By Sarah Sekula, published on islands.com
Planning a family friendly trip to Aruba is easy when you know where to stay, what to do, and even how to sneak away for a date night.
The Ritz Kids program at The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba is where the whole family can go all Bill Nye by learning about environmental conservation and wildlife through the resort’s partnership with the famous ocean explorer’s grandson, Jean-Michel Cousteau. From $419 per night.
Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino is home to Camp Hyatt Watapana, a program jam-packed with pool games, beach exploration walks and cultural lessons. Room service and all restaurants also include kids menus, so pleasing a picky palate is no problemo. From$350 per night.
Bring your binoculars to Bubali Bird Sanctuary and spot more than 80 species, including skimmers, coots and cormorants. Stop by the Butterfly Farm to feed (yes, feed) the delicate insects and watch them whiz by in a flurry of color. If you have time, squeeze in a day trip to De Palm Island for a banana boat ride or to try snuba, a cross between snorkeling and scuba diving for families with kids over 8 years old.
The Tuesday-night Bon Bini Festival in Oranjestad is a crowd-pleaser for the over-18 set. With steel-drum bands, local dancers and a lively crowd, you can’t help but put down the iPhone and cut loose. Dine at the Flying Fishbone Restaurant Aruba for a feast with nary a chicken nugget in sight.