25 FREE Things to Do in Maui
Yes, there ARE Maui activities that won’t break your budget! Here are 25 suggestions for free things to do in Maui. Many of these are long-time ongoing activities, but schedules do change so when you’re here please reconfirm the dates and times just to make sure you don’t show up for a non-event!
NOTE: This blog was updated in March 2021, but due to the continuing impacts of COVID-19, some of these businesses, events, or activities could experience changes in coming weeks and months. Although many of the activities below have been temporarily suspended due to restrictions limiting the gathering of people, most of these activities will eventually resume. As things are changing constantly amidst this pandemic, please check with these places directly to verify the latest operating status. Mahalo!
FREE THINGS TO DO IN MAUI
1. Maui Friday Town Parties If it’s Friday, there’s a party on Maui…and it’s free! The Friday Town Parties, sponsored by the County of Maui, take place on Friday evenings in different towns across the island. There is no admission fee, and they are great fun for both visitors and residents, with live entertainment, local food available for purchase, arts and crafts vendors, and Friday-only offers from local merchants. (UPDATE: The Maui Town Parties have been temporarily suspended due to COVID health and safety restrictions that limit crowds.)
• 1st Friday of the Month, Wailuku (Central Maui) on Market Street
• 2nd Friday, Lahaina (West Maui) on Front Street
• 3rd Friday, Makawao (Upcountry) — this one is every other month
• 4th Friday, Kihei (South Maui) at Azeka Shopping Center Mauka
2. Fireworks Shows There are aerial fireworks over the ocean in Lahaina on the 4th of July and in Wailea on New Year’s Eve. No charge. Just find a place on the beach and look up!
3. And Speaking of the Beach. . . It’s free. There are no private beaches on Maui. All beaches are open to the public, and the vast majority are free of charge. There are a few state and national parks, such as East Maui’s Wai’anapanapa State Park (known for its black sand beach), that require reservations and/or charge a fee for admission or parking.
4. The Shops at Wailea “Concerts at the Shops” The third Wednesday of each month, featuring live performances by some of Hawaii’s top musicians in the Fountain Courtyard (lower level of the shopping center). 5:30 to 7 p.m. If you are staying in the Wailea area and can walk to the shops, do it. If you are driving, first hour of parking is free, with an additional 3 hours free with validation (if you spend a minimum of $25 at the center). Schedule of concerts (UPDATE: These concerts have been temporarily suspended due to COVID health and safety restrictions.)
Self Guided Walking Tours:
6. Kaanapali Historical Trail An easy oceanfront stroll along the Kaanapali Resort area exploring significant historical sites that are marked by plaques.
7. Wailea Beach Walk Lovely 1.5-mile paved walkway along the ocean fronting Wailea’s spectacular resorts.
8. Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge A 2,200-foot boardwalk featuring self-guided interpretive exhibits with information about local wildlife. Located beachfront on the highway between Maalaea and Kihei. (Vacation condos in Maalaea.)
9. Lahaina Historic Trail Covering 55 acres and 62 historic sites in the town of Lahaina, some of which are National Historic Landmarks. Here’s more info on this self-guided tour. For a printed guide to this trail, visit the Lahaina Visitor Center in the Old Lahaina Courthouse at Banyan Tree Park. (Places to stay in central Lahaina.)
10. And Speaking of the Banyan Tree. . . Free cultural festivals and events sometimes take place under the famed Lahaina banyan tree, so when you’re here check local newspapers for the latest info.
11. Hiking Most hiking trails on Maui are free, and those with an admission fee (the incredible trails within Haleakala National Park and Iao Valley State Park) are well worth the price for pedestrian or vehicle entry.
12. Road Trips Free. Free. Free. There are no toll roads or toll bridges on Maui. So drive around and explore. The Road to Hana and upcountry Maui are particularly popular excursions for a road trip.
13. Keiki Hula Shows Keiki means “children,” and keiki hula shows are particularly adorable as you will see local children who are learning to perform hula. There are free keiki hula shows on Saturdays and Sundays, 1:00 p.m. at Lahaina Cannery Mall. Bonus: plenty of free parking at this mall!(UPDATE: These hula shows are temporarily suspended due to COVID health and safety restrictions.)
Or attend the Napili Kai Foundation’s longstanding weekly keiki hula show–pictured here–for a $10 tax-deductible fee. Every Tuesday at 5:30 pm. (UPDATE: This show has been temporarily suspended due to COVID health and safety restrictions.)
14. Hula Lessons Want to try it yourself? Enjoy a free one-hour hula lesson at Lahaina Cannery Mall on Thursdays at 5 p.m. (UPDATE: These hula lessons have been temporarily suspended due to COVID health and safety restrictions.)
