Autumn in Honolulu_Honolulu Marathon

In Hawai‘i, the leaves don’t turn orange and the temperature barely drops to herald the start of Fall, but here on Oahu, we mark the arrival of shoulder season with some of the best social and cultural events of the year, which serve as prelude to the season many residents and visitors wait all year for: Big Wave Season! By November, the North Shore is abuzz with all things surf as pros from around the world descend on the island for legendary winter swells and competitions. Here, a few of my top picks for this year’s fall festivities:

Scream Like It’s 1999: 20th Anniversary

Autumn in Honolulu_Honolulu Museum of Art_Scream

Doris Duke Theatre at the HoMA

Sunday October 27 and Thursday October 31

$12 general admission, $10 for HoMA members

Just in time for Halloween season, the Honolulu Museum of Art presents “Scream Like It’s 1999,” a celebration of the high art of horror cinema. The screenings mark twenty years since the release dates of Takashi Miike’s Audition, M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense, and Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez’s The Blair Witch Project, and promise hefty doses of both nostalgia and creep factor. 

North Shore Surf Comp Season

Autumn in Honolulu_North Shore Surf Camp Season

Due to the mercurial nature of ocean swells, surf competitions are planned inside of time windows rather than on specific dates, with events being “called” last minute. This is certainly stressful for the athletes, but exciting for the spectators: Will the Eddie go this year? Who knows, but it’s exciting to wait and wonder. Event window dates for the major competitions in the North Shore big wave season are as follows—and be ready fight traffic north on the Kam when the epic swells roll in.

  • Sunset Beach HIC Pro: October 28-November 10, Sunset Beach
  • Hawaiian Pro Hale‘iwa: November 13-November 24, Ali‘I Beach Park
  • Vans World Cup of Surfing: November 25-December 7, Sunset Beach
  • Billabong Pipe Masters: December 8-December 20, Ehukai Beach Park
  • The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational: typically December 1-February 28, but dates vary from year to year. This contest only runs under highly specific conditions which include 30’-40’ waves, Waimea Bay.
  • Volcom Pipe Pro: January 29-February 10, Ehukai Beach Park

Taimane & Her Band at the Blue Note

Blue Note Hawaii

Sunday November 3, 7:30PM

Premium tickets $42

As Honolulu’s favorite songstress’s career picks up international steam, it is becoming rarer and rarer to catch her intense flamenco ukulele and vocal performances in settings as intimate as the cozy Blue Note stage. Just this year, she’s sold out five North American shows and walked the runway for AllSaints, so it’s fair to say, she’s having a well-deserved moment. This show will sell out quickly, so be sure to reserve your seats ahead of time. 

Honolulu Marathon: 26.2 Miles in Paradise

Kapi‘olani Park

Sunday December 9

Race entry $225; spectating free

Whether you’re an ambitious runner looking to smash a PR on one of the most scenic marathon courses in the world, a hobbyist with an epic walking costume, or a mimosas-in-the-park picnicker who prefers sleeping in and watching others exercise, there is something here for you. As one of the largest international marathons, with over 20,000 runners and a field of elites which typically includes Olympians and world record holders, this race is considered top-tier in the sport of distance running. It also holds the distinction of being the only major marathon with no cutoff time, a rule which has blossomed into a robust tradition of costumed running and walking. Keep your eyes peeled hours after the elites break the finish line tape and you will spot tubas, full Darth Vader suits, geta sandals, and much more.

Header image by Tom Pennington, courtesy of Honolulu Marathon