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Last-Minute Big Island New Year’s Eve: What to Do, What Not to Do, and Where to Go

New Year’s Eve is a very magical night, as we all say farewell to one year and welcome another. Whether you like to stay home for a cozy, family-oriented evening or dress to the nines and hit the town, there are plenty of ways to celebrate and ring in the new year. Doing so responsibly is always key, though, so make sure you follow some basic rules while celebrating. 

What Not to Do

  • Obviously, the first thing to avoid is drinking and driving. Just don’t do it. Though traffic fatalities on the Big Island are lower than previous years, some recent high-profile accidents have brought attention to just how dangerous our roadways can be. Don’t become a statistic, and don’t endanger anyone else. Call a friend, take a cab, download a rideshare app. Period.
  • Don’t set off illegal fireworks. Obviously, fireworks are a big part of New Year’s Eve, and they’re particularly popular in rural areas of the island. However, popularity isn’t an excuse for illegal acts that have negative consequences. Mayor Kim has recently emphasized the Hawai’i County Fire Department’s warning against using illegal fireworks on his Facebook page. He highlights the fact that fireworks can have a negative impact on pets, livestock, elderly community members, and those with PTSD. Fireworks can also prove to be a fire hazard, so it’s best just to leave this temporary entertainment to the professionals (see our events section, below, for places to watch fireworks on the island).

 

 

What to Do

Have fun, hug your loved ones, celebrate your family traditions to bring in the new year. Don’t forget to set those resolutions for 2020!

 

Where to Go

If you’re still on the fence about plans for the night, there are plenty of events on our calendar, most listed below, that can help you have fun, no matter your budget! Be sure to check with the hosts (online or via phone) before heading out – our calendar information is user-submitted and should always be double-checked. 

Bars

New Year's Eve Celebration at the Blue Dragon Tavern
from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. | $60 | Blue Dragon Tavern, 61-3616 Kawaihae Rd, Kawaihae
Come and celebrate the New Year with us at the Blue Dragon Tavern! New Year's Eve celebration with two shows from Azure McCall. 

1st Show: 5:30pm-8:30pm classy jazz. Cover charge $60.00 includes One Drink Ticket & Light Appetizers.

2nd Show: 9:15pm-12:15am sassy, dancy, balloon-dropping fun! Cover charge $60.00 includes One Drink Ticket & Light Appetizers. 21 & Older (any guests under 21 must be accompanied by an adult 21 & older).

Greg Shirley Trio at Gertrude’s Jazz Bar
from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. | $5 | 75-5699 Ali’i Drive, Kona
Guitar Jazz – 1st Seating for New Years. $5 Cover. Reservations at 808-327-JAZZ

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Sam’s Hideaway!
from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. | 75-5729 Ali’i Drive, Kona
Ring in 2020 at Sam’s hideaway 6pm-2am! Decades themed costume party, prizes, drink specials, karaoke roulette! Celebrate with us where friends meet ! Don’t forget to drink responsibly !book that uber or taxi !!!

New Years Eve at Papa Kona Restaurant & Bar
from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. | 75-5770 Ali’i Drive, Kona
Come join us for NYE. Starting at 7 PM – 12:30 AM. Hand-crafted cocktails, assortment of beers and wine on tap and an ono-licious lounge menu that'll keep you rocking into the new year.

New Years EVE Of The DEAD
at 7:30 p.m. | $25 | Privateer’s Cove, 75-170 Hualalai Road, Kona
New Years EVE Of The DEAD is a Grateful Dead Tribute Experience featuring Bottle of Blue and Company / Doors at 7:30 PM show starts at 8PM

Hotels

The Grand Naniloa Resort New Year's Eve Extravaganza!
from 6:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. | $25-$240 | Grand Naniloa, 93 Banyan Drive, Hilo
Join us for the Grand Naniloa Resort's 2nd Annual New Year's Extravaganza and Fireworks! Ring in 2020 with the world's largest COCONUT ball drop at midnight! We'll start the evening with Movie Night on the Lawn for the keiki, and kick off the Dance Party in Crown Room for the adults (ages 21+) at 9:00pm. Food and beverage will be available for purchase throughout the evening.

