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Luau Birthday Party Ideas

Updated on April 28, 2015

Tropical Fun!

A luau can be a seriously fun way to celebrate a birthday. Bring on the floral shirts and roast yourself up some great barbecue! It's a birthday Hawaiian style!

Even if you see more concrete than ocean, you can still throw a luau birthday party that rocks.

You'll need a lot of ambiance and some fun guests to make it work.

If you really just want a fun gathering and don't want everyone to feel the need to bring birthday gifts, you can always state "no gifts" on the invitation and let them know their presence is gift enough!

Below you'll find some ideas to get your Luau started!

Note: Luau parties work for just about any occasion - anniversaries, graduation parties, or even a luau baby shower!

Flickr Intro Photo Credit: shawnogram

Start your Luau with a Fabulous Invitation!

Invite Photo Credit:
Invite Photo Credit:
Photo Credit - Steve Snodgrass
Photo Credit - Steve Snodgrass

Tropical Decor

Turn your eyes to the décor and plan for tiki torches, lots of faux palm fronds, and coconuts. You can find everything, in its plastic version, at a party shop or online.

You can find grass skirts, drinking cups that look like coconuts and lots of wall décor.

If you're having it outside, plan to have lots of candles or lanterns to set the mood.

Tropical flowers include Hibiscus, Orchid, Anthurium and Ginger Varieties. You can use silk flower Leis to decorate almost anything!

Flickr Photo Credit: Olando7
Flickr Photo Credit: Olando7

Set the Mood with Music

You'll also want music to set the right tone.

Shop for some CDs online that feature luau music. You may go with Hawaiian music or just opt for tropical feeling music. You can also mix it in with favorites from the oldies or new tunes, too.

Just be sure you have a sound system that's adequate so that people can hear the music but it's not so loud that you can't hear over it.

For a little extra fun rent a Karaoke system!

Flickr Photo Credit - BenjaminThompson
Flickr Photo Credit - BenjaminThompson

Luau Party Drinks

For a luau party, you can offer lots of tropical drinks and mixers, or to make things easier offer just a signature drink! Signature drinks can be made up in bulk so they're always ready!

Have pitchers of Margaritas or Piña Coladas next to a variety of fun glasses and any add-ons like cherries, lime and lemon slices - don't forget the drink umbrella!

You will also want to provide a non-alcoholic punch and bottles of water.

Here are a couple recipes to get you started!

Easy Non-alcoholic Luau Punch (Serves 15-20)

1.5 Quarts Orange Juice

1 Quart Pineapple Juice

1 Liter Lemon-Lime Soda

4 oz Grenadine

Sliced fruit of your choice (Frozen fruit keeps the punch chilled and doesn't water it down).

Chill the liquid ingredients ahead of time. Combine the liquid ingredients in large bowl, garnish with sliced fruit.

Blue Hawaii (makes 1 drink)

3/4 ounce Light Rum

3/4 ounce Vodka

1/2 ounce Blue Curacao

3 ounces unsweetened Pineapple Juice

1 ounce Sweet and Sour Mix with ice.

Mix ingredients in a cocktail shaker (or stir) before pouring the drink into a hurricane glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and an orange slice.

Photo Credit - Steve Snodgrass
Photo Credit - Steve Snodgrass

Luau Party Foods

Offer finger foods reminiscent of the islands.

You can even find whole party trays at warehouse clubs like Sam's and BJs featuring egg rolls, crab Rangoon, and other tasty treats. Buy as much as you can pre-made so you have less to do.

Place snack baskets on tables so people can snack while they mingle.

Consider setting up an outdoor barbecue pit. If you can, rig up a rotisserie so you can roast a whole pig. You may even be able to find a caterer or rental place that will set it up for you.

That can be the centerpiece of your whole party. And it's not as hard as it may seem. Ask your butcher how much a whole pig would cost and how long it takes to cook and go from there. He will have great suggestions for you on how to roast it outdoors over open coals.

Dress up your finger foods with Hibiscus Picks!

Add a tropical touch to your finger foods! Silk hibiscus picks are the perfect finishing touch for your appetizers and desserts. It adds a little something extra to catch their eye! Assorted flower picks come 144 per package in a variety of colors and measure 6" tall and 2" wide.

Luau Party Poll

Photo Credit - iStockPhoto
Photo Credit - iStockPhoto

Would you have a Luau Party?

See results

Luau Cake Inspiration

Flickr Photo Credit - kimberlykv
Flickr Photo Credit - kimberlykv

Cake with a Tropical Twist

When it comes to the cake, try a pineapple upside down cake to keep the tropical theme going. Or have a bakery decorate a Hawaiian style cake with leaves and sunset colors and foliage for you. It will make a great impact.

You can also offer cupcakes decorated with coconut as an extra treat. And don't forget to serve Hawaiian Kona coffee, too!

Check out for a great Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe

Flickr Photo Credit -
Flickr Photo Credit -

Dress to Impress

As long as you are in a good mood and set up the décor in a festive way, you'll all have fun. Just suggesting a theme of the tropics is enough to get people in the mood to party!

But do ask everyone to come in floral Hawaiian shirts or surf garb if they can. That will really add to the fun.

For those who do not own any tropical wear, you can supply flower leis, novelty sun glasses and grass skirts to add some tropical flair to any outfit!

