Luau birthday party – Grass skirts, pineapples, and rock hula, oh my!

This picture mostly sums up the luau party we threw for L. 
Actually, I suppose this picture of the pool and them dancing the hula *really* sums it up but that’s not food.  After moving into a house with a pool, everyone was excited to have a swimming party.  What better way than to have a luau theme?  We even considered getting a pig for pig roast but were a little too late in our planning. Maybe next year! 

Anyway, for what we did do, we focused on “summer barbecue” food, and themed music, grass skirts, punch, etc.  Food included barbecue pork sandwiches, potato salad, chips, and other foods I’ve long since forgotten, oops.  Oh right, and fresh pineapple, mostly for use in the punch. 
Hawaiian punch, Sprite, chunks of frozen orange juice, fresh pineapple chunks, and ice. No measurements…just throw it all in. 
The gifts weren’t wrapped in wrapping paper, but instead, split up as much as possible and distributed among lots of little plastic bags with surf boards on them. 
And those grass skirts?  Those were actually from a second table runner that we cut to fit each kid.  They loved it.
There were other little things that really pulled the party together that you can’t necessarily see.  I caught a package of 100 plastic stir sticks for $.75 there were also a huge hit.  Simple, but the kids got creative and used multiple ones as chopsticks to get out the pineapple chunks in the punch. 
Playing hula music seems pretty basic, but then they got crazy with it.  They started shouting out variations, starting with “rock n roll style hula.”  Can you tell which is the camera hound? 
Tip – Don’t be afraid to serve food outside of just pizza, chips, cake, and ice cream. Even with picky eaters, so long as there’s a bit of variety, they’ll usually eat something. And parents expect kids to be loading up on cake and ice cream, so even if there’s a kid or two who doesn’t really like what’s served, it’s all good. We usually know most of the kids at the parties so can plan accordingly anyway, and usually have a few backups, just in case. Fortunately, the kids usually get excited to have different foods than what their parents cook. In this case, many had never had fresh pineapple at all and thought it was “so cool!” 
Tip – If you’re going to do homemade food, choose things you can make in advance so you’re not scrambling right before or during the party. 

Tip – For summer parties, having icy pops/freezies/small popsicles on hand can be a nice snacky item to have without costing a fortune or adding too much sugar. 


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