One of the most memorable things to do in Oahu, Hawaii, is to check out a luau. This unique event in Aloha State has a rich history and is part of what makes Hawaiian culture unique.
The only problem is, with luaus advertised on every street corner in Oahu, which one do you attend?
To help you, we’ve put together a guide to ten of the best luau events in Oahu for you to check out during your visit. Let’s jump in!
Luau Events in Oahu
What is a Luau?
Before diving into the best luau in Hawaii, let’s quickly go over what a luau is.
Luaus are traditional Hawaiian celebrations that include local food, music, and traditional dances. Locals often hold luau events to celebrate milestones, such as witnessing a child’s first birthday, a student graduating, or a couple finally submitting to marriage.
However, you can also just have a luau for fun!
These events have quickly risen in popularity, and today, they’re one of the top tourist attractions in Hawaii.
With that in mind, let’s go over ten of the best luaus on the island for you to participate in while you visit Oahu, Hawaii!
1. Paradise Cove Luau
Paradise Cove Luau deserves the top spot for the best luau events in Oahu. While the lines are long, we can attest that it’s worth the wait!
The Paradise Cove Luau is in a laid-back and relaxing resort area, Ko’olina. You can also choose from the following packages:
- Hawaiian Luau Package: $125 per adult and $90 per child (comes with a shell lei greeting and a wing seating
- Orchid Luau Package: $150 per adult and $110 per child (fresh flower lei greeting and a centered middle seating)
- Deluxe Luau Package: $210 per adult and $160 per child (fresh flower lei, front row middle seating, table service, free arrival photo, souvenir
Whichever package you choose, it’ll take about five hours from start to finish.
This luau starts at sundown, and you’ll start the night off with a traditional Mai Tai cocktail. Then, don your Hawaiian lei and get ready for classic games, Hukilau dancing, and even a lesson from the locals on native fishing techniques!
Once you’ve worked up an appetite with all those activities, it’s time to chow down on some local Hawaiian cuisine. Enjoy dishes like fresh seafood and kalua pork, all while watching fire twirlers and hula dancers.
What makes this luau event even more special is everything is entirely customizable. You can change your lei’s design, pre-dinner activities, and even post-dinner memorabilia.
2. Haleo Luau
Next up is the Haleo Luau, which happens at Keauhou Bay in Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa every Monday and Friday. This luau event celebrates the history of the bay or ahupua’a.
As part of the ceremony, you’ll hear several Hawaiian folk stories acted out through song and dance, including:
- The birth of Kamehameha III
- He’eia Bay’s surfing stories
- The Battle of Kuamo’o
- The bridging of ancient traditions by Kamehameha III
Besides the folk stories, visitors can also join the cultural activities that take place before the feast. Plus, there’s an open bar that serves free-flowing cocktails for everyone during the entire night of celebration.
Don’t forget to pair your cocktail with some of the local food. The best dishes include a fresh fruit display, Hawaiian ahi poke, and Hawaiian purple potato salad.
The prices for the Haleo Luau start at $119 for adults and $68 for children. Infants from zero to five years old are free of charge, so the whole family can go without breaking the bank!
3. Ahaaina Luau
If you want to stay close to your hotel in Waikiki, Aha’iana Luau is a great pick.
This luau event takes place in the Royal Hawaiian, an iconic hotel in Waikiki. Every Monday and Thursday evening, the luau gets started, paying homage to Ahaaiana, a traditional Hawaiian celebration.
You can choose from the following packages:
- Standard Dinner and Show: $225 per adult and $135 per child (4 to 12)
- Premium Dinner and Show: $250 per adult and $135 per child (4 to 12); comes with upgraded seating and a flower lei greeting
This luau event might be more expensive than your other options, but it is convenient, especially when staying at Waikiki. The Royal Hawaiian is within walking distance of most hotels in Waikiki, so it’s easy to get there without being late.
When you arrive, you can expect a feast of delicious dishes, hula dancers, and mele singing.
Speaking of the feast, Ahaaina Luau features a three-course plated dinner served directly at your table during the celebration.
4. Chief’s Luau
Chief’s Luau’s Polynesian welcoming ceremony takes your experience to a new level. It features Chief Sielu as he guides you through a two-hour cultural immersion.
If you don’t know him, Chief Sulu is a world-class comedian and fire-knife dancer.
Chief’s Luau starts with creative and interactive storytelling about the Polynesian islands. There, you’ll watch dancers and actors bring the stories to life through son and dance.
After the welcoming ceremony, it’s time to experience traditional Hawaiian activities. Choose from fire-starting, headband weaving, experiencing a hula lesson, and getting a temporary tattoo.
And for the feast, enjoy a buffet-style dinner. Among the dishes on the menu are kalua pork and pineapple-glazed chicken.
As for pricing, Chief’s luau offers two packages: Paradise Experience and Royal Experience.
