There are two types of people in this world: you either love the ocean, or you love the mountains. I’m not saying you can’t love both, but if it came down to choosing one of those two options for the rest of your life, you know which one you would choose. I have always been a beach-y ocean lover. I was actually a mermaid in another life, true story. (Okay- not really but, really).
This is one of my darling daughters. See?! Mermaids.
I want to experience the ocean everywhere, and island life is my very favorite. I’d love to travel to places like Tahiti, Fiji, and Samoa, but for now in my life… that’s just not possible. Hawaii is about as far into the South Pacific as I can make it with my little family, and it would seem as if dreaming of those far off destinations is the best I can do… or is it?!
The Polynesian Cultural Center is the key to making all my South Pacific Dreams come true. It’s more than just a Luau, it’s 42 acres of pure Polynesian adventure! I was as excited to visit the Polynesian Cultural Center as I was to visit Disneyland, no joke. This place holds a very special place in my heart. My great-grandfather built the Polynesian Cultural Center and it’s neighbor, Brigham Young University: Hawaii. He worked as a Labor Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to build both campuses. My family’s blood, sweat, and tears has literally been put into the magic of this place.
My girls in Tahiti
I haven’t been able to visit the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) in over 10 years, and I’ve never been able to bring my children. I was so excited to introduce them to Polynesia this way; it was the perfect way to end our trip to Hawaii with a bang. There are six Polynesian villages to visit: Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, and Aotearoa (New Zealand). Each village has a live event and corresponding fun activities that showcase their specific Polynesian culture.
Tattoos are a close part of many of the Polynesian Cultures! We had to join in on the fun.
Poi Ball lessons in Aotearoa
My girls had the best time ever with the poi balls in New Zealand. We got a whole lesson from one of the workers and my oldest daughter ended the day with her very own poi balls to take home as a souvenir 🙂
We found souvenirs for all our kiddos at the Hukilau Marketplace where there are several shops and fun restaurants. The marketplace is great because it doesn’t require a ticket for entrance. We even went back the next day to have dinner and do a little more shopping 🙂
We loved the treats from the bakery at Pounders Restaurant and had tons of fun browsing all the shops.
I was so impressed with the shows at every village. Samoa was super fun because there was a fire knife dancer! Did you know that not only is there fire on the end of their twirling sticks, it’s also a knife?! My kids loved that and Holy Cow the host was so funny! They even had a few guys climb palm trees with their bare feet for coconuts!
The Samoan Fire Knife Dancer
Tonga was a blast! We planned to get there a little before the show started and were able to score front row seats. It was awesome to be so close to the drums and my littles were entertained the whole time. Not once did I hear, “I’m bored” the entire day.
Everything was so entertaining and exciting! Everyone that works at the PCC is super nice and I really don’t think I saw a single person with a grumpy face the whole day. Most of the workers at the PCC are college students at BYU-H! What a fun college experience that would be 🙂
The Ali’i luau in the evening was a blast because my daughters had fallen in love with kalua pork over the course of our trip. They were over the moon to see the men pulling the pig out of the ’emu’ where it had been cooking all day. All the food was amazing and of course the show during dinner was super entertaining. It was all outdoors so the setting was the gorgeous Hawaiian scenery, which my heart aches for when I’m away.
The finale of the day was the “HA: Breath of Life” show. It’s held in a large stadium complete with Hawaiian foliage, a volcano, and about 100 native Polynesian performers. This show was completely unreal; it blew my mind on so many levels. It’s a complete story starring each village, with love and family at the center of everything. I cried, I laughed, and I finished the night in applause. We went down to the stage when it ended and took pictures with some of the performers. My six year old insisted on having her photo taken with the handsome star of the show- which I thought was darling and also a little… alarming. (haha)
The Polynesian people are full of life and laughter, and it’s bursting from every seam at the Polynesian Cultural Center. You have to be there and experience it to take it all in. Even just being there to visit, I already can’t wait to go back and do it all again.
We truly had the best time ever and want to make sure everyone knows that it is a MUST when visiting the Hawaiian Islands. The PCC was truly the ‘cherry on top’ to our amazing Hawaiian vacation 🙂
We visited free of charge for the purpose of this review.
This has in no way affected my opinion.
This review is my opinion and has been written in my own words.