Rainy day? Not a problem here! We get them from time to time, especially during the ‘winter.’ But don’t fret. We’ve got you covered with a few great ideas for a day well spent indoors.
If your idea of art is jewelry, why not spend part of a rainy day watching how it’s made? Maui Divers Jewelry Design Center offers a factory tour on Liona Street that’s an education in fine jewelry making. Each guest views a seven-minute video and then a guide walks them through the process from start to finish. You’ll observe that rings are made from ring “trees,” for instance, with the rings coming off the branches of the tree. When completed, a tree contains $13-20k worth of the gold, and the base is remelted and the gold used again. “From the finishing process we vacuum up $30-50k worth of gold dust each month,” says Executive Vice President Cole Slater. “It gets sent to a refinery where it’s separated from the other dusts.” After the tour, you can browse Maui Divers largest showroom.
Musician and owner Tyler Gilman celebrates his love of the ‘ukulele at ‘Waikiki’s Largest Ukulele Store’ dedicated to this Hawaiian instrument that has brought joy to Gilman and to thousands of people around the world.
Interested in purchasing an instrument for yourself? Stop by the Ukulele Store for a few pointers and get the feel of this four-stringed instrument with fun and easy lessons at 10:30 a.m. or 4:30 p.m. daily. If you already have experience playing, then drop by to talk story and make some music. Remember to mention This Week Oahu Magazine when you stop by for your lesson!
Designated the Hawai‘i State Museum of Natural and Cultural History, the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in honor of his late wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. A visit to this vast treasury of cultural and natural history exhibits is enough to fill the entire rainy day with so much to see and do (though you’ll need more time!).
Wander through the Signature Galleries such as Hawaiian Hall, Pacific Hall, Picture Gallery and Richard T. Mamiya Science Adventure Center; see daily shows at the J. Watumull Planetarium; and ask about various tours and programs. Find gifts and souvenirs at the gift shop and grab a bite between galleries at the Bishop Museum Café with a menu by Highway Inn.
Big City Diner (BCD) is the perfect spot to come in from the rain and catch a game or two on the TV monitors at any one of its five locations. “In the mornings, people like to have the news on, so we’ll have CNN, Fox and then local news,” says Lane Muraoka, founder and owner.
But when it comes to local high school playoffs such as volleyball, football or when the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is playing, Muraoka advises his managers to play what the surrounding community would want to watch. “So let’s say Mililani or Waipahu is playing, and we’re at the Waipi‘o store, we want to put those games on for the local community. They can’t make it down to the stadium or arena, so we want to make sure that’s on for the local people.”
It was at 16 years of age that Muraoka knew he wanted to be a restaurateur, specifically, to own a casual family diner with a bar. “You can bring your friends, family, just come as you are,” he says. More than anything, Muraoka wants customers to feel “just like they had dinner at grandma’s house.”
The menu at BCD is filled with American classics with a local twist, plus local favorites morning, noon and night. Early morning favorites include the Macadamia Nut Coconut Pancakes with Haupia Cream Sauce and Ani’s Awesome Cinnamon Bread French Toast, plus savory items.
Mouthwatering homemade meals like mom and grandma used to make include meatloaf, hamburger steak and fried noodles. And you can’t go wrong with the Boneless Korean Kalbi Steak, Veri-Teri Hamburger Steak and Kimchee Fried Rice! Muraoka likes to order up the Kim Chee fried rice with two eggs and a side of corn beef hash.
So, when the raindrops start coming down, escape to Big City Diner where there will likely be something good on TV, plus delicious, hearty food to warm the soul.
The perfect rainy day activity for the family, Waikīkī Aquarium is the place to be for educational exhibits, kid-friendly activities, and hands-on experiences. See every color of the rainbow in vibrant and pastel reds, pinks, oranges and yellows, as well as dark purples, blues, grays and browns in exhibits featuring living corals, jellyfish, seahorses, giant clams, a variety of fish species, sharks, and lots more. You’ll also see one of the ocean’s rarest creatures, the Peppermint Angelfish, the only one on display worldwide!
Admission: $12/adult, $5/kids 4-12 accompanied by an adult, U.S. military, senior and resident discounts available. Open 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. (808) 923-9741, waikikiaquarium.org.
When one thinks of Paris, the Louvre or Musee d’Orsay come to mind. In New York City, the Museum of Modern Art. In Honolulu, one thinks of…beaches. But when it rains…
The Honolulu Museum of Art might not be in the best location for a world-class art museum given the competition from Mother Nature. But here’s where “the best small museum in the country” is located, according to former Director of the National Gallery J. Carter Brown.
Multicultural museums are usually not the norm, but the Honolulu Museum of Art hosts works from all over the world. The Asian art collection reflects Hawai‘i’s geographical location between East and West and is particularly noted for its excellent representation of Japanese, Chinese and Korean art.
For art enthusiasts who enjoy European and American masters the museum is home to works by Monet, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, O’Keefe and Pollack.
Stately and elegant just as the last monarch of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i stood firm against opposition forces, Iolani Palace is a museum situated in downtown Honolulu filled with grand spaces and storied royal artifacts.
Hawai‘i is the only U.S. state to have had its own rightful kingdom with a monarchy in place. As such, Iolani Palace is the only royal palace on American soil. It’s also the first place to have had electricity, even before the capitol in Washington, D.C.
Designed in an American Florentine style, an impressive feat of architecture in its time, the palace was built in 1882 by King David Kalākaua, and could easily be dismissed as just a museum. However, join a tour and you’ll hear many stories of the monarchy, the compassion they had for the Hawaiian people, as well as learn of the actions of the few behind the unlawful overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. (808) 522-0822, open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Sat. iolanipalace.org.
Digital is great, but there’s something to be said for the smell of books, old and new. Shaded by beautiful monkeypod trees, the Hawai‘i State Library is where you’ll find over 525,000 of them to indulge in. When it’s pouring outside, it makes for an especially cozy escape.
Designed by architect Henry D. Whitfield and originally funded by Andrew Carnegie, the library was completed in 1913 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Wander around the premises and inside the Edna Allyn Children’s Room you’ll find murals by artist Juliette May Fraser that depict Hawaiian legends. A lovely respite, the garden courtyard has a mosaic of ocean currents by Hiroki Morinoue. 478 King St., (808) 586-3500, open daily except Mondays.
[A version of this article can be found in print in the pages of This Week O‘ahu]