Top 20 things to do on Maui Sept. 14-24: Free animated films, Mexican Independence Day fiesta, trivia fundraiser for wildfire survivors

By Gary Kubota
September 13, 2023, 2:00 AM HST
* Updated September 13, 4:51 AM
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On Maui this weekend, free animated films featuring trolls and a singing crocodile provide family fun.

And coming up are more fundraisers for Maui wildfire victims, with Grammy-nominated Henry Kapono and an all-star lineup of friends performing at a benefit concert in Kahului on Sept. 23 and a free Maui Jazz & Blues fest in Kula on Sept. 24.

Check out the Top 20 list below. And for a comprehensive list of upcoming events – concerts, shows, entertainment, and community events, and outdoor farmers markets – for this week and beyond, click here.

No. 1 – Free films Trolls World Tour & Lyle, Lyle Crocodile at MACC (Sep 15 & 16, Kahului)

For free family fun, the animated feature “Trolls World Tour” will be shown Friday and the animated film “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” on Saturday as part of the Starry Night Cinema series at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

In “Trolls World Tour,” the characters Poppy and Branch discover they are but one of six different Troll tribes scattered over six lands devoted to six kinds of music: funk, country, techno, classical, pop and rock. Their world is about to get a lot bigger and a whole lot louder.


In “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile,” the Primm family moves to New York City, where their young son, Josh, struggles to adapt to his new school and friends. All of that changes when he discovers Lyle, a singing crocodile that loves baths, caviar and great music living in their new home.

Both films start at 7 p.m. at the Yokouchi Pavilion and A&B Amphitheater. Bring a blanket to spread on the lawn or low-back chairs. Gates open at 5 p.m. Each film runs for about an hour and a half. There’s pre-show entertainment and art activity for children. There are also food trucks. No coolers or outside food and beverages are allowed. For more information, go to .

No. 2 – Free Family Movie Night at South Maui Gardens (Sept. 20, Kīhei)

South Maui Gardens is offering a free family movie night on Sept. 20, featuring “Finding ‘Ohana.” The movie starts at 7 p.m. and run for about two hours.

There are 14 food vendor trucks on the property at 35 Auhana Road. Outside food is not allowed. For more information, go to

No. 3 – Night In New Orleans at ProArts Playhouse (Sept. 14, Kīhei)

Maui singer-songwriter couple Tempa and Naor perform “A Night In New Orleans” at the ProArts Playhouse on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.


This unique musical series explores genres that influence their music and a “heavy dose of music medicine.” For more information including tickets, go to or call 808-463-6550.

No. 4 – Kōkua our Maui ʻOhana at Queen Kaʻahumanu Center (Sept. 15, Kahului)

Queen Ka’ahumanu Center is holding a special Kōkua our Maui ʻOhana night for the survivors of Maui wildfires and their supporters on Friday from 4 to 9 p.m.

“We wanted to find a way to bring everyone together and honor those who have lost homes and lives and also mahalo those who have stepped up to kōkua,” said center manager Kauwela Bisquera.

The opening of ‘Ohana night includes a pule (prayer.) There will be live entertainment, and opportunities for attendees to make and give a lei, donate to local families in need, and also explore community resources at tables offering free services and supplies. Special gifts are being offered by various stores, including Madison Avenue and Victoria’s Secret. To donate, visit the Center’s Maui Fire Relief Fund here.

No. 5 – Pizza Madness fundraiser for Maui Fire Relief (Sept. 17, Kīhei)

A Trivia Night with food and drinks specials to benefit Maui Fire Relief is taking place at Pizza Madness at 1455 South Kīhei Road on Sunday from 8 to 10 p.m.


Teams of one to eight people may enter the trivia contest. There are first-, second- and third-place prizes. Bring your friends! For tickets, click here.

No. 6 – Mexican Independence Day party at da Playground Maui (Sept. 16, Māʻalaea)

A celebration of Mexican Independence Day with DJ Jamn J and DJ Stylz takes place at da Playground Maui on Saturday at 9 p.m. There is a Baile De El Zapateado (dance) contest with the winner receiving a $400 prize.

Must be 21 or older. Parking is free after 5 p.m. For more information, including tickets, go to or call 808-727-2571.

