Thursday, March 12, 2009

Free Hula Shows on Maui

For me the Hula (Hawaiian for dance) is synonomous with the magic of Hawaii. My first memory of watching hula, was in 1985, during our first visit to the Hawaiian Islands. Kodak used to host a free hula show at The Waikiki Shell in Kapiolani Park in Waikiki. (see photo) Apparentely this show started way back in 1937, but unfortunately has recently been canceled. Developed in the Hawaiian islands by the ancient Polynesians, the hula was danced as part of a religious program, and they even had a goddess of Hula called Laka. When the missionaries arrived in the 1830s they convinced Queen Kaahumanu that it was bad and so she made a decree that banned the hula in town. Most Hawaiians, paid little attention to this and still continued dancing. In the 1870s King Kalakaua made the hula popular again, and to this day Hula is an important aspect of Hawaiian life.In early days the hula was accommpanied by chanting, drums and gourds, but over the years song, ukulele, guitar, and even double bass were added, as a result of the western influence. The heart of Hula is the song or poetic story which is referred to as Mele. Each graceful movement of the dancers, tells the story with a kind of beautiful flowing sign language that expresses a love of nature and all the elements that make up life. Read more about the History of Hula. Below I have listed some venues in Maui, where you can be treated to a free hula show.

Kaanapali Beach Hotel - nightly torch lighting ceremony and free hula show- 6:30 - 7:30 in the Tiki Courtyard.
Lahaina Cannery Mall - Tues. and Thurs at 7:00 PM - Free Keiki (children) Hula Shows at 1:00 PM every Sat and Sun
Napili Kai Beach Resort - Keiki Hula every Tuesday at 5:30 PM
Whaler's Village - Mon, Wed & Sat - Hula and Tahitian Show - 6:30PM - 8:00PM
Every Thursday from 3:00 - 4:00 - Free Hula Lessons
Lahaina Center - Keiki Hula - Wednesdays at 2:30 PM. Fridays at 3:30 PM
Maui Mall - Sat & Sun 1:00 PM - Hula Fridays 6:30 - Hawaiian Entertainment

We welcome your comments, and let us know if there are any other places on Maui that offer a Free Hula Show.


  1. Our Hawaii visitors love to watch some hula performances when on vacation. It does not always need to be the professional ones.

    We ourselves love to watch the keiki hula. They are still learning the perfect hula moves but the keiki (kids in Hawaiian)do the hula with so much grace and commitment.

    At most Hawaii shopping centers on the different islands, visitors will be able to enjoy a hula halau group. Enjoy a hula on your Hawaii vacation.

    Aloha, Pua
    Best Hawaii Vacation Blog

  2. Hula is such a rich Hawaiian symbol/tradition. My daughter dances Hula and it's a joy to watch her. Thank you for listing the free shows we can all enjoy :)

  3. I am planning our first trip to Maui and my daughter LOVES hula. I had a question about the free hula lessons in the Whalers village. Is it obvious where the lesson takes place? Since it is our first time on this island I was not sure how big Whalers Village is. Thanks so much for all the tips! We will be visiting many of the free hula shows you listed. Kimberly

  4. Aloha Kimberly
    I wrote this blog two years ago so I hope that the places I listed are still hosting Hula Shows. Maybe you could call first. The Whaler's Village is in Kaanapali on the West Side of the island. No it isn't that big. It is oceanfront and has quite a few shops,restaurants and the the Whaler's museum which is very interesting. There is also a huge whale skeleton at the entrance to the village. Somewhere near the stage there is a large stand up calendar marked with the events taking place each month. If they still do the hula shows it will be marked on the calendar. I believe there is also free lei making which your daughter might enjoy also. Have a wonderful Maui vacation!!!!
    Much Aloha