Tropical Luau Party

Luau Party -1yr- Aloha Chicken Wings




Cara in Whitinsville, Machusetts


July 2001


Special Mention

My daughter's first birthday was July 20th.  The theme was a luau.  We have a in-ground swimming pool and a large backyard so we wanted it outdoors. 

First I made the invitation by taking a color photo of Sophia in a Hawaiian style dress sitting in the sandbox that was draped in front with a hula skirt.  I had fake palm leaves stuck in the sand behind her.  I made up a poem describing that the party was a luau and that there would be a best-dressed contest and limbo contest and instructed people to bring swimsuits and towels.  I arranged the poem, photo and palm tree stickers on a paper and color-copied the invitations.  I got rave reviews immediately as the RSVPs came in. 

I bought tiki cups at the party store, enough for everyone. We had a Hula-la bar with a variety of frozen drinks.  I also made a menu sign for the bar.  I looked up everyone's name on a Hawaiian web site and it translated their names into Hawaiian names for me.  Instead of name tags (because I knew people would be going swimming) I made a big sign that said "Aloha my name is" and included everyone's name and it's Hawaiian translation.  Everyone got a big kick from finding their name. 

For decorations I hung a large plastic tiki on the gate leading to the backyard.  An aloha sign was also hung there.  I hid a portable CD player in the shrub and had Hawaiian music playing (Barnes and Noble's web site).  Once inside the gate I had a table set up with baskets of leis for everyone, flower bracelets for all the ladies and shell necklaces for all the men.  I also had a small pail and shovel filled with squirting fish tub toys, mini bubbles and kid sunglasses for all the kids. 

We had a hula girl pinata and the kids used their pails to put their goodies in from the pinata.  Each kid got a few turns at hitting the pinata before it finally broke open.  We had a limbo contest and the prize was a pineapple, a coconut and macadamia nuts all in a basket.  I awarded a prize to the best-luau-dressed child (a beach scene felt board) and the best-luau-dressed adult (a glass pineapple Christmas ornament). 

Other decorations included balloon clusters tied to pineapples for centerpieces on the eating tables, a tissue paper banana and a tissue paper pineapple.  The tables were all covered in different colored plastic tablecloths. 

The food was all luau-inspired.  I found great recipes on-line (Dole.com) for Aloha chicken wings, Polynesian pork, Pineapple and Ham rice, Triple pineapple glazed chicken, Hawaiian style spareribs, Warm chicken salad with pineapple and hotdogs for the kids.  The food all worked out great because most of it had to be marinated which I did the night before and then simply grilled right before eating. 

I made my own birthday cake.  I baked 2 13x9-inch cakes and frosted them as one cake.  I drew a brown (chocolate frosting) volcano (erupting) in the blue water (colored white frosting), I used brown sugar to simulate sand and drew a palm tree.  I used green-colored coconut for the palm leaves and 3 brown M 'n M's for the tree's coconuts.  I also wrote Happy Birthday in Hawaiian on the cake. 

I even decorated the bathroom with fish-embroidered hand towels and seashell soaps.  Everyone had a super time and we'll have great memories of our baby's first birthday forever.  I look forward to making the Thank You's from all the great photos.  This has been a big year for Hawaiian merchandise so Sophia got some Hawaiian-styled gifts, too.  For example, pj's with hula girls on them and a tote bag with palm trees it.

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