Say 'Aloha' To Autumn With A Fall Luau

An ideal way to welcome the cooler weather of autumn and host one last big bash before winter is with a luau. These Hawaiian-inspired parties are a great way to enjoy the mild temperatures before you move your entertaining indoors.

Some things that can contribute to a great luau include:

Dress-code. Encourage guests to wear their boldest prints and tropical ensembles, and consider offering prizes for the best Hawaiian attire. Buy or make leis and set them up near the door where each guest can take one as they enter your luau venue.

Painted pineapples. A simple and inexpensive way to decorate your venue tables is with painted pineapples. Simply use colored, non-toxic tempera paints, and coat the leaves on the top of the pineapple; paint them the color of your venue or bright, tropical hues. Line them on the table instead of flowers, and gift them to guests when they leave!

Hula stations. Instead of hiring hula dancers to perform at your party, consider setting up a hula station or area where more experienced dancers can teach guests a few moves. This is a great attraction at a luau and will allow for a much more casual schedule and relaxed atmosphere.

An active menu. Use skewers, kabobs, and small plates to serve food so that guests can eat on the go. This allows your guests to move freely about the party, engaging with others, while they enjoy their food. It also eliminates the cost of renting dining tables and chairs for a sit-down meal. If you're unsure of what food to serve, contact a company that offers luau catering for assistance. 

Limbo line. It may seem cliché, but limbo is still a very popular activity at a luau. Make your own luau pole and award prizes for the lowest limbo or funniest performance.

Hawaiian drinks. Concoct drinks in pitchers for ease when serving guests at a party and to reduce the labor involved in setting up a bar. Create an inspired cocktail, like a Blue Hawaiian or a Blue Lemonade—both are easy to make by the pitcher. Offer a comparable version that doesn't contain alcohol for children or guests that don't care to imbibe.

Treasure hunts. Set up a sand box treasure hunt in a kiddie pool filled with clean sand from a home improvement store and buried prizes for kids. Set up another pool with adults-only goodies, like nips of alcohol or gag gifts.

Inspired details. Put a personal spin on the details; for instance, putting a drink-umbrella in each chocolate truffle on the buffet or adding fringe to the swag gift bags to replicate a grass skirt. These are the things that will make your fall luau memorable to your guests.

Indoors or out, a luau is the perfect way to end the summer and have some fun before winter. Use these tips to create a festive and fun party that puts everyone in a celebratory mood. Aloha!