Discover Polynesia at the Polynesian Cultural Center

If you’re traveling with your family, consider the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Hawaii, on the northern portion of Oahu.

The Polynesian Cultural Center is a large cultural theme park, dedicated to sharing the culture of Polynesia to visitors. The Center includes Villages covering Hawaii, Samoa, Aotearoa (Maori New Zealand), Fiji, Tahiti, Tonga, and the Marquesas.

Each of the villages includes traditional dwellings that you can explore, and each has scheduled activities during the day. For example, you’ll learn about Hula, and also how Poi (a Hawaiian staple food) is made from cooked taro root, see how flower lei are made, and perhaps have a chance to play Ulu Maika (a Hawaiian game similar to bowling). In Samoa, you’ll learn how to make fire with two sticks, how to crack open a coconut, and see the men of Samoa scale 40-foot tall Coconut trees. At Aotearoa (Maori New Zealand), you’ll see the haka dance, play tititorea (a stick game), and receive temporary tattoos. And there’s much more at the other villages too!

Other attractions at the Center include a Rapa Nui area (Easter Island), Hawaii Mission Settlement, and a tour of Laie. Every afternoon, the Rainbows of Paradise water borne show, on the Center’s Lagoon area, showcases the various dances of the different Polynesian cultures on floating double-hulled canoes.

There is also an evening show “Horizons: Where the Sea Meets the Sky” at the 2,800 seat Pacific Theature, featuring music and dance from Polynesia……….one big highlight is the Samoan Fire Dance, which is highly entertaining.

The Polynesian Cultural center also has Hawaii’s only IMAX theatre, where you and your family can enjoy the “Coral Reef Adventure”, exploring the underwater reefs in Polynesia and the sea animals living in and around them.

For more information, visit the Polynesian Cultural Center website, or call 800-367-7060 (808-293-3333) to get information about various ticket options.

Tip: The website tends to promote mainly the all-inclusive packages, which include dinners and the show. The Center does sell day passes for villages, and meal tickets for lunch as well, to suit your needs – for those, you need to call in.

Tip 2: The Polynesian Cultural Center is a large park. Its best to budget the better part of a day for travel time (one hour from Waikiki – a very scenic drive), and to view the numerous villages. Some hotels offer shuttles to the Center – check with your hotel.

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