Wednesday 6 November 2013

#ButlinsAmbassadors Being Entertained at Butlins

Well yesterday I wrote about the yummy food at Butlins today I want to say about the things that entertained us on our stay. It is the entertainment side that Butlins are famous for but its come a long way from the traditional knobbly knee competitions although the Red Coats are still a key part of the fun. What is great is about how much of the entertainment is included in the price. They are also very good at making a variety of things to cater for every age group. For a take on entertainment for slightly younger children see Twins, Tiaras and Tantrums post as she was there with 4 year old girls.

Having been to Skegness in February we had had a taste of the live entertainment but with a poorly 6 year old we couldn't really make the most of it. Some of the things on offer were the same but others were different which made it interesting. Even though much of it is free with slightly older children I bought us Action Passes to get discounted goes on some of the more exciting things. I also bought us B line passes to save on queuing for things (essential when going single handed!).

So this is what we got up to:

Splash World is the one of the big draws with its varying pools and slides etc. It can get very busy but luckily I kept track of my children. Having both of them being able to swim helped me to relax quite a lot and my daughter was old enough to be allowed off on her own. She did drag me on to the Master Blaster ride where you go down slides in a rubber dinghy! My son was only brave enough to go down the big white slide but not any of the tube slides which limited me some what. He did go on the rapids until we discovered he was actually just too short... The wave machine was good fun and the clear warning before it started made it easy to either get in or out of that bit of the pool. There was also an area perfect for little ones with shallow water, gentle slides and waterfalls etc. 

Our passes included a go each at 10 Pin Bowling at Hot Shots. This is a very popular activity so you need to book or do it on the first day! We had the guard rails up and I am sure that is the only reason that my children both beat me (if only by 1 point):

Butlins Bognor Bowling

One thing that smacks of seaside holidays to me are the 2p slot machines. I rationed my children as to how much they were allowed to spend and got them to save their winnings for the next day. There is a lot of potential pester power in the arcade section but my children were told on day 1 what they were allowed and this minimised costs to a couple of air hockey sessions and a minimal amount for the slots:

Butlins Bognor 2p machines

Adventure Golf I wrote a full post about this already this week. This was a lovely thing to do as a family whether the sun was shining or even in a drizzle! I love the seaside themed holes:

Centre Stage is the main venue for evening entertainment at Bognor. Each part of the evening was age coded on the planner so you knew whether it was suitable for your family. Because of our passes we were in the front seats every night and could easily see the children on the dance floor and get a close up of the action:

Butlins Bognor red coats game show

The next morning I signed my daughter into Club Red. This is a group for 9-12 year olds which allows them to escape from their parents and younger siblings to do activities or just chill in the Zone. In February my daughter hadn't been keen but this time she jumped at the chance to go. It was good that she had just been given a mobile so I could give permission for her to leave Club Red on her own and come and find us.

My son made the most of sister free time to try out the adventure playground in front of the Beachcomber Inn. This was him being cheeky and trying the under 5s slide:

Butlins Bognor playground

Then he had an hour football coaching (the road to Wem Billy) with other 5-7 year olds. There were groups for older children too. He looked like he was having a whale of a time:

Butlins Bognor football coaching

Of course we kept returning to the fairground:

Butlins Bognor fairground

Each ride was clearly marked as to the height restrictions which were rigorously enforced. My children both had their favourite rides with my daughter's being the Wave rider chairs and my son's the Paratrooper (at back of the shot).

Back in the Skyline we used one of our vouchers for a go at American Pool. After the way my children played I didn't bother to come back to use our other 2!

Butlins Bognor American Pool

Then we went to see Sesame Street Live which we had loved in February and the children chose over the option of Wrestling. Great family entertainment:

Butlins Bognor Sesame Street Live

This was followed by the Red Coats doing a tribute act to boy and girl bands:

My children were so shattered we didn't make it to the end of their performance and headed back to to the hotel. On the way we saw the cast from the panto (all Skyline Crew) doing a photo call on the stage:

Butlins Bognor Panto

The Skyline Pavilion stage had lots of stuff for younger children going on through out the day which we didn't stop to watch:

Butlins Bognor Thomas the tank engine

There were a few trips into the very large soft play area with an adjacent mini fun fair:

Butlins Bognor soft play

Whilst big sister was making ectoplasm with Club Red I took my son for a spin on the Go Karts using one of our passes. Being too short for his own we had to go together:

Butlins Bognor go karts

I have to admit I wasn't very good first time out and crashed in pit lane! Once I got going I drove like Michael Schumacher apparently as I blocked everyone else from going past me... When I went out with my daughter I was much better and even lapped another driver a couple of times. 

