Here are the best luaus in Honolulu for you and your family to experience a grand Hawaiian cultural celebration. Luaus are a special tradition and are a big part of Polynesian life. The communal feast is simply among the best things to do for couples and families visiting any of the Hawaiian Islands.

    The largest of the islands, Oahu has a few cool places where you can enjoy a colorful and festive luau. Each luau may have similar ceremonial features but they’re unique in terms of location and setting, and their performances also differ in color and variety. As with any cultural show, some can also seem more touristy than others. Even so, they’re fun, eye-opening, and certainly not to be missed!

    1

    Alii Luau

    A festive highlight at The Polynesian Cultural Center

    Alii Luau is one of the main cultural highlights at The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC), a cultural village in north Oahu. The family-friendly extravaganza is part of the offerings at the cultural center alongside other attractions, such as the captivating Hā – Breath of Life dance performance.

    Professionally coordinated, Alii Luau takes place in a covered outdoor venue against a lush waterfall and garden backdrop. Hosts greet you with an orchid lei, then treat you to the Royal Court procession with a whole pig baked in an imu (underground oven). The buffet has plenty to go around, with generous servings of traditional Hawaiian dishes.

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    Location: Polynesian Cultural Center, 55-370 Kamehameha Hwy, Laie, HI 96762, USA

    Open: Monday–Tuesday and Thursday–Saturday from 12.45 pm to 9 pm (closed on Wednesdays and Sundays). Luau starts at 5 pm

    Phone: +1 800-367-7060

    Map

    photo by Quinn Dombrowski (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    2

    Paradise Cove Luau

    An eclectic Hawaiian celebration with fun and games

    Paradise Cove Luau at Ko Olina Resort on Oahu’s southwestern shore is a fun seaside Hawaiian feast with firsthand cultural experiences. You’ll experience colorful aspects of Hawaiian culture with communal games to keep everybody’s festive spirit going. After the warm lei greetings, engage in a Hukilau ceremony on the beach – pulling in fishnets together to the uplifting sounds of conch horns and Hawaiian chants.

    The Shower of Flowers has a costumed staff member scaling swiftly up a coconut tree, then showering you with frangipani from above. Then, witness an imu ceremony, with a pig whole-roasted in an underground oven. The extravagant banquet includes local favorites such as poi and kalua pork, with the quintessential Hawaiian music and soothing hula dances to entertain you during your meal.

    Location: 92-1089 Ali'inui Dr, Kapolei, HI 96707, USA

    Open: Daily from 5 pm to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 808-842-5911

    Map

    photo by Jack Miller (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    3

    Chief's Luau

    A Hawaiian extravaganza at Wet 'n' Wild Hawaii

    Chief's Luau is a Hawaiian cultural highlight you can engage in beyond the splashing thrills of the Wet 'n' Wild Hawaii waterpark in Kapolei, southwest Oahu. This luau is set up in a dedicated corner of the 29-acre waterpark and has an emphasis on Hawaiian dance performances.

    There are 2 outdoor seating sections to choose from. The Royal sections put you closest to the stage while the Paradise section is set around the outer perimeter. You start your late afternoon here with interactive activities such as hula lessons and weaving crafts. An imu (pig baked in an underground oven) ceremony starts the feast, alongside the Chief’s Journey Through the Polynesian Islands show with upbeat drumming and fire dances.

    Location: Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawaii, 400 Farrington Hwy, Kapolei, HI 96707, USA

    Open: Sunday–Monday and Wednesday–Friday from 5 pm to 7.45 pm (closed on Tuesdays and Saturdays)

    Phone: +1 877-357-2480

    Map
    4

    Ka Moana Luau

    An oceanfront Hawaiian celebration

    Ka Moana Luau at Sea Life Park Hawaii near Oahu’s southeasternmost tip offers a fun afternoon with a host of fun cultural activities. Putting an emphasis on families, their ohana (Hawaiian for ‘family’) of dancers, artists, and musicians all give a personalized, one-on-one approach to activities ranging from traditional floral and palm leaf crafts to dance and playing instruments.

    Entering Sea Life Park’s Makapu’u Meadows venue, you can instantly admire the breathtaking oceanic backdrop with the cliffs and Makapu'u Lighthouse afar. Your exciting afternoon here follows with the various activities that you and the kids can freely choose and join in. Around 5.30 pm, the luau starts with the unearthing of your feast through an imu (pork baked in an underground oven) ceremony. The luau steadily comes to an end as you put your hula moves to the test under the stars.

    Location: Sea Life Park Hawaii, 41-202 Kalanianaʻole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI 96795, USA

    Phone: +1 808-926-3800

    Map
    5

    Germaine's Luau

    A Hawaiian backyard feast on Oahu’s West Shore

    Germaine's Luau is one of the long-running luaus on Oahu, having been around since 1976. The venue is near the Barber's Point lighthouse on the southwestern-most point of the island. It features a hut-like stage before a U-shaped arrangement of over a dozen tables on the sand.

    This luau focuses more on the Hawaiian feast aspect. You’ll be welcomed with a shell lei and to the calls of conch horns announcing your arrival. An imu (underground oven) is then unveiled, releasing the mouthwatering sight and aromas of the kalua pig. That’s the main highlight complementing your all-you-can-eat buffet experience. It’s coupled with music and dance – not only from Hawaii but also from other Polynesian islands.

    Location: 91-119 Olai St, Kapolei, HI 96707, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Thursday and Saturday–Sunday from 5.30 pm to 8 pm (closed on Mondays and Fridays)

    Phone: +1 808-949-6626

    Map

    photo by Timothy Tolle (CC BY 2.0) modified

    Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveler

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