If you want the more budget-friendly option, choose Paradise Experience. The details are listed below:
- $155 per adult
- $135 per young adult (13 to 20)
- $110 per child (5 to 12)
- Free of charge for infants
- Paradise section seating
- Greeting with a Kukui Nut lei
- Hawaiian buffet feast
- Two adult beverages
On the other hand, the details of the Royal Experience are listed below:
- $195 per adult
- $165 per adult (13 to 20)
- $155 per child (5 to 12)
- Free of charge for infants
- Royal section seating
- Greeting with fresh flower lei and Mai Tai
- Hawaiian buffet feast
- Three adult beverages
- Free souvenir
5. Nutridge Luau
If you want to experience a luau more intimately, Nutridge Luau might be for you. It’s an authentic and relaxing cultural retreat favored by famous celebrities like Clark Gable, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and Marilyn Monroe.
Nutridge Luau happens right in the heart of the Nutridge Estate above Waikiki. Because it’s an intimate experience, everything is more interactive and you get a bit more of a personal touch from the staff.
Moreover, you get a front-row seat to the live performances.
The prices for the luau are as follows:
- $159 for adults
- $120 for young adults (13 to 20)
- $100 for children (4 to 12)
6. Waikiki Starlight Luau
Waikiki Starlight Luau is another option if you want to experience Hawaiian culture. This luau takes place on the Hilton resort, and features a show called Voyages Across the South Seas.
The show features fire knife dancers who take to the stage in a thrilling musical ensemble. Once the show is over, you can watch Tahitian, Hawaiian, and Samoan dances and live music.
This luau takes place every weekend, with doors opening at five. Upon arrival, you’ll get a lei and a welcome drink to sip on while you wait for the party to get going!
In terms of pricing, this place is $170 for adults or $110 for kids. Just note that over the Christmas holidays the prices may go up a bit!
7. Toa Luau
Toa Luau at Waimea Valley is a whole new different experience. More than the traditional performances you’ll enjoy, it also lets you appreciate nature.
At this event you’ll get to hike around the Waimea Valley and check out the local waterfalls, flora, and fauna. After hiking, you’ll move to where Umu, or the rock oven, demonstration takes place.
Then, get a chance to experience a Kava Ceremony. After the ceremony, you’ll get to enjoy your rock-oven baked dinner!
In terms of entertainment, you’ll get to see a two-part show featuring dances from Samoa, Hawaii, New Zealand, Tonga, and Tahiti. Afterward, you’ll be treated to a fire knife dancing display!
Toa Luau has three packages:
- VIP: $175 per adult and $145 per child
- Gold: $145 per adult and $125 per child
- Silver: $115 per adult and $95 per child
8. Ka Wa’a Luau
Ka Wa’a Luau is an authentic luau event at Disney’s Aulani Resort. It’s an excellent option for families because it’s kid-centric.
The adults shouldn’t worry, however. It also offers a bunch of upscaled activities for adults.
Because of the resort’s relaxing and quiet setting, Ka Wa’a Luau makes you feel like you were invited to a backyard party. It’s intimate but features entertaining activities to celebrate and dine.
This event also offers pre-dinner entertainment, including:
- Lei making
- Ukelele lessons
- Poi pounding
It doesn’t matter which you pick; at La Wa’a all activities are included in the price! Pricing is pretty reasonable, too:
- General Seating: $170 per adult and $99 per child (first-come-first-served basis in the seating)
- Preferred Seating: $199 per adult and $119 per child
9. Te Au Moana
Te Au Moana lets you experience a world-class luau event right at the Wailea beachfront. When entering the event, you’re greeted with a fresh flower lei and a free carved wooden fish hook necklace.
The pre-show activities include flower crafting, coconut husking, and tapa making. You will also learn how to use tree bark to create your own fabric.
After these traditional activities, you can witness an imu ceremony and watch hula dancers share stories about the Pacific Islands and the people of Maui.
As for the feast, enjoy Molokai sweet potatoes, grilled teriyaki steak, pineapple coleslaw, and more.
The prices start at $175 for adults while it’s just $105 for children aged 6 to 12 and free of charge for children under six.
10. Ka Moana Luau
Ka Moana Luau is a well-established luau in Oahu that can’t be left off the list. Ka Moana Luau is the best luau event if you want to become deeply rooted in Polynesian and Hawaiian traditions. It’s a three-hour event that starts at sunset with a Sword of Fire dance.
Visitors are greeted with fresh flower lei when they enter before heading in to try out different cultural activities. Choose from coconut headband weaving, ukelele lessons, and lei crafting.
Dinner is served buffet style, and an open bar is available for adults aged 18 and above.
Plus, going to the Ka Moana Luau gives you free access to Sea Life Park, which you can redeem within seven days. So, you’ll actually get two experiences in one!
Experience a Luau in Oahu, Hawaii
Experiencing luau is a once-in-a-lifetime event you should add to your bucket list.
These festivities allow you to become more familiar with Hawaiian traditions and culture. Plus, you’ll get a chance to sink your teeth into some truly tasty cuisine!
Looking for more fun events to do and see around Hawaii? Check out our other posts so you can plan the perfect Hawaii vacation!
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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealthy Living.
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