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Beach hangs and sunset at Kaimana beach
Family dinner at Momosan Waikiki
Friday night fireworks around 7:45PM
Put the kids to sleep and grab a cocktail on the deck at Swell Bar
By Joseph Mains
After an epic early day on the North Shore, the whole family was ready to head into the weekend by staying close to ‘Alohilani for the evening: beach time, dinner, fireworks, cocktails after the kids are down. Relaxing at the resort, we confirmed plans to meet some Oahu-based friends and their kids at the beach. They tipped us off that locals and longtime Honolulu dwellers skip the tourist crowds and head to Kaimana Beach, a ten-minute stroll down the boardwalk from our room.
The sun was full and high when we crossed the street from ‘Alohilani to the boardwalk. It was 70 degrees in January and the gentle air swung in the palm trees as we walked past locals and travelers grabbing rays, grilling food, playing games along bustling Waikiki as we headed toward Kaimana Beach. Past the War Memorial Natatorium, we found our friends laying out with a few locals on the fine sand, provisioned with Malasadas from Leonard’s for the kids. We caught up to the lap of the easy ocean while the sounds of families and groups of friends floating into the evening and the sun slipped over the Pacific and left us to say goodbyes in the pink dusk.
We found our middle path along the boardwalk for dinner via the menu at Momosan Waikiki. We sat outside on the patio. Our server helped the kids (6, 10, 14 years old) find gyoza, bao, duck fat fries and other familiar-but-elevated options, while the adults sampled their spread between signature bowls of ramen whose flavors felt bespoke to the time and place where we enjoyed them. As the dishes were cleared it was obvious that we’d succeeded in tiring out our team. Hitting 7:30PM, we slipped directly onto the beach from Momosan feeling sated and inspired by the short jaunts between activities around the resort, on the lookout for the perfect spot to watch the Waikiki fireworks that happen Fridays around 7:45PM.
On the search, we hit the boardwalk again. The crowd had evolved into a mix of sun-soaked folks still lingering, street performers and small groups out for the night. A great time of evening, filled with everyone from shirtless surfers to dapper businessmen to locals surrounded by the bustle of the evening’s crowd, artists and kids in streetwear and fashionable shoppers cruising between the famous boutiques. We found a quiet pitch of beach directly in front of ‘Alohilani and settled in for the show. With a little slice of sand to ourselves, the night became flooded with light from explosions in the sky reflecting off the calm ocean, the windows of tall buildings and through the air we could hear between the snaps of each wave of fireworks our kids whispering and giggling to each other in delight at the close of the night.
Tucking the team into their beds and leaving the teen in charge, we slipped down to the deck on top of ‘Alohilani’s 5th floor at Swell Bar, found a fireplace to ourselves and ordered a perfect nightcap to enjoy together in the quiet that only comes with the sleep of tired children. Tomorrow we’ve already got a list of more things to do in Honolulu.