- Theme Party Ideas
Tiki Island Party Ideas
Party Resource Guide
Presented by Event & Wedding Planners
It's Tiki Time!
Tiki Entrance Each
is the perfect summertime party. Fire up the grills & tiki
torches. Mix up some, Mai Tais, Zombies, or Hurricanes. Enjoy the cool
evening breeze under your Palapas hut & relax in the tiki
tradition to some retro-cool Exotica music.
The key to pulling off a coordinated
event: Evoke your theme throughout the affair. Whether that
theme is as general as a season or a feeling, or as specific as
a special flower, it should be the subtle thread that ties
everything together. Your location, invitations, flowers, menu,
cake, and favors should all cleverly reflect one common concept.
Then, get as creative as you can!
Totally Tiki Personalized Banners Each
Tiki Lounge Personalized Banners Each
The Golden Age of Tiki
The Golden Age of Tiki from
1953 to 1970, the time of the flourishing and maturing of
Polynesian Pop. The Tiki style that became popular in the 1950s
and 1960s was the result of a culmination of trends and events
stretching back more than a century. The tiki trend began as GIs
returned home after serving in the South Pacific Islands during
World War II. The country was recovering from a war and looking
to build a bright, new future.
To most Americans, Polynesia was
a mysterious, exotic place - as portrayed in books and films
including "Tales of the South Pacific" (1947), "Kon-Tiki" (1950)
and later the musical "South Pacific." During the 1950s,
families flocked to the suburbs and tiki-style patios became
popular complete with tiki statues, bamboo fencing, tiki
torches, coconuts strung on ropes, grass skirts, pupu platters,
and fruity drinks in a rainbow of Technicolor hues and of course
- tropical plants and palms.
The style spread to bars,
restaurants, motels, bowling alleys and even miniature golf
courses. The tiki trend peaked around 1959 with Hawaii's
admission to the union, then lost momentum in the late 1960s and
by the 1970s, the only folks who thought it was still cool to
hang out at Trader Vic's were aging celebrities and tourists.
Tiki is unabashedly a faux representation of Polynesian culture.
After a 30-year absence of
Polynesian Pop, the drums are beating louder than ever. "Tiki
decor has been getting more popular each year for the past five
years - 2005 was the best year in 50 years, and 2006 is
exceeding that". It is tiki time
Until recently, if you wanted a tiki motif you had to search
yard sales, and thrift stores. These days however, tiki is all
the rage. You can find "Polynesian Pop" everywhere - from
specialty stores to online discounters. You can find everything
from expensive imported tiki statues, custom carved signs,
Palapas, thatches, bamboo poles, retro-Polynesian music to tacky
Developing your Tiki Theme
Develop your Tiki motif by using a
list of words or items related to the theme. Brainstorm a list
to create your pool of ideas. This list is very important for
generating ideas that can be applied to all areas of your event.
Here are a few things we have used for Tiki themes.
The motif is the visual representation of your theme, which is
created by the use of objects or symbols. If you use the theme
"Tiki" you may want to incorporate the use of Bamboo, Tiki
torches, and plenty of carved Tikis to represent this faux
representation of Polynesian culture. These symbol may be
repeated on your invitations, program, plates, or decorations.
Sometimes the use of several different symbols will be used as
components of the theme.
While many Tiki places decorate their establishments with Tiki
statues, some use a World War Two-era wartime theme, decorating
with aircraft & naval items too. For example, unlike the many
neo-Tiki places sporting made-to-order decorations, the Bahooka
an old-time Tiki joint, clearly looks as if it was decorated
over many years, with artifacts culled from all over. There are
navy battle lanterns strung up around the bar. However, there
are also sufficient Tiki carvings, fishing nets, and more to
satisfy even the most ardent Tiki buff. They also have a bunch
of intimate booths, each with its own unique set of decorations
and fish tanks.
- Plenty of carved Tikis
staring out from various nooks and crannies.
