Where: Lahaina, Maui
Why: This was my son’s second trip to Maui (he’s one lucky kid) and my parent’s first trip (they loved it) and they all wanted to try out the luau experience. I picked the Old Lahaina Luau because it was close to our hotel, the views are amazing, and I was looking forward to some pretty tasty luau food.
My Kid’s Picks: He enjoyed walking around the grounds before the dinner and show to check out the crafts stations and the Kalua pig being unearthed from the imu oven. The fruity smoothies with umbrellas were a big hit (he now claims he loves Lava Flows, heh), as was the buffet dinner. While the show also captured his attention, the location of our table made it difficult for him to really engage with the dancers.
Mom’s Verdict: I had only been to one other luau and hadn’t had a good experience, so I came into the Old Lahaina Luau not expecting much. I was glad to be proved wrong. Walking the grounds while watching the sun set with my favorite little guy was pretty memorable and so was the food. Poi rolls and mahi-mahi anyone? Yes, it’s open bar, but that’s not a big priority for me. I also appreciated that the hula dancing was strictly Hawaiian, you won’t see any fire-breathing at this show. It makes this luau a bit less Vegas and a lot more relaxing. I still think that the price of a luau is pretty steep, so this is not something I would do on every trip to Hawaii or with very young kids. All kids under the age of 12 that occupy a seat will require a ticket. But if you’re going to spend hundreds of dollars for a luau, this one is a pretty good bet.
Useful Tidbits: I would make reservations early and pick the traditional table seating-on low tables with mats on the ground-because they are closer to the stage. We opted for the table seating because it was easier on the grandparents, but we got a table with limited viewing. The 2010 prices are about $95 for adults and $65 for children under twelve. Check out the website for more information.
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