May 26, 2018

Things to do with Polynesian Cultural Center tickets :: oahu hawaii

Polynesian Cultural Center: Things to do in Oahu at this top tourist attraction with Polynesian Cultural Center tickets, Hawaii

The Polynesian Cultural Center is a sort of living museum that brings to life the different Polynesian cultures that have been among the biggest influences of what is known as Hawaiian culture today.

It’s a fun and interactive experience that can be a break from the busy streets and beaches of Waikiki.

So if you’re looking to spend a day away from Oahu snorkeling spots or Oahu hiking trails, give a look to the Polynesian Cultural Center! Doing so can also allow you to have a better appreciation for the Hawaiian culture you see all around you during your vacation on the Hawaiian islands!

With so much to do, a trip to the Polynesian Cultural Center is a day-long commitment. There are hours of activities for you to spend your day from 12pm, when the activities start, until 9pm, when the evening show ends. It’s also a commitment because it’s on the other side of the island from Waikiki.

Here’s a list of all Hawaiian luaus on Oahu.

Now, on this page is a taste of what you can find with a visit to this cultural center!

Things to do at the Polynesian Cultural Center:

And for more ideas on things to do in Oahu, here are some of the best activities on Oahu!

Explore Polynesian village life

There are 5 Polynesian cultures to explore on the grounds of the Polynesian Cultural Center. There’s Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Tahiti, and Aotearoa. (Aotearoa is the name the native Maori people call New Zealand.) These are all islands in the South Pacific, and cultures from these islands have had a lasting influence on today’s Hawaiian culture. You’ll get a glimpse of village life for each of the islands, including cultural traditions that date far back.

Polynesian Cultural Center, Hawaii: Samoa island village life and culture activities

Polynesian Cultural Center, Hawaii: Samoa island village life and culture activities

Side note!
If you'll be snorkeling on your next vacation, consider wearing these types of UV swim shirts. Also see about what to pack for Hawaii for hiking, snorkeling, and more essentials! And for Hawaii vacation ideas, see the best things to do in Oahu that will give you Hawaii vibes!

Hands-on village activities

The hands-on village activities are another way to explore village life. Whether it’s practicing your skills at spear throwing or playing some Polynesian versions of board games, each of the different island cultures offers you opportunities to get involved! And, this is for kids and adults! Things to do for fun for the whole family on Oahu! 😉

Polynesian Cultural Center, Hawaii: Tonga island village life and culture activities

Polynesian Cultural Center, Hawaii: Hawaiian culture activities

Polynesian Cultural Center, Hawaii: New Zealand / Aotearoa island village life and culture activities

Canoe ride through the lagoons

The grounds of the Polynesian Cultural Center is set up so that it feels like each of the Polynesian islands is actually on a different island when you are there. You can have a look at the Polynesian Cultural Center map to get a better idea of that. Notice all of the water.

Map of Polynesian Cultural Center, Hawaii

This means that it can make for a peaceful canoe ride through the lagoons, passing by the different islands from a boat! There are group canoe rides and individualized canoe rides that you can take.

Polynesian Cultural Center, Hawaii: Canoe ride past Polynesian islands

Cultural shows at the Polynesian island villages

Throughout the day, each of the different Polynesian cultures has a 30 minute culture show, displaying the dancing and music traditions from their islands.

This includes cultural dances…

Polynesian Cultural Center, Hawaii: Tonga island village life and culture show

…And it includes cultural music too, that you can take part in!

Polynesian Cultural Center, Hawaii: Fiji island village life and culture show

Canoe Pageant: Cultural show on the river

The canoe pageant is one show that you can’t miss… literally! 😉 Basically everything else at the Polynesian Cultural Center takes a break during the river show, which means the cultural show on the river is the only thing to see during the allotted time. The canoe pageant usually takes place around 2:30pm every day. During this time, groups from each of the Polynesian islands come out in succession and do a performance on a canoe that represents their island.

Polynesian Cultural Center, Hawaii: Canoe pageant with Samoa island culture show

Polynesian Cultural Center, Hawaii: Canoe pageant with Hawaiian royalty culture show

Polynesian Cultural Center luau

Attending a luau is something that’s on many people’s bucket list of things to do on Oahu during their Hawaii vacation. At a luau, you’ll get Hawaiian entertainment and Hawaiian food. You’ll get a chance to eat Hawaiian dishes that are on a traditional luau menu.

There are a number of different luaus on Oahu to choose from, but the Polynesian Cultural Center luau is the only one that will give you a chance to give you a better understanding of Hawaiian culture with all the cultural activities and shows that you can explore before the luau even begins in the evening!

Polynesian Cultural Center luau in Oahu, Hawaii: Traditional Hawaiian luau entertainment

Ha Breath of Life: Evening show

And as if all that wasn’t enough, your day ends with even more excitement!

Following dinner, there’s a theatrical performance with a story that brings together all of the Polynesian islands you learned about throughout the day. With 30-50 performers on the stage at nearly any given time, it can really bring to life that island village life!

You MUST watch this video below! It’s even better in person!

Hawaii souvenirs at Hukilau Marketplace

The Polynesian Cultural Center is also the perfect place to do your souvenir shopping! There’s the Hukilau Marketplace that’s located right in front of the entrance of the Polynesian Cultural Center. This means that even if you’re not interested in spending a full day at the cultural center, if you’re doing a road trip around Oahu, you can stop to check it out without buying Polynesian Cultural Center tickets.

Included with a visit to the Hukilau Marketplace is a chance to see Polynesian wood carvings made right in front of you!

Polynesian Cultural Center, Hawaii: Best Hawaii souvenirs at Hukilau Marketplace with Polynesian wood carving

Koa wood is native to Hawaii, and they also make for great wooden gifts!

Plan your luau on Oahu!

Here’s the list of Polynesian cultural fun on Oahu!

Here’s a list of ALL fun adventures on Oahu!


How to get to the Polynesian Cultural Center

What to wear in Hawaii

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see more:
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