Disclosure: We were invited on this break for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.
I shared the start of our Butlins break in my previous post here where you can read about our accomodation at the Wave Hotel and the food options available across the Bognor Regis resort as well as the Premium Dining Package. Now for the biggest appeal of Butlins – the entertainment and activities on offer!
A big part of the Butlins attraction is the Splash Waterworld which is home to not just a pool but water slides and play equipment. The changing rooms were clean and with plenty of cubicles to get changed in. Remember to take a pound coin for the lockers!
The children loved the climbing frame and slides in the children’s part of the pool and they were all so excited when the wave machines turned on. You can tell the pool is quite old – but it does the job and we loved using it during our break. It was nicely heated and had enough the keep the children happy for an hour or so each morning.
We spent the rest of the time doing so much. The Skyline Pavilion was home to the Skyline stage where there were shows and meet and greet photo opportunities pretty much all day. We saw so many shows there – Billy and Bonnie’s Storytime, the Mr Men Show, the Teletubbies show and a few Skyline Gang shows – a great team of performers who the children were pretty much obsessed with. They adored them!
The Skyline Pavilion also had arcades, shops, food outlets, bowling, soft play and a few small fairground rides. The children loved the rides – they were pretty basic but enjoyable when you are four and five. There were planes, teacups, ladybirds and cars and the children had a couple of turns on them all during our stay.
The children also loved the soft play. There was one big soft play frame for those over 1m and a smaller one behind it for those under 1m. It would be nice if the smaller soft play was in the same area as the big one, so that the children could play together but they didn’t seem to mind very much and adults or siblings are allowed to go into the smaller soft play with younger children.
The children also spent so much time in the fun fair and they were surprised at the amount of rides they could go on. Only one of the children could go on rides by herself and the others were fine with adults accompanying them.
The only ride where the children’s height was an issue was the carousel where each child under 1.2m had to be accompanied by an adult – not the easiest with two adults and four children but one of us went on a horse with a child and the others went in a carriage together, solving the problem.
The children loved the Helter Skelter and I think they would have happily gone on it all day. It’s quite a walk up the stairs to the top but the slide down is really fun – but make sure you wear long sleeves as they won’t let you on without!
The children also loved the trampolines which were well managed and the sort of thing we would expect to pay for at other attractions. It’s such a simple pleasure but something children really love.
We also went to Reds one evening which is a bar and entertainment venue with tables and chairs to sit at and a big dance floor for everyone to get involved and dance. The children went to the Tots Disco and loved it but there were other shows on at Reds through the week, we just found the Skyline Pavilion a nicer atmosphere for young children – especially as Reds is so dark it’s easier to keep an eye on the children in the pavilion.
On one evening we had tickets to see Diversity in Centre Stage. All guests had Diversity tickets but there were two showings depending on, I think, the age of the children. The doors opened about 45 minutes before the show started and we joined the queue about fifteen minutes before that and we were impressed with how smooth the process was. However, once in Centre Stage all the seats had already been occupied and so we sat on the floor. I think that the venue was really over capacity as by the time started there were so many people sitting anywhere they could but it was lovely to see the show and didn’t effect our experience of it.
One day LP and her friend went and had a fairy princess makeover. For £20 it was their treat of the holiday and they got to have their hair and nails done, face paint, glitter and a new fairy costume. They absolutely loved it and the little salon was fantastic – with lots of gifts and treats for sale and the option of just going in and having hair or nails done. It was lovely.
Butlins also had a toy shop – where Little Man added to his Thomas the Tank collection – a gift shop, sweet shop, supermarket and launderette. There was pretty much everything you could need on holiday and it really made for a home from home.
Halfway through our week we hired a family pedal buggy. It was £8 for half an hour and was a great way to see the resort – and something worth doing at the start of your break to get your bearings. The buggies seat 4-5 people – with two children in harnesses on the front – and would definitely be easier with two people cycling! It was great fun and well worth £8.
Everything around the resort was reasonably priced – with ice creams starting at about £2 and Slush Puppies about the same price. The prices in the supermarket were about the same price as at home, as was the sweet shop – and the arcade still had our favourite 2p machines. There were no inflated holiday prices and it was nice to know that you could go on holiday and not spend too much if you wanted to.
One afternoon we took a walk to Bognor Regis beach and spent about an hour sitting in the sun just enjoying the fresh air and quiet. The beach wasn’t busy and it was only a stone’s throw from the entrance to Butlins. If you visit the resort then definitely take the time to wander down the sea front.
Although it was half term, Butlins didn’t feel that busy at all. There were times when we experienced queues and crowds – mainly at the evening shows – but other than that there wasn’t much of a queue and nowhere seemed that busy. It was nice to know that even at peak times there is enough to do at Butlins that not everyone is in the same place and you can have a break that isn’t full of crowds of people.
We had such a lovely break. The staff were so nice and helpful, there was a lovely atmosphere to the resort and it was all so clean and well looked after. The children cannot wait to go back – and neither can I. Butlins kept the children entertained all day and let us, at times, sit and relax, watching them dance, laugh and enjoy themselves. There were shows, swimming, adventure playgrounds and just so much to do.
There was also so much that we didn’t try as we just didn’t have time – free craft sessions and other bookable activities that were included in the break, pool parties, bowling… The list is endless. Butlins is a holiday that can amuse any age child and I know that LP and Little Man would love to go back with their friends next year. Thanks Butlins for a pretty perfect break.
Here’s a little video we made of our time away: