Summer free for all


POSTED: Monday, July 06, 2009

The economy may be putting a dent in the pocketbook, limiting your summer fun.

But don't let a lack of spare change leave you sitting on your couch. There's no denying the cost of living in paradise is high, but you can still find numerous activities around the island appealing to a wide range of interests that are both fun and free.

Here are a few places to start:



» Chinatown district:

First Friday, 5 to 9 p.m. once a month, offers free receptions for art exhibitions, with music, dance, poetry and sometimes drama events also taking place in galleries.

Second Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month, is a family-oriented event, and the Hawaii state Art Museum usually hosts a special program on its lawn.

On the Third Thursday, from 5 to 8 p.m., a smaller-scale version of First Friday is mostly art-related. Call the ARTS at Marks Garage at 521-2903 for more information.

» Free museum days:

Take advantage of the free admission on certain days of the month. At the Honolulu Academy of Arts, it's the third Sunday (from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and first Wednesday (10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) of the month. Children under 12 are admitted free with an accompanying adult paid admission. Call 532-8700.

The Contemporary Museum offers free admission on the third Thursday of each month (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Artspree, an annual all-day free family festival, is coming up on Saturday. It takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features hands-on art activities, storytelling, dance and musical performances. TCM is also offering everyone between the ages of 20 to 29 free entry when an ID is presented at the museum's front desk through the end of September. Children under 12 are admitted free with an accompanying adult paid admission. Call 526-1322.

Admission is always free at Hawaii State Art Museum, open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays. The museum is closed on state and federal holidays. Call 586-0900.

Free lau hala weaving demonstrations take place 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the first Saturday of each month at Mission Houses Museum. Free admission. Call 447-3910.


Culture/history experiences

USS Arizona Memorial: Timed programs include a 23-minute documentary film about the attack on Pearl Harbor and the boat trip to the memorial. Programs run from 7:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are free and issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Allow for wait time. Call 422-0561.

» Bon dance: Temples around the island observe the tradition of honoring the dead through music and dance throughout the summer. Check out http://www.hsblinks.com/fb for a complete listing.

» Explore a palace: Once a month, usually on the first Sunday, Iolani Palace offers free tickets to residents. Guided tours run every 15 minutes between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets are distributed on a first come, first served basis. Local ID is required. Call 522-0822 or visit http://www.iolanipalace. org.

» Kukaniloko Birthstones State Monument: Located in Wahiawa, approximately 180 stones represent the birthplace of the children of royalty. Take Kamehameha Highway through Wahiawa to Whitmore Avenue. Turn left onto a dirt road and drive a few yards down to the stones.

» The North Shore Surf and Cultural Museum: In the North Shore Marketplace, this features historical surfboards, articles and a surfing video room. Open noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays. Admission is free but donations are accepted.


Family adventures

Reading and more: Public Libraries have an array of activities for kids of all ages. In addition to storytelling, magic shows and craft-making sessions, the libraries host reading programs for children and adults during summer. Call your local library to find out what's on its calendar. Regular story times are often held at local bookstores, as well.

» Festival fun: Multicultural festivals offer an array of music, entertainment, ethnic foods, crafts and more. Visit http://www.honolulu.gov/moca for a calendar of events.

» Escape with movies:

Every Tuesday and Wednesday, check out the Family Film Festival at Regal Theaters in Dole Cannery, where films are screened free of charge. Doors open at 10 am. and cose at 10:15 a.m.

Tomorrow and Wednesday, look for “;Charlotte's Web”; (G) and “;Kung Fu Panda”; (PG). On July 14 and 15, “;Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Veggie Tale Movie”; (G) and “;Inkheart”; (PG). On July 21 and 22, “;Everyone's Hero”; (G) and “;Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa”; (PG). On July 28 and 29, “;Doogal”; (G) and “;Surf's Up”; (PG). On Aug. 4 and 5, “;Space Chimps”; (G) and “;Hotel for Dogs”; (PG). Call 528-3653 or visit http://www.regmovies.com/nowshowing/familyfilmfestivalschedule.aspx?state=HI.

» ”;Kids First”; film festival: Screenings for ages 2 to 12 at 3 p.m. July 12 and 19. “;Earth Dance,”; an environmental family film festival, begins at 3 p.m. July 26. All movies are shown in the University of Hawaii at Manoa Art Auditorium. Visit http://www.outreach.hawaii.edu/summer for a complete listing.

