Planning a trip to Oahu and aren’t sure which Polynesian luau on Oahu to book? Find out 13 of the best kid-friendly Oahu luau experiences for families with kids of all ages. Keep scrolling for more info and discounts!
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How You Can Choose the Best Oahu Luau for Your Family
After you’ve booked your flight, hotel, and car rental, it’s time to start thinking about your Oahu itinerary.
But, choosing the best luau in Oahu for your family really depends on what you want out of the experience.
I know a lot of people think all Hawaiian luaus are the same, but they really aren’t.
In this post, I’ll break down all the top luaus on Oahu so you can choose the best one. Plus, I’ve linked all the Oahu luau discounts!
Get all your Hawaii luau questions answered HERE
Oahu Luau FAQs
If you want to have a cultural experience on your Oahu vacation, attending a luau is a great starter opportunity. The prices and the authenticity varies, so it’s important to research before going to know whether or not it’s worth it.
It honestly depends on what you are looking for (kid-friendly, open bar, authentic, entertaining, etc.) Some luaus on Oahu come with extra entrance tickets or are located at your hotel, so there are many factors to consider. So far for our family, the best luau on Oahu has been Toa Luau on the North Shore. It’s totally worth the drive from Waikiki.
Luau prices vary, but expect to pay at least $100 for adults. Some luaus on Oahu cost $200 per ticket. It really depends on the location.
The Most Kid-Friendly Oahu Luau Experiences:
This is by far our top luau on Oahu for kids. They opened a couple years ago and I’ve sent SO many friends and family there.
I love it because it’s a small luau, so it’s perfect for families who don’t like huge crowds. Plus, it’s one of the most authentic Hawaiian luaus I’ve experienced.
They have a lot of cool cultural activities before the luau. Check out the latest prices and more details.
My favorite is their Kava Ceremony, which is something you don’t see everyday. Kava is a special drink that has a slight numbing effect. It’s safe for kids and adults to try.
Everyone sits in a circle and they explain why they do the ceremony and then all the guests have an opportunity to taste the drink.
And there are lots of opportunities for kids to get involved in this authentic Polynesian experience. They can even help uncover the food. And since it’s a true family affair, they will see kid performers!
Truly, I think this is the best luau in Hawaii.RESERVE NOW
The theatrical luau show at Polynesian Cultural Center is fantastic! What makes this one of the best luaus on Oahu is that it also includes admission to the entire cultural park.
You’ll want to arrive around Noon so you can visit lots of Polynesian “villages” to see dancing, sample food, and participate in activities.
And they have a cool new canoe pageant where performers dance on canoes in a stream that runs through the park.
We like to spend the whole day at PCC and then end with the luau and Ha: The Breath of Life. This is a great option for families because you get the traditional luau PLUS a dramatic theatrical show that talks about voyaging to new islands.
If you have any Moana fans in your family (and who doesn’t?), it’s a MUST DO Oahu!
Note: They don’t serve alcohol at this North Shore luau, but that can be a good thing! My husband thinks when guests aren’t tipsy, the luau has to try harder to impress!
This video gives a great overview of what to expect at the Polynesian Cultural Center luau:
If you are staying in Waikiki, you might not want to rent a car or hop on a shuttle to go to an Oahu luau.
That’s why it’s nice there are a few Waikiki luau you can either walk to, hop on the Waikiki Trolley, or take an Uber. And several are in fun locations with extra bonus opportunities!
Going to a luau is one of the best things to do in Waikiki with kids!
If you’re looking for a unique luau, the Diamond Head luau is the only Farm to Table luau in Hawaii! Plus, it’s located at the Waikiki Aquarium and they give you free admission to explore before this Waikiki luau begins. Check out the latest prices and more details.
So, if you are traveling to Oahu with kids, you can make a whole afternoon of it. And if you are staying in Waikiki, you can easily walk or Uber there from your hotel.
Seating for this luau is typically limited to 250 people, making it a fairly intimate experience. Children ages 3 and under are free.RESERVE NOW
4. AHA`AINA LUAU
You’ve probably seen the “Pink Palace” in photos of Waikiki Beach. It’s pretty iconic.
This Aha’aina Luau show has been completely updated recently is held on the sacred Coconut Grove at the historic Royal Hawaiian Resort in Waikiki.
