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How to Have A Tropical Hawaiian Theme

Aloha and mahalo, we’re happy you decided to join us on our Hawaiian adventure! It’s not a stretch to say that we love the tropical paradise that is Hawaii. This will probably shock you, but a lot of other people feel the same way. Having Hawaiian theme days is something that has been in our regular rotation since we visited the Hawaiian islands for the first time back in November of 2021. So today we’ll share with you just some of the many ideas you can use for your own Hawaiian theme day.

Although one of the youngest states in the union, it has no shortage of history, culture, and amazing food. It’s amazing that you can be in such an exotic place, and still be in the United States. The blend of Asian pacific islander and American cultures creates a truly unique vibe. Hawaii may be the only place on earth where Spam is used to create culinary treats.

We know what you’re thinking, Spam?! The canned luncheon meat that you’re not totally sure what it even is? Yes, that, but when you try a musubi, your opinion on spam will be totally flipped upside down, but more on that later.

Fun Facts You May Not Know about Hawaii

  • One of the coolest things we learned while we were there is that when it snows at the top of the highest volcano (Mauna Kea), locals drive to the top and pack coolers full of snow, then race to the bottom to have snowball fights on the beach.
  • The big island (Kona) has an ordnance against light pollution, so that you can see the sky crystal clear at night. It is the only time in our life we’ve ever been able to see the night sky so clear.
  • Humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa is the state fish of Hawaii and is pretty much unpronounceable, seriously, just try saying it.
Island boy

Some of Our Favorite Snacks

When we do our Hawaiian theme, we like to make a few snacks. They may not be part of our main hangout, but we like to have them handy throughout the day since we enjoy them so much. These can be used as beach snacks, appetizers, or even a light lunch.

Hawaiian snack pack

Spam Musubi
[Recipe Credit: https://playswellwithbutter.com/spam-musubi-recipe/]

Like we said, we fell in love with these on our trip to Hawaii. So much so that we now own a spam slicer and cookbook. Trust us, they’re amazing.

We be spammin’

Butter Mochi
[Recipe Credit: https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/hawaiian-butter-mochi/]

One really important note for these is to make sure you can get ahold of glutinous rice flour before you begin. We’ve made this mistake, and it’s not easy to find. We substituted with tapioca flour and it’s still good, but it’s not the same.

Snackin throughout the day

Plate Lunch

A plate lunch is a combo meal that is typically served at beaches or as a lunch brought to the beach, but could easily be used as a lunch or dinner. Typically they combine of rice, Hawaiian mac salad and a protein. Protein is usually teriyaki chicken or beef, or kalua pork, but other options include chicken katsu, shoyu chicken, shrimp, hamburger patties, mahi mahi, barbecue chicken or spam.

  • When we recently made ours, we went with the Kalua pork, which we highly recommended.
Plate Lunch

Drink from Coconuts or Pineapples, or Make Pog

Fair warning, neither coconuts or pineapples are super easy to cut into. The best method we’ve found for the coconut is tapping a screwdriver into it with a hammer to create a hole that fits a straw. When slicing the pineapple, carefully remove the stem, and carefully cut a ring in the core.

Our other favorite drink is Pog, a staple in Hawaii made from equal parts passion fruit juice, orange juice and guava juice. We usually buy small cans of guava and passion fruit juice from the international aisle at the grocery store. We hope you can figure out where to buy orange juice.

Don’t forget the drink umbrellas!

Hawaiian Shave Ice

Easily Laura’s favorite thing about our Hawaii days. If you don’t know, shave ice is similar to a slushy or snow cone, but WAY better. It’s very customizable, but the most common way is with a scoop of ice cream on the bottom of the bowl, covered with layers of super soft fine crushed ice that’s similar to snow, topped with flavored syrups and condensed milk.

Truthfully, this is hard to duplicate without a shave ice machine. We now own one because we’re obsessed, but substitutions could be made with a snow cone machine. If you’re feeling wild, you could probably try to recreate this by crushing ice yourself.

So much ice you can skate on it

Hawaiian Activities

Remember it’s not just food and music that makes a themed hangout fun. Find games, decorations, and experiences that match your theme. Such as:

Everyone is on the fun!
One cool cat

Hawaiian Music

Set the vibe with some island beats. There’s 2 major ways to do this, you can listen to ukulele music, or local Hawaiian artists. We enjoy them both.

Ho Down with Don Ho

Hawaiian Beach Movies

If you’re looking for something more low key, throw on a movie from the place of your themed hangout.

Surfs Up!

In case you couldn’t tell, we love Hawaii and Hawaiian vibes. We think you will too. Let us know what you tried out and how it went!

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