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Friday Favorites: 15 Tropical Entertaining Essentials for a Fabulous Cocktail Party

Are you ready to throw the best Hawaiian luau party? With these tropical entertaining essentials you’ll have everything you need to host an unforgettable event your friends will love.

We’ve been sharing all things tropical this week from delectable desserts to amazing appetizers to hosting a party in paradise.

Are you ready to bring the sizzle of the tropics to your next get together?

Well, grab your grass skirts and put on your best Hawaiian shirt, because we’re about to spill the coconuts on all the tropical entertaining essentials you need to throw a fabulous party!

From floating candles to fruity drink umbrellas, these fifteen must-have products will have your guests saying, “Aloha, amazing!”

So, grab a margarita (with a tiny paper umbrella, of course), whip up some simple tropical cocktail party appetizers, and get ready to transform your home into a slice of paradise.

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Tropical Entertaining Essentials for Serving Food

Circular Kabob Skewers

Plate with huli huli chicken kebabs on circular skewers for a tropical cocktail party.

Our kids’ middle school hosted a silent auction every year to raise money for their arts programs.

One year, Anne won a basket filled with kitchen gadgets from a local shop, including some Circular Kabob Skewers similar to this set from Amazon.

We love so many things about these circular skewers!

Food doesn’t fall off them as easily as it does from straight skewers.

They fit perfectly on a plate without sharp bits hanging off the edges.

And they make a really pretty presentation whether you’re using them for dinner or a cocktail party!

Neutral Bamboo Cocktail Skewers

Tropical cocktail meatballs on bamboo skewers with a wood bead on the end displayed in a serving dish.

If you’ve been around Simply2Moms for a while, then you know we’re both partial to neutral decorating.

When our supper club group chose a tropical cocktail party theme, we knew we wanted to stay true to that neutral style.

This allows the colorful food and drinks to really shine!

These Neutral Bamboo Cocktail Skewers are a simple and elegant option for serving finger foods, but that bead accent on the end gives them a little bit more style than just a plain bamboo skewer.

Monstera Leaf Decorative Cocktail Picks

Jicama and mango wrapped in prosciutto on cocktail picks with monstera leaf tops and a bottle of Tajin.

Remember how we said we love neutrals?

In our minds, green is a neutral!

If you look around our homes you’ll find we both use greenery throughout to add some life and natural color.

So we decided to add a bit of whimsy to our cocktail party with these cute Monstera Leaf Decorative Cocktail Picks.

Square Palm Leaf Plates

stack of square plates on buffet table for tropical party

To keep clean up easy at the end of the night disposable plates are an entertaining essential for this party.

These 8″ palm leaf plates resemble bamboo but are made from 100% fallen palm leaves.

The light color blends perfectly with the neutral table decor and the plates are sturdy enough to hold as much food as you can pile on.

Mango Wood and Marble Pedestal Cake Stand

cut fruit on pedestal stand as part of party buffet table

When creating a grazing buffet table it’s important to add height to your display.

You can use risers, trivets, boxes or even cake stands like this marble and wood pedestal option to vary the heights of your food.

A cake stand is a versitale decorating piece that can not only be used for entertaining but is also great in a kitchen or bathroom.

After your tropical soirre is over, use this pedestal stand to contain and display tolietries in a bathroom or soap and sponges in your kitchen.

Mini Plastic Serving Cups with Lids and Spoons

Mini plastic cups of keto tropical trifle parfaits with a variety of diced fruit on a white platter.

Whether you’re hosting a cocktail party or a tailgate, these Mini Plastic Serving Cups with Lids and Spoons are a game changer!

You can use them to serve all kinds of things from salads or snacks to shooters or desserts.

They’re a great size at 5 ounces to give you a satisfying serving.

Plus, they come with lids and cute little spoons!

Those lids let you preassemble whatever you’re serving in them and then stack them for easy transport, or to keep them from making a mess in the refrigerator.

Ways to Make Your Tropical Signature Cocktails Special

Round Wicker Serving Tray

signature drinks styled on round wicker tray for tropical party essentials

We often use trays around our homes with everyday decor but did you know they’re also perfect for entertaining?

Using a round wicker tray not only looks pretty but it’s great for corraling like items together.

