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Feb 14, 2014 10:23 AM

Maui - Luau lite

Hi everyone,

I'm hoping for some guidance on Maui for a Luau lite, and by that I mean not a full fledged, or the best, etc. My kids can be picky eaters. One has a nut allergy and would not be partaking in the mac nut crusted this and that and probably most of the desserts. My husband and I are very light drinkers and would be perfectly happy to avoid an open bar type of setting. What I'm really hoping for is an experience that focuses on the entertainment portion and less on the food. If the price is reduced from $100pp all the better.

Is there a Luau-type show on the island that is either all entertainment, or entertainment plus pupus, or entertainment and buffet but w/o open bar? Do any of the hotels run something less formal that would give the kids a taste of Hawaiian culture but not a full fledged Feast at Lele or Old Lahaina luau?

I hope there is, and thanks in advance for any tips or insights. We are staying in Kihei to the extent it helps, in a condo.

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  1. Not exactly what you asked for but the Sheraton in Kaanapali does a "show and cocktails" only package. "Ask about our special Cocktail Only Package. Book a reservation for the show and cocktails only for a deeply discounted ticket price!"

    Napili Kai also has a show with students from the Napili Kai Foundation, which might be fun.
    "Every Tuesday at 5:30 pm in the Aloha Pavilion (December performances may vary) the young students of the Napili Kai Foundation present a delightful program of island song and dance. The show is complimentary for Napili Kai registered guests. For non-Napili Kai guests there is a tax deductible entry fee for the performance: $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for children 6-12. Children 5 and under are free. Proceeds benefit the Napili Kai Foundation. Call 808-669-6271 for reservations."

    Ka'anapali Beach Hotel also has a show.
    Nightly Hula Show
    Every night at sunset, the blowing of conch shells signals the beginning of the nightly hula show in the Tiki Courtyard. From 6:00pm you'll enjoy a complimentary performance of Hawaiian music and a hula show, followed by music for dancing under the stars until 9:00 pm.

    All of these are in West Maui, though, not South.

    There are definitely shows representing Hawaiian culture without serving food.

    Check out Ulalena Show at Maui Theatre, in Lahaina (the regular tickets, not the dinner package). Depends on the age of the kids, though, might be too abstract/sophisticated for them.

    There will also be hula shows at some of the hotels and malls for free.

    Whaler's Village in Ka'anapali
    Evening Performances - Every Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm, featuring Polynesian and Tahitian dance shows to local favorites.

    Cannery Mall in Lahaina
    Shows at 7:00pm every Tuesday & Thursday!
    FREE Keiki Hula Shows at 1:00pm
    every Saturday and Sunday!
    Plus free 'ukulele lessons
    every Tuesday at 5:45 p.m.

    Queen Ka'ahumanu Center in Kahului
    Enjoy our free hula show every Monday by Te Tiare Patitifa.

    Shops at Wailea
    Wailea on Wednesdays
    For the most up-to-date event information, visit The Shops at Wailea on Facebook.

    All of the above are in West Maui except for the Shops at Wailea one.

    BTW as I understand it, mac nut crusted fish is not typically served at luau's as it is a more modern Hawaiian food. Luau food is more like lau lau, poi, kalua pig, lomi lomi, ahi poke, but I definitely understand your concerns and some luau places may be serving a more modern selection of desserts (with nuts).

    4 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thank you for your thoughtful and thorough post!!! May I ask if you have personal experience with any of the listings above and whether you enjoyed it?

      1. re: sasha1

        Sorry, we are usually "just passing by" in some of the shopping centers...

        1. re: sasha1

          We went to the show at the Lahaina Cannery in January. Show is put on by students and teachers from a local dance school. There is live and taped music. We enjoyed the show and there were kids in the audience that were engaged and happy. Very simple production. Mall food court and restaurants might be ok for your "picky eaters".

          1. re: villadeste92

            Thanks for the tip.

            My "picky" eaters are just unpredictably picky. The same kid that will eat fancy schmancy food and whose favorite dish is mapo tofu and who won't eat cheese that comes cheaper than $20/lb will guarantee to "not be hungry" the minute I spend $80 on a buffet for him.

      2. You might want to consider the Slack Key show at Napili Kai. We go to it every year if we can - really great music.

        1 Reply
        1. re: DriverPhil

          We just returned from a couple of weeks on Maui, probably our 15th trip. Finally made it to the slack key guitar show at Napili Kai Beach Club. We loved the show but I really don't see it as something children would enjoy. The audience was at least 90% seniors (includes us...). The Happy Hour at Napili Kai/Sea House is probably one if the best IMO.