No. 7 – Mālama Wao Akua 2023 exhibit at Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center (runs through Nov. 3, Makawao)

The Mālama Wao Akua 2023 exhibition runs through Nov. 3 at the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center at 2841 Baldwin Ave. The Center is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The exhibition is in collaboration with East Maui Watershed Partnership and includes works by Maui school students from elementary through high school. It’s a juried show celebrating the native species of Maui Nui, including Maui, Lana‘i, Moloka‘i and Kaho‘olawe. Artists explored watersheds and used their creative talents to raise awareness about the importance of protecting native species. For more information, go to Hui No’eau or call 808-572-6560.

No. 8 – Jazz night at The Empanada Lady (Sept. 16, Wailuku)

Sheryl Renee

Jazz Night featuring Sheryl Renee and a four piece band takes place at The Empanada Lady on Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m.

The band includes Jimmy C, Jeff Helmer, Dave Graber and Paul Marchetti. For more information, including reservations, go to The Empanada Lady or call 808-668-4544.

No. 9 – David Morales at The Shops of Wailea (Sept. 20, Wailea)

David Morales

Alternative folk performer David Morales sings songs including his original works at The Shops of Wailea on Wednesday from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

The free performance is a part of “Wailea Wednesdays” with live music featuring local entertainers. Morales’ songs may be heard on Apple Music here. For more information, click here.

No. 10 – Wind Monkeys perform at ProArts Playhouse (Sept. 16, Kīhei)

The Wind Monkeys perform at ProArts Playhouse on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Chris Magee and Mike Freedom are among the band members singing originals classic songs. They’ll be joined by pianists David Fraser and Jerry Crow, and play classic songs you’d forgotten you remember, plus a sprinkling of originals.

For more information, including details and tickets, go to or call 808-871-1131. Tickets are $20.

No. 11 – Chayce Tancayo and Namaka Pauole at Maui Coffee Attic (Sept. 15, Wailuku)

Namaka Pauole and Chayce Tancayo

Chayce Tancayo and Namaka Pauole perform island-style music with beautiful harmonies at the Maui Coffee Attic on Friday at 8:30 a.m. The performance is free.

For more information, go to the at 59 A Kanoa Street.

No. 12 – Eric Gilliom’s White Hawaiian returns (Sept. 17, Kihei)

Eric Gilliom’s critically acclaimed comedy “White Hawaiian” returns to the ProArts Theater for three consecutive Sundays in September. The comedy begins at 2 p.m. The play spans the life of Gilliom from his Maui upbringing as a Caucasian with famous Hawaiian roots, and the TV, film and Broadway roles that have provided hilarious stories.

The show has been critically acclaimed by entertainment reviewer Jon Woodhouse, who said if there was a Nā Hōkū Hanahano award for theatrical comedy, Gilliom would be the hands down winner. It had back-to-back sellout runs. For more information including tickets, go to ProArts Playhouse.

No. 13 – Holly Wong & Chenta Laury exhibits at the MACC (runs through Oct. 28, Kahului)

An installation by Holly Wong is on exhibit at the Shaefer Internatational Gallery in Kahului.

Maui artist Chenta Laury and San Franciso artist Holly Wong are exhibiting their works at the Schaefer International Galley through Oct. 28. Admission is free.

Wong installations are of mixed media assemblages harnessing memory, myth and unexpressed trauma in visual reconstruction. Laury’s work synthesizes natural fibers into forms that relate to growth, adaptation and transformation, as modeled by plants and as metaphors for her own life and identity.

The gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is also open until 7:30 p.m. for select Castle Theater and Yokouchi Pavilion shows. For more information, go to

No. 14 – Upcountry Farmers Market (Pukalani, Sept. 16)

The Upcountry Farmers Market takes place at the Kulamalu Town Center on Highway 37 near Long’s Drugs on Saturday from 7 to 11 a.m.

Vendors sell fresh locally grown organic produce including coconuts, macadamia nuts, fresh caught fish, tropical flowers, plants & trees, Maui grown coffee, lilikoʻi butter, raw and vegan prepared foods, exotic prepared foods such as Thai.

For more information, including any changes in schedule, go to

No. 15 – Bailey House Museum (Tuesday-Friday, Wailuku)

The museum Hale Hōʻikeʻike includes a gift shop offering historical photographs.

The Maui Historical Society operates a museum about Maui’s history including pre-western contact artifacts and 10,000 photographs, including those dating to the 1800s.

