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Aruba remains one of the safest and most reliably storm-free Caribbean destinations. With the creation of one water park on De Palm Island and another new park close to Oranjestad, Aruba is even more kid friendly than ever. Most hotels and resorts have well-run children's programs as well as special activities for young guests that include introductions to snorkeling and underwater exploration and supervised participation in other outdoor watersports and games.

Some top kid pleasers include:

  • Windsurfing or kitesurfing lessons in Lac Bay (best for the over 10 set)
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • The Blue Parrotfish Water Park on De Palm Island (best for tots)
  • Parasailing
  • The Ostrich Farm
  • The Butterfly Farm
  • Banana boat rides
  • Atlantis Submarine
  • Snorkeling on any catamaran sail
  • Land sailing on the flats near Sourbon

Family Travel Forum (www.myfamilytravels.com) regularly prints articles about destinations including Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao and also offers discounts, deals, and trip-planning consultants to guide parents to appropriate vacation destinations for the entire family.

Freebies for Kids

The One Cool Family Vacation (OCFV) program entices families to visit Aruba during the summer (June-Sept). Here's the deal: Kids 12 and under get an assortment of freebies such as breakfast, daily activities, sightseeing tours, cruises, snorkeling, and scuba lessons; with this package, kids can stay free in their parents' room. In addition, discounts are offered for a submarine ride, horseback riding, car rental, and even film developing. The program covers two children for every paying adult. Contact the Aruba Tourism Authority (tel. 800/TO-ARUBA [862-7822]; www.aruba.com) for a list of participating resorts.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.