A tray at the drink station helps contain all the items for a signature cocktail, like garnishes, decorative ice cubes and little drink umbrellas.

The tray allows party guests to make themselves a delicious drink with all the necessary ingredients.

Large Square Ice Cube Trays

glass bowl filled with large fruit filled ice cubes for cocktails

We love the idea of adding fruit and herbs to large ice cubes for cocktails!

Heck, we even love using large ice cubes with mint and cucumber or lemon frozen in them for our water.

It looks so pretty in an ice bucket and in the drink.

Plus, they add a little extra flavor to the drinks.

The secret to making ice cubes that are big enough for chunks of fruit is to use large silicone ice cube trays like these from Amazon.

The trays come with lids to help prevent freezer aromas from contaminating the ice, but we recommend waiting to put the lid on until after the ice has frozen because they cause tiny ice crystals to form on one side of the cube.

Palm Tree Drink Umbrellas

AnnMarie and Anne from Simply2Moms holding cocktail glasses outside.

Is a tropical drink ever really complete if it doesn’t have a fun umbrella?!

We think not!

But those colorful tropical umbrellas just didn’t work with the neutral vibe of the rest of the decorations.

Anne found these super fun Palm Tree Drink Umbrellas and we knew we needed to have them!

The ends are sharp like a toothpick so you can also skewer chunks of fruit on them as a yummy drink garnish.

Affordable Ideas to Decorate for a Hawaiian Luau Party

Large Palm Leaves and Faux Palm Fronds

standing chalkboard decorated with faux palm fronds and leaves with Aloha written

No party is complete without some fun decorating ideas to go along with the theme of the event.

For a Hawaiian luau it would be fun to bring in some tropical plants to decorate your party space.

If adding real plants isn’t possible then using faux greenery is the next best thing.

There are so many ways to use artifical palm leaves and palm leaf fronds to create a beachy vibe.

Combining both styles of palm leaves is a fun way to use greenery to add color and texture to your buffet table, dessert area, and drink station.

The large faux palm leaves can also be used as placemats if you’re setting a table or as accents under food on a buffet table.

Decorate your entrance with a fun welcome sign or create a display similiar to a balloon arch with faux greenery rather than balloons.

White Orchid Stems

faux orchids and palm fronds hanging from edge of mirror on cocktail table

Although greenery alone certainly gives you a tropical feel, these pretty white orchids turn the palm leaves up a notch when decorating for a party in paradise.

Now if only these artifical floral stems smelled as good as the real thing that would be something special.

Don’t feel bad using faux greenery and stems, sometimes they’re actually more economical and can always be used again in the future unlike real flowers.

The artifical orchids decorated the buffet table as well as the mirror above the signature cocktail serving area.

Floating Candles

overhead view of tropical centerpiece design

Candles always provide beautitul ambiant lighting during an evening event like this tropical cocktail party.

These 3″ white floating candles are a perfect way to bring in a tropical vibe when added to water in these glass and rattan vases.

Since the candles are unscented they won’t interfer with the scents of the delicious food you’re serving.

Glass Rattan Vase with Faux Fern Stems

rattan wrapped vases filled with faux ferns and floating candle next to pineapple

These clear glass and rattan vases are available in two sizes and are currently on sale at Michaels.

The vases can be used as a traditional vase filled with faux green fern bushes or as a candle holder.

Not only do they coordinate well with the aesethic of a tropical party but they’d be a wonderful addition to your home decor after the party is over.

They’re neutral so would fit in with many different design styles.

We hope you got some ideas for tropical entertaining essentials that would be perfect for your party.

What have you been shopping for this week? Have you found anything amazing?

We’d love to hear about it….just leave a comment below!

Tropical Entertaining Essentials Resources and Shopping Links

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collage of product images for entertaining and hosting a tropical cocktail party

Sources: palm leaf disposable plates | neutral bamboo cocktail skewers | mini plastic serving cups and spoons | Monstera leaf cocktail picks | circular kabob skewers | large palm leaves | green fern bush | wood and marble cake stand | artificial orchid stems | glass and rattan vase | silicone ice cube trays | palm tree drink umbrellas | faux palm leaves | floating candles | wicker serving tray

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