Experience the Polynesian Cultural Center
Founded in 1962, the Polynesian Cultural Center sits on 42-acres in the small town of Laie on Oahu’s north shore. The Polynesian-themed park is one of the most popular attractions and a must-see for anyone interested in Polynesian culture.
The main attractions at the park are seven authentic Polynesian villages, representing traditional life in Hawaii, Fiji, Samoa, the Marquesas, Tonga, Tahiti and Aotearoa (New Zealand).
The Polynesian Cultural Center has something for adults and children alike and is well-suited for a family excursion. As you explore the villages you’ll have the opportunity to witness and take part in multiple activities, from learning to fish without a net in the Hawaiian village to throwing Samoan spears and learning the cultural meaning of Maori tattoos.
As you explore the villages of the Polynesian Cultural Center, you’ll find plenty of ways to enjoy the Polynesian culture. Every day at 2:30 p.m., the Canoe Pageant puts spectacular costumes and dancing on display at the main lagoon viewing area. After the pagent, take a guided canoe tour of the center’s grounds.
As evening falls, the Polynesian Cultural Center hosts one of the best luaus on Oahu, complete with hula, spectacular Samoan fire dancing and the unearthing of the centerpiece of any luau—the kalua pig.
Nighttime also brings Ha: Breath of Life to the Center. This theatrical extravaganza tells a story of life incorporating all seven of the cultures found in Pacific Polynesia with eye-popping special effects and amazing dance performances.
The park opens daily at 12.00 pm—if you’re there early check out the food and stores at the Hukilau Marketplace. General admission tickets cost $64.95, or $51.96 for children twelve and younger. Tickets to the luau and Ha can be purchased in packages with general admission or separately.
When you receive your general admission ticket, you’ll see it’s a three-day pass. There’s so much to do at the Polynesian Cultural Center you can easily spend more than one day there—we recommend at least two days if you can.
Getting to the Polynesian Cultural Center
The center’s buses shuttle visitors from Waikiki starting at 10.00 a.m., if you’re driving from Waikiki, allow for about an hour on the road and follow these directions:
Take Kuhio Avenue and turn left on Kapahulu Avenue, then take the H-1 north for five miles. From there, take the Like Like Highway east for seven miles and then Kamehameha Highway north for twenty-two miles. As you enter Laie, the Polynesian Cultural Center will be on the left side of the road.