For summer birthdays, nothing beats a Hawaiian Luau Party! Let this luau party guide help you create a tropical luau party your child and friends will never forget! We’ll help you create a Hawaiian theme using luau decorations, plus luau games to keep the kids entertained!
Order your luau supplies online to make shopping easy. This is one of the best time-saving tips because you avoid making trips to different stores. Then use this party guide to plan the decorations, games and party activities.
Popular Luau party and Hawaiian Party Designs:
Welcome Your Guests –
Before the party, find each guest’s name in Hawaiian and make nametags. There are lots of websites that will translate names for you, like this one Translate Names to Hawaiian.
Set up a table to welcome the guests and as they arrive say “Aloha” and give each child a flower lei and their nametag. You can also add a flower hair clip for girls and a pirate hat for boys. If the boys are too old to enjoy a pirate hat, give them a straw beach hat. And girls of all ages like to wear a grass skirt, too! The welcome table would also be a great place to provide Hawaiian temporary tattoos.
Take a look at these personalized Luau Party invitations:
There are so many items to use as luau decorations that I will list them in groups.
General Luau Decorations:
- Cover your front door with colored paper and print “ALOHA” in large letters. Pull all the plants (whether real or artificial) from around your house and group them together in the main party rooms. Make more palm “trees” by cutting palm fronds from green construction paper and taping them to cardboard tubes such as wrapping paper tubes.
- Line your walk or an area in the yard with tiki torches. Hang nylon fish nets over the fences or on a wall indoors. Tuck some seashells and starfish into the netting. Beach towels for kids to sit on and beach balls. Tiki masks. Hang paper lanterns and strings of twinkling (Christmas-type) lights.
- Turn on some Hawaiian music in the background, or surf music like the Beach Boys. If you own (or can borrow) a beach umbrella, rowboat or surfboard, use them to add more beach atmosphere. Use balloons and streamers in colors to match your plates and tablecloths. Turquoise blue, lime green and dark pink look good together. Or try orange, yellow and green for the color scheme.
- Purchase some mylar balloons that match your party theme and surround each one with a cluster of the cheaper latex balloons. Tie together 5 or 7 balloons, with the mylar one slightly higher than the others. Then anchor the cluster of balloons in a prominent spot in the party room. Good placement ideas are at the entrance to the room, at one end of the food table, near the activities, and next to large furniture.
Table and Chair Luau Decorations:
- Cover tables with fabric in a tropical design.
- Add bowls of seashells.
- Add a grass skirt type of fringe around the tables. You can make your own budget-friendly table skirt from brown paper grocery bags. Just cut open the bags, tape them all around the edge of the table and cut up from the bottom to make the fringe.
- Fill fish bowls with water and a goldfish or two! For older kids or at night you can use bowls of water with tea light candles floating on top.
- Make lots of big tissue paper flowers to decorate tables or tie to chairs using these directions.
- Tie a balloon to the back of each chair, and tie a group of five balloons to the birthday child’s chair.
Food Related Luau Decorations:
Your luau needs to have at least one coconut and a pineapple for table decoration or to eat! Make a centerpiece using coconuts and pineapples piled on a tray. If coconuts are hard to find in your area, use bunches of bananas instead.
- As children arrive, let them color this free printable Hawaiian coloring page while you wait for all the guests.
- Luau Relay Race – Before the party, fill two tote bags with over-sized clothes like a grass skirt, straw hat, flower lei, set of shorts, and sunglasses. Divide the guests into two teams and set the tote bags about 20 feet away. When you say “go!” the first player on each team runs to their tote bag and puts on all the clothes. The player then runs back to his team, takes off all the clothes and passes them to the next player in line who must now put on all the clothes. Player two runs to the tote, takes off all the clothes and runs back to tag the next team member, who must then run to the tote. Keep playing until everyone has a turn.
- Hula Hoop Contest – Play some lively music while the guests use the hula hoops. See who can hula the longest, who can hula using their arms, who can stand on one foot, etc.
- Hula Dance – Buy, rent or check the library for a DVD called “Be a Hula Girl” or another hula instructional lesson. Play the DVD at the party and help the kids learn some basic hula movements. Then turn on your own music and let everyone practice what they’ve learned.
- Luau Bucket Toss – Use a plastic sand bucket and shovel plus ping pong balls for this game. Let the children take turns trying to toss the ping pong balls into the bucket using the little sand shovel. Give the kids three balls per turn.
