A luau is an appropriate event for small or large groups of kids, teens, adults, and/or senior citizens. Everyone will “hang loose” (relax) as they have fun in a festive party atmosphere full of color, pleasant Hawaiian music, and a feeling of Aloha. In Hawaii, Aloha means many things, including hello, goodbye, welcome, and a general feeling of friendship.
Hawaiian Luau Theme Party Invitations
Buy or make luau invitations with an island, beach, tiki, or other appropriate theme. Request guests wear Hawaiian print shirts or bright colored clothing. Straw hats are also fun. For a pool or beach party, remind everyone to bring swimsuits, towels, sunscreen, and spare clothing.
Hosting a Luau and Decorating for a Luau Party or Dance, Hawaii-Style
Guests should be greeted at the door with an “Aloha,” a smile, and a flower or shell lei (Hawaiian necklace). Leis may be purchased at party stores or ordered online. If you have a small budget, paper flowers may be strung with or without beads to make necklaces.
Making or buying a few signs with the word Aloha on them will add to the feeling of warmth and friendship.
There are plenty of luau decor items at party stores beginning in spring, or online all year. Asking friends if they have any appropriate items to borrow may save you some money.
Some products to add fun are:
- Tiki lantern lights.
- Grass skirts for tables.
- Hawaiian flower designs on just about everything.
- A real or pretend fire pit.
- Palm tree cutouts or blow-ups.
- Hawaiian maps.
- Fish cutouts strung from above with fishing line.
- Green and blue “seaweed” streamers twisted and hung around the area.
- Color, color, color.
- Surfboards make great accents or even serving tables.
Food and Drink for a Luau
Food can be as authentic as the host/hostess prefers. For ideas of traditional luau foods, see Hawaiian Luau Visitors’ Trip Tips.
A few luau food ideas are:
- Pineapple chunks or mixed fruit salads.
- Grilled fish or pork.
- Poi (know anyone who knows how to make it?).
Drink ideas include:
- Tropical fruity punch.
- Canned drinks. These are easiest and may be put in a big bucket or children’s pool full of ice.
- Tiki or coconut-shaped plastic party cups.
- Drink umbrellas or party picks set into cups.
- Fancy, skewered fruit cubes set into tall drinks.
Hawaiian Luau Activities
Have a few fun games to interject into the dancing and conversation. Some luau party activities might include:
- A limbo contest.
- A hula lesson and/or contest.
- A Hawaii trivia game (research questions and answers online).
- A coconut relay race.
- A “most authentic Hawaiian costume” contest and award.
- Playing a Hawaiian Elvis or Gidget movie might be good for kids and teenagers.
Also set up a pleasant Hawaiian lush tropical corner for photo opportunities.
If it’s in the budget, hiring some real hula or Island dancers to put on a show can be a real highlight of the party. Perhaps guests can learn some hula dancing in a lesson.
Be sure to stock up on Hawaiian music CDs (search online for ideas). For a party or dance for teens, the Hawaiian music should be mixed up with some good dance songs.
The library will have books on Hawaii and traditional celebrations for more inspiration.