How to Plan a Hawaiian Luau Birthday Party for Kids

Hau`oli la Hanau! That means happy birthday in Hawaiian. A luau is the perfect theme for a child's birthday, with plenty of fun options when it comes to decorations, games and food. Below are some ideas for hosting your own Hawaiian luau party. So put on your grass skirt and get ready.


  1. Image titled Plan a Hawaiian Luau Birthday Party for Kids Step 1
    Make the invitations. Set the mood for a tropical celebration with festive invitations. They could be in the shape of surf boards, palm trees, or hibiscus flowers.
    • If you want to get really creative, you could fill glass or plastic bottles with a small amount of sand, then write the party details on a slip of paper, roll it up and secure with a piece of string. Slide the message into the bottle while keeping one end of the string on the outside so the invite is easy to remove. It's a message in a bottle!
  2. Image titled Plan a Hawaiian Luau Birthday Party for Kids Step 2
    Choose your decorations. You local party store should have plenty of Hawaiian-style options to choose from, or you can make decorations yourself. The look is up to you!
    • If hosting outside, tiki torches or candles can be a fun addition (when carefully supervised, of course). If you have a swimming pool add plastic tropical fish. If you don't have a pool, you could set up an inflatable pool or a sprinkler with a slippery slide.
    • Add tropical greenery. Hang garlands of brightly colored fake flowers and set up palm trees.
    • Use plenty of bright colors for streamers, tablecloths, napkins, plates and cups. Blues and greens will create a lagoon-like feel.
    • Hang a fishing net and decorate with sea shells. If you have a sandbox, you could build a sandcastle.
    • Hang up pictures or posters of tropical beach scenes. If you have a large one, guests could have their photo taken in front of it for a snapshot in paradise.
  3. Image titled Plan a Hawaiian Luau Birthday Party for Kids Step 3
    Provide costumes. Give each party-goer a grass skirt and a lei (flowered necklace). It will help put everybody in the luau spirit.
  4. Image titled Plan a Hawaiian Luau Birthday Party for Kids Step 4
    Prepare Hawaiian-style food. It doesn't have to be totally authentic, but think fruity and tropical paired with snacks that kids enjoy.
    • Prepare a fruity punch with plenty of fresh fruit floating in the bowl. Drinks could even be served in coconut cups.
    • If you're feeling really ambitious (and expecting plenty of guests) you could roast an entire suckling pig. For smaller crowds, bake a ham with pineapple rings. To go super simple, make kebabs with pieces of ham and chunks of pineapple.
    • For picky eaters, opt for a Hawaiian pizza.
    • Platters of fresh fruit are a great alternative to sweets or candy.
    • For the birthday cake, decorate it to look like a beach scene. Tint the icing blue on one part for the ocean and add a sprinkle of brown sugar for sand. A hula dancer figurine could be added, or even a shark in the water.
  5. Image titled Plan a Hawaiian Luau Birthday Party for Kids Step 5
    Play Hawaiian-themed games. This can be as simple as adding a tropical twist to regular party games.
    • Set up coconut bowling where the kids roll a coconut toward plastic bowling pins. Since coconuts won't roll straight, laughter is sure to follow.
    • A limbo contest. Whoever can bend backward under the lowest limbo stick wins.
    • A hula-hooping contest to see who can keep it spinning the longest.
    • The Spam toss. Here, the beloved-in-Hawaii canned meat is tossed back and forth between teams of two. Whoever can toss the greatest distance and still catch it wins.
    • Animal imitation challenge. Prepare two bowls, one filled with slips of paper with animal names, the other with names of the guests. A slip is pulled from each bowl and the guest has to imitate the chosen animal. They might have to squeak like a dolphin or roar like a lion.
    • Create tiki masks. Print out outlines of tiki masks, or buy blank masks at the store. Have the kids decorate their own tiki mask to wear.


  • To save money, you can make homemade grass skirts: How to Make a Hawaiian Grass Skirt out of Party Streamers
  • Set the mood with Hawaiian music, or invite a friend that knows how to play the ukulele.
  • Put together a list of Hawaiian phrases for guests to practice, such as Hau`oli la Hanau (pronounced how-oh-lay la ha-now). Remember? It means happy birthday!
  • Once guests have donned their grass skirts, give everyone a quick hula lesson.


  • Always supervise children playing around water, especially swimming pools.
  • Do not leave tiki torches or candles burning unattended. Do not leave them in reach of children.
  • Supervise children at all times.

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Categories: Birthdays | Parties for Children