The holidays on Maui are a special time of year. While you probably won’t have white Christmas (unless you’re up on Haleakala during a rare snow day), another holiday tradition, fireworks on New Year’s Eve can be had. Beyond fireworks, there are fun events for couples, families and solo travelers. Here are the top 10 things to do on New Year’s Eve on Maui.
1.) Fireworks in Wailea
While it’s not widely publicized (parking can be a nightmare), this is the biggest and best fireworks show of the year on Maui. If you’re not already in Wailea, make your way down to Polo Beach or any of the beaches along Wailea’s shore, grab a blanket and enjoy the show at exactly midnight.
2.) Sunset Dinner Cruise
While it won’t take you to midnight, a sunset dinner cruise is a great way to set the table for a relaxing, Maui New Year’s celebration. Featuring a three-course meal with table-side service, an onboard mixologist for drinks, live music and dancing and of course, Maui’s stunning sunset, an evening at sea, followed by partying on shore with all of your friends and family is always a great way to ring in the new year. If you use the promo code VIP20 when booking here, you’ll save $10.
3.) The Summit at Haleakala
Want to get away from it all and spend the night with a zillion stars (and hopefully slightly less people than that), try heading up to Haleakala and taking in the natural beauty of Maui’s biggest treasure. Remember Y2K? That night, they had to close the summit because there were rumors of cults heading up there to sacrifice virgins. Hopefully that won’t be the case when ringing in 2019!
4.) Drums of the Pacific Luau, Lahaina
Is there a more Maui way of spending New Year’s Eve than a luau? Like the Sunset Dinner Cruise listed above, this special event won’t take you right up to midnight, allowing you to share the countdown with friends and family, or if you’re old like us, in bed. For this special night, the luau, on top of their standard Hawaiian cuisine buffet, is serving prime rib and roasted potatoes.
5.) Gatsby-Style Party at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua
Head back to ’20s (wow, that’s nearly 100 years ago!) and don your tuxes and flapper dresses and swing your way into 2019 at this Great Gatsby-themed party. The event features live music by Hawaii’s own, Kahulanui, hors d’oeuvres and a premium open bar. It’s not cheap ($285 per person), but if you want to class it up, this probably your best bet on Maui.
6.) Party with Mick Fleetwood, Lahaina
Yes, that Mick Fleetwood, founder of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Fleetwood Mac. He’s back on the Rock, taking a break from his current tour and will be performing at his popular restaurant Fleetwood’s on Front Street in Lahaina. The party starts at 6:30 and live music featuring Maui’s most popular bands and Mick himself, will lead you up to a traditional New Year’s toast. This party is another pricey one starting at $500 per person.
7.) Light Your Own Fireworks
Fireworks went on sale on December 17 and will available through the 31st. But this being Hawaii, it’s not quite as easy as running down to the store and picking up a pack of sparklers. There are some restrictions that you should be aware of. First, you must purchase a $25 permit (here are the details). The permit will allow you to fire up to 5,000 firecrackers. You can purchase multiple permits if you plan on setting off more than that. Once you have your fireworks and permit, you have a four-hour window, between 9:00 PM and 1:00 AM on New Year’s Eve to set them off. If you go this route, have fun and be safe!
8.) Dinner at Maui Chef’s Table, Wailuku
Typically, Maui’s Chef Table at the Plantation is a monthly event featuring local produce and proteins prepared by Maui’s top chefs and visiting celebrity chefs. This year, for New Year’s Eve, the Maui Chef’s Table is holding a special event that you won’t want to miss. Like the Sunset Dinner Cruise, this event will not take you to midnight. But if you’re a foodie, this will be one New Year’s Eve you won’t forget.
9.) Wailuku Shingon Mission New Year’s Service
Want to slow things down and ring in the New Year with a more spiritual vibe? This TINY temple is holding a New Year’s service at 11:45 PM. The public is welcome, so start the year fresh with blessings for health, happiness and prosperity.
10.) Bill Maher at the MACC, Kahului
OK, we’re cheating. The Bill Maher event actually takes place on December 30th, but this has become one of Maui’s most popular annual events. For the eight straight year, Maher is celebrating the new year with his friends. In past years, he’s been joined on stage by the likes of Sean Penn, David Spade, Jeffrey Ross, Margaret Cho and Bob Saget. Even Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder showed up one year to play a surprise acoustic set.
Hawaii Ocean Project is offering a full-day of whale watches on the 31st.
By the way, did you know that you can now save $10/person on our Maui Princess Dinner Cruise or a Snorkel Adventure to the island of Lanai? Well you can! Just use the promo code VIP20 after clicking on this link: Hawaii Ocean Project Adventures.