Hello all! After a really positive response to my ‘part 1’ post on our trip to Butlins Bognor Regis (who knew there were so many non-believers like myself, who are now excited to give Butters a go?!), I hereby present part 2 of our holiday. This time focusing on the things there are to do there for those with children under 4 (or things our two found fun anyway!), with some tips to help your Butlins holiday with small people run smoothly.
Angelina Ballerina Dance Class
Whilst Freddie was off gallivanting on the soft play and 2p machines, Sasha was keen to see some of the live shows, including the Angelina Ballerina Dance Class, held on the Skyline Pavilion main stage. With the help of some extremely lively Red Coats, budding ballet dancers are put through their paces in this fun and informal dance class. At 2 1/2, S was still quite little and a bit shy to start with, but after a while she warmed up and was soon pirouetting with the best of them. What’s nice about the class (and when watching the other shows- we also saw Fireman Sam and a bit of Thomas the Tank Engine), is that parents/ older siblings can come and sit with little ones and make them feel more confident about taking part.
A definite favourite with both Freddie and Sasha, the under 4’s Soccer Tots class was held on a quiet corner of the resort on the astro pitch. The guys running the group were BRILLIANT, so good with this age group, and also helped get the parents involved. Adam was off having his massage at the time, so it was up to Mummy (i.e. me) to showcase my footballing talents (erm…). Whilst my dribbling skills leave a lot to be desired, I discovered that I can do a mean header when put on the spot! The class is free and 45 minutes, which went so quickly as we were having so much fun. The feminist in me was pleased to see there was also a mix of little boys AND girls too. I knew that they would both love any activity with a ball (we play a lot, against my better judgement of ball-use within our home), but I was really surprised at how much S in particular enjoyed herself. Whilst very outgoing, she often takes a while to warm up to attending a new group, or class, so I never know how she is going to be. Whether it was because she had her brother by her side, or just simply loved zooming around the pitch, she had a whale of a time! The Soccer Tots guys are obviously doing something right, as I’ve never known a bunch of children this age listen so well! A highlight at the end was going to collect a certificate and medal, both of which have pride of place in the kids bedrooms. Freddie loves talking about his! We would definitely do this class again if we returned to Butlins!
A no-brainer here when you’re in the Pavilion, is for your smalls to get their money’s worth by going on the indoor fairground rides, again and again and AGAIN! From the little car track, to the aeroplanes, from the ladybirds to the tea cups, it’s the perfect introduction to all the fun of the fair for tiny tots. We usually had a go on them first thing in the morning, lunchtime, and then before dinner. If they were really lucky, Freddie and Sasha would get to go on after dinner, as on some night’s Butlins runs late night openings of their attractions from 7pm until 9 or 10pm- great if you’re trying to fit other stuff in during the day, or are going out and about.
Messy Play Zone
We ventured in here when looking for some down-time for the children and for a bit of a breather away from the busyness of the main areas. The girls in the zone were friendly, but didn’t seem to get involved with, or show the children what each of the different crafts were- we were okay as we worked it out for ourselves but others less confident with this sort of thing might want some guidance and the enthusiasm of the Butlins team. That was our only criticism though- the area was well equipped and clean, and both children had a lot of fun in here. Sasha got to work with some Halloween finger painting, and Freddie really enjoyed some shaving foam gloop and the giant building blocks. Worth checking out for a change of scenery!
Little Tikes Vehicle Play Area
THIS is the place to be if your little one loves ride-on toys and cars! F & S each have a Little Tikes car at home, so this massive space was just heaven for them, with a huge variety of Little Tikes ride-ons, cars, trucks and scooters to whizz about in/on and burn up some energy! I’ve never seen to many Little Tikes toys in one place, it was amazing. The area is well staffed and ‘policed’ in a relaxed way, and I never once felt that it got too crazy. Like I’ve mentioned before, I love the fact that the whole resort, whilst home to so many guests, never feels too busy, and the same goes for here. The children never once had to wait for a vehicle, there was always something free for them to play with. We easily spent a good 45 minutes-1 hour a day here. Luckily there are some chairs for the grown ups to grab a drink, and sit and watch their charges have fun!
Give a 3 year old a pot of two penny coins, and you have GUARANTEED entertainment for a good hour! Our whole family went old-skool and thoroughly enjoyed the bizarre thrill of inserting 2ps into the sliding machine, only to get the same number of 2ps back a short while later. ADDICTIVE. We left Bognor with a bunch of troll key rings as prizes, and the new-found discovery that my Mum is extremely competitive when it comes to these machines. “Watch my spot” she whispered, trotting off to get more coins, whilst eyeballing the lurking 6 year old boy on her patch. Also, a special mention in the amusements should go to the static ‘Telly Tubby’ ride that both kids were obsessed with all holiday. It didn’t even do that much, yet we were dragged here morning, noon and night, by our delighted 2 and 3 year old (weirdos). Just shows that you never know what your kids are going to be into. Just don’t forget your stash of 50ps!
Literally, Bognor’s beach and main promenade is just outside the ‘back gates’ of Butlins. We took a relaxed pootle along here and grabbed an ice cream on the Tuesday afternoon. Freddie and Sasha enjoyed hunting for stones and shells, and spotting the little train that runs along here regularly. A nice way to have some down-time as a family, and breath in that good sea air- you really notice the difference when you’re a London-dweller!
