Luau Party Ideas
Decorate your luau with touches of Polynesian flair: coconut cups, pineapple plates, multi-color lantern lights, bamboo reeds and tiki torches. Accent white light strands with tropical flowers and palm fronds from the local florist. Bird of paradise, red ginger, and anthurium arrangements are big and bold, so you'll only need a few.
Bowls filled with river rock and tealights make festive centerpieces without breaking the bank. Forgo the fake leis and opt for fresh, single flowers instead. Hibiscus hard to find? Orchids too expensive? Carnations are a perfect alternative. Your guests will be pleasantly surprised to have individual blossoms attached to shirt lapels or pinned in hair — easy, exotic elegance!
Request that your attendees arrive dressed for the occasion — Hawaiian prints, please! Aloha shirts are an island standard, and pareos work as well. Make sure you have grass skirts for everyone. To truly get the island vibe, have everyone kick off their shoes and put on some rubber flip-flops.
For a unique spin on the luau, take your party back in time, and luau like it's 1969! Be creative and let your inner hippie go Hawaiian. Break out the flower print bell-bottoms and platforms. Now you're groovin' island-style!
Dust off that ukulele and start doing the hula. A luau is the perfect time to don some grass skirts and have guests learn Hawaii's traditional dance. If you want to give them a lesson they won't forget, try hiring a local instructor. Or you can learn low-budge from instructional videos.
Guests of all ages will love a Hula Hoop contest. See who can keep his or her hoop going for the longest time or who can master circling the hoop around the knees or feet.
Finish everything off with a few rounds of limbo. Wrap a pole (or broomstick) in some floral garland to give it an island feel, and challenge guests to see how low they can go.
No poi? No problem. Don't worry if you're lacking other authentic luau supplies and ingredients. Hawaii is a melting pot of cultures, and the food at a typical gathering represents ethnicities from around the world.
Mix it up and provide an assortment of island-inspired appetizers. Classic pupu platters consist of finger foods spanning the globe: sushi, kalbi (Korean-style BBQ) ribs, Ahi poke (raw fish and seaweed), fried chicken, lumpia (Filipino-style egg rolls), chicken or beef teriyaki, and fresh fruits and veggies. Starchy salads such as macaroni and potato, or steamed white rice, complement such flavorful dishes well. Serve them up on wooden or banana-leaf-lined plates.
One of the luxuries of Hawaii-inspired anything is that you can serve spur-of-the-moment made-up drinks, as long as they’re flavored with fruit and rum. Apples and oranges, juicy mangoes and vibrant pineapples and oranges all lend themselves to lovely party concoctions.
- 1 oz light rum
- 1/4 oz orgeat syrup
- 1/2 oz pineapple juice
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- dash of grenadine
- pineapple wedge
Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with crushed ice. Shake and strain into ice-filled hurricane glass. Garnish with pineapple wedge.