Friday night fireworks on Oahu
June 21, 2020
| by
Jana Free

Oahu Visitor Guide: 20 Free or Cheap Things to do on Oahu

If you’re looking for ways to experience the best of Oahu without cleaning out your bank account, see this Oahu Travel Blog article, ’20 Free or Cheap Things to do on Oahu.’ Learn about where to go and what to see. We’ve listed some of the top activities and attractions that won’t break your budget.

These are unusual times we find ourselves living in, with restrictions being put in place and lifted with little notice, so please be sure to confirm operating hours before visiting any of the attractions mentioned in this article. 

You may have heard stories about Oahu being an expensive place to visit, but has anyone told you that it can be extremely affordable? This magical tropical destination is actually a great place to be if you want to enjoy relaxation and adventure for little or no cost.

In this Oahu Travel Blog article, ’20 Free or Cheap Things to do on Oahu,’ tells you where you can find excitement and serenity without the need for a huge vacation budget and you'll discover some of the best things to do and see can be quite inexpensive or won’t cost you a dime!

Woman relaxing in a hammock on the beach
You'll discover that some of the most memorable times during your visit may not cost you a dime!

Here are 20 Free or Cheap Things to do on Oahu:

  1. Watch Friday night fireworks on Waikiki Beach. For no cost, stake out a spot on Waikiki Beach and enjoy the fireworks of King Kalakaua’s Jubilee.
  2. Spend the afternoon at the Ko Olina lagoons. Ko Olina is a beautiful area on Oahu that is comprised of 642 acres and 4 lagoons that connect via a mile-long string of seaside paths. Walk along or in the water, and don’t worry about carving into your sightseeing budget.
  3.  Attend the International Bed Race Festival. The free festival takes place in April. See who wins the competition for ‘Fasted Bed.”
  4.  Ring in the Chinese New Year. This annual event offers complimentary admission. Just bring money for some of the amazing food you’ll surely want to savor.
  5.  Visit an Oahu souvenir store. The most popular souvenir store on Oahu is arguably Hilo Hattie, ‘The Store of Hawaii,’ and you can get a free juice there!
  6. Take a hula or ukulele class. The Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center offers no-charge hula and ukulele lessons as well as other cultural classes.
  7.  Visit the Honolulu Zoo’s ‘Wildest Show in Town.’ This is a popular free summer concert series that is presented each week from June to August.
  8.  Take a trip to the Dole Plantation. For a nominal ticket price, you can test your navigation skills in the ‘World’s Largest Maze.’ Try a famous Dole Whip for a small price too!*
  9.  Hike Diamond Head. Take in one of the best views of Oahu from the top of Diamond Head Crater, which looks out over Waikiki Beach, Honolulu and beyond. You don’t need much money to enjoy this memorable activity.*
  10.  Learn about surfing history. Stop by Duke’s Canoe Club at Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach to discover more about the interesting sport. Stay to sip a delicious Mai Tai and enjoy free live music on Waikiki Beach afterward.*
  11.  Attend an arts and crafts fair at Ala Moana Beach Park. It’s free to get into the fair, but you may want to purchase one of the local art works to take home.
  12.  Watch the James Dole Story at Dole Cannery Square. For no cost at all, see how the pineapple has become such an important part of Hawaii’s culture and past.
  13.  Spend the day at Hanauma Bay. Snorkel among the coral and tropical fish that teem in this beautiful bay. Linger longer as you have lunch and relax on the sand.*
  14.  Listen to live Hawaiian music. Every Friday, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., the Royal Hawaiian Band plays a free concert at Iolani Palace.
  15.  Relax along the harbor at Aloha Tower Marketplace. You don’t need money to listen to live music, or to watch the boats, barges and cruise ships float by.
  16.  Settle into Sunset on the Beach. Take your free spot at Queen’s Surf in Waikiki Beach as it’s transformed into an outdoor movie theater where you can enjoy free Hollywood films.
  17.  Attend a free orchestral concert. The Honolulu Symphony Orchestra invites guests to watch its fall pre-season concerts for no charge at all.
  18. Be amazed at the Honolulu City Lights. Every December, twinkling holiday lights illuminate the night sky from the financial district to downtown. Admire these lights for free and then head to Honolulu Hale to see the display of decorated Christmas trees.
  19. Spend the morning at the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center. Located in the Kakaako Waterfront Park in Honolulu, this fun family friendly attraction offers hours of fun for little money.
  20.  Stop by a lei stand. Many lei stands line Maunakea Street, so swing by and learn how these intricate treasures are made.

* indicates a cost of $20 per person or less.

We hope our latest Oahu Travel Blog article, ’20 Free or Cheap Things to do on Oahu,’ has helped you appreciate the many inexpensive or no-cost things to do and see on our beautiful island of Oahu.

You may also enjoy our article, 'Guide to Whale Watching on Oahu!'

Visit our Oahu Visitors Guide for more recommendations for all there is to do, see and experience when visiting Oahu.

Visit our current Special Offers for the ‘Best Rates Guaranteed’ at our Waikiki Hotel or go here to Book Now.