Idea No.


Luau 10yr - Crabs in the Fishnet



February 2002


Susan in Gray,TN, USA

Special Mention

Tropical Hawaiian Luau

For my daughter's 10th birthday, we hosted an indoor luau with 19 in attendance (her birthday is in February).  As guests arrived, they received a nametag with their Hawaiian name ( and a lei.  Using a digital camera, they then had their picture made with the birthday girl.  For those who didn't have their own, we had grass skirts for the girls and beachcomber hats for the boys.  The backdrop for the pictures was a white wall decorated with a fishnet and a large artificial tree.  Honeycomb fish, flowers, and crabs hung from the fishnet.  As guests continued to arrive, they participated in a hula hoop contest.  The standing champion received a seashell necklace as her prize.  We then lined them up for a limbo contest and a race of sweep the beachball around the coconut (but don't knock it over).  Snacks and cake were served next.  Our tables were decorated in alternating colored cloths of lime green and royal blue.  Centered on each table were tissue pineapples on a seashell plate with other artificial fruit.   Out from each blue plate were seashells and flowers.  The refreshment table and gift table were decorated with Hawaiian umbrellas, bamboo candles, tabletop tiki torches, and maracas.  For refreshments, we served cocktail sausages on party picks with cheese and pineapples.  We made Jell-O fish and flowers from an ice cube mold.  We had a snack mix of pretzels, M & M's, and goldfish.  All of the food was served on royal blue fish shaped platters.  My daughter requested a vegetable tray and dip which was served on a seashell platter.  Cupcakes decorated as flowers served a dual purpose as they were strategically placed around  a tiki torch for added color.  The punch was Hawaiian punch, Ginger Ale, and pineapple juice ice cubes (from the same molds) in a seashell punch bowl.  We garnished the punch glasses with pineapple and mandarin oranges on an umbrella.  She wanted a cookie cake so we had it decorated with a palm tree/beach scene.  The ice-cream was shaped into a volcano with chocolate and cherry syrup drizzled down it.  Other decorations included a sun and colorful balls hanging from the ceiling with streamers in yellow and blue.  We bought a 24ft raffia fringe and cut it apart to make three curtains and used another piece to hang over the entrance.  We had enough extra to go around the two bongo drums that sat at the entrance.  We also hung an aloha banner and a paper mache' fish.  In one corner we laid beach towels under a beach umbrella and placed sand buckets, shovels, glasses, and a beach ball around it. It was all very colorful and fun.  We even turned up the heat for an added tropical effect.  For additional party favors, we wrapped up a variety of fruit candy in saran wrap and attached a hibiscus fan with ribbon. As a thank you note, each girl received a picture of herself and the birthday girl decorated on the computer to complement the event.  Some tips for a successful party (they worked for us): 1)Enlist help - a close relative was instrumental in helping decorate and cleanup; a close friend came and took all the pictures of the individual girls and printed them, too 2)Plan ahead - this party has been in the works since the first of the year:  checking out websites, ordering supplies, visiting stores, and preplanning the decorations.  Oriental Trading is a great place to start.  The day of the party was not as hectic since part of the food had already been prepared. 3)Include as a pre-party gift an extra special outfit for the birthday girl with all the trimmings (shoes, hairpieces, and  a special shirt to go with her raffia skirt).  Have fun!  We had as much fun planning and decorating as all the girls did at the party.

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