16 Amazing Things To Do At The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC Hawaii is Awesome!)
Want to visit PCC Hawaii? Awesome! There are so many things to do at the Polynesian Cultural Center. It is a must-see when you visit the island of Oahu, Hawaii.
The Polynesian Cultural Center or PCC Hawaii is an immersive experience in Polynesian culture. It was voted by USA Today, Trip Advisor, and Star Advertizer as Hawaii’s Best Tourist Attraction in 2019.
Not only do you get to learn about the Hawaiian Islands but other Pacific Islands are represented. There are representatives from Tonga, Fiji, the Cook Islands, and many more islands of the Pacific.
What I love about the Polynesian Cultural Center is that it really benefits the community. It is a non-profit organization. The majority of the employees that work here are college students at Brigham Young University Hawaii.
The students are given scholarships for their schooling and in return, they represent their Polynesian culture and work at the center. Most of the students are from small islands and the university allows them to get a great education and then go back and make a difference in their homeland.
Let’s explore all the things to do at the Polynesian Cultural Center so you can plan a Polynesian cultural experience you won’t forget!
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Directions to the Polynesian Cultural Center
Address for the Polynesian Cultural Center:
Polynesian Cultural Center
55-370 Kamehameha Hwy.
Laie, Hawaii 96762
Hot Tip for Visiting Polynesian Cultural Center
Give yourself plenty of time to get to the North Shore if you are coming from Honolulu. It will take between 60-75 minutes depending on traffic. Commuter traffic is heavy between the hours of 3:30 pm- 6:30 pm.
Shuttle service from Waikiki is available. As you purchase your tickets online you will have an option to add transportation to your Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC Hawaii) tickets. You may have to call the reservation center to reserve your time.
There are two options for shuttle service: Motorcoach and Mini- coach. Motor-coach ($25- round trip) has designated pickup sites near some of the hotels in Waikiki. Mini-coach ($37 – round trip) will pick you up directly from the lobby of your hotel. You could also just book an island tour that includes PCC Hawaii
Parking at the Polynesian Cultural Center
Parking is free! The parking lot is very large. There is a shuttle service between the parking lot and the Hukilau Marketplace, which is the access point to PCC Oahu.
Hours and Admission to the Polynesian Cultural Center
(Mon-Sat) Closed Sundays
- Islands 12:30 am – 9:00 pm
- Huki: A Canoe Celebration 2:20 pm – 3:00 pm (Amazing! You do not want to miss this)
- HA: Breath of Life Evening show 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm (Fire Twirlers)
- Hukilau Marketplace 11:00 am – 8:30 pm (Some of the restaurants in the marketplace close earlier)
There are a lot of different packages to pick from. We went with the admission and show package, which is the lowest-priced package.
I do not recommend that. Personally, I would recommend doing the most popular package, AlI’I Luau Package, which will give you a much nicer dinner with a show while you eat.
If you want a tour guide there are other packages available. I tend to be a more self-guided type of person.
Free “3 Days” Re-Admission
You can receive re-admission to the island villages with your purchase of a full-day package. Just head to the ticket office for redemption. We didn’t have enough time to take advantage of this offer.
I would have liked more time to explore the islands a little more. We only had one day to enjoy the Polynesian Cultural and didn’t get to see everything.
If you need a ticket with transportation I do have an affiliate link with a company I really like of you can book directly on the Polynesian Cultural Center website.
How Long Should I Plan to Stay at the Polynesian Cultural Center?
Plan to stay at least 4-5 hours however this is an activity that could fill your entire day. But since PCC Oahu doesn’t open until 11:00 am, you could get something else in beforehand. We were able to go on an early morning snorkeling expedition and still have time to get dressed and get there by opening time.
Polynesian Hawaii at its Best!
There are so many things to do at the Hawaii Polynesian Cultural Center such as activities and shows at each island village location.
You will be busy from the time you enter until it closes. The island village closes at 6:00 pm. You will then eat dinner at your location of choice. To finish things off, there is a show, HA: Breath of Life Show which is in a huge arena and ends at 8:45 pm.
What is the Best Day of the Week to go to the Polynesian Cultural Center?
PCC Hawaii is one of the best activities on Oahu so you can guarantee it will be busy most days. Your best bet is to go on the day that you can get the best seats for the nighttime show. As your purchase your ticket look at seat availability.
