Make your child’s next birthday bash feel like a true tropical dream by planning a Hawaiian Luau Party! Our Luau party ideas include general party planning tips, as well as inspiration for themed invitations, decorations, food, and activities that will leave your guests feeling ready to hula all the way home!
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Planning & Invitations
What Do I Need For The Party?
If you plan to use luau party supplies, our suggested party supply list will definitely be helpful in determining the specific products necessary for your upcoming celebration. Along with traditional party supplies like tableware and decorations, you may want to consider purchasing or borrowing the following items:
- Grass skirts
- Leis for Each Guest
- Plastic or Inflatable Palm Trees
- Beach Balls
- Beach Towels
- Disposable Cameras
The invitations for your upcoming event will set the mood for your Hawaiian luau party and can build excitement before the big day arrives. If you have the time to make your own invitations, here are a few ideas of how you can deliver the details in a themed way:
- Cut a tropical flower out of colorful construction paper. Run a glue stick around the edges and then sprinkle the space with pink, yellow, or blue glitter. Write your party details in the center of the flower.
- Write the particulars of the event on an inflated beach ball. Deflate the ball and send it in a manila envelope. Your guests will have fun blowing it up to read the invitation!
- Send your invitations in a package with a flower lei. Ask that guests wear the leis to the party.
- Attach a card-style invitation to a pair of flip-flops or sunglasses and hand deliver or send in a padded envelope.
- Alternatively, you can cut a flip-flop shape out of construction paper and fill friends in on the theme in a unique way.
- Send the details of your bash by way of a message in a bottle.
If you do not have time to make invitations yourself, there are a range of ready-made options. From invites shaped like tiki statues and hibiscus flowers, to a variety of customizable cards, you’ll certainly be able to find invites that are the perfect fit for your celebration.
From the moment that guests arrive at your party, they’ll know that they’ve arrived in paradise. Here are some tips on how to make any space look straight out of the tropics:
- Make a sandcastle centerpiece: purchase textured, sand-colored spray paint at any local hardware store. Spray paint shoe boxes and use them to form the main part of the castle. To construct the towers, glue Styrofoam cones to empty coffee cans, then paint. Other details, such as scallops across the top of the castle, can be cut out of Styrofoam and painted.
- Visit a local travel agency and ask for old travel posters of Hawaii, the Caribbean, or other tropical destinations, and hang them throughout the party area.
- Use decorative fringe to give a tropical vibe to tables, doorways, and your deck.
- If you’re hosting the party outdoors, use play sand to set up a “beach.” You can use a sandbox or, if one isn’t available, spread sand on large trash bags for easy cleanup.
- Lay out beach towels for the kids to sit on as they eat or play games.
- Pile seashells and starfish in the corners of the party area and surround them with sand.
- Set up tiki torches along the driveway or sidewalk leading up to the party location.
- Hang string decorations from doorways and the ceiling that feature hula girls and brightly colored flowers.
- Cut large flower shapes out of different colors of construction paper and tape them to the walls and doors.
- Balloons are a must-have at any party! Combine a luau-themed Mylar balloon with four or five solidly colored latex balloons and secure them with balloon weights throughout the party area. Also, tie balloons to the chair where the birthday child will sit.
- Cups shaped like pineapples or coconuts are the perfect way to ensure your tableware reflects the party’s theme.
- Play luau party music in the background. Steel drum bands are a good choice.
- Create striking photo opps using wall decorating kits that will bring a piece of paradise into your home.
- Centerpieces with hibiscus flowers will be sure to add a pop of color to any display.
- Personalized party banners are ideal for adding to the ambiance of your event while sharing special sentiments with the celebrant.
Serving theme-specific party food is a fun way to celebrate at your Hawaiian luau party. For some tasty tiki treats, try some of these suggestions:
- Serve tropical snacks such as macadamia nuts, coconut, and cashews in wooden bowls.
- Make fresh fruit kabobs by alternating mango, pineapple, and banana on wooden skewers.
- Make a sign that says “Tiki Bar” and hang it above the food table.
- Make “luau punch” by mixing pineapple juice and 7-Up. Freeze pieces of tropical fruit in ice cubes and add them to the punch bowl.
- Hollow out pineapple and coconut shells and use them as serving dishes.
- Serve beverages in tiki cups with a drink umbrella and a silly straw.
- Use flower cookie cutters or palm tree cookie cutters to slice cheese and lunchmeat. Serve them with crackers. You can also do this with watermelon for a delicious, fruity snack.
- Make Banana-Strawberry Smoothies by blending 2 bananas, 2 cups fresh strawberries, 1 cup milk, and 1 cup frozen yogurt. If you’re looking for other tropical beverages that will take less time to make, consider virgin strawberry daiquiris and virgin pina coladas made from store-bought mixes.
- Customize cupcakes to make it looks like a teddy bear’s day in paradise!
- Use icing to decorate cookies so that they look like beach balls, palm trees, hibiscus flowers and more.
- Make a luau party cake by surrounding a round cake with cupcakes to create a flower shape. Ice the center with yellow frosting and the cupcake petals with pink or lavender frosting.
Party Favor Ideas
Once the festivities come to an end, be sure to thank your guests for coming by sending them off with tropical party favors! From generic summer party surprises to ones that are more specifically hula and luau themed, there are a variety of fun party items to choose from when picking items for your goodie bags.
- Inflatable Beach Balls
- Squirt Guns
- Lei Bracelets
- Decks of Cards
- Tiki Cups
- Flamingo or Flip Flop Shaped Straws
- Flip Flop Shaped Candy
- Bright Pencil Cases and Notepads
- Lei Necklaces
- Hula Skirts
Party Planning Toolbox
Use the links below to quickly find related theme party supplies, planning tips, printable checklists, and advice from our party planning experts.
- Luau Party Supplies: Includes paperware, invitations, personalized items, favors, and decorations for your party theme.
- Luau Personalized Items: Check out our exclusive personalized items including invitations, bookmarks, stickers, and more!
- Party Planning 101: Our useful party planning guide includes cake ideas, party etiquette tips, a printable guest list, and much more.
- Birthday Party Decorating Ideas: This guide will tell you how to decorate for your party theme, what to do with balloons and streamers, how to decorate with food, how to set the table, and how to make your own party decorations.
- Parties Under $100: Use this guide to celebrate in style without breaking the bank!
- Party Budget Estimator: Download this guide to help budget your expenses.
- More Birthday Theme Ideas: Browse our list of over 130 themed party guides to find tips for your child’s next birthday! Each guide includes ideas for invitations, decorations, food, favors, games and more.
Games and Activities
Players use a sand shovel to toss ping pong balls into a bucket from a few feet away.
Teammates take turns running to the finish line and back while batting a beach ball in the air.
Be the first team to pass a hula hoop down the line while holding hands.
Each team member dons beachwear in this active and fun relay race.
Have your partygoers excavate a sandbox in search of seashells and prizes.
Just how low can you go? Find out with a game of Limbo!
Your partygoers will love decorating a pair of flip flops to fit their unique styles.
Let children “color” a 3-D picture using glue and colored sand.
Fill a bottle with colorful layers of candy “sand” then eat it!
Girls will love making their own bracelets filled with floating glitter and beads.
Create big, festive flowers out of colorful tissue paper and pipe cleaner.
Add a special touch to your child’s luau party by teaching everyone the basics of hula dancing.
Your guests will love decorating our printable Luau coloring page.