Looking for the best luau in Oahu, Hawaii for your family? Keep scrolling for the ultimate list of Oahu luau experiences and find out about luau menus, what to wear to a luau, and how to get Oahu luau discounts!
This post about the best luau in Oahu was originally written July 9, 2018 and updated September 22, 2021 and may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
How to Choose the Best Oahu Luaus
Are you looking for the best Oahu luaus?
There are so many things to do in Honolulu, but one of our favorite activities is attending a Hawaiian luau.
Luaus are an important part of Hawaiian culture and can be found all over the island. The most popular ones tend to be located on Waikiki Beach or at resorts like Disney Aulani, but there are also some hidden gems that may not be as well known.
Here’s what we look for when choosing an Oahu luau for us and our kids!
We want something fun and educational with plenty of entertainment options for both adults and children alike.
It should have great food (and lots of it!) along with beautiful dancing, music, storytelling, fire-knife dancers…the works!
If you’re looking for a family friendly experience that will keep everyone entertained without breaking the bank then this list is just what you need!
Here are 14 top Oahu luaus perfect families will love plus tips on how to make your trip even more memorable.
Keep scrolling to read about these amazing experiences on Oahu!
Don’t have time to read a bunch of Hawaii blog posts and reviews? Here are some of our top picks for visiting Oahu.
Popular Oahu Tours/Activities
- Kualoa Ranch UTV Tour (this is a fun adventure with the prettiest views)
- Full Pearl Harbor Tour (this is the BEST way to do everything at Pearl Harbor)
- Hawaii Bucket List Tour (you get to pick where you stop on this custom Oahu circle island tour)
- Toa Luau (this is my all-time favorite Oahu luau)
- CLIMB Works Ziplining (this is the longest zipline on Oahu)
- Book a Photo Shoot (this is a Hawaii souvenir you’ll treasure forever)
Favorite Oahu Resorts/Hotels
Want a Hawaii travel guide? I’ve got detailed guides and 7-day itineraries!
These are my Top Picks for Best Luau Oahu Offers:
1. TOA LUAU
This is one of the newest luaus on Oahu and they consider themselves the best “authentic” Hawaii family luau in Oahu.
I love it because it’s small, so it’s the perfect luau on Oahu for families who don’t like huge crowds and could be the most kid-friendly luau Oahu offers.
They have a lot of cool cultural activities before this North Shore Oahu luau.
My favorite is their Kava Ceremony, which is something you don’t see every day. 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.
There are lots of opportunities for kids to get involved in this authentic Polynesian experience. So, if you’re looking for the top luau in Oahu for kids, take a serious look at Toa Luau.
It really could be the best luau for families in Oahu, if not the best luau in Hawaii.
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2. EXPERIENCE NUTRIDGE LUAU
If you’re looking for an authentic Hawaiian luau, Experience Nutridge is hands-down one of the best luaus in Oahu.
They don’t do much promotion besides their own social media, so most people hear about it by word of mouth. So, it sort of feels like you’re “in” on a really, really good secret!
It’s a really intimate experience, so it’s not one of those mega luaus packed with tourists. Instead, there are lots of presentations, games, hands-on activities, and tasty food throughout the evening.
Because of this, it’s the most authentic luau in Oahu. It really feels like you’re in your Aunty’s backyard.
They have transportation options from Waikiki or you can drive yourself. They have a decent bar, so you might opt for their shuttle service if you think you might drink.
This is by far the best luau in Honolulu, Hawaii. We loved it so much that we already booked it for our next trip!
The luau at Polynesian Cultural Center is fantastic! What makes this one of the best luaus on Oahu is that it includes admission to the entire cultural park.
You can visit lots of Polynesian “villages” to see dancing, sample food, and participate in activities.
And they have a cool canoe pageant where performers dance on canoes through the park. Click to check the latest prices and availability.
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, it’s a must-do activity and the best luau Oahu has for them.
Note: They don’t serve alcohol, but that’s a good thing! My husband thinks when guests aren’t tipsy, the luau has to try harder to impress!
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Best Luau in Waikiki for Families
If you are staying in Waikiki, you might not want to rent a car or hop on a shuttle to go to luaus in Oahu. That’s why it’s nice there are a few Waikiki luau you can either walk to or take an Uber.
If you’re looking for the best Waikiki luau deals, take a look below.
What’s cool about this luau is that it’s 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.
So, if you are bringing kids, you can make a whole afternoon of it. And if you are staying in Waikiki, you can easily walk or Uber there.
Seating is limited to 250 people, making it a fairly intimate experience. Children ages 3 and under are free. Check latest rates and more information.
5. AHA`AINA LUAU
I admit I’ve wanted to stay at the “Pink Palace” since I was a teen. This luau was recently completely revamped with new costumes and set and is now 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.
It’s definitely on the pricier end and children of all ages need to purchase a ticket (albeit at a greatly discounted price.) It sounds like a romantic date night in Waikiki and it’s currently on my Oahu bucket list!
6. WAIKIKI STARLIGHT LUAU
This luau bills itself as Waikiki’s only five-night-a-week luau under the stars. What’s unique about the Waikiki Starlight Luau is that it includes a fashion show!
It takes place at the Hilton Hawaiian Village (where many scenes from Hawaii Five-O are filmed.)
The show features dancing from Hawaii, Polynesia, and the Pacific. It also includes 4 acrobatic fire knife dancers. Children ages 3 and under are free.
7. TE MOANA NUI
This show is at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani hotel in the heart of Waikiki. It’s Waikiki’s newest indoor stage performance.
If you aren’t a fan of Hawaiian food, this luau offers prime rib and crab legs in addition to island cuisine.
