For those of you with kids, planning out a vacation can be stressful. We feel you! At the Polynesian Cultural Center, we try to make sure that every member of our ‘ohana (family) is taken care of. Out of the many activities and shows at the Polynesian Cultural Center, we know what’s fun for your keiki (kids). We gladly offer suggestions to entertain and educate both adults and their little ones:

1. Learn dancing in Hawaii and Tahiti

Learn to hula

Guests learn to dance hula in the Hawaii village.

If you and your kids are inspired to learn Polynesian dancing, Hawaii and Tahiti have short lessons to help you get started. Hula and Tahitian are the most popular of the Polynesian dances, with graceful hand gestures and hip swaying action.


2. Fireknife practice

photo of guests and Samoan villager tossing 'fireknives'

How high can you toss one of our ‘practice knives’?


If your kids are a bit older, they might enjoy learning how to spin a practice fireknife in the Samoan Village. In Samoa, the ability of a warrior was judged on how well and how fast he could spin a fireknife. Don’t worry–it’s safe! Our practice fireknives have no fire and no knife attached. Want to see how our warriors do it? Click here to view a video with fireknife dancing along with a short tour of the Polynesian Cultural Center.


3. Ukulele lessons

photo of couple learning to play ukulele and sing a love song. Visit the Hawaiian Mission Settlement home and learn a love song for your loved one

Learn how to play ukulele and sing a love song at our Hawaiian Mission Settlement.

Taking ukulele lessons from our talented ukulele teachers is a great activity to do with kids. Lessons are available at the Mission Settlement Home, as well as inside the Ukulele Experience store which is located near the entrance to the villages. You can also purchase an ukulele at both locations, or you can buy an ukulele, a bag or a lesson book online and have it shipped to your home.


4. Stick games/poi balls from Aotearoa

picture of girl twirling poi ball in Maori fillage

Children love to learn the coordinated art of poi ball twirling

Maoris use to train their warriors from a young age with hand-eye coordination games. In the Aotearoa Village, Maori people teach you to train with sticks and spinning poi balls. These games are fun for all ages and create fun memories your children will talk about for years to come.


5. Spear throwing in Tonga/Tahiti

tongan spear throwing

You can learn how to throw a spear

Hunting boar for the next luau is done by throwing spears in Polynesia. You can learn the specialized technique  In both our Tonga and Tahiti Villages (one overhand and one underhand). Come and practice your hunting skills and possibly win a prize!


6. Fish nets in Hawaii

Picture of boy tossing a fishing net in the Hawaiian Village at the Polynesian Cultural Center

A young guest is taught to toss a fishing net in the Hawaiian Village at the Polynesian Cultural Center

Traditional fishing in Hawaii is done by casting nets into a school of fish and dragging them back in. The Polynesian Cultural Center got it’s start doing hukilau-style net fishing at nearby Hukilau Beach. Have your kids try their own hukilau in our Hawaiian fish pond!


7. Fiji drums

Fijian Villagers teach their traditional drum, Derua.

Fijian Villagers teach their traditional drum, Derua.

If your kids are prone to hitting things and making noise, this fun activity is educational and can be a great stress reliever!


8. Fishing in Tahiti

Picture of family fishing at Tahiti Village at the Polynesian Cultural Center

Fishing in the Tahiti village can be fun for the entire family

Fishing provided a large source of the Tahitian’s diet. Fish for real tilapia, which are small enough not to overwhelm the little ones in our lagoon using an old-fashioned Tahitian fishing pole. 


9. Huki (fishhook) necklace

Photo of family with huki necklace at the Polynesian Cultural Center

Your children can create their own “huki” necklace in the Carvers Hut

This crafty activity lets your children get creative and learn about the symbolism behind the huki, which is “hook” in English. Our artisans will help them craft a necklace resembling the type of huki used to by our Polynesian ancestors as they caught fish for their evening meal. Your kids will also have the opportunity to learn our about our legendary demigod Maui, who used his large fish hook to pull the islands out from under the ocean. This activity is in the Carver’s Hut on the lagoon side of the Maori (Aotearoa) Village.


10. Poi and coconut bread tasting

Photo of family sampling Tahitian coconut bread

Our coconut bread is made fresh daily

For the little ones interested in cooking and food, poi tasting is available in our Hawaii Village and freshly made coconut bread is available in the Tahiti village. You may be surprised at how delicious they are!


11. Our shows are family-friendly

Man climbs coconut tree

Samoan Villages display their incredible strength and skills as they climbs coconut tree for our guests.

All shows are great for kids and most are interactive. If you’re looking for sure-fire favorites full of laughter and excitement, Samoa and Tonga shows are among them. For more information, including show schedules, click here.


12. Weave a fish headband

Guests are taught to weave headbands.

Guests are taught to weave headbands.

It’s common to see guests leave our Center with a free souvenir–a woven headband with a fish protruding from the top or beautiful woven birds. In our Tonga and Samoa Villages you can learn to weave using leaves while creating fun memories.


13. Canoe rides – go big or go small, but definitely go!

Picture of guests paddling a canoe at The Polynesian Cultural Center

Paddling your own canoe is one of our most popular activities

Free canoe rides give kids a chance to see our villages from the lagoon that stretches across the Center. Polynesians often traveled by canoe to get to the different islands. You can ride on a 32 passenger, slow moving canoe pushed by one of our strapping young men from one end of the lagoon to another, or at various times throughout the day you can jump in our Tongan canoes (built for 3-4 people) and learn to paddle yourself (with a little help from an experienced paddler, of course).


Come on, it’s time for adventure!

As you can see, there is so much to see, hear, and do at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Click here to book tickets!

Rebecca Sabalones


Rebecca Sabalones is a published writer and editor from Indiana. She graduated with a B.A. in Cultural Communications from Brigham Young University–Hawaii, worked as a multi-media journalist and editor-in-chief for Ke Alaka’i, taught English in Taiwan, and worked as a copy editor for The Daily Herald. The islands called her back to Hawaii where she has been occupied with sales and marketing for the Polynesian Cultural Center.