Luau Party / Beach Party Ideas

Summer or winter – it’s always a great time for a beach party!

Luaus are popular parties in the summer months when the weather beckons us outside, yet they’re also perfect for winter when you need a bit of summer to get you through! Whether your child likes hula and limbo or prefers sipping tropical smoothies, this is a great party for all seasons.

Beach Party

Check out our great party ideas to have a luau or beach party for your child’s birthday!

Luau Invitations

Unique invitations you can make for your luau or tropical beach party. Read through the great ideas below to find the one that's perfect for your party!

DIY paper invitations

All you need is to find an image you like, then add your party details and print it. You can either it print it as a square or rectangle shape, or cut it out so your invitation is the shape of  the image. Here are a few possibilities that may great beach party invitations:

  • Palm tree
  • Surfboard
  • Aloha Shirt

Postcards

These make super easy and unique invitations to your luau! Just get some Hawaii postcards, add your party details to the back, and mail them to party guests.

Airline Ticket Invitations

These are so easy to do! Use a rectangular piece of paper and add "airline" information:

Passenger: (Guest's name here)
Destination: (Party address here), just outside Waikiki (or paradise, or whatever you like)
Arrival: (Party date and start time)
Departure: (Party end time)
Flight number: 010496 (Child's birth date)

You will need text explaining that this is a luau or Hawaiian party, which you can put on the back.

Sample invitation text:
Aloha! Join us for a tropical luau celebrating the birthday of (child's name). There will be hula, limbo and pupus. Be sure to wear your island attire!

Message in a Bottle Invitations

Message in a Bottle invitationsThese Message in a Bottle invitations come with plastic bottles, sand, mini leis, invitations, and mailing labels. You fill them out and send them in the mail. They are unique invitations that guests will always remember.

Beach Party Decorations

Try these great luau decorations for your party:

  • Surfboards cut from cardboard and painted
  • Tropical Posters on the windows
  • Use Beach Towels (especially tropical print) as wall hangings
  • Table Skirts of cut garbage bags or raffia table skirts
  • Tiki Torches
  • Bowls filled with sand & shells as centerpieces
  • Serve crackers or chips in a straw beach hat
  • Make a 'Tiki Bar' or 'Snack Shack' --Use raffia to decorate an area of your house (this is great for a deck outside, or maybe your kitchen or a breakfast nook for an indoor party) to look like a grass hut. Make a 'Tiki Bar' or 'Snack Shack' sign. Serve fruit smoothies, or set out the snacks here.
  • Get a personalized luau banner. Celebrating a birthday? Have 'Hau'oli La Hanau' put on it (Hawaiian for Happy Birthday)

Ocean Scene

30' Blue Sky & Ocean Beach BackdropYou can decorate by adding this Blue Sky and Ocean Backdrop. You can get other add-on decorations to stick on it, too. Use it as a background for party photos, then send the photos to guests with the thank you note.

Luau Party Tableware

Bright Colors

Think bright and bold for your luau tableware. Mix it up a little - red plates, yellow napkins - all the colors of the flowers of Hawaii. And don't forget the drink umbrellas!

Tiki Cups

Plastic Tiki CupsThese plastic tiki cups are so cool! You can use them at the party, and send them home with party guests as a special souvenir after the party.

Palm Tree Cups

Palm Tree Shaped 22 oz. Plastic CupYes, there are a lot of great cups for a luau party! These adorable and easy-to-hold  Palm Tree cups come with a bendable straw.

Coconut Cups

Coconut Cup with StrawThese 10 ounce real coconut cups have a bendy straw and a tropical flower attached.

Luau Party Food & Snacks

Serve food fit for your King Kalakaua or Queen Liliukolani.

Pineapple

You can't have a luau without pineapple! Here's how to cut and serve a fresh pineapple:

  • Remove the top by twisting it until it pulls off
  • Cut the pineapple down the middle, starting at the top and slicing the long way down
  • Cut each pineapple half in half again, still the long way
  • The center or core area of the pineapple is tough. Cut out the center by slicing it off the long way
  • Cut slices into the pineapple by starting from what was the core and slicing down close to the rind
  • Start at an end of the pineapple and cut along the rind under the cuts you made
  • Serve the pineapple in the rind

Goldfish Crackers

Kids love these, and the fun fish shapes are a perfect fit for a luau or beach party.

Tropical Fruit Smoothies

Pick your favorite tropical fruit, mix in some fruit juice and ice, and blend until smooth

Fruit Kabobs

Put chunks of fruit on skewers - bananas, pineapple, whatever you like. Top them off with a maraschino cherry.

 

Luau and Beach Party Cakes

This great pool party birthday cake was sent in by Tracy S. in Florida. It has blue Jello in the pool, and has Teddy Grahams sitting in gummy Life Saver life rings.

pool party birthday cake

Luau and Beach Party Games and Activities

Lei Making

Cut flowers from colored paper. Use a paper punch to put holes in the center. Cut colored straws into 1 inch pieces. Let kids string the flowers and straws into a length of yarn.

Hula Hoop Contest

Make sure you have enough space! Give kids a hula hoop and let them test their skills.

Pineapple Bowling

Set up three pineapples and use a heavy ball - like a basketball or bowling ball - to knock them over. Or you can buy this island bowling kit that comes with ten plastic pineapple bowling pins and two plastic coconut balls.

Limbo

How low can you go? Set up a limbo set and see who's the most flexible.

Pin the Monkey on the Palm Tree

Try  a tropical variation on the classic party game.

Pass the Coconut

Play a game of hot potato using a coconut.

Decorate Coconuts

Give each guest a coconut and set out markers or paint, googly eyes, and other craft items. Let guests decorate their coconuts. You can take a group picture of all the kids with their coconuts, and send it in the thank you card.

Hula Dancing

Be a Hula Girl - Learn hula dancing DVDGet a hula dancing DVD. Play it for party guests and let them follow along.

Sand Castles

You need a kiddie sandbox and sand for this. Put some sand toys in the sandbox, add a little water, and let the kids build sandcastles.

Luau and Beach Party Favors

Leis

Multi Colored Flower Leis (25)Greet guests island-style with a Hawaiian lei! If you're planning to make paper flower leis as one of your activities, greet guests with a shell lei.

Beach Bucket and Shovel

Use beach buckets and shovels in place of goodie bags, putting smaller party favors inside of them.

Beach Balls

You can use inflatable beach balls for party games, or send them home in a goodie bag.

Sunglasses

Sunglasses are fun accessories at a beach party.

Grass Skirts

Hula Child Skirt SetYou can buy grass skirts or make them. Make grass skirts with green crepe paper tied to elastic, or by cutting the bottoms of drawstring garbage bags.