Don't forget to set up a photo booth or designate someone to take pictures so you'll have the memories forever!

Flower Leis and Grass Skirts for Everyone! - Even one that lights up!

Fabulous Favors

Flickr Photo Credit: Steve Snodgrass
Flickr Photo Credit: Steve Snodgrass

A fun trend in parties is sending your guests home with a little memento! Personalized favors add a nice touch, or put the favor in a favor bag with a personalized hang tag attached thanking them for sharing in your day.

Some great luau theme favor ideas shown below are Personalized Strawberry Daiquiri Mix Favors, Hibiscus Lip Balm and Personalized Sunscreen Favors. Find these and more at Wedding Favors Unlimited

Flickr Photo Credit - Jacob & Kiki Hantla
Flickr Photo Credit - Jacob & Kiki Hantla

Fun for all

Don't forget to have a limbo contest. Bring in a pole of fake bamboo or use an old broom stick. No one will mind. Get into the spirit of the party and surprise the birthday girl or guy.

You might have a male or female hula dancer come in for a little live show. Maybe you can even get them to teach hula steps to the guests.

If your party is outdoors, just standard lawn games can be a bunch of fun too - Volleyball, Beanbag Toss, Ladder Ball, etc. These are self-starting games that children can also enjoy.

If you are inviting families with children, a couple more things you can do is have someone do face painting for the kids (flowers, surf boards, etc.) and buy a dozen or so hula hoops for non-stop fun!

Immerse yourself in the laid back appeal of the tropics and your luau themed birthday party will be fantastic!

How does a Luau Party sound to you? - Stop by and say "Hi"!

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    • norma-holt profile image


      5 years ago

      A new blessing on this lovely lens and may you have a wonderful, successful and happy 2013. Hugs

    • lynnasafriend profile image


      6 years ago

      It sounds kind of difficult living in colder climates, but maybe thats just what we need LOL

    • themeaparty profile image


      6 years ago

      Aloha! Love the invitation ideas and cake

    • thememorybooksh1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Very attractive Lens,

    • randomthings lm profile image

      randomthings lm 

      6 years ago

      Sounds like fun. LOVE the colors!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      My niece had a luau for her birthday and it wwas so much fun.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Sounds like a lot of fun! I think I'm going to try this! Blessed!

    • CCTVwebmaster profile image


      6 years ago

      Sounds like a great idea for a party!

    • UKGhostwriter profile image


      6 years ago

      Greats party ideas!!

    • Sara Krentz profile image

      Sara Krentz 

      6 years ago from USA

      My boss used to throw a luau every year - complete with Polynesian dancers, a floating island out in her pond and a hula hoop contest - it was a lot of fun.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Fantastic lens and presentation. Makes me want to have a luau now! ~blessed~

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      So many great ideas here to help a Luau be successful. Just love your use of color! Congratulations on your well deserved purple star! Angle blessed!

    • nicks44 profile image


      6 years ago

      Hello :)

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 

      6 years ago

      When I was in Hawaii I participated at a Luau Party organised by our guide. It was great.

    • Craftypicks profile image

      Lori Green 

      6 years ago from Las Vegas

      I have been to them and they are a lot of fun. Loved seeing my husband in a grass skirt.

    • julescorriere profile image

      Jules Corriere 

      6 years ago from Jonesborough TN

      So many great ideas. Thsi is such a colorful, fun and useful lens! Congratulations on yoru well deserved purple star. Blessed.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      A Luau party sounds great to me and you have all the makings for success and luau fun for everyone...Iove your use of color, perfect in algae, it all says Virtual Jenga fun!

    • MerandaJade profile image


      6 years ago

      I ahven't thrown a luau party yet, but it sounds like a lot of fun!

    • Nanciajohnson profile image

      Nancy Johnson 

      6 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      Great ideas for when I throw a Luau Party at work.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      6 years ago

      What a colorful and fun lens! I felt like I was at a Luau party just going through the lens. Lovely job :)

    • norma-holt profile image


      6 years ago

      Beautiful page and great celebration lens. Featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 201202. Hugs

    • DecoratingEvents profile image


      6 years ago

      I love a luau! Great ideas, thanks for sharing!

    • bechand profile image


      6 years ago

      Gonna link this page to my Hawaiian Fruit Platter Lens :O) lots of good stuff here :O)

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      6 years ago from Canada

      If I were having a birthday party for myself, I would choose a Luau. Great job.

    • KateHonebrink profile image


      6 years ago

      Ooooh!! So many pretty things to look at, touch and taste! Yummy!!! Great job on this article!!

    • lesliesinclair profile image


      6 years ago

      It sounds festive. You've presented a good case for throwing one of these parties.

    • kimmer1491 profile image


      6 years ago from Big Lake, MN

      LOVE THIS! I'd definitely do a luau party - plastic leis are a must - great suggestions!

    • squid-janices7 profile image


      6 years ago

      So many cute ideas. I LOVE the cakes and the invitations. And the luau theme is fun for many things besides birthdays like pool parties and baby showers. Great topic!

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image


      6 years ago

      This looks like so much fun! I would totally throw a luau party, it'd be perfect in the summer for a backyard party - scattered with tiki torches and all those yummy tropical drinks :)


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