Hawaiian Luau Party Ideas to Create a Tropical Paradise

These Hawaiian Luau party ideas will help you decorate and plan for this themed party.  This theme is a lot of fun because guests usually enjoy dressing for this occasion.  And who does not like a tropical atmosphere?

Before the party, gather up island inspired music to play at your party.  You can borrow CDs from the library or stream from Pandora radio.  Look for genres such as steel drum music, calypso music, or artists such as Jimmy Buffett or Don Ho.

Hawaiian Luau Party Ideas #1

Island Inspired Invitations

The invitation sets the mood of the party, and lets guests know what to expect.  Include the starting and ending time, and do not be afraid to ask your guests to dress in a Hawaiian shirt and to bring their laid back, surfer attitude!

Hawaiian luau invitations

These invitations were created using a Cricut die-cutting machine and the "Life is a Beach" cutting cartridge.  This particular cartridge has so many beach and luau shapes to use!

Beach party invitations

Hawaiian Luau Party Ideas #2

Create an Island Look with Luau Decorations

There are many decorations you can purchase for this theme, just check out Oriental Trading or any local party store.  With this being such a popular theme, it is easy to find decorations.

There are two essential things that I do feel is worth buying for this party:  tiki torches and some fun party drink glasses.

Hawaiian luau guests

Tiki torches looks great placed around your yard.  If you are not having the party outside, place some lining the driveway or near the entrance of the party.  Another idea:  Greet your guests at the door and give them a warm Hawaiian welcome with a lei.  Then, take pictures of your guests between the tiki torches before they enter the party!

A luau and  fun island cocktails go hand in hand.  Even if you are just serving lemonade, let your guests escape to Margaritaville by serving the drinks in colorful glasses or coconut cups.  Need some party cocktail recipes?  Visit the link!

coconut cups

Here are some luau decorations you can make.  They are inexpensive, and fun to make!

cupcakeTiki Mentiki men

These tribal looking men look great sitting in groupings on any table or corner of the room.

To make them, cover any cylinders you may have with brown shipping paper.  I used a brown paper shopping bag and cut it open into one large piece.  I used coffee cans, oatmeal cans, etc.  Even if your cylinders are all one height, you can make the paper extend up different lengths.  Tape the paper in place, and them use a black marker or paint to add on some facial features.

cupcake Palm Trees

You can easily make palm trees out of paper too!  Take an  empty paper towel tube, or for a taller tree, use an empty wrapping paper tube.  This will be the trunk.

paper palm tree

For the leaves, cut out palm leaves from green construction paper.  Glue the ends of the palm fronds to the inside top of the tube, and allow them to fall freely from the top.  Secure the base by taping it to a cardboard base, or to the table itself.

cupcakeHawaiian Flowers

  Hanging big cardboard cut outs of Hawaiian flowers looks beautiful over any party area or party table.  You can also attach these flowers to the front door or the walls to instantly add some Hawaiian beauty.  

cupcakeTable Skirts

Easily transform any table used during the party into a table sized grass skirt! Cover the table first with a tablecloth to protect it.  Then, attach brown paper to the rim of the table, using strong packing tape to secure it.  Once the paper is in place, use scissors to cut thin strips from the bottom of the paper up near the top, leaving a few inches at the top uncut.  It takes some time, but you can’t beat the authentic Hawaiian look this instantly gives your table.

Hawaiian Luau Party Ideas #3

  Serve Island Themed Food

It is always authentic to have the food you serve match your theme!   Here are some ideas:

cupcakeRoast a pig

If you are hosting this party for a large amount of people, roasting a pig may be the way to go.  You can hire someone that will bring the barbecue to your house.  Be prepared for the cook to arrive early so they can slow roast the pig all day!

cupcakePulled Pork

 Alternatively, you can serve pulled pork sandwiches yourself using a crock pot recipe.  There are so many of them out there, but here’s a simple one that is delicious:

Cut up an onion and a few garlic cloves and place these in your crock pot.  Add some salt and pepper to these.  Purchase a pork shoulder (or pork butt) that will fit in your crock pot.  Season it with a barbecue rub and place it on top of the vegetables.  Fill the crock pot about 2/3 full of water, and add 1 Tablespoon of Liquid Smoke.  Allow this to cook on LOW for 8 to 12 hours, or until very tender and you can shred it with a fork. At this time, discard all the liquid, and separate and remove any bones.  Shred the meat with a fork.  Add barbecue sauce to the meat and combine.  Serve on sandwich buns.

cupcakeHawaiian Chicken Kabobs

  This recipe is so good! Marinate boneless, skinless chicken breast chunks in an equal mixture of honey and soy sauce.  Add a few tablespoons of minced garlic to the marinade, and allow the chicken to marinate 2 hours up to overnight in the refrigerator.  I like to make a little extra marinade that does not touch the chicken.  This will be used for brushing over the kabobs once they are cooked.

Soak wooden skewers in some water for an hour or so.  This will prevent the skewers from burning on the grill.  Cut up a pineapple, onion, and red pepper into chunks.  Discard the chicken marinade, and alternate threading on chicken, veggies, and pineapple on each skewer.  Grill each kabob over medium high heat until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.

cupcakeIsland Rice

Ordinary rice can be turned into a tropical side dish by adding some crushed pineapple, coconut milk, and a bit of soy sauce to it.  Try Basmati rice for a nice flavor.

cupcakeCoconut Shrimp

 This is a great appetizer, and you can get them ready before the party, and then coconut shrimpjust heat and serve.  Buy uncooked deveined and detailed shrimp.  Dip them in egg, then roll them in a mixture of Panko bread crumbs and flaked coconut.  Allow them to bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F, flipping them halfway through.  These are great with orange marmalade or honey mustard.

cupcakeTropical Trail Mix

  Most stores sell a tropical trail mix which includes dried pineapples, papayas, and mangoes.  It is delicious and looks pretty served in bowls around the party.  


  This is fun to serve on skewers, or serve on a large platter.  Remember to include pineapple!

fruit tray

cupcakeFlip Flop Cookies

  Nutter Butter cookies can be turned into adorable flip flops by piping on some frosting.  They are fun to serve on a platter, or on top of a Hawaiian Luau cake.

beach themed cake

Hawaiian Luau Party Ideas #4


Try the limbo!  You will need a stick and two people on either side to hold it.  Play some island music and have your guests walk under the stick.  They must lean backwards and not have their belly touch the stick as the stick.  Start with the stick up high, then lower it slightly after each guest has taken a turn.  Super fun to play and watch!

Do you have any Hawaiian Luau Party Ideas you would like to share? Please share your comments, photos, or tips!

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