Polynesian Cultural Center Is Great for Furlough Fridays

Categorized as Hawaii Activities, Hawaiian History

Educational Exhibits and Hands-On Activities That Kids Love

The Polynesian Cultural Center (55-370 Kamehameha Highway, Laie; 808-293-3333) encompasses more than 40 acres on Oahu’s beautiful north shore. Truly one of Oahu’s premier attractions, this superbly managed attraction provides valuable lessons while also being very exciting.

From weaving to carving to coconut-cracking and ancient tattoos, from songs and dances to fire-starting and tribal meeting houses, the Center has something for everyone. Particularly impressive is watching the native methods of scaling the immensely tall coconut trees! And of course all the great food!

The Polynesian Cultural Center has its roots in the Polynesian shows that were put on by college students of Brigham Young University in the 1950s. The Center opened in 1963 and is run by the college and staffed by its students. An expansion effort that took place in 1975 ensured its future as a major Oahu attraction.

Seven island nations are represented at the Polynesian Cultural Center including wonderful Tahitian and Marquesan Villages as well as Samoan, Maori, and Fijian villages. Each theme village has its own specific and authentic music, dances, and crafts.

Kids and adults alike enjoy the state-of-the-art IMAX Theater that shows various films such as Dolphins which brings to life the fascinating marine mammals.

A daily Pageant of the Long Canoes takes place at 2:30 when the Center’s lagoons grace the participants adorned in all of their cultural regalia aboard canoes – a truly impressive scene.

Also seen at the Polynesian Cultural Center is a full song and dance Polynesian-style Revue which includes more than 100 performers. A Hawaiian Luau provides a veritable feast of traditional foods while another entertaining production is provided, this one more contemporary Polynesian.

The mission of the Polynesian Cultural Center, aside from educating and entertaining people who come there from all over the world, is to provide scholarships and also jobs for students of Brigham Young University, which is located nearby.

The Center has its roots in the first arrival of Mormon missionaries to Hawaii in 1850 when they established the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Laie. They puchased 6,000 acres of land in Laie in 1865.

In 1919 the Mormon used crushed coral and rock to build a Mormon Temple that was a smaller replica of the temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. This beautiful temple set beneath the stunning Koolau Mountains was the first Mormon temple built outside of the continental United States. The Mormon temple is considered the cornerstone of the college.

The Polynesian Cultural Center is open Monday to Saturday, from 12:30 until 9pm. Cultural villages close at 6:30