The Royal Hawaiian luau experience sounds a lot like the Feast at Lele on Maui. It’s a gourmet, sit-down dinner with vignette performances throughout the evening.
They offer some cool luau activities before the show like tapa/kapa (barkcloth) making, lauhala mat weaving, as well as poi pounding.
This Waikiki luau is more expensive than others and children of all ages need to purchase a ticket (albeit a greatly discounted price.) It sounds like the ultimate romantic date night in Waikiki and it’s currently on my Oahu bucket list!
5. WAIKIKI STARLIGHT LUAU
If you’re trying to find a luau in Waikiki with lots of availability, the Waikiki Starlight Luau might be your best bet.
They offer luau shows five nights a week and they take place under the stars.
The Waikiki Starlight Luau is hosted at the Hilton Hawaiian Village (where many scenes from Hawaii Five-O are filmed.) And what’s unique about this Waikiki luau is that it also includes a fashion show!
During this luau, you’ll see dancing from Hawaii, Polynesia, and across the Pacific. It also includes 4 acrobatic fire knife dancers. Children ages 3 and under are free.
6. TE MOANA NUI
Another easy-to-get-to Waikiki luau is right at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani hotel in the heart of Waikiki. This is Waikiki’s newest indoor luau that is perfect for when the weather is iffy.
If you don’t really like Hawaiian food, this luau offers prime rib and crab legs in addition to island cuisine. So there’s really something for all taste buds.
There are also artists on site who will hand draw temporary tattoos on your face or body, which is sure to be a hit with kids. Children 4 and younger are free.
So, this isn’t a traditional luau, but it includes Polynesian entertainment and I think it needs to be on the list.
This is technically a magic show that features illusions, magic, vanishing acts in addition to hula and Tahitian dancing. Check the latest rates and availability.
I watched a recording of their show on TV many years ago and it reminded me of a Vegas dinner show. This is a fun option for people looking for something different.
What’s extra cool is you can purchase tickets for just the show if you want to save a bit of money. And kids ages 3 and under are free.RESERVE NOW
Another luau-adjacent option is the Rock-a-Hula Luau Buffet. This will definitely remind you of a Las Vegas show in all the right ways. It’s one of the top dinner shows in Waikiki.
It’s a fun mix of pop culture icons and Hawaiian entertainment. You’ll be able to see Elvis in his popular role in Blue Hawaii! This Waikiki dinner show was revamped in 2017 and now includes a journey from the 1920s through today.
And if you have dietary restrictions, this is something to look into. They have some vegan options and they have a detailed menu that shows all the diet/allergy info. Kids ages 2 and younger are free.RESERVE NOW
Other Oahu Luau Options
While those are some of the most popular Oahu luaus, there are many more options across the island.
This is the only East Side Hawaiian luau. It takes place at Sea Life Park and your luau tickets get you admission to play at Sea Life Park before the luau, making it a cheap luau in Oahu for families. Check out the latest prices and more details.
This Sea Life Park luau is also highly recommended by parents because you can make it a full day experience.
Children can learn hula dancing, make flower leis, taste poi, play the ukulele and more before the show begins. Kids ages 3 and under are free.RESERVE NOW
10. KA WAA AT AULANI, A DISNEY RESORT & SPA
If you are staying at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, this is the most convenient luau since it’s right on property. But, it’s also open to people not staying there.
So, if you are curious about what Disney Aulani is like, this is a great opportunity to check it out (plus you get 4 hours of free parking.)
Even though it’s run by Disney, it’s basically your average Hawaiian luau. Moana, Mickey and Minnie make a brief appearance, but that’s it. It’s definitely not a Disney show.
The Ka Wa’a Luau is a 3 hour experience from start to finish, which makes it easy to do for families. And kids ages 2 and under are free.
This is another popular luau on Oahu and you’ll see advertisements for Paradise Cove Luau in all the tourism magazines. Check out the latest prices and more details.
People love the show, but what’s really cool about this one is that you can participate in a Hukilau and learn about ancient Hawaiian fishing before the show.
There’s actually a lot of time before dinner to explore their Hawaiian village and see the demonstrations/pre-luau activities. And kids ages 3 and under are free.RESERVE NOW
So, this luau is located right at Wet N Wild, a Hawaii water park. So, you really could make this a full day Oahu activity.
