The Hawaiian LuauFor Planners.
It's more entertaining to dress for the occasion. Check out my Hawaiian shirt and lei. Women have it even better as the costume choices are more dramatic. I did a show with a Hawaiian dance troupe, and the girls looked great. Besides grass skirts, a few had the coconuts bra and flowers in their hair.
The activity personnel had grass skirts and leis and Hawaiian shirts. Impressive.
You can have a cook out or if it rains a cook in.
The fun is the music, costumes and food.
Food can be anything that is vaguely Hawaiian... or not.
Food:Cooking on the grill gives some atmosphere to the event. Hot dogs and hamburgers are practical along with watermelon. (Easy to eat).
A pig roast is a great idea, but you should offer something else as well for those who don't want pork.
You can also offer grilled chicken or spare ribs. The food choices are usually best if they are easily eaten without too much fuss. Fresh pineapple, and tropical fruit or fruit slushes decorated with those little umbrellas.
People:Of course, you invite all of the residents and maybe families, as well. Activities personnel or volunteers can get dresses in leis and grass skirts or Hawaiian shirts and make the scene all the more festive.
There has to be Hawaiian and/or island music.
Employees and residents all get leis. The fun is when the activities department employees and volunteers get dressed up in Hawaiian grass skirts. Then you can do a Hula dance contest with the residents judging. Balloon volleyball and/or hula hoops contests are fun.
Add some table decorations to make it interesting and some props like inflatable palm trees, tropical fish decals, and sea shells and fish nets. For a fill in before or after the music, there could be Hawaiian trivia.
Music:The best idea is live musical/vocalist entertainment. You will need authentic Hawaiian music and sounds as well as Island music. This is the most important part of the event. When your budget will allow, you can use a Hawaiian dance troupe.
If you go outdoors for the cookout, you will want straw hats to keep the sun off of the residents heads or keep them in the shade.
It's fun for residents who are in assisted living facilities, independent living facilities, or who have Dementia and Alzheimer's, as well as independent seniors.
Party favors and props really give it the flavor of a Luau.
It's all in the music, food, decorations people and costumes. If you have those things on your checklist covered, you should be OK!