We’ve all been there – running for the shade and trying to avoid the endless summer heat while vacationing, struggling to enjoy the sights while steering clear of the sun’s piercing rays. However, there’s no reason to let the high temperatures stop you from making the most of your visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) and the opportunity to explore the rich heritage of the Pacific Islands. Here are five tips to beat the heat while on your trip to one of Hawai’i’s most popular attractions:
1. Dress to the Nines (and for 90 °F weather)
Know How to Accessorize: Hats, Sunglasses, and Umbrellas
Take the shade with you as you go! A wide brim hat or baseball cap is a great choice to keep cool while touring the different Pacific Island villages. Because many of the demonstrations and hands-on activities are outside, wearing sunglasses is essential for getting the best view of the shows while protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays.
Umbrellas are perfect for rain or shine; Oahu’s humid environment can go from rainy to sunny within minutes. Consider bringing an umbrella with you when coming to the island or purchase one at our gift shop.
Light and Loose Clothing
Dressing comfortably doesn’t always mean sacrificing style. The Polynesian Cultural Center stores carry many traditional Hawaiian clothing items that define the phrase, “fashion meeting function”.
The stores include traditional styles such as lavalavas, sarongs, and aloha shirts that are perfect for embracing your inner islander and keeping cool while on vacation.
You can bring your own or purchase items online from our wide selection of clothing and accessories at or in person at the Hukilau Marketplace.
2. Great spots to beat the heat
Although the PCC provides an authentic cultural experience, the Center provides some areas with air conditioning to ensure guests are comfortable while visiting.
Hawaiian Journey Theater
Come and see an exciting 15-minute show at the Polynesian Cultural Center’s newly refurbished theater, where the comfortable seating and outstanding surround sound equipment offer a truly magical experience.
The 4D action and special effects (available in selected sections of the theater) transports the audience to the cool Hawaiian seaside and educates viewers on Hawaiian cultures and values.
The traditional Samoan homes known as fales featured in the Polynesian Cultural Center’s village are built with natural air conditioners. The fales’ intricate design shields its inhabitants from wind, rain, and sun—a product of Samoan ingenuity.
Make sure to take a stop and learn about the culture of Samoa while in the comfort and protection of a fale.
Located in the Hukilau Marketplace, the “Ukulele Experience” exhibit offers an educational experience of the beloved instrument and showcases a variety of ukuleles available for purchase.
Alfred Grace, PCC President and CEO, commented, “We have designed the ‘Ukulele Experience to appeal to all ages, residents and visitors alike. All you need is an appreciation for music and a love for Hawai‘i.”
Come get a free ukulele lesson and cool off in the air conditioned building!
3. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with a Frosty Treat
You can’t visit the Polynesian Cultural Center without stopping for a sweet treat at the Hukilau Marketplace, located near the ticketing office!
Pop into Tutu’s Sweets for delicious made-in-Hawaii confections, which include freshly dipped chocolate macadamia nuts, cotton candy, and cookies. Order a chilly Dole Whip, known for its distinct pineapple flavor created by the Dole Company in 1968.
Refreshing treats around the Pavilion
At the Fia Fia Farms stand, you can try ‘otai, a polynesian fruit drink, that serves as a great summertime refreshment. Other frozen desserts include shaved ice and ice cream, which can be found at the Beachside Shave Ice and Elsie’s Aloha Ice Cream stands.
Trying to find a place to get a refreshing, tropical drink? Look no further! So’Da bomb features over 30 soda flavors that you can mix to create your ideal beverage. This location is the first and only soda truck on Oahu, so make sure to stop by and grab a delicious soda to cool down.
4. Leap in a Canoe at the Lagoon
The canoe tour is a fun hands-on activity for the whole family. For the month of July, join experienced canoe paddlers and jump into a four-person canoe and race around the man-made lagoon. *Warning: You may get wet while paddling!
5. End the day relaxing at the “HĀ: Breath of Life” Night Show
This is one evening show you can’t miss! After spending the day touring around the villages, enjoying the delicious food, and shopping for souvenirs, the Polynesian Cultural Center’s “HĀ: Breath of Life” night show is the perfect way to end your day. The show features over a hundred Polynesian dancers to share a timeless story of hardship, love, and growth. The beautiful Pacific Theater is open air, yet provides a full cover from ‘the elements’, which allows you to comfortably watch the stunning cultural performances and daring fire dancers—a truly “cool” experience.
Lacey Westphal, a biology major at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, is driven by her love of learning and passion for the outdoors. She enjoys surfing, soccer, and writing (when she has the time). As a student at one of the most diverse universities in the nation, she is always eager to meet new people and learn about the unique stories they have to share.