The luau is run by Chief Sielu, who is the original world champion fire-knife dancer and Polynesian comedian. You might recognize his from his appearances on Oprah Winfrey, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman, Travel & Discovery Channels, BBC and MTV.
A lot of people say this is the top luau in Oahu because it’s so entertaining.
This luau also has a special dietary menu featuring items that are dairy-free, vegetarian, gluten-free and peanut-free.
Kids ages 4 and under are free.RESERVE NOW
Germaine’s Luau on Oahu is one of the most popular Hawaiian luau near Waikiki. Check out the latest prices and more details.
They even have shuttles from many Waikiki hotels and resorts. This can be crucial because when we were here about 8 years ago for a wedding rehearsal dinner, they offered a refillable cup for alcoholic drinks and guests were very tipsy.
Honestly, it’s not my favorite Honolulu luau. But, if you’re looking for something really touristy with an awesome cocktail bar, this is a good option.
Plus, it’s right on the beach and children ages 3 and younger are free.RESERVE NOW
Top Oahu Luau Questions Answered:
WHAT IS TYPICAL LUAU FOOD?
At most traditional Hawaiian luaus, you’ll find the following food items:
This is the most popular traditional Hawaiian luau food. It’s a whole pig that’s been roasted underground in an imu.
The pork is so tender that it falls right off the bone. The pork is shredded before it’s served and it has a nice, smoky flavor.
So, at whatever Oahu luau you choose, they will probably make some sort of joke about poi tasting like wallpaper paste. Don’t believe them!
Poi is just mashed up taro root that is fermented to get a slightly sour flavor. You’ll want to eat it alongside fish or meat. It’s more like a condiment instead of a stand alone dish,.
Chicken Long Rice
If you have a picky eater in your family, chances are they will like Chicken Long Rice!
It’s long noodles with bits of chicken sprinkled in and cooked in chicken broth. It’s similar to chicken noodle soup, but the noodles are way longer and there are more noodles than broth.
Huli Huli Chicken
If you like barbecue chicken with an island twist, you’ll love Huli Huli Chicken! It’s chicken then has been cooked on a rotisserie and it’s super popular in Hawaii.
In fact, you’ll see roadside stands selling Huli Huli Chicken or at fundraisers all around Oahu.
This is a super traditional Hawaiian food, and it’s only served at a few luaus. It’s usually pork or fish wrapped up in ti leaves and steamed. It’s definitely worth trying if you see it on a menu anywhere.
Lomi Lomi Salmon
This is very similar to ceviche, where it’s chopped up raw fish mixed diced tomatoes and onions. You can eat it on it’s own (it’s a side dish) or mix in a little pork, rice, or even poi.
Yes, it’s just what it sounds like. But it’s super popular in Hawaii and you’ll see it on Plate Lunch menus. Basically, it’s cold macaroni noodles with a lot of mayonnaise and usually some shredded carrots.
This is another great option for picky eaters. Personally, I love mixing in a bit of Huli Huli Chicken or Kalua Pork when I eat it. So tasty!
This is a traditional Hawaiian dessert that is basically creamy coconut jello. You’ll see it cut into small squares.
They are cold and make a refreshing palate cleanser! Plus kids usually enjoy eating it!
HOW TO DRESS FOR A LUAU
I know when people are packing for their trip to Oahu, they always ask about what to wear to a luau. So, here are my top luau clothes ideas:
Most Oahu luaus will give you either a shell lei or a purple orchid lei when you arrive. This is good to know because if you think you’ll be taking a lot of photos, you’ll want to make sure your lei will stand out against your dress.
But, you honestly don’t need to buy a new dress! Take a look in your closet and see if you can find something brightly colored. Or even a white dress can look really nice, especially if you have a tan.
When I think about the best shoes for Hawaii, I tend to always wear sandals. You probably won’t want to risk heels, especially if the luau is on grass or near the beach. Much better to stick with flats.
Men usually get a shell lei, purple orchid lei, or sometimes they get a black kukui nut lei at the luau.
While men can really wear any type of shirt (polo shirts or button down shirts are really popular), a Hawaiian shirt is always more memorable!
Men can wear their Aloha Shirts with khaki pants or shorts. Or linen pants or slacks of any kind. And sandals are always a good option.
Hawaiian Clothes for Kids
And don’t forget about your kids! While they can really wear anything they like, it’s so much cuter if they wear Hawaiian print!