» Family Fishing: Catch-and-release program, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden, free. Bring rain and fishing gear and barbless hooks. Call 233-7323.



» Look for two-for-one deals or special offers. Call your favorite eatery to see whether they've added any recession specials to their menu. Some restaurants where kids eat free are:

* Gyotaku: On Mondays and Tuesdays, receive one free children's meal per each purchased adult entree. For kids 10 and under.

* Denny's : Receive one free children's meal per each purchased adult entree from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays. For kids 10 and under.

* Tony Roma's: Kids, 12 and under, eat free all day on Tuesdays.

* Auntie Pasto's: Kids, 12 and under, eat free from 4 p.m. to closing Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

* Ryan's Grill: One free children's meal offered for each paid adult meal all day Sunday. For kids 12 and under.

* Farrell's: Purchase an adult entree on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and receive a complimentary children's meal from 2 to 8 p.m. For kids 12 and under.

» Wine tasting: Sample different vintages before investing in a bottle, at:

* The Wine Stop, 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

* Simply Grape, which hosts “;Wine Not”; from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays.

* D'vine, which offers complimentary wine tasting from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays.

» Culinary tours and demos: Sessions held at Whole Food Market. At 3 p.m. on Wednesday and July 22, the focus is on how to shop for diabetes-friendly foods. At 1 p.m. July 11 and 25, learn how to shop at Whole Foods market on a budget. “;Cooking with Local Flavor”; at 6 p.m. July 23 delves into ways to incorporate local ingredients into entrees. And, at 11 a.m. July 25, learn about the benefits of eating raw foods.



» Garden tour: Explore Bishop Museum's collection of native Hawaiian plants while learning about their traditional cultural uses, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. the second Saturday of each month.

» Second Saturday at the Garden: The Urban Garden Center in Pearl City features a new tropical gardening topic and time to explore the gardens. Master gardeners are on hand to answer gardening questions. Call 453-6050 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

» Tour a garden: The island's botanical gardens offer free admission, with the exception of Foster Botanical Garden, which charges $5 general admission; $1 for 13 and older. Visit http://www.honolulu.gov/parks/hbg for more details.



» Waikiki hotels often offer free entertainment and craft sessions, but be aware of increases in metered parking charges, as well as hotel parking rates.

» Many lounges and restaurants—including the Mai Tai Bar, RumFire and Don Ho's Island Grill—offer free entertainment on various days of the week. Sessions @ Du Vin is a 7 p.m. weekly jazz showcase with a rotating lineup that includes Satomi and Guests, July 15; Jazzy Jay, July 22; and Sonny Silva and Friends, July 29.

» Malls and shopping centers offer free performances on a regular basis. Check their Web sites for schedules.

» Enjoy chamber and choral music at 12:15 p.m. Wednesdays at St. Andrew's Cathedral. Call 524-2822, ext. 217.

» MUVE summer dance session: Free weekly sessions take place 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. Tuesdays through Aug. 11 at the Makiki Library. Maggie Kunkel teaches this nonchoreographed method of dancing for exercise. Call 955-8211.


Outdoor activities

» Take time to relax and read a book on the sand or swim in the ocean. A day of snorkeling at Hanauma Bay is an option. Just don't forget to bring your kamaaina identification to gain complimentary access to the beach, and remember that there is also a nominal charge to park in the lot.

» Take a hike: Whether you brave the climb up Diamond Head or seek the serenity of waterfalls at Manoa Falls or the lush surroundings along Makiki Valley loop, hiking trails are free and accessible, provide picturesque views and offer gym-dues-free exercise for the entire family.

» Sunset on the Beach: Pack a picnic lunch and blanket and look for the big outdoor screen set up at Waikiki beach or other locations around the island. Movies start when the sun goes down, about 7 p.m. The next showing is “;Lump of Sugar”; on Queen's Surf Beach on July 10. Concerts begin two hours prior to show time. Visit www. sunsetonthebeach.net.

Light up the sky: Take in the fireworks display at Hilton Hawaiian Village, at 7:45 p.m. every Friday. When the show's over, take a romantic stroll along the beach.

» Hawaii Bicycling League: Join others on free weekend rides. Call 735-5756 or visit http://www.hbl.org.