How Low Can You Go? Throwing Your Own Limbo Luau.
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How Low Can You Go? Throwing Your Own Limbo Luau.

We all love a good summer party, right? Well, try having a Limbo party at home! You can have a great time on a low budget and everyone that attends will never forget the fun they had. I had Limbo parties every summer in June, before it got too hot, for over 10 years. Unfortunately, my body doesn't bend that way anymore, haha...but for those still flexible, try out these tips for a wonderful event. Tell your friends to wear sunglasses, flip flops, and their loudest Hawaiian or day-glo outfits and be ready to Limbo!


You can use poster board, purchased, or accumulated decorations for your Limbo party. Cut outs are available of hula girls, flamingos, tiki huts, pineapples, etc. You can make your own as well or use garage sale finds. Parrots and flamingos could be made from paper mache and painted any color you like. Use a bright day-glo table cloth for your table. There are platters that look like fish and sea shore items available at most Dollar stores beginning in the spring. Write out "Day-O!”, "Aloha", and "Everybody Limbo" in big letters from bright poster board, cut them out, and string them together with kite string to hang in the trees and over the table. Keep mosquitoes as bay with citronella-burning Tiki torches and candles in interesting containers you can purchase from most garden centers. Blankets and folding lawn chairs complete the casual atmosphere.


What do you play during a Limbo party? Why, Caribbean music of course. Create your own mix disc or find them at garage sales or the library.

Great luau songs: Luau by the Beach Boys, The Banana Boat Song by Harry Belafonte, Luau Song by Tipi da Spiaggia, Hula Ba Luau by the Andrews Sisters, Limbo Rock by Chubby Checkers, Come Dancing by the Kinks, Rock Lobster by the B-52s. The album My Isle of Golden Dreams has a few good songs on it as well. Type in Luau, Hawaiian, Caribbean, or steel drum music into your browser and sample a few.

These sites have great music to download for free: Limbo Rock and Caribbean steel drum music

When a guest arrives, place a lei around their neck in the color of their choice: the plastic ones can be purchased for about 15 cents each at US Toy, Party City, or Oriental Trading Company.


Fire up the grill away from the Limbo court and cook kabobs. Take wooden cooking spikes and pierce stew meat, shrimp, carrots, green peppers, mushrooms, red peppers, pineapple, etc. Cook about 4-6 minutes, depending on the meat you choose...some all-veggie kabobs won’t take as long. You can take orders or just place them on a platter on the food table. Have pineapple chunks on toothpicks, sliced watermelon, and fruit slice candies -- anything colorful. Be sure to have sweet-n-sour and BBQ sauce available. If you are having an adult party, you can even mix Pina Coladas, Bahama Mamas, or Mai Tai drinks for your guests. If you aren't on a budget, you can rent a slushie machine for about 80 bucks overnight and provide your own alcohol and mix -- if you ARE on a budget, use your blender and crushed ice. For kids, use Kool-Aid and crushed ice in clear containers.


Limbo - take a 6 foot long bamboo pole, broom stick, or 1-inch diameter PVC pipe and place it across two height poles buried in the ground. For the height poles, take two 2x4s and use nails to mark off 1/2 inch spots from 2 feet up to the top. Start the game at the top and work your way down half an inch at a time after each participant has taken a turn a walking under the stick. *Be sure you plant the height poles deep enough so that they won't fall down and so that the lowest nail measures two feet from the ground -- it is important to keep the height poles the same height so that the stick will be level for each turn.

Night fishing – When it gets dark and things start winding down … take a 3 foot round inflatable pool and fill halfway with water. Gather a flashlight, blindfold, and toy fishing pole for three teams. Have one team member hold the flashlight and blindfold their partner. Give the blindfolded partner the toy fishing pole. Drop in plastic crabs, seahorses, and fish into the pool. Have the people with flashlights talk their blind-folded team mate toward the items they want to fish out of the pool. The team that removes three items first wins the game. Let everyone have a turn.


Purchase cheap tropical-themed glasses at a Dollar store and give them out as prizes. You can also hand out silk leis to the winners (you can purchase them for about 1.25 dollar at US Toys.

Souvenir Photos:

Take a 4ftx8ft piece of plywood and have an adult lay down on the board. Have them strike a "running" pose, arms and legs out as if they were running through the wall. Trace around their body loosely with a heavy marker. Paint the top half of the board blue for sky and the bottom half green for grass or light brown for sand while leaving the "body" unpainted. Next paint the body brown (to simulate a tan) and draw your two height poles on either side of the body as if they were limbo-ing between the two poles. Draw the limbo pole over the head of the body. Paint a grass skirt and lei over the's best to make your body male, but you can make a female body as well on another board or the back side of the male board if you like. Use coconuts to cover the chest, painted or glued on to the board. Take a thick black marker or black acrylic paint and write “How Low Can You Go?” above the head or down the sides of the board. You can even cut out one of the hands and have your guests hold cards with 4” tall black numbers that tell how low they went! Tack up a blue towel that matches your “sky” to help cover the hole and be sure to have the people with long hair pull it through the hole so the photo seems more 3-D. Next take a jigsaw and cut out the head area, increasing the area by at least one inch. *Try fitting your head through the hole to be sure it is large enough. Now set up a camera and take each guest's photo posing! Print them out on your color printer from your digital camera, use a Polaroid instant camera, or mail them a "thank you for coming" note with their photo inside when you get the photos developed from an instant camera. Don’t forget to take photos or video the event and get shots of your winners!

US Toy Luau Supplies

Oriental Trading Company Luau ideas

Tiki torch sample photo

Citronella candle sample photo

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Comments (1)

Good ideas for a fun party.