Nothing says summer like a luau party! As the weather heats up, you can transform your backyard, house, or neighborhood park into the ultimate luau. With the right decorations, food, and music, a perfect luau party is a snap to pull off. While you may not have time to roast a whole suckling pig or personally make every guest a grass skirt, you can find plenty of great luau party decorations and easy recipes right here in our list that will make party planning as fun as the party itself! Here are ten tips to make sure your luau party is absolutely perfect.
1. Don’t skimp on decorations.
The last thing you want is for your space to look under-decorated. While too many Christmas decorations in one place may make it look overstuffed, there is just about no thing as too much luau. Tikis, grass skirts, and coconuts should abound. Lining each table with a grass skirt is a great place to start. Fake tropical flowers can add life to glasses, tables, and walls. Tiki masks or totems are great for filling out tables or spicing up just about any area. If you want more decorations to fill out the space but are maxed out on luau-themed items, brightly colored balloons, lanterns, table clothes are all a great bet.
2. It’s all about the food.
If you want to spring for a caterer, you probably can get that suckling pig that is a staple of traditional Hawaiian luaus. If you want to save a few bucks and make the food yourself, a great place to start is the slow cooker. Making perfect, luau-ready pulled pork (which can be loaded onto buns for sandwiches or slid into lettuce wraps), is as easy as putting a roast and some Hawaiian barbecue sauce in the slow cooker. When working on your menu, keep these tenants in mind: pineapple, sweet barbecue, and bright colors.
3. Activities should be varied and plentiful.
In order to keep your guest happy, you already know that you want a couple of different activities available. But what games will keep with your Hawaiian theme? Just about anything can become appropriate for a luau party if you put a tiki twist on it, but there are games like limbo that are specific to the luau experience. A fun way to get everyone involved and showing off those dance moves is to have a hula dance lesson!
4. How about a tiki bar?
Complete with tikis to flank the bartender, have your bar doling out sweet, fruity drinks to go along with your expertly prepared meal. Don’t forget the umbrella garnishes and pink, yellow, and blue glasses, for a truly tiki experience.
5. Ready-made costumes are all the rage.
A great way to get everyone in the spirit of the party is to have costumes ready and waiting when they arrive. Grass skirts are just the foundation. Pile on the coconut bras, the leis, and the straw hats to really bring Hawaii to your space. Large flowers can be tucked behind the ear or worn around the wrist for even more color. If you are really enterprising, you can even have many different sizes of flip-flops waiting, so guests can trade out their “city shoes” for something a little more island.
6. Hawaii-specific music selections can set the scene.
What is Hawaii-specific music, you ask? Think back to those old surfer movies. The Beach Boys and Elvis are staples, as is that easy-going, hula music we all know so well. If you take a few minutes to poke around the internet, you’re sure to find a mix that will serve your party well, whether you’re going to be trying out the hula or just rocking out.
7. Pick the perfect location.
The perfect location for a luau party is the one that accommodates your guests and has plenty of room for all of the activities, dancing, and decorations that will make your party great. Outdoors is usually best, but if the weather is working against you, look for a place that can accommodate everyone.
8. Stay safe with flame, grass skirts, and bamboo.
Tiki torches and grilling can be dangerous when you’re wearing a grass skirt. Either hand the grill over to someone not in costume or find a floral-print apron that will still keep you in-theme, but is far less likely to catch on fire. Make sure that there are no flames within the reach of children or anywhere that someone could accidently catch a part of their costume on fire.
9. Lei on a party favor.
Party favors do not have to be just for kids’ parties. Luckily, for a luau party, you likely have already provided a great party favor—the costume! Grass skirts, leis, and even flip-flops are all inexpensive and great reminders of all the fun your guests had at your party! Set up a table at the entrance where your guests can pick up their favors and “lei” them on and then make sure everyone knows they are welcome to take their costume with them when the festivities are finally over.
10. Whether you choose to go classy or over the top, don’t forget to have fun!
It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of planning your party—but a luau is supposed to be relaxing and fun! Don’t spend too much time fretting. If you start to get overwhelmed, either dial pack your plans or enlist the help of a responsible friend. It doesn’t have to be complicated to be fun!
Shop now to make your luau party the one they talk about for years!
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