What is a Luau? In its simplest terms, it is a party, Hawaiian style. For generations, the luau has been a Hawaiian feast held in honor of important milestones and special occasions. The tastes, sounds and sights evoke a feeling of warmth, togetherness and appreciation for a culture unlike anything else.
When you want to create the perfect luau, you need good food, good decorations andgreat party games. These games are twists on traditional games already being played at parties and gatherings.
Thanks to the Polynesian Cultural Center for these great party game ideas:
- PASS THE COCONUT
Like the popular game of “hot potato,” but using a coconut, have everyone sit in a circle. Play Hawaiian music or strum an ukulele while participants pass a coconut around. Stop the music and whoever is holding the coconut is “out.” Continue until there is one person left.
- ʻULU MAIKA
Similar to lawn bowling, ʻulu maika is a traditional ancient Hawaiian game that requires concentration and coordination. Place two wooden or metal stakes in the ground, 6 inches apart and about 15 feet away from where the players are standing. The goal is to roll your stone smoothly between the two stakes.
- HULA HOOP ʻTIL YOU DROP
Line everyone up and see who can go the longest or do the most hoops in a timed contest. For an even more challenging competition, double or triple up hula-hoops on the final two participants.
- HAWAIIAN LIMBO
How low can your guests go? Using a broom or any long stick, have two people on opposite ends hold the stick up at various heights, starting from high and ending with low. Play your favorite Hawaiian music while participants try their luck at this back-bending classic.
- KUMU HULA SAYS…
Similar to “Simon Says,” pick someone to be the Kumu Hula, or hula teacher, to play the caller. They must say “Kumu Hula says…” followed by a hula move and directions. If they give directions without saying “Kumu Hula” says, anyone who does the move is eliminated. Play this until only one person is left and crowned the winner.
• Huli: rotate while swaying hips
• Hela: point right foot forward and sway to the left, then point left foot forward, and sway to the right
• Haʻa: stand with knees bent
• Ami: rotate hips counterclockwise without moving shoulders
• Imua: go forward
• Iluna: go up
• Ilalo: go down
• Ihope: go back
• Kaholo: two steps to the left, two steps to the right
• Lava: stop
- PINEAPPLE BOWLING
Set up five to ten pineapples “pins” about 15 – 20 feet away from each team. Take turns trying to knock down the most pineapples by using coconuts as bowling balls.
- ALOHA BINGO
Customize bingo cards with luau or beach-themed stickers, clip art or words. Use seashells to mark your card as each item is called out. The first person to get Bingo must yell “ALOHA!”.
- HULA SKIRT RELAY
Each team gets a full hula outfit including a grass skirt, coconut top and lei. One by one, each member has to put on the full outfit, run to a checkpoint and back, then pass the outfit on to the next player in line. Alternatively, you can also use beach clothes for a beach theme.
- SAND BUCKET TOSS
Using a sand shovel, dig ping pong balls out from the sand and toss them into a bucket 5 – 10 feet away. The person who fills their bucket up first is the winner.
- BANANA CHIP POKER
Set up a few poker tables around the area. Instead of regular poker chips and cards, use island-themed cards for playing and banana chips for betting.