11/15/2017

Our Just For Tots Break At Butlin's Skegness - Review


We love to go on holiday and have little breaks away, just like most families do. Don't get me wrong, we love our home and our creature comforts but I think getting out and about, visiting new places is very important for families. Our holidays and breaks away have enabled us to have more quality time together as a family and helped us create very special memories.

Last month, we were invited to review a Just For Tots break at Butlin's in Skegness. We had never been before, so we didn't really know what to expect. I'll be honest and admit that I'd read and heard so many mixed opinions when it comes to Butlin's, but I went with an open mind and couldn't wait to see what it was like.


Location
The Butlin's resorts are located in three different locations; Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness. We opted to go to the Skegness resort as it's the nearest to us, just a three hour drive and as all parents know, that's long enough with two little one's in the car. We got there without a hitch using our sat nav and it was quite a nice drive too. Skegness is known as a seaside town and is actually home to the very first Butlin's resort. 


Accommodation
We stayed in the Fairground Apartments for the duration of our 4 day break. As the name suggests these apartments are in walking distance from the fairground which was ideal for us as Noah loved the fairground! 

On entering we were really pleased by the space and decor of the apartment, it was perfect! Everything was clean, tidy and fit for purpose. 
The large open living space have a lovely homely feel, with it's L shaped sofa, scatter cushions and flat screen TV. Noah loved the fairground theme, the mirror in the living room was a big hit. We all spent a lot of time laughing at giggling at our stretched and shrunk reflections! Leading on from the living space we had a fantastic dining kitchen. This consisted of a dining table and chairs, fridge, oven and hob, microwave, kettle and toaster. All cutlery was provided, as are bowls, plates, glasses, mugs and pans. We were also happy to find chocolates, crisps, little bottles of wine, fresh orange and a bottle of coke ready and waiting for us on arrival! The apartment had two decent sized and comfortable bedrooms. We were also given a cot bed to use however Ava slept in a bed with me, and Nick slept in the other room with Noah. I felt more comfortable this way as Noah is still quite young to be in his own room on holiday. Last but not least the bathroom was quite small and compact, which is fine as it means you get more space in the bedrooms. It is worth noting that there is only a shower and no bath, which can make washing small children and babies a little tricky. Overall we were very happy with the accommodation!


Dining

As part of our trip we had premium dining package which gave us the choice to eat at two different restaurants free of charge. This was great because we didn't have to worry about breakfasts or dinner, we just had to buy in a few bits for our lunches. The food on this package is a buffet, help your self affair which I think is ideal for families because you are able to get up and serve yourself and don't have to wait for it to be cooked and served. Noah really enjoyed being able to come up with me every morning and evening to choose what he'd like to eat. There's so much choice at meal times that even the fussiest of eaters would be able to find something that they like.

We never had to que or wait in line for food, as the restaurants are very big with plenty of room. I also feel like i have to mention how great the cleaning staff are. They are constantly sweeping the floors and clearing the tables. You can imagine how messy it can get with so many young children eating, it must be hard to keep the area clean but they do manage it. The staff are so polite and welcoming and always have a chat with you and talk to the children.


Our favourite place to eat was at The Deck restaurant. It was always clean, well staffed, and had a great atmosphere. The show cooking chef here was great, his grilled meats, burgers and BLT's were sublime! The Mexican themed night also has to be mentioned. We had fajitas, burrito's, nacho's, the works! It was so good, we all really enjoyed it! We also really loved the desserts, maybe a little too much as we had second helpings some nights! There was so much choice, from hot puddings and custards, to cheesecakes and cream, to fruit salad and ice cream! We were very surprised and impressed with our dining experience! I'm getting hungry just writing about it!



Activities
One thing I can say without hesitation, you will never ever be stuck for something to do while you are at Butlin's! Just one glance at your "whats on and when" guide and you will see just how much is going on around you and it's very easy to plan your day. There's play doh sessions, discos, messy play, sing along's, puppet shows, meet and greets, football coaching, swimming sessions and so much more. There is something for everyone at any time. The handy guide lets you know what activities are on, the time they are on, where they are taking place and what ages they are appropriate for. It is basically your activity bible and we carried ours around with us at all times so we knew where we were going next.

