Aruba’s focus on unique wellness activities is what sets it apart from comparable sun-soaked destinations. And it’s got the white sand beaches, the perfect turquoise water and the straight 80-degree days that make it feel like paradise. Combine that with those wellness activities that can done as a family – and it’s the ideal vacay.
Wellness Activities for Kids in Aruba – A Family Vacation Twist
Instead of doing our usual: snorkeling, sitting on the beach and eating everything in sight (though we did that, too), I decided to follow Aruba’s lead on this trip. I chose activities that were infamous here, like stand-up paddle boarding (surprisingly easier than it looks) and aloe vera spa treatments. (I learned that this miracle plant is grown right in Aruba). On this happy island, it’s easy to try new things, especially as every activity is within 15 minutes of the central beaches.
Stand-up Paddle Boarding
This sport actually originated right around here, so if you’re going to try it, this is the perfect place to do it. The water in Aruba is incredibly calm, making it a somewhat easy sport to pick up if you’re relatively good at balancing. I had never done it before, but after my instructor told me that he took a 5-year-old out earlier that day, I was determined to show him that my 38-year-old bod still had a few tricks left. After a 10-minute demo, I was able to stand on my board, balancing easily, and I paddled for an hour (it felt like 10 minutes), covering 2 miles. I took a few breaks to jump into the water, which was too beautiful not to experience. This was one of my favorite unique activities here.
Do it Arubasurfschool.com
Yoga with kids
While yoga itself isn’t particularly unique, doing yoga outside with the beach as your backdrop surrounded by your kids doing downward dog is the ultimate wellness activity in Aruba with kids. The unique setting sets it apart from anywhere else. And at the Hilton Aruba Resort, you can participate in their daily gratis yoga class with your family to get your day off to a fantastic start. We did it, survived it and have tiny ab muscles to show for it.
Why should you get an Aloe Vera massage in Aruba?
The dry, desert-like conditions in Aruba make it the perfect place to grow aloe, the miracle plant that can cure everything from sun burns to acne. In fact, Aruba is the main exporter for this product. So obviously, we had to sample the Aloe Vera, Rum and Stone Massage at the Hilton Aruba Resort, which specializes in Aloe treatments. The massage therapist rubbed my body with pure liquid aloe vera, along with a few shots of local rum (on, not in, my body). The aloe smoothed and softened my skin, rubbing away any impurities, while the rum made me feel sleepy, cozy and relaxed.
Walk to the Butterfly Farm
Just down the road from the Hilton Aruba in Palm Beach is a butterfly farm. Here you can view the butterflies in all stages of their lives, from the chrysalis to the fully formed butterfly. During the tour, you’ll get up close and personal with the butterflies, and you’ll learn more than you could ever imagine.
TravelingMom tip: Don’t want to go with your kids? Pop them into the Hilton Aruba Resort’s Kids’ Club, and they’ll take your children there on a “class trip.”
Breakfast at Eduardo’s Beach Shack
In an unassuming shack on Palm-Eagle Beach sits the best, healthiest, yummiest breakfast spot you’ll ever find. Ever. Order the acai bowl, which is a gigantic tub of frozen acai (tastes like fruity sorbet, but you’re actually being healthy when you eat it). On top, they pile tons of fresh fruit. Go a little cray and get the whipped coco on top of that, and you’ll be in for a vegan coconut treat that tastes like ice cream but is actually pretty healthy, too. We briefly considered moving to Aruba just so we could eat here daily.
Aruba’s beaches are unlike any others
The first thing you’ll notice when you step into the water here is how calm it is: the waves are little more than ripples, and even a baby won’t get knocked over if they’re sitting in the shore. For us, this equates to handstands on the water’s edge, early morning jogs, a super safe game of Marco Polo in the surf and a lazy afternoon of floating on our backs, letting the water carry us as far as we could go. Yes, there are lifeguards. No, they aren’t totally necessary. You can wander from one hotel’s beachfront to another without any issues. The only problem you may experience would be to find a place to sit (though you can literally throw your towel in the sand and plant yourself anywhere, as all the beaches in Aruba are public).
Want other ideas for great active vacations with kids? 15 Awesome Spring Break Adventures for Active Families
Not bringing the kids to Aruba? Here are a few things you can do on your own: Relax and Recharge: 7 Fun Things To Do In Aruba on a Momcation