An Easy Hawaiaan Luau Party (with Hot Tub!)
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This post should probably come with a warning that I am obsessed with party and event planning. It is my absolute jam. In another life I would have had the extreme privilege of working as an events and wedding planner and just living my best life. Honestly, reining me in when I’m in event planning mode is a full-time job.
So…when Meg asked if she could have a hot tub party with a few of her friends for her 10th birthday; the ideas just flowed. It seemed obvious to me that the very best fit for the theme would be a Hawaiian/Luau themed party.
Hot tub hire has becoming an increasingly popular thing in the UK so it wasn’t too difficult to find a company who would set up and deliver for a reasonable cost. I think the price for Thursday-Sunday hire was £125.00 and for that we got the hot tub, a gazebo and some fairy lights. There are various packages you can negotiate but as I was planning to sort decorations myself, this was more than enough for us.
On average, a hot tub will fit 4-6 adults comfortably but for a children’s party you can usually fit more in as they are less bothered about personal space. Meg chose 7 friends so we had 8 in total and there was just enough room for them all to be in at the same time doing their thing.
We did have a small problem with the hot tub deflating overnight on the Thursday and we had to have it replaced; it’s definitely worth checking because it takes over 48 hours for the hot tub to fully heat up so we ended up cutting it quite fine!
Although I can often go overboard with party themes and planning, it’s still important to me to get a good deal on the things I am purchasing, and to be creative and use things we already have at home. Amazon and eBay are my automatic ‘go-to’s’ for party related paraphernalia and I have tried to find and link to as many products as I can below to make it easier for you.
We decided that each guest would receive a lei on arrival along with a flower hair clip. I spent a lot of time searching for the best deal but as I wanted pastel colours I ended up having to buy this pack of 36. We were left with far too many but were able to gift the remainder to someone in our community through a local Facebook page so it wasn’t all bad. If you wanted a more reasonably priced option there is this 10 pack for £5.99.
The plan was for the girls to be gifted the lei and flower clip along with a mocktail on arrival. They could also pick themselves a pair of flip flops for after they got out of the hot tub later. These were 90p each from my local Primark and I bought a selection of sizes.
For the mocktails I picked up some cheap plastic flutes from my local pound shop along with paper umbrellas and we made the mocktails with lemonade, grenadine and a fresh strawberry halved and popped on the edge of the glass. The girls didn’t actually seem to like these very much but they looked quite effective. I think I’d go with pink lemonade next time; grenadine is quite an acquired taste.
During the Party
Also from Amazon I purchased a luau selfie photo frame; we borrowed my sister in law’s Fujifilm instant camera and I purchased a Fujifilm Instax Mini 10 pack with rainbow colours so each of the girls was able to take home one photo in the ‘booth’ with Meg. The props I picked up cheap from eBay and I did have to construct these myself which was a fun hour. We used an upturned crate we happened to have in the garage to stand the frame on and a spare white plant pot for the props.
Decorations and Props
Other decorations: Hawaiian grass skirt which I used to decorate the food table indoors, inflatables which I placed around the hot tub to give it a more ‘tropical’ feel along with beach balls which I scattered around the garden. The inflatable banana was a huge hit; go figure. I bought some rose gold balloons and attempted to create a garland which we strung along the top of the gazebo; we hadn’t accounted for the awful windy weather we would have though and many of the balloons didn’t survive the afternoon.
The main attraction of the party was, of course, the hot tub but the weather was terrible in the run-up to Meg’s birthday so I planned a few different activities just in case. Honestly the hot tub was more than enough for them all and we ended up rushing some of the activities, never even getting to the limbo. However, I’ve popped links below as if you didn’t have the hot tub, or you had more time (our party was three and a half hours) these could be useful.
I picked up glitter tattoos, an inflatable limbo stick and a pinata (a watermelon slice which came from Home Bargains) which I filled with a 40pcs unicorn party bag filler set and some rainbow dust straws. We also made more mocktails using our slow juicer and allowing the girls to pick their own combinations from bowls of chopped fruit. This was actually a massive hit and many came back for seconds and thirds.
I went off theme for the food, knowing how picky kids can be and we served your average picky party food: some triangle sandwiches, pizza slices, curly fries, a bit of hopeful salad etc. In previous years I’ve pre-made sandwich boxes which tend to go down quite well if you want to do things ahead of time.
The cake was from a local baker and was absolutely delicious, not to mention incredible looking. Pretty much the whole theme of the party came from the idea I had for the cake and we kept it a surprise from Meg until the last minute. Suffice to say she loved it.
And finally, the party bags. I’m sort of against offering up any old tat in party bags and tend to try and choose items which serve a practical purpose but Meg wanted some control over the contents this year so we rolled with it a little bit. We went for a simple pink bag which was decorated with a green palm leaf and a gold thank you sticker, attached to the bag with a white heart peg. Easy.
The contents were of the pampering variety; a llama face mask, some nail varnish, a mermaid nail file, a pooping unicorn (why…I do not know), some lip balm etc and were all picked up from our local Home Bargains store. The girls also got to take home their leis and their flip flops along with their goodies from the pinata and a slice of cake.
And that is it. As I mentioned, the party went on for three and a half hours and the girls pretty much stayed in the hot tub the entire time. I’m glad I had some back up activities planned but as the hot tub was the main event, it was great that it got so much use.
I hope if you are planning your own Hawaiian/Luau party that you find this post useful. Happy party planning 🙂