Host a Tropical Luau Party
If you're stumped for a birthday party theme, think sand, sun, and island fun. This party is easy-to-throw and adaptable for many ages. Start with decorations: Coconuts, seashells, and tropical flowers (faux are just fine) will set the mood for luau-inspired party activities.
Party Invitations: Luau-Inspired
Hawaiian party invitations set the tone for an exciting afternoon. To make them, cut a skirt-shaped piece of yellow cardstock (about 5-1/2 inches long, 6 inches wide at the bottom, and 3-1/2 inches wide at the top). Print or write the party details on the front of the card. Using a glue gun, attach strips of green raffia to the card top. Glue two 3-1/2 inch-long strips of narrow ribbon at the card top to form a waistband. Embellish with a silk flower glued near the top corner.
Party Appetizer: Pineapple Salsa
Dunk a crispy chip in this fruity pineapple salsa, and you'll be transported to the tropics. It's the perfect party snack to keep kids going. If your child isn't crazy about onions or peppers, scale back on those ingredients.
Yield: 2 cups
Start to Finish: 25 mins
Party Food: Nutty Chicken Drumsticks
Disguise kid-approved chicken as a tropical feast with this party recipe. Chopped macadamia nuts and herb-seasoned stuffing mix create a flavorful and crispy crust for baked chicken. Kids will love dipping their drumsticks into a homemade honey-mustard sauce.
Makes: 8 servings
Prep: 25 mins
Bake: 45 mins
Party Drink: Hawaiian Lemonade
Kids love this fruity, bubbly drink and it only takes 15 minutes to prepare. Tropical glasses wrapped in flower bands and adorned with paper umbrella straws make this simple lemonade party-worthy.
Makes: 6 servings
Prep: 15 mins
Party Activity: Do the Hula
Get party guests moving and encourage them to hula. Hawaiian-style music will inspire even your most bashful guests to sway along. Best of all, there are no complicated dance steps. Provide grass skirts and leis for an authentic feel.
Party Favors: DIY Leis
Making paper leis is a great party activity that doubles as a party favor. To make, gather corrugated craft paper in bright colors. Using scissors, kids can cut their own flower shapes or cut them from a stencil or pattern you create. Hole-punch each flower in the center, then string onto yarn. Separate flowers with pieces of colored straws, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces. When the lei is complete, knot the yarn ends together and slip over the child's head.
Party Game: Limbo
Thanks to its island origin, the limbo is the perfect party game for your luau. It's also so easy to play. Let two people hold a bamboo stick (or broomstick), while each child tries to lean back and dip beneath it. After each round, lower the stick a little bit.
Party Snack: Fruit Pops
Freeze layers of fruit juice for a fresh birthday treat. This party recipe is easily customizable per the birthday boy or girl's tastes, and they can be made a week or two in advance.
Freeze: 3 hrs + overnight
Party Dessert: Island Cakes
Kids will flip for these "pineapple" party desserts, and you'll love how easy they are to make. Start with store-bought cream-filled snack cakes. Pipe chocolate icing in a criss-cross pattern over the cakes. Then add sliced almonds and rosemary sprigs to complete the treat transformation.
Makes: 8 servings
Prep: 25 mins
Chill: 4 hrs