Hana hou for spring fling at Kukui Grove

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Mabel Ellis and her mom Tess take time to enjoy some of the treasures they discovered Saturday during the Spring Festival Fun at Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Amber Mayne and Rikku Burns meet the stilted garden princesses Saturday during the Spring Festival Fun at Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Shoppers game for prizes at Bubbah’s Toy Box and Gaming Cafe Saturday during the Spring Festival Fun at Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Rocky Pascua, standing left, and the Ainofea crew offer slime for spring fun Saturday during the Spring Festival Fun at Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kayla Koerte of Deja Vu Surf Hawai‘i feeds the bunny hole that drops egg surprises to young treasure-map hunters Saturday during the Spring Festival Fun at Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Macee Martinez, right, helps a young treasure-seeker create a spring bouquet featuring a fresh carrot Saturday during the Spring Festival Fun at Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    EB (that’s short for “Easter Bunny,” said Mother Goose) and his buddies, including the Garden Gnome wannabe, will be back at Bunny Hollow from Friday for photos done by appointments.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Anela Schmidt and Merrick Backman have a socially-distanced photo taken with Mother Goose and the Easter Bunny at Bunny Hollow at Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e Saturday.

LIHU‘E — The success of welcoming spring was overwhelming enough that Kukui Grove Center will continue the fun through the week in an abbreviated hana hou starting Friday.

“It’s not too late to celebrate spring at Kukui Grove,” said Melissa McFerrin-Warrack, KGC specialty-leasing and marketing manager. “Bunny Hollow will be open Friday and Saturday for free, socially-distanced photos with the Easter Bunny (named “EB” for short by Mother Goose) and his friends.”

Appointments can be made by visiting kukuigrovecenter.com. There will be spots made to accommodate those who fail to reserve a time.

“It’s nice to see so many people out again,” said Art Umezu of Music of Kaua‘i, who stopped off to do an errand between filming a music video at Kilohana Plantation in Puhi. “After all this time with the pandemic, it is nice to see people out and about again.”

Kukui Grove shoppers filled the center, armed with face masks and full awareness of social distancing for the Spring Festival Fun that featured EB and his friends being available for photos at Bunny Hollow, visits by stilted spring princesses, and a massive egg hunt spread out over more than two dozen tenants.

“What’s Easter without some slime?” asked Lexi Jones, the KQNG Radio Group on-air personality who hosted the stage entertainment that filled the fun period punctuated with a visit from a pair of spring princesses on stilts picking their way through the throng of treasure-hunters.

“We just wanted to do something others didn’t do,” said Vance Pascua of Ainofea. “The kids love slime, so we tried to make some that is different.”

Families hopped past Macee Martinez, who hosted a bunch of make-it-and-take-it spring crafts, including a bouquet featuring a fresh carrot and floral enhancements in the area leading to Bunny Hollow.

“Bunny Hollow is where you want to be,” said Mother Goose, who joined EB and the Garden Gnome in posing for socially-distanced springtime photos with youngsters who registered ahead of Saturday. “We have the Bunny, the Gnome, and it’s nice and cool in here.”

Bunny Hollow is different from the Rabbit Hole that dispensed large eggs for shoppers entering the Deja Vu Surf zone, the dispensing being handled by Kayla Koerte, who jury-rigged the egg-sprouting tunnel with a spongy basket to keep the eggs from breaking.

“The best part is to see the joy of the kids and families walking around with their pink bags and figuring out how to get the eggs this year,” McFerrin-Warrack said.

“I was amazed to see how many different ways the merchants came up with to keep within the current health guidelines and still make it fun while finding ways to deliver the eggs to the little ones.”

At the Bubbah’s Toy Box Collectibles and Gaming Cafe that opened in its new, more-than-double space during last weekend, treasure-hunters went to the basketball game in hopes of winning additional premiums. Other outlets like Premier Martial Arts and Pau Hana T’s spun wheels to determine prizes, and where was the masked fairy?

The spring fun and giveaways continue Friday from noon until 6 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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