Honolulu, Oahu is the place to be for Memorial Day weekend. From Punchbowl to Pearl Harbor, you’ll find meaningful ways to honor the spirit of the holiday.
Wondering what’s going on? Here are my top suggestions of where to go and what to do for Memorial Day weekend.
Memorial Day Events on Monday May 28, 2012
Punchbowl – National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific – Local boy scouts honor Memorial Day by decorating the graves with more than 50,000 fresh floral leis that are hand sewn by local residents and school children. At 8:30am on Memorial Day, the Mayor of Honolulu hosts a special Memorial Day Ceremony. The Royal Hawaiian Band will perform On Memorial Day, Punchbowl expands their opening hours to 7am to 7pm.
Lantern Floating Ceremony at Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park – This unique Memorial Day opportunity will offer a beautiful and peaceful remembrance of those who gave their lives for their country as well as memories of loved ones who have passed away. The 90-minute ceremony starts at 6pm. It is free and open to the public. For more details and watching the livestream of this event, see this link.
Lanterns floating at Ala Moana Beach Park - photo courtesy of Nā Lei Aloha Foundation and Shinnyo-en
Things to Do on Oahu for Memorial Day Weekend
USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor – Visiting this memorial is certainly a memorable way to honor Memorial Day. Admission is free. I highly recommend that you get there early in the morning as holidays are particularly popular times to visit. The Visitor Center is open from 7am to 5pm, but the timed programs to the memorial begin at 8am and run through 3pm. Be prepared for your visit by reading Visiting the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.
USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor– The retired battleship, USS Missouri, has played a important role in US history, making it a great place to visit in honor of the day. Visiting hours are from 8am to 5pm. See this link for directions and ticket pricing details as well as my article with advice for touring the Mighty Mo. In honor of Memorial Day, military members will receive free admission with military identification.
Pacific Aviation Museum in Pearl Harbor – This museum showcases aircraft that has been important to the US military history. The Pacific Aviation Museum is open daily from 9am to 5pm. See this link for ticket pricing details. On Memorial Day, from 10am to 2pm, you’ll have an opportunity to see the Home of the Brave Quilt Project, plus sign a quilt that will be presented to the family of a fallen Hawaii soldier. Memorial Day is Military Appreciation Day with free admission to military members and their family with valid military identification.
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park in Pearl Harbor – Dubbed the Pearl Harbor Avenger, the USS Bowfin was an attack vessel in WWII. Open daily from 7am to 5pm. In honor of Memorial Day, military members will receive free admission with military identification.
Though not necessarily Memorial Day-ish, it’s worth mentioning that the 50th State Fair kicks off on Memorial Day weekend on May 25 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. The fair includes rides, food and entertainment.