15. Tahitian Dance, Ukulele, and More The Outlets of Maui in Lahaina presents free Tahitian dance and ukulele shows throughout the month, along with other free activities. Check their schedule for the latest performances. (UPDATE: These events have been temporarily suspended due to COVID health and safety restrictions.)
16. Hula and Polynesian Dance Shows The culturally-acclaimed Ka’anapali Beach Hotel hosts a free sunset hula show at its Tiki Courtyard, every night except Mondays, starting at 6 p.m. (UPDATE: This show has been temporarily suspended due to COVID health and safety restrictions.) Or enjoy a free one-hour performance of Polynesian dances (including Hawaiian hula) every Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at The Shops at Wailea . The first hour of parking is free, with an additional 3 hours free with validation if you spend a minimum of $25 at the center. (UPDATE: This Polynesian dance show has been temporarily suspended due to COVID health and safety restrictions.)
17. Winery Tours MauiWine (formerly known as Tedeschi Winery), located upcountry on the slopes of Haleakala, offers complimentary 30-minute guided tours of their historic grounds each day at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Wine tasting is available for a fee. (UPDATE: The free tours have been temporarily suspended due to COVID health and safety restrictions.)
18. Community Festivals Many of Maui’s community festivals are free, and — during normal non-COVID times — there is at least one such event every month on the island; check the local papers for dates and details or check my blogs for seasonal annual festivals. Temporarily, all large events on Maui have been suspended due to COVID restrictions.
19. Maui Sunsets. . . They are free. They are glorious. And they are completely different every evening.
20. Hawaiian Music Concert The last (usually) Thursday night of every month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. there is a free concert under the stars on the lawn of the historic Baldwin Home Museum in Lahaina. You are welcome to bring a blanket, mat, or low beach chair to make yourself comfy. (UPDATE: This monthly event has been temporarily suspended due to COVID health and safety restrictions.)
21. Ukulele Lessons Free ukulele lessons (with ukuleles provided) are offered on a regular basis at the Outlets of Maui (Lahaina), Lahaina Cannery Mall (plenty of free parking here), and The Shops at Wailea. Check their schedules for the latest days/times. (UPDATE: These ukulele classes have been temporarily suspended due to COVID health and safety restrictions.)
22. Kids Play Free Golf at Wailea At Wailea’s acclaimed Gold and Emerald Golf Courses, kids play free after 3 p.m. One junior player, age 7 to 17 years old, can play free when accompanied by a paying adult. Available seasonally, so contact Wailea Golf Club for details and tee times.
23. Watch the Surf Action at Ho’okipa Beach Park Ho’okipa, located on Maui’s north shore just past the town of Paia, is one of the top windsurfing sites in the world. There is no fee for parking or to enter the beach park, and watching the windsurfers is mesmerizing. Alternately, during periods of high surf, you will see big wave surfers at Ho’okipa. Watch from a safe distance, please!
24. Whale Watching Yes, it’s free. Of course, whale watching boat tours provide a great close-up experience for a fee, but the whales themselves don’t charge admission. Just stand on the shoreline, look out to sea, and you’re likely to see whale activity in Maui’s waters during “whale season” (mid-December to mid-May).
25. Sunset Cliff Diver at Black Rock Stand on Kaanapali Beach and watch the cliff diver soar off of Black Rock into the sea fronting the Sheraton Maui every evening at sunset. The resort has provided this nightly ritual for decades, and it is a beautiful sight. (Nearby condos in Kaanapali.)
Other Tips For Finding Budget-Friendly Deals On Maui:
- Check with your accommodations to see what they are offering. Many properties offer their guests free (or very inexpensive) cultural activities like lei making, hula lessons, and Hawaiian entertainment. Also check for free entertainment and events at nearby hotels and resorts.
- Free Entertainment at Maui’s Shopping Centers: Maui’s shopping centers offer a wonderful variety of free shows and activities, ranging from hula and lei-making lessons to tai chi, zumba, craft fairs, and magic shows! Some activities are mentioned above, but there are many more. Check these schedules for the current list of activities.
- For deals on places to stay on Maui, subscribe to our Maui Deals & Steals enewsletter. We’ll send you the latest book-direct discounts and special offers from our advertisers each month.
- For low-priced accommodations, search our Accommodations section by price: choose what type of place you want (for instance, Hotels & Resorts or Condos & Villas), go to that page, then use the “Sort” tool to view the properties by price. All the properties on our site are book-direct with the owners/managers, so you get the very best price!
Candy Aluli, Publisher
Questions? Comments? Drop me a line: Blog@MauiAccommodations.com
(Note: We recognize and respect the significance of the ‘okina and kahakō markings in the written Hawaiian language; however, we have omitted those diacritical markings on our site in order to integrate with the more common spellings used in online searches.)
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