Things to Do at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii
Since the Huklau Marketplace opens up 45 minutes before PCC Hawaii, you may want to get an early lunch in. There are a number of food options, which are described in detail later in this post.
As you enter the Polynesian Cultural Center you will see that there are villages located throughout the entire area. Each village represents a Pacific Island culture. You can start at any village you would like.
1. Shows at PCC Hawaii
As you visit each village there will be shows, crafts, or presentations to help immerse yourself in the culture. Your brochure as well as signs located throughout PCC Hawaii will indicate the times for shows. These are offered on the hour.
Polynesian Cultural Experience
These shows are so fun! You need to be there a little early so that you can reserve your seat. One that we loved pulled people out of the audience and had them dancing and drumming. It was really funny! Most of the shows have crowd involvement so they are interactive.
One thing you do not want to miss is the Huki: A Canoe Celebration. This is a riverboat show that starts at 2:20 pm. Be sure to schedule your day around this show.
2. Huki: A Canoe Celebration
This Polynesian cultural experience reminded me a lot of the water shows at Disney World (think Fantasmic and Rivers of Light). I think the reason for that is it tells a story on a grand scale with great effects.
A story is told of how the Polynesian Cultural Center was formed and how the Pacific Ocean pulls us together as one family. It was a great story and an impressive show.
3. Polynesian Village Hawaii Islands
There are currently six, permanent Polynesian village Hawaii Island areas to visit at the PCC: Hawaii, Tonga, Aotearoa, Samoa, Fiji, and Tahiti. Here is a sampling of what you can do in each.
As you visit each village there will be shows, crafts, or presentations to help immerse yourself in the Polynesian culture.
Top Things to Do:
- Learn to do the Hula
- Learn How to throw fishing nets (the island way)
- Watch how poi is made, and try a taste yourself
- Try Ancient Hawaiian games
Tonga is a fun place to check out. We loved it! The Tongans are friendly and even let us take fun pics with them!
Top Things to Do:
- Take a Canoe Ride
- Weave a fish from coconut leaves
- Compete in a Spear throwing contest
- Learn about tapa cloth
One thing I love about the Polynesian Cultural Center is that there is so much to explore. You can enjoy the shows and then walk around and look at exhibits.
Top Things to Do:
- Cook up a Samoan dish in the outdoor kitchen
- Learn how to crack a coconut and milk it
- Make fire the Samoan way
- Learn how to spin a fire knife
This is a great area to experience Polynesian cultures. My kids loved looking at the Canoes!
Top Things to Do:
- Team building activity called Maui Matau
- Maori stick game
- View traditionally carved Waka Taua War Canoe
- Make a fish hook necklace
Fiji has a pretty fun interactive show. We enjoyed making music and the temple.
Top Things to Do:
- Learn how coconut oil is made
- Play a derua bamboo instrument
- Get a Fijian warrior tattoo
- Check out the temple
Tahiti is fun! I am all about dancing and learning Polynesian culture!
Top Things to Do:
- Taste coconut bread
- Fish in the lagoon with bamboo poles
- Learn a dance
- Spear throwing
- Witness a wedding ceremony and renew your own vows
10. Cook Islands
The Cook Islands area was a temporary offering at the Hawaii Polynesian Cultural Center. They were a special guest when we visited. They put on a very impressive show. There was lots of dancing, which I loved.
From time to time, other special island village guests will display their culture.
More Unique Things to Do at the Polynesian Cultural Center
These are daily activities that are included in your admission and that are worth checking out!
11. Hawaiian Journey
There is a theater located towards the front of the Hawaiian cultural center. There is a movie all about Hawaii. We tried to catch the last showing but ran out of time!
If you have extra time, it is a great way to Polynesian Hawaii at its best.
12. Laie and Temple Visitor Center Tour
Take a ride around the little town of Laie, BYU Hawaii, and the beautiful Laie temple grounds and visitor center.
Free Polynesian Center Tour
This is a free tour, so even if you didn’t purchase tickets to PCC Hawaii you can still go on this tour. The tour operates every 20 minutes from 3:00 pm – 6:40 pm. You will see the tour option near the entrance to the PCC Hawaii.
13. Canoe Tour
Take a ride through the lagoon from the comfort of this 30-passenger canoe. Tours operate from 12:00 pm- 1:45 pm and then from 3:05 pm – 6:00 pm.
