Boca Catalina, Baby beach, the lighthouse at sunrise & Pure beach
Our first trip 12 years ago my kids were 12 & 15 ...i guess we picked the Tam because i didn't want to have to listen to kids complaining ....the kids had a great time made friends & enjoyed some freedom to do what they wanted ....so i guess i would say it depends on where your staying & how much time you plan on sharing with them ...my granddaughters now 3 &5 come with us for 2 weeks ...they love it and help with our countdown ....we spend alot of time doing things with them so they'll always have the memories of aruba....the 5 year old takes great pictures for herself & her sister....
I have 3 kids and they love Aruba - Aruba is very family friendly - unless these kids hate swimming and the beach I cannot imagine they would have a bad time. I guess it depends on where you stay, but most resorts seem to offer activities for kids and like you said we like the jolly pirate ship, water sports and touring the island - my children always make friends to play with for the week too.
Can you just tell them to picture the Jersey shore for a week BUT with calm ocean no waves and water that is just shy of 20 degrees warmer.
There will be no "rides" but there is a concrete boardwalk where the grandparents will stop at each beach bar until the kids find their favorite location for fruity smoothies.
During the day you can walk the boardwalk until you come upon the beach vendor with the "coolest" water toys...tubing...banana boats...
Three full days of activities with an optional Fourth...
One day you can go to the Butterfly Farm, Ostrich Farm and Donkey Sanctuary.
Day two, you can take a 4 x 4 and tour the island, same day or another day you can stop at Arashi and Baby beach for swimming and or Boca Catalina for snorkeling.
Day three, a lunch sail on Jolly Pirates is a must.
Day four, a splurge, but if necessary to defeat naysayers, a day at De Palm island. 9 and 10 yo's may find the waterpark a bit weeny compared to the U.S. but it will keep them occupied along with all they can eat and drink...well they would be hard pressed to complain.
Three or four full days above will leave only three or two days, to be, what they believe they will be bored, but you and the rest of us know, to have a blast.
And if all that fails , my dd was 10 yo the first time she went to Aruba. She still prefers Aruba over Disney World. We did not tell her she was going to Aruba this summer until AFTER her last day of school on Friday so she will be able to concentrate on her final exams.
She has been out of school now for a total of 2 days and is already being a 15 yo know it all teen pain in the neck. As a favor to you serene, the next time dd gets sassy, a creative punishment could very easily be a 5 paragraph essay comparing a Jersey shore vacation to a vacation on Palm beach Aruba. She has done both and I certain she would tell you they just do not compare.
Dd was not at home at the time that I responded. When she came home from band practice, we discussed your dilemma.
She stated everything I told you previously adding only that perhaps your resort has a kids club for some daytime activities and emphasizing the availability of watersports.
Nighttime she added might be a bit tricky, but by the time you have dinner, after being out in the fresh air all day, they may be just as likely to want to go to sleep than find something entertaining to do.
deplam island may be alright for your kids considering they are still relatively young. the waterpark is really nothing more than the usual fort like structure with hoses and a big bucket on top that drops water every so often. but they have snorkeling there in a shallow water. they can also go on the banana boat ride for free. food is included also.
but taking one of the outback tours is a must. (abc tours, de palm tours, etc...). if you're lucky, you may get to drive your own 4x4 and tour the island's deserts, somewhat rough terrain (bouncing here and there), and swim at the natural pool. your kids would love that rough and tough adventure.
I have 6 and 11 year old girls and they love it!!!!! We have timeshare at La Cabana and they make new friends every year we goÖjust from being at the pool and beach. Going to Aruba is as big as going to Disney World for them. Thatís how much they love it. We've never had to worry about "entertaining" them because all they want to do is swim. We are going in October and my kids talk about going back just about every dayÖno exaggeration. Their all-time favorite restaurant is Pizza Bobís and anytime we have pizza at home they remind me itís not as good as Aruba! And, anytime we see a sunset at home they'll tell me it's pretty but not as pretty as Aruba's sunset.