What’s the Best Luau for Teetotalers?

No alcohol, but lots of fun, at the Polynesian Cultural Center

No alcohol, but lots of fun, at the Polynesian Cultural Center

There are many common staples you’ll see at most Hawaiian luaus. Food and entertainment tend to be at the top of the list, but for many, alcohol is also a key element. That might explain how they get all those straight-laced dudes to loosen up and get onstage to dance a wobbly hula. But what if you’re one of the many people who don’t drink alcohol for whatever reason, and prefer to avoid places where it’s all around you?

Well, if you’re staying on Oahu, we’ve got you covered, with the luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center, Oahu’s driest feast! This family-friendly experience ensures the focus remains on the food and the entertainment, creating a fun atmosphere for both keiki (kids) and adults.

Eat, Drink, and Stay Sober!

Drunk guy

Don’t be this guy.

Alcohol has become a staple of parties all over the world. We go to weddings and expect there to be a never-ending river of it. Backyard barbecues? You can bet there’s a cooler or two of cold brews somewhere. Even the luau has integrated flavorful mixed drinks into an already robust menu. The Polynesian Cultural Center’s Ali’i Luau Buffet leaves out the alcohol but keeps the abundance of fun and entertainment that you expect from a Hawaiian party.

What can you drink instead of a glass of wine or mai tai? The beverage menu offers a large selection of sodas, iced teas, coffee, and herbal tea. With everything else the luau includes, you won’t even notice the lack of alcohol.

Instead of filling up on cold beer or sugary cocktails, you’ll have room for another serving of the kalua pork. Slow-cooked in an underground oven called an imu, just seeing the pig unearthed is enough to get your mouth watering. Once all of the delicious aromas start to hit you, you’ll realize that alcohol isn’t the only thing that can make you giddy. Your head will be spinning with anticipation, especially when you get an eyeful of the rest of the abundant buffet.

Kalua pig is one of the traditional foods found at every luau

Kalua pig straight from the imu

You’ll find all the traditional luau treats, including fresh fish, chicken, teriyaki beef, and lomi lomi salmon. There’s even a vegetarian chili that the most dedicated meat-eaters will be happy to dine on. Pair these main courses with traditional side dishes like poi (baked and pounded taro root), taro rolls, and honey-roasted sweet potato with coconut flakes and your taste buds will be in heaven!

And no luau feast is complete without sweets! Without alcohol filling you up, you’ll have room for haupia (coconut pudding), pineapple bars, and bread pudding.

 

And That’s Just the Beginning!

Fire knife dance, part of the spectacular "Ha: Breath of Life" show

Fire knife dance, part of the spectacular “Ha: Breath of Life” show

Of course, there’s the incredible entertainment, which includes the unearthing of that kalua pig from the imu, hula dancing, and interactive family-friendly activities, culminating in the world-class evening show “Ha: Breath of Life.”

Whatever your reason for abstaining from alcohol, we can state with confidence that the luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center proves you don’t need a mai tai to enjoy a terrific Hawaiian party!

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