Polynesian Cultural Center Hawaii Canoe Ride
We went on this tour with our kids and it was fun! The tour guide tells funny jokes and you get a good taste of Polynesian culture from the operator.
14. Ukulele Lessons
Learn to play a new instrument! The ukulele lessons are available throughout the day. One of my kids loves music. He absolutely had to take some ukulele lessons. He loved it.
He ended up buying a beautiful ukulele as a Hawaii souvenir. They have many colors to choose from.
15. Polynesian Football Hall of Fame
Football is a big thing in Polynesian culture. This is a fun museum that showcases all the Polynesians who have gone on to play football after leaving the island.
16. Food Choices at the Polynesian Cultural Center Hawaii
If you are looking to eat before you head into the village there are some good choices available in the Hukilau Marketplace.
We decided to try out Pounders for a lunch option. It is located in the Hukilau Marketplace. It is a nice sit-down restaurant. We thought the food was amazing. I highly recommend eating here if you have the chance. It is probably the best place to eat on the North Shore.
Roulotte Food Court
If you are not in the mood to eat at a sit-down restaurant but still want to grab lunch, this area is perfect.
There are lots of food trucks where you can order food a la carte. We didn’t try any as we wanted to eat at Pounders. Food trucks are a big deal on the North Shore.
There are several places to get snacks around the Oahu Polynesian Cultural Center. Aunty Emily’s Bakery, Tutu’s Sweets are both located in the Hakilau Marketplace.
In the island village inside PCC Hawaii, there are snack shacks in Tonga, Samoa, Aotearoa, and Hawaii.
If you buy a package ticket it will usually include dinner. There are four options for dining that you choose as you purchase your ticket.
I thought my package included a luau but I was wrong!!! Don’t make the same mistake I did. The buffets do not include a dinner show which is the luau at Polynesian Cultrual Center.
This is me kinda disappointed that I had purchased the buffet and not the luau. I didn’t realize that the show HA: Breath of Life was after dinner (I thought that was the luau). The food was not great.
Prime Rib Buffet
The prime rib buffet was in the same location as the island buffet but was separated by a barrier. I’m sure it tasted a little better than the Island Buffet.
AlI’I Luau and Dinner Show
The Hale Aloha and Hale Ohana are your other options for the dinner and dinner show. This is what I will do next time!!
Evening Show: HA: Breath of Life
This nighttime show is held in a large arena. It is a full theatrical production. The story is about a boy named Mana who grows and learns lifelong values and becomes a man. The show has a very impressive ending.
There are so many fire throwers you can not count them. The last 30 minutes was my favorite. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take pictures or film during this show.
Plan A Visit and Have Fun Exploring All the Things to Do at the Hawaii Polynesian Cultural Center
Is The Polynesian Cultural Center Worth It?
Yes, if you want a true Polynesian cultural experience then PCC Hawaii is the place to go. You will be entertained and educated all at the same time.
Where to Stay
There are some great family resorts on Oahu. There is a Marriott Courtyard right next to PCC Oahu. You can walk from the hotel to PCC Hawaii. We thought it was very convenient. Also, Turtle Bay Resort is on the North Shore and is really nice and not too far away. Aulani Resort is far from the North Shore but might be worth the drive if you have kids.
Turtle Bay Resort
Marriott By PCC
Hopefully, this information helps you plan a trip and know all the things to do at the Polynesian Culture Center!
Just a re-cap, I Think the Most Important Things are:
- Dedicate your entire day to PCC
- Upgrade to the Dinner Show
I hope you have a wonderful time at PCC Hawaii!
More Hawaii Fun!
It is time to pack for Oahu and start planning!
If you are planning your Hawaii trip and are looking for a great Oahu Itinerary, or the Best Hikes in Oahu, the Best snorkeling in Oahu, including Hanauma Bay or planning to visit Pearl Harbor or the Dole Pineapple Plantation I have you covered.
Also, if you are planning a family trip to Hawaii with kids and want to plan some more fun things to do on the North Shore, be sure to look into the Jurassic Park Adventure.
Have fun reading all the exciting things there are to do on the Island of Oahu.
We also went to Maui for a Day and had an adventure driving on the road of death in Maui.
