Monday 10 June 2013

Review: Entertainment and Activities at Butlins, Bognor Regis

You might have seen that we took a recent 4 night, 5 day break to Butlins in Bognor Regis, you can check out my review of the Wave hotel. I thought I should probably share our opinions on the onsite entertainment and activities on the resort too.

First off I made a short video to share some pictures and video clips of some of the great shows and activities available -

Splash Waterworld -
We have been to all 3 Butlins and every one of them has a great Splash area with lazy river, wave area, kids slides, water canons, bubble pools,  flumes and raft rides.  I'll be honest, they are play pools far more then serious swimming but then play is what family holidays are about. The changing rooms are mixed sex and massive and there are enough lockers, even when it is chocca busy. You can also get involved in extra activities for a cost of £5 a session for aqua gliders, aqua walkers and even swim lessons. Bognor is probably the smallest waterworld but has our favourite slides.

Soft play -
I think Bognor Regis has the best soft play of all the Butlins, my kids had a great time on it, luckily JJ was just 1/2 cm within height to be able to use it. There are separate areas for the smaller and bigger kids and where it is in the main Skyline parents can grab a seat anywhere close they fancy, directly outside are benches or now mine are that bit older I was able to enjoy a coffee in the cafe nearby.

Bobs Yard -
At Bognor Regis there are four small fairground type rides that the little ones love. From about 1 - 7 years they are still a hit. We never waited longer than 5-10 minutes for any of them. There is also the popular puppet theatre.

Sports sessions -
There are tons of different sporting sessions available, some for specific age groups and others for all the family to enjoy together. JJ joined his 9-12 years Club Red group to do archery and absolutely had a ball. There is also football, beach volleyball, fencing, cricket etc

Children's Clubs - 
As I mentioned JJ joined the Club Red on a few occasions, once to just chill with computer games and chat to new friends, another time he went geo caching and apparently this was EPIC and then again to do archery.  There were also various sessions that he did not take part in as we were busy or he did not fancy the craft or dancing, but the good thing is you can dip in and out.

The girls joined the 5-8 year old group and did a few 'get busy' sessions, at this age the parent needs to stay with them and I would recommend you get there early as there is no booking in advance but there is lots of fun and good craft activities.

Crazy Golf -
JJ and his Nanny really enjoyed the crazy golf and at £2.50 per person it does not break the bank. However, you could easily go through the week without having to do any of the extra paid activities to be honest. Nanny said she found the course a bit hard as there were too many obstacles but JJ loved it.

Adventure play park & Billy's play garden
Outside the onsite family pub is the wooden adventure play park, this is great when the sun is shining and all the kids can run off some energy. There is also a nice safe, enclosed park for under 5's next to the Shoreline hotel.

Live Shows - 
There are more live shows than you can possibly watch in a week, some you just turn up for, others require booking (but have no cost). The video above will have shown you a clip of a few but my favourite was the Story book Panto. The girls loved Thomas Sodor Celebration and the Skyline gang and JJ was sad to have missed the superslam wrestling. The quality of the shows is really high but do expect things to be busy, you need to get to the Skyline or Centre Stage early if you want to get prime seats. We never bothered with that and nearly always turned up 5 minutes before start time, we were able to get chairs but not near the front.

Fairground -
The Bognor Regis fairground has been fully refurbished for this year, I wrote about this a couple of months ago and you can see some fabulous snaps in the video clip above. On busy days do expect to wait 5-15 minutes to get on a ride and make sure you check height and age restrictions.  JJ was upset to find he could ride the dodgems alone in Minehead in April this year but needed to be 13 years old for Bognor, most strange.

The resort -
In all we loved our holiday at Butlins, the resort is really green, clean and tidy and there is so much to do.  Too much in fact and I find you have to be quite strict with yourself to make sure you plan in some down time and just relax. As our kids get older and can go off alone for periods of time Butlins will be even better as it is a super safe environment to allow them their first small tastes of freedom.

Our kids took their scooters (and so did a few others) and they had a lot of fun going round the park and getting rid of their excess energy!

Out and about -
We also enjoyed taking a walk off resort and discovered the wonderful Hotham Park (literally just across the road). The kids met lots of new friends there and enjoyed the play park, adventure park, boating lake, model railway and pitch and put golf.

The land-train which runs up the seafront is also nice for the smaller ones and we visited the traditional arcade at the pier, as well as taking a casual stroll into Bognor Regis town to look round the charity shops.

On this holiday we made the decisions not to drive out anywhere and explore and this was an easy choice for us as we know the area well. If you come to visit and fancy heading out then head to Chichester for some great shopping, Littlehampton for a nice sandy beach, Worthing for traditional seaside fun, Arundel for a beautiful castle and generally explore the beauty of the South Downs.

In conclusion -
We had a superb week at Butlins and I'd like to say a heartfelt thank-you for choosing me to be an ambassador this year. I genuinely have nothing to go home and grumble about (well expect maybe being a bit tried as we packed so much in our week!).

I'll leave you with my kids, filmed on the last night. This is what they had to say about their stay -

Disclosure: I am a Butlins Ambassador this year and as such we were provided with a 4 night break for 6 people for the purpose of undertaking this review. I have not been told what to write and I remain honest.


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