There are also artists who will hand-drawn 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. The whole show features illusions, magic, vanishing acts in addition to hula and Tahitian dancing.
I saw their show on TV many years ago and it reminded me of a Vegas dinner show.
What’s cool is you can purchase tickets for just the show if you want to save a bit of money. Kids ages 3 and under are free.
This will definitely remind you of a Las Vegas show. It’s at the Royal Hawaiian Center, which is easy to get to from anywhere in Waikiki.
It’s a mix of pop culture icons and Hawaiian entertainment. You’ll be able to see Elvis from Blue Hawaii! The show was revamped in 2017 and now includes a journey from the 1920s through today.
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. Click here to see the latest rates and availability.
Other Oahu Luau Options
If you are staying on the East Shore, North Shore or outside of Waikiki and are renting a car, you have even more options for Hawaiian luaus.
10. KA MOANA LUAU
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 an affordable luau in Oahu for families.
Children can learn hula dancing, make leis, taste poi, play the ukulele, and more before the show begins. Kids ages 3 and under are free. Check the latest rates and more information.
11. 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 the property. But, it’s also open to people not staying there.
So, if you are curious about what 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 strictly a Hawaiian luau. Moana, Mickey, and Minnie make a brief appearance, but that’s it.
It’s a 3-hour experience from start to finish and kids ages 2 and under are free.
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This is another popular luau on Oahu and you’ll see advertisements for it in all the tourism magazines. Check the latest prices and more information.
What’s cool about this one is 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.
Kids ages 3 and under are free.
13. CHIEF’S LUAU
So, this luau is located right at Wet N Wild, a Hawaii water park.
The luau is run by Chief Sielu, the original world champion fire-knife dancer and Polynesian comedian. He has 20 years of experience in the Samoan Village at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu.
He has appeared on Oprah Winfrey, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman, Travel & Discovery Channels, BBC and MTV.
This luau also has a special needs menu featuring items that are dairy-free, vegetarian, gluten-free, and peanut-free.
Kids ages 4 and under are free.
14. GERMAINE’S LUAU
Germaine’s Luau on Oahu is one of the most popular Hawaiian luaus near Waikiki.
They even have shuttles from many Waikiki hotels. This is smart because when we were here about 5 years ago for a wedding rehearsal dinner, they offered a refillable cup for alcoholic drinks.
It’s not my favorite Honolulu luau. But, it’s right on the beach and children ages 3 and younger are free.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS TYPICAL LUAU FOOD?
At most traditional Hawaiian luaus, you’ll find the following items:
This is the most well-known 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 and shreds. Very flavorful!
So, at whatever luau you choose, they will probably make some sort of joke about poi tasting like wallpaper paste. That’s just to scare you away!
Poi is mashed-up taro root that is fermented. It helps bring out the flavor of fish and meat, so be sure to combine them and use the poi more like a condiment!
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. It tastes a little like chicken soup, without the soup.
Huli Huli Chicken
If you like barbecue chicken with an island twist, you’ll love Huli Huli Chicken!
You’ll also see roadside stands selling Huli Huli Chicken or at fundraisers around Oahu.
This is a super traditional Hawaiian food, but not all luau menus have it. It’s usually pork or fish wrapped up in ti leaves and steamed.
Lomi Lomi Salmon
This is very similar to ceviche, where it’s chopped up raw fish mixed with diced tomatoes and onions.
Yes, it’s just what it sounds like. Basically macaroni noodles with a lot of mayonnaise and usually some shredded carrots.
This is another option for picky eaters. Personally, I love mixing in a bit of Huli Huli Chicken when I eat it. So tasty!
These little white squares are like creamy coconut jello. They are cold and make a refreshing palate cleanser! Plus kids usually enjoy eating it!
WHAT’S APPROPRIATE LUAU ATTIRE?
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 picks for the best luau outfit:
Most luaus will give you either a shell lei or a purple orchid lei as you arrive.
If you think you’ll be taking a lot of photos, you’ll want to keep in mind so the lei will stand out against your dress.
But, you don’t need to buy a new dress! Look in your closet for something brightly colored or a white dress always looks nice.
For shoes, 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.
Men often get a shell lei, purple orchid lei, or sometimes they get a black kukui nut lei.
Men can easily pair Aloha Shirts with khaki pants or shorts. Or linen pants or slacks of any kind.
Hawaiian Clothes for Kids
And don’t forget about your kids! While they can wear anything they like, it’s so much cuter if they wear Hawaiian print!
Hawaiian Matching Family Outfits
Another classic option of what to wear to a Hawaiian luau is matching family outfits! There are lots of places that sell clothes for your whole family in the same print.
Best Oahu Luaus Wrap Up
If you’re looking for a fun family activity in Oahu, it might be time to book your next luau! As I mentioned earlier, my kids love the experience.
And after doing some research on what others thought about these top 14 best Oahu luaus worth booking with children, it seems like this is pretty universal sentiment among parents of all ages.
So if you want to take advantage of an amazing Hawaiian food and entertainment experience that will keep both adults and children entertained (and maybe even engaged), then check out one of these great deals below for discounted tickets or free admission. You won’t regret it!
Loved this post about the best luau for kids on Oahu? Check out my other Oahu travel resources on my Hawaii site Hawaii Travel with Kids!
Other Oahu Activities
Family Guide to Oahu with Kids
Polynesian Cultural Center Offers Family Activities on Oahu
Family Photos on Oahu is a Smart Idea
Honolulu Cookie Company Features Pineapple Shaped Cookies
Toa Luau is Oahu’s Newest Family-Friendly Luau
Oahu Travel Hacks + Budget Tips for Families