One of the other items on our pass was a go on the Bungee Trampoline, however only my daughter wanted to give this a go:

Butlins Bognor bungee trampoline

Luckily we managed to swap our unused tickets for another round of adventure golf which was much more my thing. That evening we went to Club Red to listen to an Olly Murs tribute Only Olly aka James Hutchinson:

Butlins Bognor Only Olly

Its the closest my children have ever been to a pop concert and only my daughter was vaguely interested and my son was running round the venue! I had fun singing along though...

Halloween was during our stay and they had really made an effort to get us in the mood with decorations throughout the resort. The side show in the funfair for that day was well chosen to meet the theme:

Butlins Bognor werewolf show

The show was marked as only suitable for over 8's really but my son found it OK with strange characters like this in it:

Butlins Bognor laboratory assistant

They made a great twosome for scaring people around the site too:

Butlins Bognor mad scientists

That afternoon we missed the panto as we had bought tickets to see the Animal Encounter in the Discovery Theatre. This included amazing 3D effects (I nearly fell off my seat at one point!) and live animals. My daughter volunteered every time they asked someone to come on stage and got chosen for the final one to meet an owl (think she was relieved she didn't have to kiss a skunk!). Well worth the £5 each:

Butlins Bognor animal encounter

Then it was a quick whizz to get changed in time for the Halloween fun in the evening:

Butlins Bognor halloween

My daughter chose to spend 2 hours in the Zone with Club Red and I took her brother to watch the shows on the pavilion stage. Lots of fun with characters from all the shows and then the Skyline Gang had their own show:

Butlins Bognor skyline gang halloween

I have to say that the Red Coats, Skyline Gang and other entertainment staff really earn their wages. They were always cheerful, worked a full day and seemed to love engaging with the children. It is definitely one of the biggest plus points of a Butlins break. Here is a video showing better what a fun time we had:


  1. This post made me hungry. The food looks ace and I love buffets with the kids - especially as my son is so picky.

  2. It's a simple but effective way to feed them!

  3. Wow looks like you had a fantastic time!!

  4. Looks great! Between the american pool and Sesame Street it might feel like a trip home ;)

  5. My Goodness, I bet you were all exhausted. I didn't realise there was so much to do and explore at Butlins. Your competitive streak at Go Karting made me chuckle! Hx

  6. WifeMumStudentBum8 November 2013 at 22:02

    Wowsers you packed a lot in, looks like you had a fantastic time x

  7. That's a lot of things to pack into one holiday :) looks like it was fab.

  8. I didn't realise there was actually so much for children to do at Butlins. Good to know for future reference :) Glad you had a fun filled time!

  9. I know it's amazing that there is always something to do!

  10. Ooh slot machines bring back memories!

  11. The entertainment there really is second to none isn't it? We missed the Panto when we visit be still had such an amazing time, the Red coats are excellent! The Halloween show looks fabulous too!

  12. Great pics as always, looks like you all had a great time! We went away for a weekend back in May, ours were obsessed with the 2p machines, I've never spent so much time on them!

  13. I learned in February to ration slot money! fab with young kids

  14. oh it looks ace. i'm so looking forward to our break now :)

  15. These pics are great!! There is so much more to do there now. When I was young it was just the park and the club of a night xx

  16. definitely trying to ensure value for money!

  17. What a wonderful mix, looks like there'll be more than enough to keep my eldest just as entertained as the younger ones! x

  18. haha the Redcoats doing 'Chocolate' or should that be 'Choco-latte'? Made my toes tap! Great video:-)
    I can't wait for my #ButlinsAmbassadors break!


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