Half-term holidays near you – the ultimate Staycation at Butlins!
As a mum-to-be with a tot already in tow, the last thing I wanted to do was board a jet and go through hours in airport customs and the check in malarkey.
So this time around I looked closer to home for a quick getaway that would be guaranteed fun, fun, fun for the family, with a sprinkling of luxury for all deserving mums?
No sooner did the 3.15pm bell ring on Friday for half-term we were off on our way to Butlins Bognor Regis – just over 2 hours from South London with babysitters, ahem, sorry grandparents in tow.
Butlers welcoming us to take up our bags to the Ocean hotel was an absolute touch – leaving us just enough time to grab a bite at the sumptuous Kaleidoscope buffet, and refuel after our journey.
An early night was just what was needed for the back-to-back activities in store for the weekend. But the sensory suite with bright coloured lights and comic book style decorations kept us mesmerized for a while before bedtime – not to mention gazing at the beautiful sunset from the ocean front balcony.
After a cosy night, morning came and messy play called. The smiley red coats were on hand to help the kiddies get stuck into Halloween themed arts and crafts.
Burning some energy at Billy’s theme park on the trampoline was a great way to fill some time before the Fireman Sam show at the Skyline Pavilion – which gave the kids a science lesson at the same time teaching them the dangers of leaving a magnifying glass out in sunlight which can cause a fire.
Soon after, the Skyline Gang brought the party to the house with their energetic song and dance set that had everyone from the tots to the grandparents tapping their toes.
With just a weekend away we wanted to fit in as much as possible and the Splash World was certainly one of the highlights. With its wave pool, sprinklers, turbo slides and waterfalls, it kept he kids entertained for ages.
For the party animals that still want to keep going after dinner – the good vibes continue in fabulous style with shows at Reds and Centre Stage – with live music and disco themes to reignite that Saturday night fever.
Or if you’re a mum or mum-to-be that just needs to relax away from the kiddies for a while, then leave the tots with an adult family member and book in at the Ocean Spa.
Do ask what treatments are safe for preggers ladies, ie, not the outdoor hot tub on this occasion (thanks to my midwife mum for the warning) or jacuzzi. Staff are so friendly and helpful and will advise what’s safe for you. Equally as relaxing as the hot tub is a session in the hydrotherapy pool and the ornamental foot spa that will leave you ready for a relaxing night sleep after you’ve been pampered and preened for the next day ahead.
Sunday brought plenty of surprises, not to mention the brilliant Soccer Tots lesson for 2-4 year olds. The coach was a natural at getting the kids involved, honing their dribbling skills ( on the pitch that is) and used comedy techniques such as touching the ball with their ears and nose, as well as headers to their parents (leaving a few sore heads along the way), which had everyone in fits of laughter – not to mention a brilliant workout.
There’s plenty to do for older children including Archery and football training, go karting and fairground rides.
If you’re travelling with youngsters then I fully recommend the Just for Tots break aimed at kids aged 2-5. It’s so interactive, encourages imaginative and sensory play and has fab nursery rhyme singalong sessions too.
Leaving Butlins with a food baby is obligatory – it’s just part of the package really given the irresistible buffet breakfasts with made to order omelettes, Birchers, fresh melon and full English breakfast on offer.
Breakfast worked well for my son whose a fussy eater – upon seeing the other kids devour their tray of cereals, toast and fruit, he then tucked in. There’s a wide range of yummy baby food for smaller infants too.
Dinner options are vast too, but the American themed diner – where the hostesses burst into songs from the fifties mid-hamburger is certainly memorable.
The Beachcomber served up the best freshly caught salmon I have tasted. And Sunday is not Sunday without a trip to the mitchellin starred Turners restaurant for a delicious roast with all the trimmings.
After this weekend, I’ll definitely explore brilliant family staycations for a quick and affordable getaway next year too – with the option of luxury for the #showbizmamas amongst us too ???
Am very excited to hear that Butlins has launched ‘Teeny Tots’, which will feature on all Just for Tots’ breaks throughout the year, and has been designed especially for those aged two and under.
With activities to specifically stimulate and engage newborns and upwards, Butlin’s has teamed up to include sessions from baby swimming specialists Puddleducks, music and movement classes from LittleMagicTrain, post-natal fitness groups with BuggyFit™ and baby yoga with To Baby and Beyond.
Sign me up, I’m in!
*For last minute half-term breaks and Christmas vacations as well as the awesome Just for Tots breaks at Butlins in Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness resorts in 2017 visit @www.butlins.com and https://m.butlins.com/h5/hub?pagePath=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.butlins.com%2Fwhere-to-stay-dine-and-play%2Fwhere-to-play%2Fjust-for-tots%2Findex.aspx#ico=OB_Mob_Tots ????