If you’re trying to find a fun but easy theme for your next get-together, look no further than the Pacific islands for inspiration. Here are some ideas to get you started in planning the perfect tropical Hawaiian soiree.
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Send Themed Invitations
Whether you opt to blast out an e-vite or drop traditional paper invitations in the mail, the design you select will give your guests the first taste of what to expect at your shindig. If your invites feature images like palm trees, hula dancers, or ocean waves, everyone will know that an evening of tropical delights is in store. Be sure to include any special instructions, like whether guests should dress in Hawaiian garb or bring their own towels if a jump in the pool will be an option.
Plan Your Libations
Picking a signature drink for your party is a fun way to stick with the theme while minimizing the number of bar supplies you’ll need to have on hand. For your island-style gathering, consider offering Blue Curacao cocktails that lean tropical in their ingredients. You might find that a drink like a Blue Hawaiian might is a perfect choice; the coconut syrup and pineapple juice featured in these tropical treats are sure to put your guests in an island state of mind.
Determine the Menu
The great thing about a tropical party is that you can prepare foods that are as simple or as elaborate as you choose. Set out sliced tropical fruits for your guests to nosh on as they arrive, or put together a fresh mango salsa for dipping. For your main course, everything from Hawaiian pizza to grilled seafood fits with the theme; even burgers topped with pineapple slices will do the trick. When it comes to dessert, pineapple upside-down cake is a good option, but even purchased cupcakes with added paper umbrella decorations would be appropriate.
When people think of Hawaii they picture lush landscapes, so the more greenery and bright tropical flowers you can feature, the better. Set out candles scented with plumeria or coconut to infuse the air with the aromas of the tropics, and light tiki torches to create the ideal mood lighting. Use dishware or table linens that feature Hawaiian prints or beach images to complete the look.
Set the Mood
As your guests arrive, greet them with real or artificial leis and offer over-ear flowers to the ladies. Dial up a station on your streaming service that features Polynesian tunes, and run classic movies like Elvis’s “Blue Hawaii” or the surf documentary “The Endless Summer” on your video screens. If the wind is still or your party is indoors, consider placing a few electric fans around your venue to simulate gentle, tropical breezes.
While it’s a great idea to hire fire dancers to entertain your guests, you needn’t go to that much trouble to ensure that everyone has a good time. Holding a hula hoop or limbo contest can be loads of fun, as can tropical bowling, where you set up pineapples as “pins” and coconuts are rolled to knock them over. If there are little ones at your party, even a game of “Pass the Coconut” can be a blast; think “Hot Potato,” but with tropical fruit instead of a tuber.
With just a bit of preparation, it’s easy to put together a memorable Hawaiian celebration. By offering up tasty tropical treats, setting the mood with the right music and decorations, and planning fun activities, you’ll be giving your guests an evening of island-style fun that will have them offering up many “mahalos” for your Hawaiian hospitality.