Dolphin Days At The Hilton Waikoloa Village

Dolphin Days Summer Fest at the Hilton Waikoloa Village is scheduled every June  on the Big Island of Hawaii. As always, Hilton will host a bevy events throughout the weekend, including a food, wine and music festival, golf and tennis tournaments, a luau, photo and autograph sessions with an all-star jazz band and a Dolphin Quest learning program. In its 14th year of existence, the festival is an extremely well-run event with various activities for the entire family, in addition to plenty of down time between major happenings to enjoy the fantastic amenities at the hotel. If you've been thinking of traveling with your younger children to any event this summer, Dolphin Days is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a well-run resort, educate yourself and your children on marine species, sample delicious foods and know that profits are given to two reputable charities: Hawaii Shriners Hospital for Children and the Pacific Marine Life Foundation.

The event kicks off with the "Next Wave of Thirty Three Chefs of Dolphin Days" dinner and silent auction, held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Top Waikoloa Resort chefs prepare their favorite dishes for you to sample in an intimate setting. Cost is $85 per person (call ahead for reservations).

Various radio stations will broadcast live from the Water's Edge Ballroom. Interviews with NFL football players, jazz musicians and Big Island radio personalities are free for guests to observe, and stretch throughout the majority of the day. In the afternoon, the Dolphin Quest Learning Lagoon comes alive when Atlantic bottlenose dolphin perform a free program that includes an interactive session with select members from the crowd. Children from Hawaii Shriners Hospital are the featured guests; program begins at 5 p.m.

The Hot Rocks Luau will take place on the Palace Lawn on Friday evening, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Traditional laua fare and an elaborate performance by Tihati Productions are sure to entertain those who have not experienced a Hawaiian luau.

The golf tournament will take place at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, as will the start of a two-day tennis tournament, to take place at the Kohala Tennis complex inside the resort. The impressive tennis facilities are enough to drag you away from the lagoons for some competitive tennis at all skill levels. The tennis tournament costs $35 per player.

The event culminates with Saturday evening's "Great Waikoloa Food, Wine & Music Festival" held on the Palace Lawn from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Food and beverage booths from around the island will serve up gourmet treats, while a live music program and fireworks show will dazzle the crowds. A final silent auction with sports memorabilia, fine art, vacation packages and more will be open to all. Tickets to this event start at $140.

An after party jam session with local musicians will take place from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Malolo Lounge near the main lobby of the hotel. A large local crowd usually makes this event a colorful, enjoyable end to a diverse weekend. Mingle with the key organizers of the event, in addition to local entertainers and talent who will perform impromptu acts in the lounge.

A $420 Platinum Pass is available at the event Web site. Visit www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com for more information or visit www.dolphindays.com to purchase tickets.