Kauai Cultural Activities
Native Hawaiians say this serene, yet rugged island has strong mana, or spiritual force. Kauai, the oldest of the Hawaiian islands, was the first island Polynesian voyagers from the Marquesas and Tahiti reached around 500 A.D. Many sacred Hawaiian places still dot Kauaia can you can visit them.
Many cultural activities for kids are either free or inexpensive. For information on cultural festivals on Kauai please visit: www.kauaifestivals.com
In Lihue, the Kauai Museum has child-friendly exhibits and videos that tell the island’s story from its volcanic creation and the arrival of the first Polynesians to the old sugar days through the monarchy to statehood. And the role various immigrant groups played in Kauai’s rich history. The museum has permanent and changing exhibits and an excellent gift shop.
Many hotels offer free hula performances, torch lighting ceremonies, and lei-making courses.
KOLOA HERITAGE TRAIL (Self Guided)
In sunny Po’ipu, the four-mile Koloa Heritage Trail has
14 stops with historical and cultural information posted on bronze signs. Explore this self-guided tour by foot, bicycle or car. Stops include Koloa, a historic 19th century plantation town. It was the site of Hawaii’s first sugar plantation and has some of Hawaii’s oldest buildings, such as Yamamoto Store, Koloa Hotel, and Koloa Jodo Mission.
Each March 21-28, the Grant Hyattt Kauai Resort & Spa hosts the Prince Kuhio Celebration, a wonderful array of cultural ceremonies, from traditional tattooing to hula to slack key guitar and ukulele concerts.
It honors beloved Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole (1871-1922), the last royal heir to the Hawaiian throne, called the “People’s Prince” for his work for Hawaii’s people
Call their cultural expert: Stella Burgess at 808.240.636
Prince Kuhio Park near Lawa‘i, features the foundation of Prince Kuhio’s home, a royal fishpond, a shrine where offerings were made, and heiau (ancient place of worship) where the kahuna (priests) meditated and lived.
In Huleia National Wildlife Refuge, Alekoko Fishpond was built hundreds of years ago for a young chief and once covered 40 acres marked by a long stone wall. It’s also called Menehune Fishpond, because of the legend that it was built by the ancient Menehune, mythical tiny people, who were skilled stonemasons and builders.