The museum Hale Hōʻikeʻike including a gift shop is located at the Bailey House and open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, click here or send queries to [email protected]

No. 16 – Maui Sugar Museum tour (Monday through Thursday, Kahului)

Japanese immigrant women worked in the sugarcane fields in the 1920s. Photo courtesy of the Sugar Museum.

Tours of Maui’s Sugar Museum are conducted at Alexander & Baldwin’s Sugar Museum on Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The last admission is at 1 p.m.

The museum at 3957 Hansen Road has exhibits about sugar plantation history during its 168 years on Maui and about the waves of immigrant laborers who came to the Hawaiian Islands, including the Chinese, Japanese, Puerto Rican, Portuguese, and Filipino.

Admission is free to residents and children 5 and under. For more information including festival tickets, go to or call 808-871-8058.

And coming up the following weekend:

No. 17 – Maui Brewing’s October Fest (Sept. 24, Kihei)

The Haiku Hillbillys will be performing at Maui Brewing’s October Fest in Kihei. Photo courtesy of Gilbert & Associates

Maui Brewing Co. is holding an Octoberfest on Sept. 24 from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. with a portion of the proceeds going to the Maui Fire Store, a local grassroots nonprofit benefiting Maui fire responders.

There will be live music by the Haiku Hillbillys, a German-themed venue, and limited edition steins for sale. No entry fee or tickets needed. For more information, go to Maui Brewing.

No. 18 – We Are Friends: A Maui Wildfire Benefit Concert at the MACC (Sept. 23, Kahului)

Robert Cazimero is among the entertainers performing at a fundraiser for Maui wildfire victims on Sept. 23. The host is Henry Kapono. Credit Hawai‘i Tourism Authority

Nā Hōkū Hanohano 2021 Favorite Entertainer of the Year Henry Kapono is hosting a Maui wildfire benefit concert at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center on Sept. 23 at 4 p.m. Gates open at 3:30 p.m.

The concert features an all-star lineup of performers including: Jake Shimabukuro, Robert Cazimero, John Cruz, Kimié Miner, Makana, Anuhea, Brother Noland, Kalapana, Amy Hanaiali’i, Sistah Robi, Tavana, Eric Gilliom, Angela Morales of Na Leo, The Rough Riders, Ana Vee, Kala’e Parish, and Kealoha; with many more to be announced.

The ‘We are Friends’ concert is part of the MACC’S Wildfire Benefit Concert Series. A series of new and modified existing MACC shows focused on raising funds for the victims of the devastating fires. To purchase tickets, go to

No. 19 – Maui Jazz and Blues Festival Benefit (Sept. 24, Kula)

Mark Johnstone is one of Mick Fleetwood’s blues band members performing at a jazz and blues festival on Sept. 24.

A Maui Jazz & Blues Festival benefit for the victims of Maui wildfires takes place at the Maui Ocean Organic Vodka Farm and Distillery on Sept. 24 at from 3 to 7 p.m. The organizer is Ken Burgmaier of Admission is free but donations will be accepted.

  • 3 – 3:45 p.m. Dr. Nat and jazz saxophonist and singer Joie Yasha.
  • 3:45 – 4:15 p.m. Zenshin Daiko drummers featuring 30 Maui children drummers.
  • 4:15 – 5 p.m. Quintet of Fast Freddy & the Blue Lava Blues Band.
  • 5:15 – 7 p.m.: Mick Fleetwood’s Grammy-nominated blues band with Mark Johnstone, Lenny Castellanos, along with master saxophonist John Zangrando and also 2023 Nā Hōkū Hanohano winner Tarvin Makia.

No. 20 – Kīhei Fridays (Sept. 22, South Maui)

The band N8Vz performs at Kīhei’s 4th Friday on Sept. 22.

The Kīhei 4th Friday celebration this month will take place at Azeka Place Shopping Center on Sept. 22 from 6 to 9 p.m., with entertainment, food booths, restaurants and a children’s zone with face painting and ballon twisting figures.

The entertainment, hosted by Kathy Collins, features a number of bands playing in various genres of music, including Ono Grimes, Da Natives, Missy Aguilar and N8Vz. For more information, contact the Maui County Office of Economic Development at 808-270-7415 or 808-870-0423.

Gary Kubota
Gary Kubota, an associate writer with, has worked as a staff news writer with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and The Maui News. He lives on Maui. He’s also been an editor/business manager with the Lahaina News. He’s received national and regional journalism awards — a National Press Club Citation of Merit and Walter Cronkite Best In The West, among them.
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