Bamboo (woven bamboo matting
and bamboo poles,
Bamboo Torch Candles,
bamboo placemats, bamboo charger plates, bamboo wood
- Bamboo Poles
- Thatching - hand woven from
fresh palm leafs
- Palapas - authentic rustic
tropical palm thatch structures
Raffia Table Skirting
- Tiki torches everywhere
- Tropical plants (banana
trees, palms & ferns)
- Tropical fruits and
vegetables (coconuts, papaya, mangos, kiwi, limes, lemons &
- Bizarre looking human
- Huge carved masks adorning
- Hammock-style Chairs
- Hand-blown glass blowfish
dangling from the ceiling.
- Ceiling lamps crafted out of
bamboo and tapa cloth.
- Table tops made out of
slices of bamboo sticks, which are then filled in with
- Assortment of stuffed puffer
fish, fishing floats.
- Puffer fish inside a bottle
accented with sea shells, tiny starfish and seaweed.
- Hand-made macramé
chandeliers with sea shells.
- Dim lighting
- Tropical Wall Matting
- Carved Shields and Masks
- Reed Fencing
- Tropical waterfalls
- Ceremonial Paddles
- War Clubs
- Outrigger Canoes
- and other Tropical and
Polynesian Props and maritime artifacts.
Additionally, for our Tiki
parties, we have rented cool stuff like: thatched huts, palapa
bars, reed fence panels, spears and decorated skulls on poles,
large tiki statues, animatronic Gorillas, life-sized fake
crocodiles and outrigger canoes.
Decide on what atmosphere or mood you want to create. This is
where you want to refer back to the list of words you
brainstormed. Add words to the list that will portray your mood.
Create a feel and a mood that is uniform throughout.
You'll want to select a color scheme that you will use
throughout the theme. Two or three colors work well. Colors will
make a big impact so be sure they are ones that will complement
your tiki theme. For a tiki theme you might want to use a
rainbow of Technicolor hues (blue, green, yellow, red, orange,
Incorporating texture will make things look and feel
interesting. Using textures will amplify the atmosphere you are
creating. For a tiki theme you could use bamboo, pearls, cottons
& linen, beach sand and shells.
Again apply the theme, mood (to communicate the message....the
emotions, the spirit of the event), color, texture to mesh your
theme throughout your overall event.
Lighting is one of the important elements of any design. For
Bamboo & Seashell Torches can be used to line walkways and party areas.
Accent tables with
Tiki Tabletop Light Set/2.
Gobos can be used to project
photo-realistic images (pictures, line drawings, logos) of just
about anything onto walls, ceilings or a stage areas. Imagine
parrots in flight illuminating the sky of your event room. Used
alone, or in combination with other gobos, stunning results can
be achieved. Contact your local lighting company for ideas.
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Accent your tables:
Remember the tops of the tables provide you with a very large
surface area and covering them with a beautiful tablecloth is
the easiest way to change the feel of a room.. It is also the
most cost effective way to decorate. Ten tables covered with a
themed, solid colored or specialty linen print for example will make a statement
that no white tablecloth can make.
RAFFIA TABLE SKIRTS will add to the festive look for your
Setting your table with
Tiki tableware (plates, cups, napkins, tablecovers &
etc.) is one of the fastest ways to set the mood for your Tiki
Island or Tiki Lounge Party.
BAMBOO TORCH CANDLE 11.5"
sits beautifully on your tables
and make great centerpieces. Trimmed with colorful exotic
Place exotic flowers in unique containers to create beautiful
Add real fruits and vegetables to centerpieces for unusual
candles for mood lighting and to accent a table.
For upscale parties, lighted centerpieces are very popular. A tall glass vase lighted from
below with an LED light base. Fill vases with Orchids or lemons
& limes floating in water.
Accent food trays & drinks with
tropical picks, straws and cocktail umbrellas.
Light up your drinks
11 OZ LED MARGARITA GLASS or use
JEWEL TONE MARGARITA GLASS(20) for fruit cups, shrimp cocktail
or an ice cream sundae.
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Exotica music is a form of tropical-jazz, pioneered in the 1950s
to sound exotic, atmospheric, and occasionally savage, but still
wonderfully listenable to a westerner's ear. Exotica is the
perfect music to complement a tiki theme party. It ranges from
mellow to quite-swinging, but always has an alluring sound.
