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November in Hawaii: Exploring the Highlights of Thanksgiving Celebrations

Marcie Cheung for Hawaii Travel With Kids explores the highlights of celebrating Thanksgiving in Hawaii. November is a great month to join us for a snorkel tour.

Are you planning a trip to Hawaii in November and want to know all the Hawaii Thanksgiving activities and events? Keep scrolling to find out how to spend Thanksgiving in Hawaii with kids for a memorable time.

Thanksgiving in Hawaii is a great time to visit. The weather is warm and sunny and the ocean water is perfect for snorkeling. Plus there are plenty of celebrations going on! One of the most popular events in November is Thanksgiving.

Does Hawaii Celebrate Thanksgiving?

Although modern-day Hawaiians and Hawaii residents do celebrate Thanksgiving, they did not always. Ancient Hawaiian culture already had an event called Makahiki. This was a four-month-long festival that allowed them to give thanks and pause wars to celebrate each other and even give gifts. 

While this Hawaiian tradition is still in practice, it is also common for islanders to celebrate Thanksgiving with a big feast. That’s because this mainland tradition was adopted more than a hundred years ago in Hawaii.

The essence of the holiday remains the same for the Hawaiian people. It is a time to thank the harvest and give thanks to others. 

One thing that is a little different though is there isn’t a huge focus on pilgrim history like there is on the mainland. That’s because Hawaii has a very different experience with foreigners arriving on their land.

What do Hawaii Locals and Residents do on Thanksgiving?

Hawaiians celebrate Thanksgiving much like their mainland counterparts, with a few adjustments. Instead of turkey and mashed potatoes, the Hawaiian people often serve traditional luau-style foods. 

These luaus are a way for families, friends, and even whole communities to get together and enjoy a feast of staple Hawaiian dishes that everyone loves.

While someone visiting might be thrown off by the menu if they are expecting a stuffed turkey, you’re still in for a treat. Many people in Hawaii serve a delicious main course of kalua pig, which is slow-roasted in an underground oven (called an imu) and covered in taro leaves.

However, some people living in Hawaii will put a turkey in an imu for a really delicious smoked turkey. Or they deep fry a turkey.

Often, there is poke, poi, and rice instead of mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese. Poi is another traditional Hawaiian staple that is made of mashed taro.

Is November A Good Month To Visit Hawaii?

November is a great month to plan a visit to Hawaii if you don’t have a problem with a little rain. This month is part of the rainy season in the islands. This can be unfortunate at times, but the weather remains warm enough to swim. It’s just slightly chilly at night. 

This is also a good month to visit if you want cheaper flights and vacation rentals. That’s because it is typically a low month for tourism.

This means there will be fewer crowds of tourists in the islands. And you’ll have a little more money in your pocket for choosing to visit these beautiful islands in the off-season.

What’s the Weather Like in November in Hawaii?

Hawaii weather in November maintains a wonderful tropical climate, with highs in the day in the 80s. Though the temperatures can dip in the 60s at night, so be sure to come prepared. We usually bring a light sweatshirt for everyone in our family.

November is also the rainy season, as mentioned above. However, the showers tend to be short and come in the nighttime when the air cools and condenses. This is a good reason to bring a lightweight rain jacket with you.

However, even though the month is in the off-season, the weather will still most likely be nice for your vacation.

Is Hawaii Crowded in November For Thanksgiving?

Crowds of tourists usually swarm Hawaii in the summer and spring to take advantage of the sun and sea. But November is a different story. Often, tourism is at a major low during November due to the rain and holiday season.

While a lot of families may travel to the islands to celebrate Christmas, it is a bit more uncommon for tourists to choose Hawaii as a Thanksgiving destination.

This means you can sometimes find a great deal on flights, hotels, and activities when you visit during November.

Does it Cost More to Visit Hawaii in November During Thanksgiving Week?

The month of November carries a much cheaper price tag for those looking to visit Hawaii, in most cases. However, there is a slight increase in visitors and prices during the week of Thanksgiving. 

While it may not be the holiday destination of choice for most who like to celebrate the mainland American holiday, it still draws many visitors who are looking for an island reprieve during the Fall holiday.

This means the price of tickets for flights does go up right around Thanksgiving week. But it will usually not be comparable to prices in the peak of spring or summer.  

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