There’s always the beaches, but if you need another reason to hop a flight to Hawaii to bring a little cheer to your winter, look no further than these 7 great upcoming events around the state. Consider it your express itinerary to that Aloha State of Mind.

1. Get Jazzed with Earl Klugh


If you haven’t yet checked out the newly opened Blue Note Hawaii at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort in Oahu, stop by for world class live jazz by the legendary Earl Klugh. Considered one of the finest guitar players in the world today, Earl Klugh is playing several sets at the Blue Note from now through the end of January. Check out Blue Note’s website for event details and check out other upcoming shows.

2. ‘Iolani Luahine Hula Festival


The 14th annual ‘Iolani Luahine Hula Festival will be happening on January 29th and 30th at the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay on the Big Island. Come learn about hula and Hawaiian heritage while celebrating the life and legacy of ‘Iolani Luahine, Hawaii’s most famous hula dancer. Or as the Honolulu Advertiser once put it, “In her ancient dances, she was the poet of the Hawaiian people.” This family friendly event will include presentations, lessons, live music, and Hawaiian arts and crafts. Check out the event website for more details.

3. 12th Annual Kona Surf Film Festival

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On Junary 30th, head over the Big Island if surf films are your jam. The 12th annual Kona Festival showcases independent short and feature films from established and emerging surf filmmakers from around the globe. Festival founder and program director, Chad Campbell says “The Kona Surf Film Festival is a chance for filmmakers to expose their work to surfers and non surfers alike in a super fun festival atmosphere.  The films are really diverse and creative, with awesome stories, action and soundtracks.  Add to that the live music, good vibes, and occasional surf celeb and it’s a great time for sure!” Bring a sweatshirt and come watch these great films on the big screen under the stars! For more info and tickets, check out the festival website.

4. 2016 NFL Pro Bowl


January 31st brings the return of the Pro Bowl to Aloha Stadium in Oahu. With a celeb studded tailgate party featuring live music before the game, the Pro Bowl is a great party for football fans. Featuring some of the best players from the NFL and the AFC, consider the Pro Bowl your Superbowl warm up party. Check out the Pro Bowl site for more info and tickets.

5. Celebrate Chinese New Year


Celebrate the Chinese New Year in style at the Chinatown Cultural Plaza in Honolulu on February 5th. It’s a great opportunity to ring in the lunar new year with paper lanterns, delicious food, and cultural celebrations that are sure to be a good time for the whole family.

 6. Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival


Saturday February 6th is the day you’ll want to come out with your camera to catch the beautiful peak foliage of the Church Row Park’s historic cherry trees on the Big Island. Come to see the trees and participate in Japanese cultural workshops including mochi pounding and bonsai tree shaping.  For more information on the event schedule, call 808-961-8706.

 7. Kona Brewers Festival


While this awesome craft beer festival isn’t until March 12th, tickets go on sale January 30th and have sold out very fast in years past. Festival attendees will be able to sample 72 craft beers, many of which are proudly brewed on the islands. There will also be lots of great food from local Big Island restaurants. Entertainment includes live music and a fashion show featuring designs made of all recycled materials.


Photos: 1. Flickr/Cord Cardinal;Noticaribe; Francis Haar; Hawaiian Moore; Kyle Nishioka; ClarkRealty; John Biehler