Turning 16 is a big deal, so you’ll want to throw a birthday party for your teen that’s special and memorable. Hawaiians like to celebrate milestone occasions like birthdays with luau parties. If you opt with this choice as well, guests can enjoy a laid-back atmosphere as well as a fun ambiance. From the unique invitations to the tropical decorations and eats, the event will be one that your teen — and her friends — won’t forget.
A luau birthday party invitation should spark the guests’ interests and lets them know what to expect. Make your own invitations by cutting sturdy paper into beach balls, palm trees, hula skirts or flip flops and writing the party facts on the back. For a surprising touch, write the party details on a real pair of flip flops and invite guests to wear them to the luau. Include hints for dress on the invitation so apprehensive teens will know what to wear. For example, you might say, “Wear your favorite flowered sarong or brightly colored shirt and shorts.”
Tropical decorations and touches will make partygoers feel like they’re being transported to a Hawaiian island. Give all the guests a flower lei as soon as they enter the party to instantly set the mood. Décor should be fun, yet sophisticated enough for a teenage crowd. String colored lights, lanterns and tiki torches around the area. Place grass skirts around tables and use coconuts, pineapples and seashells as centerpieces. Inflatable palm trees can add a whimsical touch. Hang a bunch of yellow, orange and green balloons in a prominent place and write “Happy Birthday” and “Sweet 16” on them.
You don’t need to roast a pig in the backyard to capture the unique fare of the Hawaiian Islands. Teenagers typically like finger foods, so teriyaki chicken skewers, coconut shrimp and chips and pineapple salsa fit the bill. If you’d rather not cook, order some Hawaiian pizza from a local restaurant. Set up a tiki bar for beverages like mango juice and Hawaiian punch. Top off drinks with paper umbrellas and slices of pineapple. Buckets of peanuts with plastic shovels keep the beach theme alive. Cupcakes decorated with colorful flowers and a rainbow of tropical fruits will top off the menu.
Let the Good Times Roll
Include games and activities with a Hawaiian twist in the party planning. Supply lots of large, colored plastic hoops and challenge the guests to see who the best “hula-er” is, keeping the hoop going for the longest amount of time. Toss beach balls around the space and you’re bound to see some impromptu volleyball games. A 4- or 6-foot straight bamboo stick and a recording of the “Limbo Rock” is all you need to get the teens on their feet and competing to see “how low they can go.” Of course, teenagers will eventually want to turn off the “Limbo Rock” and put on their favorite tunes for some dance time.
To create a photo booth that’s likely to be the hit of the night, all you need is an ocean backdrop, a box of props and a camera. Include colorful leis, silk flowers, headbands, necklaces, straw hats and Hawaiian shirts. Enlist a friend to take pictures. The guest of honor can make a photo album of the pictures and include one photo in each thank-you note she sends to friends and family.