Family Days Out: Butlins - Toddler Paradise!

We had a fantastic time last week when we visited Butlins for the day.  Living in sunny Bognor, it is difficult to avoid the looming presence of the enormous central tented pavilion at the Eastern end of the beach, and the current building project of a third fabulous hotel.  Yet until last week we had never ventured inside the gates.  Truth be told, [whispers] I didn't really think it was for us, but I was to be proved very, very wrong indeed!  Lara was excited the second she got out of the car as she could see the fairground and other attractions.  She was on a real mission to get in there, as you can see.

When we had acquired a map we could see just how enormous the site is, and how much there was to do.  With a very active 2 year old in tow, we certainly weren't going to be bored!  My rather snobbish ideas about just who went to Butlins very quickly evaporated as I took in the number of children dressed head to toe in Boden!

We went to the 'big tent' first, to have a look round, and because it had started to spit with rain.  Luckily there was so much to do inside we could quite easily have spent the whole day just in there.  The day we were there was part of a fabulous under 5's break special offer, so there was entertainment from Bob the Builder, Pingu, Fireman Sam, and an appearance from Katy Ashworth of CBeebies "I Can Cook".  Perfect entertainment for little ones!

After watching the on-stage entertainment for a little while, Lara wanted to go on the cars merry-go-round, one of several rides for children which are all free, and into the soft play area.

After all that excitement it was time for lunch, and we were spoilt for choice.  There was a pizza place, Burger King, and several other choices.  We opted for The Beachcomber Inn, which had a relaxed pub atmosphere and a wide menu choice, although there was no veggie option for children, which was disappointing.  Steve's Ploughmans was very nice though, and reasonably priced, another pleasant surprise.

For Lara the best was yet to come as the sun had come out and there were two large play areas to explore, as well as an outside fairground area, with trampolines, carousels and other rides.  She had a fantastic time on the swings and climbing frame, but liked the sand and water play area best of all.  I think she would quite happily spend a whole day there if she could!

We all had a fantastic day at Butlins, and would happily go back there for a proper stay, although it might be better for us to go to Minehead or Skegness, rather than holiday less than a mile from home!  The amount of activities and entertainment available for toddlers, and older children, is absolutely fantastic, and makes Butlins the perfect break for the whole family.