If there’s one thing you do with your under 4 on your Butlins’ break, it’s to go to an early-bird splash session between 8.30 and 9.30am, especially for little ones. Here they have the run of the pool, but without the wave machines and hectic environment of the usual times- a perfect intro. There are some small waterfalls and slides open still, and Freddie in particular absolutely LOVED them- I think he would have stayed in here all day! Sasha, who is less confident in the water, still totally enjoyed herself, and was a brave litle sausage, even having a go on a slide by herself.
Does what it says on the tin, although I thought worth mentioning as the soft play is (thankfully) split in to two- older children and under 4s. This was a relief for us, as although Freddie is a big 3 year old, even he would be in danger of getting knocked flying by over-enthusiastic older children in the bigger zone, let alone Sasha, who wants to do everything her brother does. Luckily, even the smaller zone is still interesting enough to keep 2-4 year olds busy- several levels to explore and a tunnel slide of its own. Which made for more relaxed parental viewing- I don’t like my nerves tested too much watching the standard soft-play scrum before the day has barely begun! TIP: Get here early i.e. 9.15am to enjoy a good half hour of relatively calm soft play.
I hope you enjoyed an insight into our experience with little ones at Butlins!
Have you been before with a small child? What did they enjoy the most?
You can also find out more about Butlins special ‘Just for Tots’ breaks HERE.
Linking up with Let’s Talk Mommy and ‘Share with me’!
What a great place for a family vacation. Loving part2. I have never been to butlins as an American only just started hearing about it. But looks ace. I will have to take the kids someday! Love all the happy fun filled photos too. The kids look entertained! Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme
Defintely worth a try Jenny, I bet your two would love it! x
Becky you have made me want to go there – looks like a lot of fun for the little ones. Am looking into booking maybe for next year as so much easier going somewhere where they can be entertained and have fun too. Great post.
It’s certainly worth a try, it’s just so easy as there is so much to do for little ones, you will never be bored!
I loved the first review. I now wish all my children were under four. Damn ha. They are very very cute by the way, Glad you enjoyed Butters xx #sharewithme
Thanks lovely, glad you like the reviews! x
The lasting impression I will have of your trip is how clean and well organised it all looks. And how much you did! Did you not sleep Becks?? 🙂 It looks like brilliant fun though – my kids would absolutely love it! Loved reading this chicky xx
Believe me, I was so tired, I slept very well indeed, haha! x
Wow it looks like you had an incredible time, and you did so much!! I love the look of the pool but then I’ve always been a water baby at heart and my girls are certainly following in my footsteps!
Ooh, they would definitely love the pool then!
What a fab time you all seem to have had! I haven’t been to a Butlins since my grandparents took me as a child, but I have fond memories. You’ve persuaded me to have a nosey at the Butlins website to see whether we can afford to take our two boys… Xx
Definitely have a look- they seem to have different packages for all budgets! x
I have to admit I’m always a tad apprehensive. I’ve seen all the adverts and it never really shows the ins and outs. However on looking – I have a 5yr old and toddler twins and holidays are difficult to find something that suit both parties and the messy play and little tikes area looks perfect for the minis and the pool and sports bit good for the bigger. Only problem is with C at school the price in school holidays are extortionate! I do wish that it wasn’t so so expensive in the summer months as it’s a massive off putting factor esp with 3 kids. But love all the photos xx
It’s tough with school holiday prices, I think all holiday companies are guilty of bumping up the cost, I wish it wasn’t the case 🙁 x
Looks like a lot of fun! #sharewithme
Was great Vicki! x
Lovely photos and glad you had such a fab time. I have a lot of happy memories of Butlins holidays from my childhood. We took our eldest to Minehead Butlins for 5 days a couple of months before her sister arrived and she had a wonderful time. They didn’t have the Little Tikes cars (which was a shame – she would have loved them) but she loved the soft play and tots fairground and the toddler session at the Splash Zone too. We also booked a sensory play slot at the nursery which was amazing – it was lovely just to have the sensory room to ourselves and for her to really explore and play with everything – would really recommend for a little one if it is available. We also loved the photo sessions with the characters although Jessica got a little upset when she had to say goodbye. #sharewithme
Ooh I can’t wait to visit Minehead next year, I will definitely look into the sensory room as S might still be small enough then to enjoy it! x
It looks like you had a great time! We’re thinking of going to Butlins next May x
Do it, do it! little ones really are in heaven there! x
Wow sooo many things my two would love here Becky! JJ did a term of Little Kickers and there were a fair few girls there too. He is also really into the slot machines and swimming and soft play – amazing! What kind of cost is it? By the way your daughter has the most stunning blond hair! X #sharewithme
Aaah, thank you, she does! I think the cost of our break was under 2k for 5 people in 3 bed Gold apartment for 5 days, but that included everything x
So many wonderful things to do! This is a place I’m putting on our travel list.
Definitely worth checking out Tarana!
I have to admit Becky, I’ve been a Butlins skeptic but you’re actually making me want to go. O would all the activities and it looks like things have improved massively since I went with my mum and dad when I was about 8! I think my husband may need a bit more convincing though xx
Oh god, it’s SO moved on, do not fear! My OH was a skeptic too, but even he admits that we had a great time! x
I love that there is so much for the kids to do and I don’t doubt that Butlins is family friendly. I am still yet to be convinced and unfortunately the one thing that Butlins can’t change is the British weather! I’d rather pay a little more to go overseas for a holiday. But a short break I am always up for and your review certainly has made me think again. x x x x
I think worth going for a short break then? I found the 4 nights the perfect amount of time for us personally. We were lucky and only had 1 day of bad weather, but even then there is still a lot to do (thank god!) xx