Once the sun sets each night during your Oahu vacation, you may wonder: What do I do with my keiki (children)? Well, Ward Village in Honolulu has a solution! The developers of the popular shopping destination just announced they’re partnering with the Honolulu International Film Festival to bring Keiki Courtyard Cinema to families.

Keiki Courtyard Cinema is a special family-focused version of the popular monthly event, Courtyard Cinema, and the event will take place on the second Friday each month (following Courtyard Cinema on the second Thursday). The outdoor, family-friendly event will feature a screening of a family-friendly film and will offer free educational activities by the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center, complimentary seating, and local food vendors.

“As Ward Village transitions from a shopping district into a thriving neighborhood, we are thrilled to offer events for families throughout the year, including our new Keiki Courtyard Cinema event,” said Race Randle, Vice President of Development at Ward Village. “This event is part of our larger effort to further serve families at Ward Village, from bringing a neighborhood grocery store and drug store to the neighborhood to creating public venues for community events.”

bags of food from ward village

Photo: Jonas Maon

The outdoor event will feature a screening of a family-friendly film and will offer free educational activities by the Hawaii Children's Discovery Center, complimentary seating, and local food vendors.

Keiki Courtyard Cinema will debut with “My Neighbor Totoro” on Oct. 7 and will feature free craft activities by the Children’s Discovery Center in the theme of the Japanese film, including uchiwa (hand fans) and koinobori (carp streamers). Food vendors include Kimakatsu, Smokin Wings and Things, and the Ward Village Shave Ice Cart.

“The Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center is pleased to partner with Ward Village on this event, which will allow us to educate and engage keiki through the magical world of film,” said Loretta Yajima, Chair of the Board of the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center. “We hope that families with children of all ages will join us each month for free, hands-on educational activities inspired by the movie’s theme.”

The Keiki-Courtyard Cinema event is similar to the Courtyard Cinema event, which is geared toward adults.

The Ward Village Keiki Courtyard Cinema is free and open to the public. Held at the Ward Village Information Center Courtyard at 1240 Ala Moana Boulevard (former IBM Building), doors open at 6 p.m. with the film beginning at sunset. Tickets to this event are required and will be available at www.wardvillageshops.com/keikicinema by the morning following each screening at 8 a.m. HST.

The event joins a roster of recurring events offered free to the public at Ward Village, which also includes Courtyard Cinema, monthly foodie fare at Courtyard Brunch, live Hawaiian entertainment at Kona Nui Nights, the weekly Kaka’ako Farmers’ Market, the Ward Village Yoga Series, and more.

Here’s a look at the upcoming films you can look forward to enjoying at Keiki Courtyard Cinema:

  • Oct. 7-“My Neighbro Totoro”: This classic Japanese children’s anime film tells the story of two young sisters who move to a new home in rural Japan and discover Totoro, a mysterious forest spirit who can only be seen by children. The film, written and directed by famous animator Hayao Miyazaki, captures the imaginative beauty and simplicity of childhood and has won several awards, including the Mainichi Film Award for Best Film in 1988. The film will be shown in English, dubbed by celebrity siblings Dakota and Ellie Fanning.
  • Nov. 18-“Paper Planes”: This Australian children’s film captures an 11-year old’s passion for flight and his journey to compete in the World Paper Plane Championships in Japan. “Paper Planes,” directed by Robert Connolly, follows an inspiring storyline that highlights the power of family, perseverance, and the imagination.
  • Dec. 18- “Frozen Sing-Along Edition“: This Disney® fan favorite follows Princess Anna’s epic journey to save her sister, Queen Elsa, and her kingdom from an eternal winter. Released in 2013, this animated feature is one of the highest-grossing Disney animations ever released. The film also features a top-selling soundtrack with the smash-hit song “Let it Go,” by Idina Menzel.

For local and vacationing families, finding a family-friendly event that’s sure to please is no easy task. But, now, you have the opportunity to entertain (and feed) your keiki, while enjoying a night under the stars.

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