Free or Almost Free Things to Do in Hawaii

Free Hula and other free things to do in Hawaii
Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > Free or Almost Free Things to Do in Hawaii

Looking for cheap and free things to do in Hawaii? You’re in luck! While lots of activities here can be pricey, there is plenty to do on a budget. 

Hiking, performances and some attractions and services are free or almost free. These activities are available all year round and can make an otherwise budget-busting vacation affordable without feeling destitute.

Ready to learn more? Check out our list of favorite free things to do in Hawaii!

Our Favorite Cheap and Free Things to Do in Hawaii

Fresh Flower Lei!

Lei are quite inexpensive – ranging from $6.00 upward – and can come in a range of colors and fragrances that will amaze you. 

You can buy them in Chinatown on Oahu or at any florist in the islands. Pick up one for your new bride or simply to make your wife’s Hawaii vacation more special. Or, take one home with you for a loved one, or show a client your appreciation. 

If you have a bigger lei budget, you can opt for the airport lei greeting. This is a long-standing Hawaii tradition that provides for an official lei greeter to meet you as you step off your flight in Hawaii. The lei greeter drapes you with a fresh floral lei, and then you are escorted to the baggage claim area and left to claim your bags. 

This is a great way to get through the airport and have an opportunity to have someone to assist you with your questions as you arrive. This costs about $35+ per person, but it can also be added on to an airport shuttle booking for less. it’s a perfectly unique way to be welcomed to the islands.

Hiking Trails: One of the Best Free Things to Do in Hawaii

Want to see some unique sights while getting some exercise? Hiking trails are available on all islands, and most are free. There are many types of trails, from flat coastal area trails to inland waterfall and strenuous mountain ridge trails. 

By far the most popular and widely used trail on Oahu is the Diamond Head Crater Summit trail. This hike begins on the crater floor and continues up along the inside of the crater rim toward the summit. Once at the top, you are rewarded with a sweeping view of the entire south shore of Oahu from the remnants of an old World War II bunker. This is now one of the Hawaii parks you need to make reservations for, but it’ll likely be worth the effort and few bucks it costs. 

View from Diamond Head
View from Diamond Head

Near Hilo on the Big Island is Akaka Falls. What used to be a muddy hike is now a short, safe paved loop from the parking lot through a canopy of tropical trees and flowers which culminates in spectacular views of one of Hawaii’s largest waterfalls.

Zoos and Botanical Gardens

While the Honolulu Zoo is worth the $21 cost of admission, you can’t beat the zero-dollar price tag at the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens on the Big Island. This zoo is located in Hilo and has fantastic animals on display, along with gorgeous landscaping. 

But, if you aren’t lucky enough to be on the Big Island for this vacation, you can still see some awesome botanical gardens for free on Oahu and other islands. 

Here is our guide to every botanical garden in Hawaii! They’re all either cheap or free things to do in Hawaii.

The Waikiki Aquarium

This one costs a little bit but is still one of the cheapest things to do in Hawaii. The Waikiki Aquarium is located in Kapiolani Park – just steps from Waikiki Beach. It showcases over 240 species of the Hawaiian Islands and South Pacific marine life. You can also get a closer look at Hawaii’s state fish (the Humuhumunukunukua’pua’a). 

Admission for adults is $12.00 and $5 for kids.

Pearl Harbor National Memorial

Free Things to Do in Hawaii: Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor is one of the top attractions in Hawaii, and it’s also free! Well, it does cost $1 to make your online reservations for the Arizona Memorial, but besides that, it doesn’t cost anything to visit. 

Other attractions around Pearl Harbor do charge admission, so you can use some of your money saved toward seeing the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum or touring the Bowfin submarine. 

Free Concerts in Hawaii

Hawaii is rich with beautiful music, and you can enjoy a lot of it for free! Here are some of the top places to find music in Hawaii (at no cost!). 

  • The Royal Hawaiian Band has a weekly scheduled performance on the grounds of the Iolani Palace in Downtown Honolulu every Friday afternoon along with other free concerts around town. You can keep up with their schedule at the Royal Hawaiian Band website here
  • On Maui, The Shops at Wailea offers free concerts every Wednesday evening. You can keep up with their full event schedule here. In fact, most shopping centers throughout Hawaii have some kind of concert schedule that brings together locals and visitors for fantastic entertainment at no cost.
  • Kapiolani Park is home to a free Hula show at 9:30 AM on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. How neat is that?

Free Beach Days in Hawaii

Families Enjoying Kailua Beach

Of course you will spend time on the beach in Hawaii, and we’ve got good news: almost every Hawaii beach is free to visit! Whether you step from your hotel onto the sand or take a drive to a more remote beach, you’re sure to have a great time exploring Hawaii’s shoreline – all for free!

Free Hawaii Farm Tours

Greenwell Farms in Kona, Hawaii - free thing to do in Hawaii
Greenwell Farms in Kona, Hawaii

So many great products are grown right here in Hawaii. Coffee, macadamia nuts, chocolate, and more! And many farms offer free tours of their grounds (and free samples!). Here are a few of our favorite spots for free farm tours:

  • Green World Coffee Farm on Hawaii Island
  • Hala Tree Coffee on Hawaii Island
  • Kauai Coffee Co. offers self-guided tours for free, or opt for a guided tour at an extra charge.
  • Ali’ Kula Lavender on Maui offers self-guided tours for $3

Finding the Best Free Things to Do in Hawaii

Sure, finding free activities is fun – especially when it feels like something you’d have to pay for. But don’t forget to embrace the best free things in Hawaii, like sunset views, memories with your families, and unique experiences throughout the islands. 

Most of all, remember that the best of Hawaii’s sunsets, sunrises, rainbows, beaches, sand, marine life, scenic vistas, ocean views, and even some waterfalls are free.