If you have a special event to celebrate (AHEM… Father’s Day…Hellooo?!!,) an appreciation for camp, retro, and all things Polynesian, then you must make the trip to Des Plaines for the Friday and Saturday night shows at The Tiki Terrace.
Tiki Terrace, Des Plaines
During the week, The Tiki Terrace is strictly a Hawaiian Restaurant and Tiki Bar specializing in the South Pacific’s flavors. Here you can enjoy popular Hawaiian specialties like Poke (marinated and seared ahi tuna with sweet onion and tomatoes), Kalua Pork, Loco Moco (breaded pork loin served on a bed of rice topped with fried eggs and gravy), and Haupia Cake alongside Mainlander staples like burgers, chicken, and shrimp. It’s the kind of fare you would typically find at any Hawaiian luau.
But Friday and Saturday nights are when The Tiki Terrace truly shines, and they present the Echoes of Polynesia Revue Show. Audience members witness various dances from all over the South Pacific, from the whimsical to the war-like! The performance is punctuated with humor and audience participation throughout. Don’t be surprised if you get called up on stage, and if you have a celebrant in your group, make sure to tell the staff. Public humiliation is in order! Expect Elvis (the later years) to drop by during the show along with lots of ribald laughter. While there’s playful innuendo, it went right over my children’s heads. What makes The Tiki Terrace so appealing is it’s truly an opportunity for multiple generations to enjoy a good time together. If your group includes the extremely shy or extremely prudish, another venue may suit you better. I felt it was good clean fun for all!
My only hesitation would be for young children accustomed to early bedtimes and who can’t stomach a lot of stimulation. The lights, the noise, the music, the pounding drums, and the over-the-top decor may prove more than they can handle. A good litmus test is if your child can handle Rainforest Cafe, they’ll do perfectly fine at The Tiki Terrace. Keep in mind also that this is a multi-course dinner with a show so that attention spans may wane. It’s a perfect evening for ‘tweens and teens, but use your best judgment when it comes to younger children. That being said, my children were toddlers at the time we visited. They loved it, and there was nary a tear or tantrum to be seen.
The decor and ambiance are decidedly kitsch, so purists need to come with a sense of humor. This is a tongue-in-cheek homage to the Hawaiian luau. It’s not an educational opportunity for cultural outreach if you catch my drift. If the giant Easter Island heads don’t inform you that this will be a playful evening, then consider yourself forewarned of the irreverent fun ahead.
Reservations are strongly recommended. Dinner and show packages range from $35.50 per person for apps, with the show up to $55.50 for multiple courses, alcoholic beverages, and the show. You may order a la carte from the menu instead and pay a $19-$24 per person surcharge on top of your food and drink bill for entertainment. Children 9 years old and under are discounted at $14 each for an entree and entertainment. It can be a pricey evening, so plan ahead or save it for a special celebration. For their full menu and pricing options, visit their Dinner & Show page.
The Tiki Terrace
1591 Lee Street, Des Plaines |(847) 795-8454
For more information and showtimes visit their website
When Loralie isn’t out exploring with her two pint-sized adventurers you’ll often find her in front of her computer plotting to take over the world (or at least Lake County.) She appreciates good friends, good food, expensive shoes and parents who make two lanes in the drop-off/pick-up line at school. Her spirit animal is The Hobbit. She invites you to join her on her quest for unique distractions, diversions and deliciousness in this county we call home.