This weekend we were lucky enough to be invited to Butlins, Bognor Regis to experience their Diversity Break.
We were all very excited, having stayed in the Wave Hotel back in 2014. The kids were especially looking forward to all the activities that they have on offer.
This time we were booked to stay in the Gold Apartments and we unloaded the car as soon as we arrived and headed off to find our apartment. I hadn’t thought to tell Butlins that we had a toddler with us and sadly they had put us on the top floor which wasn’t ideal as the only way up was a metal fire escape on the outside of the building.
The apartment itself had three bedrooms, a small bathroom and an open plan kitchen / lounge area. It was dated but perfectly functional and we were welcomed by an elephant sculpted out of towels on our bed.
The great thing about Butlins though is you only really need somewhere to sleep as there is so much going on that there is never not anything to do and the kids could not wait to get outside.
Our apartment had everything you need for a self catering break, with a fridge, dishwasher, plates, cutlery etc, however we chose to have their Premium Dining package which allowed us to eat in the Coast restaurant for breakfast and dinner everyday. There was a large choice of meals laid out in a buffet style or you could also choose to have a freshly cooked omlette in the morning and pasta or a stir fry in the evening.
For our first evening, Eliza decided she wanted to see the Skyline Gang perform. The Skyline Gang consists of Bud, Sprout, Pip, Mimi, Candi, Dude, Misty and Rainbow the dog they perform great live shows that are full of fun and the little ones up and dancing along.
On Saturday Sebastian discovered his love of the giant Helter Skelter and I lost count of the amount of times Hubby and I walked up all those stairs but it was worth it for the smiles and giggles.
Kian was keen to do the high ropes and although Isaac was finally enough to take part (you have to be 8), we didn’t account for his height and Kian had to rescue him at one point because his feet couldn’t touch the walkway.
Isaac is fast becoming a little adventurer and was also keen to try the water Zorbs. After a few spills he got the hang of walking on water, whilst Eliza was happier to bob along sat on her bottom.
The fairground was also a huge hit, with all the rides free with the exception of the Go Carts which cost £5. The height restriction was 0.9m for all rides except the swings so the whole family could enjoy them too.
I have to admit that Saturday’s choice of shows didn’t appeal to us, with a Little Mix tribute act in Centre Stage or a Cowboy show with the Red Coats so we stayed outside and enjoyed meeting the entertainers and going to the park.
Sunday was Diversity Day and the kids were booked on the 10am session. I could not have been more impressed with the whole 90 minute event. The Diversity boys were wonderful with the kids, offering encouragement and high-fives. The routine was challenging enough to keep the kids entertained without being so difficult that they gave up. In fact, I filmed it for the kids and Isaac is still practicing now. You can read about the Diversity Academy here.
The rest of the day was filled with more fairground rides, soft play and puppet shows for the little ones and a delicious ice cream from their Scoops Gelato.
The finale of our break was seeing Diversity perform in the evening. The shows are very popular and it is advisable to start queuing at least an hour before the doors open which does make for some very bored children. Seasoned pro’s were queuing with iPads and DS games but we made do with silly challenges and games which worked for us.
It was well worth it though as the Diversity performance was brilliant with costume changes, pyrotechnics and even a perfectly timed dance routine complete with lights in their costume as well as some audience participation and games.
Despite our initial disappointment with our accommodation we had a brilliant time at Butlins. It is not a place you go to for a rest and we came away shattered but the kids had a ball and that is what a Butlins break is all about!!