Christine A Howard

Winter Doldrums = Luau Movie Night!

So how is winter treating your family?  ‘Cause this year’s winter has socked us in the stomach but good!  You would think that we would be enjoying our mid-western winter with all sorts of cold weather activities, and normally we would. There has been no snowmobiling, no sledding, and no building snowmen, and this is no bueno.  This year all we have gotten is ice storm after ice storm, and my family looks like a bunch of caged animals awaiting euthanasia at the shelter.

So what is a tired and crabby mother to do?  Well, we are gonna take back a little bit of our winter with a Luau Movie Night! This is great timing for those of us that are in desperate need of a winter break.


 Follow my easy steps below and create your own movie night luau at your house!

There are four very important elements to any successful movie night – Menu, Games, Decorations and of course, the Movie!  I have taken care of all of these details to help you have the best movie night your family has seen in a while!

So what’s on the menu?

Every good luau seems to have a pig roast, right?  So why not have pulled pork sandwiches! This is an easy option you can throw in the crock pot in the morning and it will make your house smell great by party time.  I happen to keep this recipe waiting for me in the freezer since this recipe works great as a crock pot freezer meal too.



While this pulled pork recipe is very mild and kid friendly, I know that some kids need something even more friendly in order for them to be happy.  Lil’ Hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls fits this bill quite well!  They also make great appetizers for guests until the main meal is ready.

Every luau has to have fresh fruit!  Since winter can be a tough time of year for fresh fruit, canned can easily be substituted for fresh. Though I would at least cut some fresh pineapple which seems to be available in most grocery stores all year.  With it being close to Valentine’s Day, fresh strawberries seem to be everywhere too.  We find fresh cut mango at our local Sams’ Club all year long, so you may be surprised what you can find in season this time of year!

We top our menu off with baked beans, chips, blue jello with gummy fish, and ocean blue cupcakes for dessert!  I was able to find frosting that was already dyed blue with a bonus cap full of fish shaped sprinkles for the same price as the regular frosting!  I love that when that happens!

Pepsi-co has made our drink choices very easy!  They have numerous flavors of Mountain Dew that fall in the category of tropical.  If you can find them, Sangrita Blast and Baja Blast are fun options, but there is also Black Out, White Out and Code Red too.  We are also huge fans of Cranberry Mist, which is a berry version of Sierra Mist.  This one can also be homemade in the event that it isn’t in your store, simply by mixing equal parts cranberry juice and lemon-lime soda.

For a more grown up beverage, there is always the standby Margarita.  Or, for a fun ocean blue drink, you could stir up some Electric Blue Lemonade by mixing a glass of lemonade with a shot of Blue Curacao Liqueur.

Luau Movie Night Menu!

  • Pulled Pork Sandwiches served with buns (tortillas can be used also)
  • Little hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls
  • Chips and Dip (we use Doritos and Scoops with Ranch Dip)
  • Baked Beans (we like Bush’s Grillin Beans)
  • Blue Jello Jigglers with Fish Gummies.
  • Fresh Fruit Plate (we use mango, strawberries, and pineapple)
  • Ocean Cupcakes with fish shaped sprinkles
  • Sangrita Blast, Baja Blast, or Cranberry Mist.
  • Electric Blue Lemonade or another fun drink.

** Fun Tip: serve the chips in sand buckets and use the shovels to serve the dip! **

Let’s Play Some Games!

The thing that our family misses the most during a mid-western winter is the BEACH!!  I envy those that live near the coast, because the beach is always an option. Though I have to admit, we do look pretty weird to the Florida locals when we all jump in the water in December.  We must be missing the water since all of our games are Pool Noodle related.  If we can’t go to the pool, then we can bring a little bit of the pool to us, right?

Pool Noodle Limo

This one isn’t a game as much as it is an excuse to look silly.  Bring out that island music on YouTube, and see how low you can go!  Have two people hold each end of the pool noodle while the others dance their way lower and lower without falling.

Ride the Wave

To play this game, you will need to cut eight 3-4 inch sections from a pool noodle making sure the hole stays intact, and two 5 -6 foot sections of string.  Pair up into teams of two.

Each person holds the end of the string, standing 5 – 6 feet from each other.  One of the team members will thread a pool noodle piece unto the string and make waves until the other team member can grab it without taking a step forward.  This is repeated until all four pieces have crossed the string ocean.  The first team to transfer all of the pool noodle pieces to the other side, wins.


Blow Me Away

For this game, each player needs half of a pool noodle and a cotton ball.  Place painter’s tape on the floor as a finish line and a second line that the cotton ball cannot cross.  Each player must blow through their pool noodle to move the cotton ball across the floor.  The first person to get their cotton ball between the finish lines wins.

Throw Me a Line

This game will use the pool noodle sections that were cut for the Ride the Wave game, as well as the painter’s tape finish line from Blow Me Away.  Each player stands 4 -5 feet away from the finish line, holding their pool noodle pieces.  Then each person must throw their pool noodle pieces so they land between the finish lines.  The person with the most pieces between the lines, wins.


Island Decorations

Nothing says “The Islands” like flower leis, so this is a must have decoration.  You can find really nice leis for not a lot of money, so this makes a great decoration, as well as a nice take away for your guests.  We also went to the Dollar Tree and picked up a plain green plastic table cloth, and a few sand buckets to serve chips and dip.  The ceiling fan in our kitchen was turned into a Palm Tree using green tag board fronds, brown coconut balloons, and crepe paper tree trunk.  With Moana coming out on blu-ray soon, you could also choose Moana themed tablecloths, cups, plates, and napkins.


Movies With an Ocean or Beach Theme

It would not be a movie night without the movie, right?  So I have compiled a list of great beach movies.

  • Finding Nemo and Finding Dory
  • Moana
  • Surf’s Up and Surf’s Up 2
  • Lilo and Stitch and Lilo and Stitch 2
  • Teen Beach Movie and Teen Beach Movie 2

There are many more options out there to choose from, and if you are planning a movie night for the adults, you might try something a bit more grown-up.

If your house is like my house, we have come to the point where we are mighty tired of winter, and have a serious case of cabin fever.  Thank goodness a nice island movie like Moana comes out pretty soon, so we have a great excuse to throw a Luau Movie Night to cure the winter doldrums.

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