Create a Hawaiian theme birthday party with a luau feel. Ideas for Hawaiian Luau themed party invitations, decorations, food, games, costumes and prizes.

Next time your child says they want to go to Hawaii for their birthday, you can make all their dreams come true by bringing Hawaii to your backyard.

Hawaiian Theme Invitation Ideas

  • Make up airline tickets for your guests with the destination showing as Hawaii. Obviously they will be flying out of your living room, so make sure the airport address is stated along with the departure time. A return ticket to reality will ensure you’re not left with a bunch of kids for the entire weekend.
  • Pick up some travel brochures from your local travel agent, or download some Hawaiian scenes off the internet and turn them into postcards. On the back write ‘Wish you were here to celebrate my birthday’, and add all the party details.
  • Make up a travel brochure for your Hawaiian Party Resort, detailing all the activities your guests can enjoy while visiting. These invitations are great to use if your guests are staying over and need to bring things like sleeping bags, pillows and toothbrushes!

Hawaiian Theme Decorations

You can really go overboard with a Hawaiian theme, and why shouldn’t you?

  • If you have sent your guests an airplane ticket as an invitation, you could start by creating a customs check-in point at your front door or gate. Make a scanning tube by removing the top and bottom of a large cardboard box and painting on lots of buttons and screens. Hang a customs sign above the door, and have everyone pass their present through the scanner to check for illegal items. If you want to go the whole way – scan everybody with a remote control before they’re allowed in.
  • To create a Hawaiian Beach Party scene, start by filling the room with tropical looking pot plants. If you can’t find any real ones, cut out palm trees from cardboard fridge boxes and place them around the room. If you’re having the party outside, staple them to the fence – both inside and out!
  • Buy a wheelbarrow’s worth of sand from a landscape supply store, and create a beach scene in one corner (make sure the sand is on a big tarpaulin, or better still, have the party outside). Add beach balls, beach towels, umbrellas, and boogie boards. Hang lanterns and lei all around the party area, and make sure the only chairs available are deck chairs or loungers.

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Hawaiian Theme Games and Activities

If your child has chosen a Hawaiian theme, it’s likely they are pre-teen or older, so the games and activities will have to be suitably ‘cool’. They have probably moved away from traditional party games, and prefer to take part in activities where they can all hang out together and just have fun. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • You can’t go to Hawaii without doing the hula, so turn on the music and have a hula competition. While you’re at it, bring out the broomstick and do the limbo.
  • Put a volleyball net (or piece of rope) across the back yard, and have a game of beach volleyball. Real beach volleyball is only two a side, but you can make the teams as big as you like, and set the rules to suit you.
  • Water fights are a big part of summer, and it’s always summer in Hawaii. Fill up a wheelbarrow with water balloons and let your guests go to it.
  • If your budget can allow it, hire a mechanical surfboard and let your guests test their skills. You may even have a few parents wanting to strut their stuff.

Some traditional party games with a Hawaiian twist include:

  • Bobbing for Sea Shells
  • Musical Chairs with beach towels for seats
  • Coconut Shy
  • A Treasure Hunt (Hawaii is an island after all)
  • Making a paper flower lei

Hawaiian Theme Party Food

A Hawaiian Luau is definitely full of fresh fruit and over-the-top drink decorations, so think paper umbrellas, twisty straws, and huge bowls of punch. Make tropical ice cubes by freezing hibiscus or nasturtium petals in the ice trays, and give the glasses a special twist by dipping the rims in lemon juice then sugar.

Other great fruit ideas are:

  • Scoop out a water melon and use the shell to serve fruit salad.
  • Make fruit kebabs and add marshmallows and pineapple lumps to make them extra sweet.
  • Slice up lots of different fruits and lay them on a platter with fresh yoghurt for dip.
  • Make frozen banana ice pops by threading bananas onto chopsticks and freezing them in a plastic bag overnight.
  • Cut oranges in half and scoop out the flesh to make miniature bowls. Make up orange flavoured jelly and pour it into the orange skins to set.

If you want to keep the food really simple, you could always serve Hawaiian Pizza and chips. For some great Pizza dough recipes, checkout ‘Pizzas‘ in our Party food section.

Hawaiian Theme Costumes

Get into the Hawaiian spirit by pulling on a Hawaiian shirt and a pair of board shirts, or hunt down a grass skirt and plastic lei from emporium type stores. If you want to do something a little bit different, you could always go as a tourist complete with a camera around your neck and a belt bag around your waist.

Hawaiian Theme Loot Bag and Prizes

Teenagers usually don’t expect a loot bag, but your pre-teens will still like the idea of taking something home. Great Hawaiian themed prizes could be sunglasses, blow up beach balls, cocktail umbrellas, pineapple lumps, or cheap beach towels. You could put all the goodies into a sand castle bucket with a return ticket home.


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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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Kiah Godfrey

This is amazing! I like this theme, I will be using this theme for my party! I found some really cheap hawaiian themed cups and other things I need for the party at the dollar store! Good job!

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