Maui: Action Packed

Maui County's array of ongoing activities and special events offers clients an opportunity to enjoy the best of the islands regardless of what time of year they visit.

The following is a rundown of suggested things to do and see:

Free hula shows are offered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Whalers Village in Kaanapali, from 7 to 8 p.m.; at the Lahaina Cannery Mall on Sundays from 1 to 2 p.m.; at the Kapalua Shops on Thursdays at 10 a.m., and at the Wailea Shopping Village on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. In addition, many hotels offer hula demonstrations, and often schedule hula performances during their weekly Hawaiian luaus.

Outdoor markets lure shoppers hunting for bargains of every description. Among the best are the Maui Swap Meet in Kahului (next to the post office on Pu'unene Avenue), held on Sundays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.; the Farmer's Market at the Maalaea Community Garden, daily from 8 a.m. to noon; the Honokawai Market on Mondays and Thursdays from 7 to 11 a.m.; at Suda Store in Hihei on Tuesdays and Fridays from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., and the Kahului Shopping Center on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to noon.

Cultural events take center stage during the Lanai Visiting Artist Program at the Lodge at Koele and the Manele Bay hotels on Lanai, when celebrated authors, chefs, musicians, artists and film-makers demonstrate their specialties and visit with guests (contact Lanai Resorts for this year's schedule).

The arts are also spotlighted during the Artists-in-Residence Program held the last Wednesday-through-Sunday of every month at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, when guests have an opportunity to create arts and crafts with Hawaii's leading artists (two artists per month); at the Art in the Village programs, scheduled daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Whaler's Village in Kaanapali, featuring handmade crafts, and on Friday evenings Art Night Celebrations from 7 to 10 p.m. in Lahaina, when local galleries and artisans display and sell their works.

Gourmet cuisine is on the menu during the Grand Chefs on Tour program (scheduled dates from February through November) at the Kea Lani Hotel, Suites & Villas, when culinary experts serve up dinners with wines and tastings, and during the What's Cookin' food demonstrations in the Queen's Market Food Court of the Kaahumanu Center, held the last Friday of every month from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Traditional Hawaiian entertainment is offered regularly at many hotels and at the distinguished Maui Arts & Cultural Center during its monthly (scheduled dates) Hoonanea Hawaiian series; at the Kaahumanu Center in Kahului, the first and last Monday evening of every month, when local musicians, singers and dancers perform, and during the Live on the Beach performances of contemporary Hawaiian music, presented by Whalers Village, Kaanapali, the last Sunday of every month.

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