When you host a luau, the main themes are summer, beach, Hawaii and water, so anything that you can pull in with those themes in mind will be winners! Fill a kiddie pool with sand and stand up a blow-up palm tree, if you don’t have real ones in your yard. Sand toys will attract little ones to this area. Be aware that the sand will attract neighborhood cats, so either fill the pool that morning, or keep it covered at night! Brightly-colored or printed vinyl tablecloths will lend some tropical color to your party while keeping your tables safe from spills. If you want, hang green crepe streamers in strips around the edges of the tables, like a grass skirt. Scatter a few pineapples and coconuts on the table for visual appeal now and dessert appeal toward the end of the party. Seashells, mermaids, fish, flip-flops and flowers are more typical luau-themed motifs that you could use in your decor. Don’t forget tiki torches!
If you’re serving a meal, pork and veggie kabobs served over sliced pineapples and rice could be a hit. Fruit salad is something that most kids will eat, and it goes nicely with the theme. Buy thin pretzel sticks and challenge the kids to use cream cheese or peanut butter as “glue” to make tiki huts, or add strips of celery (use a vegetable peeler to get thin strips) and let them make pretzel-and-celery palm trees. Colorful goldfish and a pig-shaped cake (don’t forget to stick an apple in his mouth!) are more kid-friendly ideas. Serve macaroons or other coconut-inspired snacks, and don’t forget to serve punch in tall cocktail glasses! Try mixing half a bottle of lemon-lime soda with half a bottle of fruit punch, then adding several scoops of raspberry or orange sherbet just before serving.
If the party is for your daughter and she’s invited mostly (or only) girls, give them each a grass skirt and a lei, and host a hula dance. Let them wiggle their hips to music, or give them hula hoops to practice with. If you have a pool, try to pick up a few snorkel masks for the kids to use; if you can’t find these, give them each a pair of goggles so they can see under the water, and let them “dive” for treasure: seashells, glass stones and any other small, shiny items that you can think of that will sink to the bottom of the pool. If the kids start getting restless, a run through the sprinkler or a quiet activity like painting seashells or making sand art should revive them.
A luau party is fun for kids, and as long as you have sun and warm temperatures, it’s easy enough to pull together. Do you have any luau-theme ideas to share?