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Throw a Local Luau!

Coming up with party theme ideas for older kids can be difficult. Gone are the days of classic party games and cartoon character favor bags. This Tiki Party could be adapted for kids of any age - from elementary to a high school graduation party!


The location of a party is so important! I prefer hosting parties at home because then I don’t have to drag around food, party supplies, gifts, etc., plus rush within a small timeframe to set up and take out all the party supplies. With a Tiki Party, though, you may want to consider hosting this party at a swimming pool, at a home with a hot tub or maybe even at the beach. You don’t need a pool to go with this party theme, but it’s an activity that doesn’t require a lot of planning and is enjoyed by all ages. This is also a fun party theme to use for a relaxed back yard summer party.


A Tiki Party is a bright and cheerful event, so you’ll want to use bright and cheerful colors! Think neons, yellow, pink… anything bright! At your local party store, you can look for a Tiki Bar sign, Hawaiian Tikis, paper grass table skirts, paper plates with Hawaiian floral patterns, etc. Pineapples and coconuts are really easy party décor for this theme.

The easiest way to add some patterns to the back of your party table is to cover foam poster boards with Hawaiian-themed wrapping paper. You can use leis to build your own wreath to hang behind the party table or you can set out leis for the guests to wear once they arrive to the party. Coconut bowls can be used to hold candy, and paper lanterns are an easy way to add color to your party table. 


Appetizers work great for this party theme. Some simple ideas include:

  • Meatballs with paper Tiki cupcake picks

  • Meat and vegetable kabobs

  • Pulled pork sliders (you can make the pulled pork the day before in your slow cooker)

  • Pulled pork nachos (with the pulled pork already made the day before, you can bake these nachos in your barbeque)

  • Grilled pineapple topped with vanilla ice cream and toasted coconut

  • Sliced tropical fruit

  • Mini coconut cupcakes (I used surfboard cupcake picks on these mini cupcakes)

  • Shaved ice with flavored syrups


If you’re hosting the party at a pool, your activity planning is pretty much taken care of. Depending on the ages of the guests, though, you may need to ask parents to come along to monitor their own children in the pool. Safety first!

Some other fun activity ideas for this theme include:

Hawaiian Lei craft - With necklace strings and flowers (either real or not), your guests can make their own Hawaiian Lei to wear and take home as a party favor.

Hawaiian dance contest - Including the Hawaiian limbo or hula dancing with grass skirts.

Mocktail bar - For the older kids, you can create some mocktail menus with soda, drink syrups, candies, juice and more, and let guests be their own mocktail bartender. You could also have an ice crusher for making frozen drinks complete with little drink umbrellas and sliced pineapple for a garnish. With a little google searching, you’ll find plenty of mocktail recipe inspiration. You’ll find some fun plastic mocktail glasses at your local party store.

For the older guests - You could have some Tiki torches lit up at night with a seating area for guests to lounge and chat.

I hope your summer party season is off to a great start!

Cheryl is a married mother of one. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with a strong interest in parties and event planning. She is the owner and writer for Moms & Munchkins (, which is filled with ideas for family fun, activities for kids, party ideas, party planning tips, holiday fun, moms’ night out ideas and more.

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