Martin Denny is often considered the father of Exotica. His
music is atmospheric and lush with a blend of modern Jazz, and
don't forget the bird calls! Martin Denny's rendition of 'Quiet
Village' became a smash-hit and spawned the Exotica craze. Other
exotica music might include: Arthur Lyman's haunting classic
Yellow Bird and Don Tiki's loungy albums.
Bring Vitality To Your Theme Concept
While decor still reigns supreme when invoking theme, an
interactive element brings vitality to your theme concept.
Besides the tropical flowers, native plants and tiki torches to
evoke your theme — bring in traditional native dancers to
perform at your Tiki Event, combine with a hilarious audience
participation segment where guests can interact and be part of
the event, rather than just spectators.
Games & Activities
TIKI PINATA is great for your
Tiki party, use as a
decoration or centerpiece, then as a game. Make sure to blindfold the
It's Limbo Time! See "how
low your guests can go"!
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Most bars you visit these days can't actually make you a true
tropical cocktail. The modern recipes have been simplified for
ease and cost to the point where they're no longer recognizable.
Taste the complex, layered flavor of a true exotic cocktail and
you'll never want to go back. Here you'll find some ideas on
what to serve at your Tiki Party.
Make sure you use fresh lime.
Some of the Top Tiki Drinks include: Mai Tai, Zombie, Hurricane,
Fog Cutter, The Navy Grog, Demerara Dry Float, & 151 Swizzle.
I'd say that this pretty much sums up the top Tikis. I'd maybe
add Blue Hawaii or Blue Hawaiian (different drinks), which
aren't usually such a good drink, but are sort of mandatory for
a Tiki theme for the color and novelty factor.
Although Pina Coladas, Daiquiris, Mojitos, and Margaritas are
four kinds of drinks that sometimes get lumped in with Tiki,
they are really more associated with the Caribbean or
Juice of 1/2 lime
1oz Light Rum
1oz Dark Rum
8 mint leaves
1 1/2 tsp simple sugar
2oz Orange Juice
Add lime juice, Rum, mint leaves and muddle (crush with spoon or
small baseball bat). Add sugar and a little ice. Shake and pour
over crushed ice topping with Orange Juice). Garnish with
flaming lime shell over an orange slice covering the top of the
mug. Straw stuck through the orange slice.
4 Oz Grapefruit Juice
1.5 Oz Passion Fruit Syrup
.75 Oz Fresh Lime Juice
.75 Spoon (Not Oz!!) Orgeat Syrup*
1 Oz Light Rum (Cuban or Virgin Island)
1 Oz Myers's Dark Jamaican Rum
Put in a shaker with half a cup of crushed ice, shake well and
put in a Tiki mug - I guess a 14-16 Oz one , add crushed Ice to
fill. Garnish with a mint sprig.
* Use more Orgeat if you want - it depends how strong the taste
of the syrup is. The idea is to just feel a bit of it. Monin
brand is very strong.
Passion Knockout Punch
1 1/2 oz. gold rum (Barbados rum preferred)
1/4 oz. creme de noyaux
1/2 oz. passion fruit syrup
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. fresh orange juice
1 oz. soda water
Shake with plenty of cracked ice. Strain into double
old-fashioned glass or small tiki mug filled with crushed ice.
Top with 1 oz. soda water. Garnish with pineapple chunk, orange
slice, and cherry.
A simple drink, but a godsend when the air conditioner breaks.
2 ounces gin
1 ounce Rose's sweetened lime
5 ounces chilled coconut juice
Pour into a coconut mug over ice and stir thoroughly. Serve with
Zombies by the Truckload
When making drinks in bulk you can't just multiply the amounts
equally... so start pouring until you get about 75% full, then
add what is needed to taste. your main ingredients should be the
rum and pineapple.
When making zombies by the truckload, use the following:
Pineapple juice (unsweetened)
orange juice (not too much)
a light rum
a dark rum
Passion Fruit syrup (homemade!) *
*When I make Zombies, I make passion fruit syrup from scratch.
Use the Sugar Syrup recipe below, but add the guts of 3 to 5
passion fruits near the end of the boil. then strain. It sure
beats the store bought stuff.
