A luau party is great fun and can be combined with a graduation party, birthday, or celebration of any kind. Your theme, luau party, is already chosen, so party invitations, decorations, food, and games will be just that much easier to plan. Knowing how to throw a luau party is the key to staying organized and having a successful party.
Free Printable Luau Party Invitations
One of the keys in knowing how to throw a luau party is sending out great invitations. Besides noting the date, time, and place on your luau party invitations, be sure to ask your guests to R.S.V.P. so that you can plan for food and seating. Hoover Web Design has seven kinds of free printable luau party invitations. Party Supply Hut also has a number of free printable luau party invitations with themes like Hawaii, Aloha, luau, and more.
It’s easy enough to make your own luau party invitations, too. You can download a party invitation template from DIY Invitations and add your own tropical photos, clip art, flowers, cut-out palm trees, or whatever your imagination can dream up. One cute idea is to make your luau party invitations out of foam board to look like flip flops. Simply decorate the flip flops, add your luau party information on the sole, and hand deliver to each of your guests.
In your luau party invitations, encourage people to come in tropical attire – Hawaiian shirts, beachwear, loose fitting clothes, and comfortable footwear. If your luau party is to be held around a pool, remind your guests to bring a swim suit and towel.
If you are holding your luau party in a residence, put balloons and pink flamingoes out front and perhaps a door banner on your front door so your guests will know they are in the right place. As your guests arrive, put silk, plastic, or paper Hawaiian leis around their necks and greet them with “Aloha!”. Silk flower leis look the nicest – other than the real thing, of course. Leis make great take-home party favors as well.
For your luau party decorations, think little grass huts, tikis, bamboo, tropical flowers, colorful fish, surfing, and the beach. Set your luau party scene by using raffia or artificial grass table skirts, fabric flower garlands, hanging lantern banners, artificial palm trees, ukuleles, hula skirts, and sea shells. Get a surfboard, palm tree, or life-size luau-themed cut-outs and set up a photo area for your guests.
You can carry a particular luau party decoration theme throughout the party area by using a lot of one type of luau item such as tikis, pink flamingoes, palm trees, sea shells, or surfboards. Use the same item on your invitations as well to help convey the theme in advance.
Light candles on the tables and put tiki torches along the walkways. Fire is very much a part of Hawaii (think volcanoes) and will add to your luau party theme. Twinkling patio lights will remind guests of the stars at night.
If you are holding your luau party indoors, add some tropical vacation posters and bamboo or tropical scenes room rolls. The latter usually come on 50′ rolls and can be temporarily attached to the walls. Take a look at this video to see how to do it. Scene setters are great for the photo area, too.
Drinks are all-important at a summer luau party, so have plenty of them to ward off the summer heat. Make up a batch of tropical drinks like mai-tais, piña coladas, or daiquiris (virgin or otherwise). Turn one area of your luau party into a tiki hut for the purpose of serving drinks.
How you serve the drinks to your guests is all important in helping to create a luau atmosphere, so serve drinks in colorful tropical drink plastic glasses or coconut shells. Add skewers of fruit and little umbrellas to the drinks. Non-alcoholic drink recipes for a summer luau can be found here.
Chill some bottles of water, soda, fruit juice, and iced tea in a clean garbage pail, plastic storage bin, or inflatable kiddie pool. If you are not serving made-to-order drinks, make a luau party punch and keep extra set aside, because punch usually goes fast. Serve Kona coffee from Hawaii.
For luau party snacks, put chunks of pineapple, kiwi fruit, maraschino cherries, strawberries, oranges, melon, or other colorful fruit on skewers. Add tomato, cheese, and meat too, but keep the ones with meat in the refrigerator or in a cooler. Macadamia nuts made a great luau party snack, too.
Luaus celebrate eating good food outdoors, so think beyond a plain hot dog and hamburger barbecue. A luau party menu might include roast pork, short ribs, Hawaiian barbecued chicken, macadamia nut encrusted fish, lots of pineapple, banana bread, sweet potatoes, poi, and coconut pudding. Look up some luau recipes and try to stick to traditional luau party fare as much as possible. If you want authentic Hawaiian food (including poi), you can order it shipped directly to you from Oahu at 1stLuau.com.
Serve everything buffet style to keep with the casual luau theme. For service ware, set out some brightly colored or luau-themed plates, tableware, and napkins. Table centerpieces for your luau party are easy to make. Use luau items like pineapples, flowers, sea shells, coconuts, and a candle or two. Put some luau-themed confetti on the buffet and other tables to add an extra touch.
Luau Party Games, Activities, & Entertainment
Music is essential for entertaining guests at your luau party. Adding some Polynesian or Hawaiian music to your luau party will go a long way toward creating an authentic luau feel. Throw in a little Don Ho, too, for a Hawaiian flare. If you want to go all out, hire some hula or Tahitian dancers to entertain your guests. Perhaps the dancers will even teach everyone how to hula.
Limbo is probably the most traditional luau party game. While you can use any lively music and a broom handle for a game of limbo, for a more authentic feel, spring for a luau party limbo game, complete with bamboo poles and limbo music.
All in all, knowing how to throw a luau party will make it fun for everyone – fun to decorate, fun to go to, and fun to remember.
To read more articles from this author, click here.