- Seashell Hunt – Fill a sandbox, a kiddie pool or a wheel barrow with clean play sand and hide lots of small sea shells. Let the children hunt in the sand to find the shells.
- Coconut Roll – Divide the kids into two teams and give each team a broom and a coconut. If coconuts are hard to find in your area, just take a brown paper lunch bag, fill it with paper and roll it into a ball shape. Have each team member take turns using the broom to roll the coconut from the starting point to about 20 feet away, and then back. Pass the broom to the next person and keep going until everyone on both teams has taken a turn. The team to finish first is the winner.
- Pass the Coconut – This is played just like Hot Potato, but using a coconut. (If coconuts are hard to find in your area, just take a brown paper lunch bag, fill it with paper and roll it into a ball shape.) Turn on some luau music while the kids sit in a circle. Pass the coconut around the circle while the music plays, then randomly turn off the music. Whoever is holding the coconut when the music stops is “out” and leaves the circle. Keep playing and turning off the music until only one player is left, and this is the winner. If you have a real coconut, after the game crack it open and let everyone taste the coconut milk and the meat.
- Coconut Bowling – Before the party find three empty 2 liter plastic bottles and fill them about one third with water. Let the guests take turns bowling a coconut to knock down the bottles. You could also use three pineapples instead of the empty bottles. If you have a slide in your yard, a variation of this game puts the three bottles on the ground and the kids roll the coconut down the slide to knock them over.
- Pin the Coconut on the Palm Tree – Draw a palm tree on a large piece of poster board, and cut coconut shapes from brown construction paper. Use double sided tape on the coconuts, blindfold the guests one at a time and let them try to place the coconut onto the palm tree.
- Limbo! – Use a CD of luau music or make your own with songs like Lovely Hula Hands, the Hukilau song, Under the Limbo stick and Limbo Rock. How low can you go???
- Water Tag – Divide the guests into two teams and supply them with water balloons and squirt guns. Have your video camera ready and watch the fun!
- And don’t forget a Pinata!
- Drink Mugs – Decorate plastic mugs with permanent markers and paint pens, and then use the mugs for drinks during the party.
- Shell Ankle Bracelets – Buy a bag of shells and a roll of 1” wide ribbon at the craft store. Let the guests glue shells onto a piece of ribbon and when it’s dry, tie it around their ankle to wear during the party.
- Sweet “Sand” Art – Use pixie stix candy for the sand and small glass bottles with a cork topper (these are sold at most craft stores). Give each guest several different colored pixie stix and let them pour the candy powder into the glass bottles, creating layers of different colors. Help the children put the cork firmly into the bottle when they are done, or let them eat their artwork!
- Tissue Paper Flowers Craft – Let the guests make their own large tissue paper flowers using these directions. Have different colors of bright tissue paper that coordinate with your party supplies.
- Flip Flop Craft – Decorate flip flops with artificial flowers using these easy directions from the DIY network.
- More luau craft ideas for kids.
The age of your guests will help you decide on the party food. Younger kids may want familiar food (like hot dogs) and just one or two items with a Hawaiian theme. Kids 8 and older will be ready to try a more adventurous menu. Decorate the table with whole pineapples and coconuts, and outline the edge of the table with twinkle lights. Here are few ideas to help you plan the luau party food:
- Goldfish crackers in the rainbow colors.
- Serve chips or other food in new, clean sand pails.
- Fruit kabobs made with a piece of pineapple, a maraschino cherry, and a marshmallow.
- Kabobs made with diced cooked chicken, melon, and pineapple. Marinate the chicken in a teriyaki sauce before cooking.
- Kabobs made with chunks of ham, cheese cubes, pineapple or cherries.
- Hawaiian style pizza made with ham and pineapple as the toppings.
- Set up a beach-style snack shop in your yard. Offer slices of watermelon, grapes, oranges and pineapple along with cold drinks and bags of popcorn. Include a snow cone maker if you own one, or you can rent or borrow one.
- Fruit punch served with an umbrella straw and a fruit garnish on the side of the glass. Serve the punch in tiki cups.
- Make a 9×13” cake look like a beach scene with these easy directions from Family Fun.
- Decorate your own cake with luau candles.
Party guests will like a tiki cup, sand bucket, beach ball, sunglasses and Hawaiian tattoos. Attach a tag to each favor bag with the child’s Hawaiian name.
Take the work out of planning the favor bags by ordering complete Luau Party favor sets.
Take a look at our ideas for using personalized party supplies.