Idea No.


Luau Vacation Party - Hawaiian Decorations



Sept. 2000


Stephanie  in Deltona, FL United States

1st Runner-Up

Tropical Hawaiian Luau

Here are some great ideas and useful hints for a LUAU party that are fun, fast, thrifty, and simple.    Invite 6-14 girls to your LUAU.

For invitations, decorate red or orange pieces of paper to look like airplane tickets. Put a well-known airline logo and mascot in the corner of the "ticket". Then use stamps or stencils to make the lettering look professional, and write this down.   "Good for one round trip to Hawaii's famous (your name) Island. Good for 8 hour stay at Birthday Express Resort at (your address). Bring towel and swimsuit. Sunscreen will be provided. Thank you for choosing (your last name) Airways. Fly us again!". Inside the card, write down the party date and time. Send invitations out two weeks in advance. 

Keep party planning stress-free by being organized. You'll find peace and order in shopping lists, guest lists, to-do lists, expense lists, etc. It helps to have an outline of the party activities too, but be flexible. Play the games according to the party mood, and keep in mind some favorite games may be repeated over and over! Once it's all in writing, and your two-week LUAU prep schedule has been laid out, relax. Each day, accomplish a few tasks like buying streamers and balloons, or borrowing old Hawaiian records from the library. It becomes worry-free by slowly and calmly acquiring every LUAU party tool you need. Bargain hunting is a good idea too visit different stores and compare prices for the same or similar products you need to buy.

Here are the things you need for a LUAU party: A sandbox (a kiddie swimming pool with sand borrowed from the beach)and shovels, buckets, and sandcastle molds to go with it, enough for party guests to share; 3 dozen fake colorful flowers, tons of beads, and 2 rolls of wire; 3 white scallop shells and one paintbrush per guest, and acrylic paints; am accurate instructional manual or video on the Hula dance; sheets of green tissue paper, and one elastic band per guest; several 5 foot cardboard tubes and green construction paper; old Hawaiian records; balloons and streamers; a camera with loads of film.  The cost of everything above should not exceed $35.00 if you're shopping in the right stores.  

The day of the LUAU is here! Get up early in the morning and have your family join you in decorating. Cut out large palm leaves out of green construction paper and staple them to the cardboard tubes. Set up the "coconut trees" in various party rooms. String colorful streamers everywhere and keep about a dozen helium filled balloons in each party room. You can add another island touch by setting up a snack table with a tropical table cloth. Lay out trays of pineapple or avocado slices on the table, along with exotic fruity slushes made out of nothing but processed ice, pureed fruit, and fruit juice.

Have a pack of cards, a boardgame, or a video on to keep kids busy while waiting for all the guests to arrive, and introduce them to the buffet of frosted drinks, jam-filled cookies, and fruit tidbits.   When everyone reaches, ease into the celebrations with a sandcastle building contest. Pair off the kids and set up the sandbox into partial lots for each team. Give the kids molds, shovels, pails, and little toys and objects in which to decorate their royal sandy creations. Take pictures of each castle and it's builder, then of all the builders together. Award everyone a small prize, like a floral patterned bandana or a lollipop, for their work.   

Time for creative nourishment! Have the party-going girls gather around a table or sit on the porch and indulge in a festive craft! Give them each a wreath of wire the size of their head and another to go around their necks. Then supply fake flowers of plastic or cloth and interesting beads and let them loose to create! Give them fashionable hints and safety tips on how to make the perfect LUAU headpieces and leis, but it's their own genius that will turn the wire wreaths, flowers, and beads into works of art. Another photo op!   

Learning can be fun! Get out the Hula instructional piece and let the children soak it up! Play the important parts of the video over many times so the guests can really try to learn the dance, while having a ball and building memories at the same time! Then, have everyone staple the green tissue paper to a fitting elastic band and hula around in their grass skirts! Take lots of photos, even if your subjects don't know they're being caught on film! That's the best part…let them be themselves in the LUAU pictures and momentos!  

Then get the white scallops and paint stuff out. Set up a craft area covered with newspaper and give the girls free reign to paint the shells over in any way they want! Remember, lots of pictures! Messy fingers and hard-at-work happy girls are great photo subjects. When the painting is done, set the shells out to dry and clean up while the girls wander into the kitchen!  

There they find a delicious looking cake, the result of a box mix and tons of icing and imagination on your part! the cake can be cut and iced to be a palm tree, a flower, a pineapple, or any other LUAU themed shape. Let them scarf up the sweet treat and then mellow out to old Hawaiian records. They can have a dance contest among themselves or just sway to the music, try to sing along, or just talk. Soon their parents will arrive, as planned, and they'll return home with a full stomach and great memories! Send away the girls shells and jewelry as favors. Don't forget to mail all party guests copies of the developed party pictures as momentos!

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