Bot kids had so much fun at everything we managed to do. We got involved with some creative sessions and felt they were really well organised. Although very busy, the staff do a great job of keeping the sessions organised and structured. 

We visited the swimming pool one afternoon and what a fantastic facility it is. You can see a lot of money has been put into creating a thrilling and safe swimming experience for all ages. The layout is great, the slides are amazing and the place is big enough so that you don't feel claustrophobic or that you are swimming on top of people. The pool is a definite highlight of the activities you can partake in during your stay and the fact you can stay in the pool as long as you like and go as much you want just make it all the more enjoyable.
 
We spent a lot of time in the fairground which caters for children of all ages. There are smaller rides for the little ones such as the teacups and the ladybird ride. Then there's the bigger rides for older kids including Dodgems and the Go-Karts. All rides are free to use (except the Go-Karts and high jumpers) and you can go on as many times as you like. There's also various fairground games to play including hook a duck and target throwing., although these aren't free as there are prizes to be won. There's so much fun to be had here and I think we spent most our time at the fairground. 


Entertainment 

Evening entertainment usually starts between 6pm and 7pm between Reds, The Skyline Pavilion and Centre Stage. The shows are really well put together and the entertainment team do a great job of keeping the children happy and engaged. You are spoilt for choice over which show to go to but you can guarantee that you and your children will enjoy it. The highlight of the entertainment for us was definitely Justin Fletcher. He put on an amazing show and I think us adults actually enjoyed it more than the children.

It's great to see Butlin's going that extra mile by getting well known TV personalities to perform at the resort. I also have to mention the red coats who are so popular with the children. They make a special effort to talk to all the children, show them dance moves and sing along with them. I don't know how they keep there energy up!


Not only are there half a dozen shows to enjoy but there's also numerous arcades which you can enjoy. There's countless arcade machines, most of which give out tickets which you can save up during your stay and exchange for prizes. We all really enjoyed ourselves at the arcades and we managed to win ourselves two Teletubbies from the claw grabber machines on the very last night! There's also a cinema showing the latest releases and a bowling alley too, these of course you have to pay for.


Tips and Suggestions
If you have a young baby (like we do) and want to save money I would recommend taking your own cot bed and high chair as these aren't provided in the room. You can however rent them out for the duration of your stay, at a cost. A baby bath would be a good idea too as I did have to bathe Ava in the kitchen sink with our apartment not having a bath.

If possible I'd recommend asking for a first or second floor apartment too. Ours was on the ground floor which was good in a way because of our pram but on a whole it was a negative. We heard lots of banging and shuffling, 24/7. This of course isn't Butlin's fault, just the quite inconsiderate and noisy neighbours above us. It wasn't my two children waking me up at the crack of dawn, it was the kids above us who sounded like they were practising long jump!

Overall thoughts
Would we go back? YES! We'd go back next week! We had an absolute blast and I cannot say one bad word about our experience. If we'd have been paying customers I'd be completely satisfied and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending Butlins Skegness to a friend.


- We were invited to review a Just For Tots break however all opinions are my own. 

9 comments:

  1. This looks great - we recently went to the one near us! It was so much fun :D (Bogner Regis!)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I went to pontins as a child but haven't taken my little ones yet

    ReplyDelete
  3. We've been for day visit to Butlins and kids love it there, food is very expensive though-even for sausage and chips. This is what hikes the price up by a lot from what families staying there have told us

    ReplyDelete
  4. I loved Skegness when my kids were younger!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sound like a good family holiday / break. Good to have a great variety of entertainment and activities which are accessible.

    Rachel Craig

    ReplyDelete
  6. Children love adventures.

    Rachel Craig

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside. Holidays can be such fun.

    Rachel Craig

    ReplyDelete
  8. We have never stayed at butlins, it looks fantastic, especially the tots stay, it is good that they do all different event holidays, it looks like you all really enjoyed your stay xXx

    ReplyDelete