If you have any questions be sure to join my Facebook Travel Community. This great community can help answer any questions you may have about your upcoming trips. Plus, I try to add any great deals or promotions that companies send me!
I put together this awesome FREE food guide of the best places to eat on Oahu. You have to eat while you are on vacation right?!! I will email you a copy. Click – Free Oahu Eating Guide[
My parents went here on their trip and loved it. We haven’t been yet but it’s on the list.
I feel like out of all my siblings I was the last one to make it to Hawaii. They had told me I needed to go for years and I am so glad I was able too!
This sounds like a must to visit! I love the pictures and would definitely love to experience it myself someday.
I hope you can go someday!
We have stayed at Turtle Bay so many times and shopped in Laie but I don’t know why we have never gone to the PCC. Will definitely go next time we are there!
It is a fun place!
Lisa, you really packed this with great information. I can’t wait to go there myself!
Thanks, you will love it!
I would love to learn more about the Polynesian culture so will definitely check this center out the next time we visit.
It is such a great attraction.
I’d love to go here! It looks like you had such a great time. Hawaii is my dream!
It is a dream and so much fun!
Just added this to our list for when we make it to Hawaii. It looks like an amazing way to spend a day! Thanks for sharing!
Oh good! This is a must see!
We didn’t get the chance to go to a luau on our honeymoon, but I would still love to see one. Maybe next time we go to Hawaii.
I would love to go again and do the luau.
I would love to visit this while exploring Hawaii. I will definitely keep it in mind. That’s a good tip about doing the Luau dinner show instead of the buffet. Pounders sounds good, too. I would certainly be into the food!
The buffet was not my favorite but pounders was really good!
This looks like such a fun place to visit. I can see how you’d want to spend a whole day there and maybe more. We love getting to experience other cultures when traveling, and this looks like a great way to do it. All of the shows looked like so much fun. I would definitely enjoy watching the interactive ones, but I would totally freak out if they tried to get me to participate. Haha.
This place is fun and educational. A good place to bring the family and learn about the island culture. It’s been forever since I’ve been, but I recall good times!
Yes, I loved learning all about the cultures of the different islands!
It was hilarious there was a guy from Japan and one from Mexico and they had them dancing! It was fun to watch!
The Polynesian cultural center looks like an unique and fun experience
It is! I would love to go back!
Wow, this looks incredible! Thank you for all of the tips and beautiful pictures and I would absolutely love to check out the Center if/when I ever make it to Oahu!
It is a really magically place!
The Polynesian Cultural Center is diffidently a place I would love to visit. I like the pineapple snack. Yum!
It is a fun place!
This is awesome! I have always wanted to go to Hawaii so I will definitely be reading this again when we go. Thanks for including so many details and recommendations!
Oh good! I’m glad it helps!
I love everything about the Polynesian Cultural Center just from your post, and I’m definitely adding this as a must-do activity for the family. My oldest would love those ukulele lessons!
We didn’t have time to get the lessons but next time!
I’m all about the food and I’d definitely love to try the Coconut Bread! Yum.
I know! I love trying new things!
Wow, tons of great info. I would definetly would want to learn more and see this for myself.
I hope you get to!
This looks cool. I thought I had been here when I was younger but it doesn’t look familiar. I would love to go, I have done Polynesian dancing since I was a little girl. So it has a special place in my heart.
You need to go! It is so fun watching all the dances!
Great article! It’s such a unique place!
It really is a cool experience!
Wow this is such great detailed info on the PCC!! We could’ve spent more time there. Loved the Luau and show tho!
We could have spent more time too. I just didn’t know exactly how much time we needed!
I really want to go here so bad. As soon as my boy gets done with his mission I have to get there. He’s my last one home and never got the others there. I didn’t realize that the college students worked there in exchange for tuition. I knew it was volunteers but that’s pretty cool. Beautiful picts.
It is a really awesome program and such a cool place!
What a great place to explore – the food looks amazing!
The restaurant was pretty good!
This looks like so much fun. I would love to go and immerse myself in everything they have to offer.
That is how we felt too! Love this culture!
I’ve never been to Hawaii, but I’d love to visit. I’m adding the Polynesian Cultural Center to my itinerary!
For sure! It is such a neat place!
We’re going to Hawaii in October and have been trying to decide if we want to go to the cultural center. Your post was very helpful! Thanks for sharing!
