Which Is the Best Kid-Friendly Luau?

Everybody dance!

Even the smallest kids love to learn hula

Ah children, those shining little beacons of hope that bring meaning and joy to their parents’ lives, right before they accidentally wet themselves and cry for an hour. Yes, those wonderful keiki (Hawaiian for kids) can bring equal parts joy and anguish depending on the day. They are also perfectly suited for a relaxing-as-can-be family vacation in beautiful Hawaii! Whether it’s making sand castles by the ocean, running endlessly in sun-soaked parks or falling asleep during an island tour, Hawaii is made for kids.

It’s one the reasons so many families choose to vacation in Hawaii. Here in the islands, there is a very palpable sense of ohana, or family. Neighbors watch over each other’s kids and parents know the misdeeds of their children long before they get home. Luaus (part party, part cookout, part show) are a special Hawaiian tradition that plays particularly well with the little ones. So, if you’re making the trip to paradise with some youngsters in tow be sure to check out one of these kid-friendly island attractions.

Chief’s Luau

Chief Sielu loves the keiki

Chief Sielu loves the keiki

For those staying at Ko Olina resorts, the Chief’s Luau is conveniently located down the road at Oahu’s Wet ’n Wild water park. For everyone else, there is round-trip transportation available, just in case you’d like to throw back a few Mai Tais. Chief Sielu Avea and his family really know how to put on a show both for kids and adults. Prior to the evening’s events, there are some great island related activities for the kids. Lei-making, temporary tattoos, hula lessons, even (carefully monitored!) spear throwing are all part of the pre-show activities. Once the kids have, hopefully, worn themselves out a smidge, it’s time for the delicious dinner, followed by the spectacular Polynesian show!

The Chief is very good at keeping kids involved, even bringing them on stage for dancing. He’s simply brilliant with children! Fire knife dancing, hula, and hilarity are ensured, along with ono (delicious) food and tasty beverages. The Chief’s Luau is the top-rated luau on Trip Advisor, and will have the kids bubbling with excitement for days after.

Polynesian Cultural Center:

Each island village offers hands-on, keiki-friendly activities

Each island village offers hands-on, keiki-friendly activities

The Polynesian Cultural Center is a great place for a glimpse into ancient Hawaii, whether you’re a kid or just act like one! Be sure to arrive early, so you can explore the different villages representing the Polynesian islands that contributed to the culture of Hawaii. There are regularly-scheduled, kid-friendly activities at each village, giving you and your family hands-on insight into this fascinating part of the world. The staff are friendly locals—many of them students at nearby BYU-Hawaii—and they love sharing interesting and fun tidbits for adults and kids alike.

After indulging in one of several dining options, it’s time for the main event! The evening show is spectacular, with immersive storytelling, dancing, vibrant colors, and non-stop action.

Whether you choose the Chief’s Luau, the Polynesian Cultural Center, or another of Hawaii’s great luaus, you’re in for a treat. Luaus go back hundreds of years and are a treasured part of Hawaiian life. Locals love a good luau, whether it’s for a baby’s first birthday, a high school graduation, or “jus’ cuz!”