I Lava the New Year
from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. | $100-220 | Fairmont Orchid, 1 N Kaniku Dr, Waimea
With your toes in the sand and the waves crashing table side, begin the New Year like you’re truly on vacation. The New Year’s Eve Beach Party is the perfect way to end the year and start a new one. It’s relaxed… it’s romantic… it’s the place everyone wants to be. Call 808.885.2000 ext 7368 to make reservations.

New Year’s Eve Dinner and Party at Waikoloa Village
from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. | $69-$149 | Hilton Waikoloa Village, 69-425 Waikoloa Beach Drive, Waikoloa
Kick-off 2020 in style with our New Year’s Eve celebration. The evening will begin with specialty dinner stations accompanied with live Hawaiian music. At 9:30 pm, the dance floor is yours as our DJ plays a mix of new hits and old favorites. As the countdown to midnight begins, enjoy a champagne toast and balloon drop as we bring in the new year. Tickets start from $149 for adults, $109 for teens, and $69 for children. Upgraded seating and golden tickets are also available. Purchase tickets. Whether a relaxing holiday break or an adventure-filled vacation, we’ve got you covered when it comes to finding events that suit every visitor. From everyone here at Hilton Waikoloa Village, we wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

New Year’s Eve Dinner at Kilauea Lodge
from 5 to 9 p.m. | $65-$80 | Kilauea Lodge, 19-3948 Old Volcano Rd, Volcano
Get ready to welcome in the new decade and join us for dinner on New Year's Eve at Kilauea Lodge! Our special menu features local ingredients and celebratory recipes sure to keep you filled till the clock strikes midnight. Please call (808) 967-7366 ext.2. to reserve a table on this popular evening!

Miscellaneous

New Years 2020 at Hawaiian Sanctuary
from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. | $25-30 | Hawaiian Sanctuary, 13-3194 Pahoa Kalapana Road, Pahoa
Blast into New Years 2020 with a celebration of consciousness at the Hawaiian Sanctuary! Launching with an inspired opening ceremony hosted by famed speaker and raw food expert, David “Avocado” Wolfe and featuring Kaminanda with Birds of Paradise on the decks. Maha Deva on Visuals. $25 pre-sale and $30 at the door. Pre-Sale Tickets here. Alchemical Elixirs by Cacao Creations serving up divine purple cacao chocolates, flower extracted juns & kombuchas, herbal alchemy and other raw food treats!

Garden Temple NYE! A Benefit
from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. | $10-20 | Garden Temple, 12-1160 Kaimu-Makena Homestead Road, Pahoa
Join the ✨Garden Temple✨ crew as we bring the New Year in! 🎉 An alcohol free, family friendly dance celebration! This is not an Ecstatic Dance and you may talk, socialize and mingle on the dance floor! We are gathering to show community support for Samantha Smith following the eruption and now her safe access to her home! Sam needs a new liner for her catchment as the other melted due to the lava! She gives a drum away each week to foster the love of drumming, she spearheaded the community garden in Pahoa and has hosted many of us at Avani! Let’s show the world we care about each other and dance in unity and support!

LineUp>>>~Moksha with Manifesto ~Ascentix ~BOGL $10-20 contribution! No Alcohol! None! No drunks! (There are plenty of alcohol friendly events especially on NYE! Mahalo for respecting our friends in recovery! )

New Years Eve Member Party!
from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. | $0-20 | Slow Your Roll, 190 Keawe Street, Hilo
Celebrate the turn of the decade with us! Costume Contest: Dress for the decade for a chance to win awesome prizes! BYOB + Pizza + Potluck. Free for members (with a +1), $20 for non-members (counts as one month membership). More details closer to the event.

Featured image by Flickr user Kyle Nishioka, Creative Commons licensed.