That's right, people. We didn't come up with these luau party ideas sitting on our sofas in Pennsylvania.
Okay, we did, but it's true that one of us spends hours on the beaches of Maui every year. She's been to her share of luaus and thrown a few too.
But you don't have to be in Hawaii to enjoy a luau, although that would make it much better. Our luau party ideas will help get you as close as possible to the real deal.
By standard definition, a luau is an elaborate Hawaiian feast featuring traditional foods and entertainment.
By our definition, an adult luau party is a great way to try new things, celebrate a birthday, and have a blast with friends all at the same time.
Usually a luau is an outdoor party, but don't let that stop you from holding one inside if you want. An indoor luau party is a fun and festive way to beat the winter blues.
Decorations definitely play a big role in a luau. No need to import palm trees, but grass skirts around tables (and around your guests), tiki torches, colorful tableware, leis, and exotic flowers are absolute necessities! Check out our ideas for Hawaiian Decorations if you need some inspiration.
When you're sending out your invitations be sure to let your guests know that you'll be expecting them to come in full luau attire. Depending on your circle of friends and family, this could mean anything from bikinis and shorts, to muu muus, sundresses, and Hawaiian shirts.
If you want to wear what the locals wear, grab a pair of —wait for it ... Locals! They're a Hawaiian brand of flip flops. They come in a lot of colors and patterns. We get ours at Long's Pharmacy on Maui but you can find them online as well. They'd make great party favors for your guests.
We're sure you'll want to have some tropical drinks on hand at your luau, alcoholic, non-alcoholic or both. We have a collection of recipes for all the classics —Mai Tai, Blue Hawaiian, Blue Hawaii (yes, it's different), Lava Flow and a bunch of others, along with tropical punch recipes and recipes for some not so well-known mixed tropical drinks too.
As for the food, a luau is a feast so a having a full spread is a must. Browse through a selection of authentic (and simple) luau recipes we've collected and start getting your shopping list together.
And while we're on the subject of food, it's time to think about one of our favorite luau party ideas...dessert! In addition to the traditional banana and mango breads, get some inspiration from these photos of luau birthday cakes.
What an impressive finale to your luau, don't you think?