I love adding a little theme to our movie nights, we went all out with a luau party to really make it feel like a tropical treat!
You’ll see lots of easy ideas in this post to help make your surfing movie night even more awesome. We watched Surf’s Up 2 for our family night–but insert your tropical cartoon movie of choice!
Here’s a trailer to see what these crazy guys are up to in the movie:
Setting the Luau Scene
When you set up a themed family party to go with the movie you’re watching, it totally delights the kids when you are able to bring pieces of the movie out to them sitting in the living room. Not to ruin any plot points for you, but there is a luau in Surf’s Up 2 on the penguin’s Hawaiian-type island so it is a great jumping off point for a Surf’s Up party theme.
When you think up your food menu and decorations, things you see in your chosen movie are a great place to look for inspiration.
There was Surf’s Up 2 swag for everyone at our luau, but we started with the basics, first! We dug through our (and our neighbor’s) garages for surfboards and skimboards to decorate with. Also, after a lot of luau PTA events, I had a stash of stuff to use, but I’ll share sources in a minute if you want to go buy one or two things yourself. Some days I’m more a Amazon mom than a Pinterest mom, and that is OK.
Everyone got a lei. Buy yourself a dozen (like these here) or so to keep in your party cabinet, I promise you’ll use them over and over. The kids wore a few, and I decorated with the rest. Insta-festive!
Other items you can pick up on Amazon to be ready for a luau:
- Grass table skirt (buy it here)
- Coconut cups (buy them here)
- Leaf plates (buy them here)
- Bamboo straws (buy them here)
- Paper lanterns (buy them here)
I added a few tissue paper pineapples (tutorial here) and painted some foam core to look like surfboards to fill in our Surf’s Up 2 food table. There was minimal set up time involved in this, as we were having a family and the kid’s friends-type party. You really don’t have to do a lot to make it feel special.
Luau Party Snacks!
I am usually totally that mom that insists on healthy(-er) snacks and a lot less sugar in my kids’ diets. Because I am that mom, I can tell you it’s totally possible to make a snack menu that the kids will actually love eating, and is good for them at the same time.
Here’s what we served:
- Fruit infused water
- “Squid on a Stick” chicken skewers
- Pineapple and strawberry skewers
- “Fish Juice” milkshake shots
Item number one in getting the kids excited about healthier food: serve it in an interesting way. A couple ideas we used:
- Colorful boxes for no-butter popcorn
- Leaf shaped serving platters and plates
- Coconut cups for non-sugar drinks
- Put it on a stick! Kids care a lot less about what the food is once it’s a kabob. True story.
Our wahinis were totally captivated by our lovely bunch of coconuts. These are actually plastic and re-usable. I filled them with some fruit-infused water, but they’re good for just about any drink! The penguins drank out of coconuts in the movie, so it’s a great tie-in.
Movie night is just not movie night without popcorn! A few themed DIY popcorn boxes made great individual-sized popcorn holders for the kids and double as a smart serving size container.
Squid on a Stick
This is one of the running jokes in the Surf’s Up movies. Squid on a Stick is a Pengu Island delicacy they all gobble up and it tastes like…chicken. The prep time for this fun app is about 5 minutes, and it needs to bake for 15 minutes, which makes it a perfect party food! To save yourself prep time, but the already thin-cut chicken breasts at the grocery store.
- 1 lb thin cut chicken breasts
- 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper
- Bamboo skewers
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil (makes for quick clean-up).
Thread thin strips of chicken on the bamboo skewers and spread on aluminum foil covered pan. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes or until done.
Because I’m not a TOTAL party pooper, I did include one sugary treat that the kids went crazy for. “Fish Juice” milkshake shots! Notice the small container the milkshake is in. Portion control! Just so you know, “Fish Juice” is a movie reference, too. A gross one, so the kids thought it all the better.
The leaf serving plates were perfect for everyone to put their snacks in to sit and watch the movie.
Surf’s Out – Party Goodies
The nice people at Sony sent some really great swag for everyone watching the movie. Towels, trucker hats, movie posters and much to the boys’ delight, WWE action figures and trading cards. For our visiting friends, I whipped up a quick swag back so they could bring all their goodies home.
I just love the paper hibiscus.
Visit the movie page here, and be sure to check out the Surf’s Up 2!