You will have to check out my videos on Facebook and Instagram to see a little more video!
Looks like an amazing experience. Love Polynesian dancing!
Me too! It really is cool!
When I lived on Oahu, I always took my guests here..amazing must see!
It was cool experience!
I love this place. I have not been since I was a teen. We have a July trip planned that we sadly won’t get to take now – some day soon though we hope.
Yes, you will have to go back!
Sounds like there is so much to do and looks like you had a wonderful time.
There is a lot of activities! It is a cool place!
Thanks for sharing 🙂 I am ready for this vacation lol
I know me too!
Hawaii has so much cool culture, food, and beauty! I can’t wait to return and visit some of the other islands. I’ve only been to the Big Island once.
Big Island is where I want to go next!
This would be such a fun and educational experience!
It is awesome and fun!
Fun day & this is packed with lots of great info here. Thanks so much!
I loved Hawaii and hope to go back. This is great info for when I do!
oh good! Hawaii is the best!
This looks so cool! I will have to add it to my agenda for my Hawaii trip!
For sure! Northshore is a fun area!
I have been to Oahu several times, but never to the polynesian cultural center. Might have to go, if I ever get to go back. Thanks for all of the information, especially the do’s and don’ts.
It is a immersive experience!
I have heard such great things about this place. Thank you for sharing your honest experience!
It is a great experience in Hawaii!
We love learning about the culture of the places we visit. I still need to go to Hawaii one of the 5 States left to go to in the USA! This looks like a comprehensive experience, which is great for both adults and children.
Yes, you need to go to Hawaii! You have saved the best for last!
I can’t wait to go. Your photos are bringing me right there.
Wow! We missed this when we went to Oahu! Guess we need to go back to see this place. Looks like you have a fantastic time. Thanks for sharing.
You will defiantly need to go back!
If I ever get to Hawaii I will plan on checking this out.
Yes, it is a must see!
I will have to put this on my list.
For sure! Such a great place!
This is definitely on the list for when we get to Hawaii.
It is totally worth it!
What a great stop to make while in Oahu
Yes, it is a a fun stop!
I’m working on a Hawaii trip for spring 2021. Keeping this article handy!
This experience looks amazing! I wanted that pineapple drink and the yummy food, lol. Hawaii is definitely on the top of my list.
Yes, It is such a great experience!
I LOVE the PCC!!! I worked there as a Japanese Tour Guide for one year after my mission. My sister danced in the all the big shows when she was a student. Even my parents worked there when they were students at BYUH. LOL, let’s say we have lots of history there.
As a tour guide the shows we always took our guest to see were the Tonga and Samoa shows. They can make you laugh if you can or cannot speak English. My favorite tours were family tours that focused on making the children happy. We would go fishing and play all the games in the villages.
Yes, the prime rib buffet is very delicious and the luau is good too, if you are not scared of trying new food. I’ve seen some tourist leave the luau hungry because they didn’t want to try something they didn’t know. So if you are a picky eater or have kids that are picky eaters the Luau is not the option you want. It is the most fun option by far. The luau entertainment is the best!
There really is too much to do there in one day. Thank you for sharing your experience at the Polynesian Cultural Center! Hopefully they will be able to open again in the near future!
That is awesome that you worked there! I wish we had more time because there was still so much we wanted to do!
This looks like such an amazing experience! Definitely will put that on our list of places to go. I love that they have multiple “islands” with cultural things to experience.
It is a really neat experience!
Been To Hawaii long time ago and I loved it .Nice blog
Thanks! I love Hawaii!
The PCC looks like a fabulous place for a family to visit. My kids would love the Huki canoe celebration. Hawaii is amazing!
Hawaii is amazing! I love visiting PCC!
Polynesian Cultural Center looks and sounds fabulous! A great way to learn about the culture. Especially love that they offer insights to different islands. And I would love to take ukulele lessons!
It is such a great cultural experience!
This looks like you had an amazing day!! Hawaii is on my bucket list for sure and now I will be spending a day here eating yummy food, watching shows, and learning how to do the hula!
It is so worth it!
Your post provides terrific details for visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center. I enjoyed learning about the PCC and all that it has to offer.
It is a cool place to visit in Hawaii!
I don’t remember so much to do at the PCC. I must go back!
For sure! There are some really fun things to do!