Simple Sugar Syrup
I lb Sugar
One Cup Water
Add sugar and water to pan, bring to boil and bottle
Mai Tai Punch
While the spirit of the drink may be diminished somewhat by
doing it this way, it will allow you to introduce all of my
guests to the glories of a real Mai Tai without spending the
entire evening behind the bar of your own party.
Mai Tai Mix for quick mixing - at the 1.5 liter level it works
(equal part lime to Curacao/syrups, to taste)
Makes 750 ml of 'mix'
375 ml Fresh Lime Juice
187 1/2 ml Orange Curacao
93 3/4 ml Simple Syrup
93 3/4 ml Orgeat
You can use 2oz of the mix with 1oz each of your rums.
So, 1/2 of a bottle each of your rums and the entirety of this
mix bottle should make a decent punch.
I think this is probably the prehistoric ancestor from which
other modern rum cocktails (including the daiquiri) eventually
evolved. The rhyming recipe "One part sour, two parts sweet,
three parts strong, four parts weak" is so simple, but can make
a brilliant, balanced drink that really shows off the character
of the rum used-- a whole greater than the sum of it's parts.
My favorite recipe is:
1oz fresh squeezed lime
2oz simple syrup
3oz Martinique Rum
4oz soda water
Mix in a tall glass with ice, stir-- do not shake.
Using soda water is a bit of a change to the classic, but it
makes the drink more refreshing. Also, it seems that a Ti punch
makes an excellent foil for the funky, nutty character of the
young Martinique rum.
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The menu might include: Grilled coconut shrimp, Crab canapés,
Mussels and Clams, Deviled eggs, etc. Here is a great recipe for
Spicy Coconut Chicken Skewers.
Spicy Coconut Chicken Skewers
1/2 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons curry powder
1/4 heaping teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
Combine all ingredients, except chicken and coconut (and skewers
of course), in a saucepan and heat while stirring until boiling.
Reduce heat to medium/low and allow marinade to reduce somewhat,
(about 15 minutes), stirring occasionally. Put chicken breasts
in a pan and pour most of the marinade on top, saving a small
portion in a container for later. Make sure both sides of the
breasts are coated with the marinade and let pan sit in a
refrigerator at least 2 hours (I leave mine overnight).
Toast the coconut on a baking sheet or shallow pan in a
350-degree oven, turning the coconut with a spatula periodically
so that it is a light brown. (dark brown works too, so don't
worry if it's overdone).
Grill chicken breasts until done but tender, brushing with the
marinade in the pan. Slice breasts in thirds lengthwise. Skewer
each strip on a wooden skewer and brush with the reserved
marinade you had set-aside at the beginning. Roll in toasted
coconut and serve on Ti Leaf. Makes 12 skewers.
You don't have to increase the marinade proportionately for
larger quantities. For today's batch of 50 chicken breasts, I
multiplied the above recipe by eight. I also used two 10 oz bags
of shredded coconut.
Gourmet Magazine: It's Tiki Time!
Much to my amazement I notice that the cover of the June issue
of Gourmet magazine shows a tiki feast ... not a "luau" exactly,
but the article is entitled "Tiki Time" and lists such
mouth-watering recipes as "Pineapple Rum Cocktails,"
"Crab-and-Pork Spring Rolls," and "Coconut Coffee Marbled Ice
The recipes can be found online at:
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Tabletop Tiki Hut 55" X 22" X 56" Each
Tiki Tower Standee Each
Personalized Tiki Standee Each
Bamboo & Seashell Torches Set/12
Giant Tiki Standee W/blue Tongue Each
Giant Tiki Standee W/nose Ring Each
Giant Tiki Standee W/mustache Each
Plastic Tiki Mask Each
Tiki Tabletop Light Set/2
Tiki Bar Each
Tropical Tiki Personalized Yard Sign Each
Palm Leaf Thatching Each
Totem Pole Photo Op Each
Inflatable Jumbo Tiki Pole Decoration Each
Inflatable Tiki Hut Cooler Each
Giant Island Head Standees Set/2