tens of thousands of outrageously costumed revelers walking along Kalakaua and Kuhio Avenues.

Our daily lives can be filled with deadlines, bills and stress, and Halloween gives us a great excuse to dress up and be silly along with thousands of other people this one night a year.

So I’ve decided to share a list of DOS and DON’TS for all you first-timers out there, to ensure a Happy Halloween in Waikiki!


DRESS UP There are a number of great options for costumes—from Ross to the Diamond Head Theater costume shop and a myriad other specialty and costume stores. And there are always craft stores, thrift shops, or your own closet for other options. My aunt’s vintage prom dress from the ’60s turned into a great fairy costume with some wings and a wand one year. A poodle skirt found at a Salvation Army store took me into the ’50s another year. You can spend a fortune on your Halloween costume, or nothing at all, so there’s no excuse NOT to dress up for the occasion. • BRING YOUR CAMERA Or your iPhone or Android or iPad or whatever … you will not want to miss taking photos of all the zombies, superheroes and vampires—and, of course, you and your gang—on Halloween! Photos from past Halloweens are among my favorites, always making me smile.

WALK AROUND WAIKIKI Walk up and down Kalakaua Avenue; meander over to Kuhio, cut through the International Market Place. It can get rather crowded and hot at times, but opens up for some breathing room, especially on the beach side. There’s so much to see, and it’s best to see it on foot. If possible, wear comfortable shoes.

CHECK OUT THE COSTUME CONTESTS Although there are tons of costume contests for kids during the day, every club in Waikiki hosts a costume contest at night. Prizes range from gift cards to thousands of dollars. Check them out, as they are funny to watch; and the judges are usually the audience. If your costume is cute/sexy/creative/outrageous enough, go ahead and enter!

DINE IN WAIKIKI Get to Waikiki early to avoid the mad rush after work, and meet friends for dinner before walking around. But make your reservations early, as restaurants will be busy! Eateries with a view of the avenue are prime for watching the parade of costumes passing by.

BE SAFE I’m a huge proponent of closing Kalakaua Avenue and making it strictly a pedestrian thoroughfare for Halloween, but until that happens, watch out for cars and be safe out there!

BE SHY There are tens of thousands— maybe as many as 100,000— costumed characters walking around Waikiki on Halloween. Chances are you will not run into anyone you know. And even if you do—don’t worry about it. Choose a costume you’re comfortable with, and go for it with all of the accessories. Unless you’re a regular at Comic-Con, it’s the one day a year you can dress up and feel like a kid again!

THINK YOU’RE TOO OLD You really are as young as you feel. Although many of those celebrating Halloween in Waikiki may be half our age, my husband and I never let that get in the way and always have a lot of fun. We’ve invited friends and family to join us in recent years, and now they’re all addicted to spending Halloween in Waikiki now, too!

MISS IT Don’t miss Halloween in Waikiki!


Please head to the polls and exercise your right to vote on Election Day (Nov. 6). Pay your respects to those brave men and women who have kept us safe on Veterans Day (Nov. 11; observed Nov. 12). And say a heartfelt mahalo nui loa to everyone who has made a difference in your life on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22).