Go PolynesianO‘ahu

Photo: PCC

Founded in 1963, the POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER celebrates Hawai‘i’s diverse Polynesian background with award-winning performances and interactive attractions.

PCC’s signature attraction is a group of six villages and two exhibits highlighting islands from Fiji to Samoa, where hundreds of Polynesian islanders share their customs and traditions with visitors. Moving through the villages, visitors will find themselves playing a role in the lives and adventures of Hawaiian and South Pacific cultures.

To celebrate its 50TH ANNIVERSARY of perpetuating and preserving the cultures of Polynesia, last year PCC unveiled a redesigned Hawaiian village reflective of an ahupua‘a (a land division used by ancient Hawaiians that extended from the uplands to the sea) complete with a brand-new hula area, traditional Hawaiian games like ulu maika (similar to lawn bowling) and konane (Hawaiian checkers), petroglyph activities and a lo‘i kalo (an irrigated terrace system used to grow taro).

PCC also introduced another one-of-a-kind experience in 2013—an interactive theater found nowhere else in Hawai‘i. Housed inside the renovated Hukilau Theater (whose interior was modeled after a volcano), the new “Hawaiian Journey” is so explosive, only a volcano could hold it. This thrilling story offers a window into the Hawaiian people’s respect for their sacred lands and the connection it provides to

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their beloved ancestors, all told through gorgeous cinematography and customized special effects guaranteed to engage the senses.

Other recent additions include a revitalized farm-to-table menu at the ALI‘I LU‘AU featuring the best locally grown ingredients and lu‘au staples, such as kalua pork, ‘ahi poke and poi, as well as an expanded marketplace. PCC will ring in the New Year with the opening of its new HUKILAU MARKETPLACE boasting Polynesia-inspired dining, retail products and more. Scheduled to open January 2015, the market will grant visitors the opportunity to shop, eat and experience Polynesian culture in a new way. Admission and parking to the Hukilau Marketplace are free.

The 42-acre Polynesian Cultural Center is located in La‘ie, about an hour’s drive from Waikiki. It was founded by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help support student attendance at the church’s nearby college, Brigham Young University-Hawai‘i.

Over the years, more than 33 million people have passed through its gates.

PCC begins tours and cultural presentations at noon, six days a week (it’s closed on Sundays, Thanksgiving and Christmas). Visitors can chose from a variety of packages to take advantage of any or all of the center’s opportunities. Call for reservations and specific show times.

Polynesian Cultural Center (808) 293-3333

Photo: PCC