Party Pointer: Activities for Tropical Parties Part I

This summer you may be hosting gatherings with party themes like a luau party, a south seas party, a Caribbean party, Margaritaville party, a calypso party, or a Survivor party.This list of activities for tropical parties part 1 will give you ideas  to entertain your guests. With the right activities, you can have a lot of fun with those that you are inviting. Have three to four party games on hand. See how the party is moving and judge during the celebration how many activities you will actually use.

Conch Shell Blowing Contest
Borrow several large conch shells to let your guests take chances blowing the welcoming call to get the festivities underway. You can have a prize for the guest who can produce the most sound on the shell.

Hula Skirt Fashion Show
Have teams of guests create hula skirts for team members out of provided crepe paper or raffia, tape, flowers or other accessories. After everyone puts their creativity to best effect, have each team model their outfits for the group—the laughs are inevitable.

Ugly Shirt Contest
When having a tropical party, it’s inevitable that at least one guest will wear an amazingly obnoxious tropical shirt. Why not reward their fashion courage with a “loudest shirt” prize? It’s also a golden opportunity for some memorable party photos that may come in handy the next day.

Costume Creations
Give each person or each team a large square of tropical print fabric plus scissors and safety pins. Set a timer for five minutes, and see which person or team can come up with the most clever Hawaiian garment—headband, halter top, sarong. The individuals or a team member should model their costumes –take pictures of them for laughs.

Hula Dancing Instruction or Demonstration
You can contact local dance schools to see if they have instructors who can teach basic hula moves to your guests. Award a prize to the guests who prove to be the best/most original/most creative/least coordinated dancer. You may also be able to hire Hawaiian dancers to do exhibition performances to entertain your guests. You could also have a hula contest after the lesson to see who learned the most. This could be very funny if the men also participate in the competition.

Hula Hoop Contest
Hula hoops are great to get your guests using their hips in the traditional hula ways. You can have individuals or teams compete to see who can keep their hoops in play the longest. Be sure to have a stop watch to record the competitors’ times.

Ukulele Sing-a-long
If you have a guest who can play the ukulele, you might ask that person to perform some Hawaiian songs for your other guests. If you can get a Hawaiian karaoke CD, you can let your guests channel their inner Don Ho or Elvis Presley and perform.

Hawaiian Film Festival
If you have a projector that allows you to show a DVD large on a wall or sheet hung outside, you can show film Hawaiian travelogues, favorites like Elvis Presley’s Blue Hawaii, or Hawaii Five-O or Magnum PI for local color as background. Check with your local library to see if they have appropriate DVDs to borrow before you rent them.

Lei-Making
Provide real or silk blossoms and rug needles and fishing line so that your guests can create their own distinctive leis to wear.

Hawaiian IQ Trivia
Using the Internet, develop a series of trivia questions to ask your guests either individually or in teams.

Hawaii Folk Tales Storytelling
If you have a guest who is a great storyteller, you might set up this activity with him or her in advance. You might also hire a professional storyteller or student actor to share Hawaiian folk tales with your guests. This activity is interesting to guests of all ages. Many Hawaiian tales can be found at this website for free: http://luaupartyshop.com/tales/index.htm

Watermelon Carving Contest
You can have teams work together, using pumpkin-carving utensils, to carve watermelons with tropical scenes or into tropical shapes. You can provide simple templates for guests to use if they want to. You can also carve cantaloupes, honeydews or pineapples.

Treasure Hunt
Have your guests set out to find the infamous “lost shaker of salt”. Provide everyone with maps, clues, compasses and a time frame to find the treasure. The winner keeps the salt shaker and its valuable contents. You decide on the incentive…

Surfboarding
If your party is poolside or by the water, you could borrow real surfboards or kickboards to do team relays—guests paddle to the finish line on the surfboard or kick to the finish holding onto the kickboard. If you are not near water, you could have a surfboard balanced carefully on raised blocks so your guests could take turns balancing in position on the board and have their pictures taken. You could also do relays on skateboards to simulate riding a surfboard.

Lime Croquet
Use only a putter and a wedge to negotiate your backyard course–one lime per player. Set up your course preferably around your kids’ sandbox and an inflatable pool makes for a challenging water hazard. Putt into a plastic cup to finish each hole.

Limbo
This classic game of skill never goes out of style. Make it more challenging by balancing a lemon or lime while limboing under the stick. Play tropical music while your guests are taking their turns under the limbo stick. Use a real bamboo pole for that authentic island feel.

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