We had a fantastic weekend at Butlins Bognor Regis over the half term holiday. It wasn't our first visit to Butlins, we went about two and a half years ago when we only had two children and we all loved it. I knew that there would be so much for them all to do, although I was a little nervous about travelling with our four aged five and under.
I remember before, writing about how amazing the staff are and that hasn't changed at all. There was always someone about and they always had time to answer a question or show us the way. The guys manning the indoor fairground rides were playing games with the children as they went round, the staff in the restaraunts always helped us out and the red coats kept them all entertained.
There was so much to do for every age, and I loved watching Finn get as involved as his big brothers. There is enough things included in your stay that you really don't need to spend much at all whilst you are there and the indoor fairground rides were perfect for my little trio. There were four rides and despite us being there for half term weekend we didn't have to queue once. It was the little things like that that made the break special and took away the stress. The outdoor fairground rides were more suited to the bigger two so we timed it for naptime. It is worth noting that the dodgems are only for slightly bigger children (Dylan was tall enough at 5 but Archie wasn't at nearly 4) which caused a bit of upset but Archie was easily pacified with a go on hook a duck.
As it was Halloween weekend the whole place was decorated and as well as a huge pumpkin tent where you could pay extra to carve a pumpkin, there was also a coffin scene set up that the boys could play in. Lots of the shows had a Halloween theme too with the skyline gang in haunted house and Billy and Bonnie the bears having a Halloween surprise. Butlins were very clear that whilst dressing up is allowed and encouraged, they wanted spooky not scary and there were always lots of children dressed up (no scary masks or pretend weapons).
We visited the Splash park once and I wish we had found the time to go back. It was perfect for young children. My boys are all non-swimmers and they could have played in there for hours. There was so much shallow water and a big water works with sprinklers and slides that was perfect for non-swimmers. There were lots of staff and lifeguards around which was reassuring and there was a wave machine and deeper water for older or more water confident children.
There were lots of shows on, the main one was Braniac Live this weekend but sadly we had to miss it. The big show is ticketed so you are told which one you can attend but if you want to sit near the front you have to queue for a couple of hours and if you want to sit at all you have to queue. There was no way we could stand in line for too long with all four and ours are too little to really get anything from it if we were sat or stood at the back so we decided to skip it. The show was aimed at Dylan's age upwards so we weren't too bothered and we watched some of the others in the centre including the Skyline Gang and Fireman Sam. These ones fitted with their concentration spans a bit better and we could turn up just as the show started and still find a space.
There were a couple of outdoor parks which we really appreciated. My boys need to run off steam sometimes and we usually followed a show with something outdoors. There was one park aimed more at preschool children and that was Finn's favourite. I don't know if they are busier in the summer but they were pretty empty in this mild October so there was plenty of space to run and play.
Many of the areas had something for bigger and smaller children and the soft play that sits in the middle of the tent had an older and younger kids half. There was also a quieter play area, one half with soft shapes and walkers and the other side with a craft activitiy. We didn't make it to the set messy play sessions that they run, but there was always something going on and Dylan and Archie made pirate masks whilst Finn zoomed around the other side. I found it a great place to chill out as each area is surrounded by a low fence so the children are contained and you can easily watch both sections from whichever one you are in.
We really didn't spend much whilst we were there, we ate huge breakfasts and dinners that were included with our dining plan and then just had snacks for lunch. We did go on the go karts and the ride on trucks (£5 and £2 respectively, trucks in the picture below) and we had one game of bowling (£14 for the four of us for one game as three and under play for free).
We did try out Scoop for ice cream, and then revisit it the next day - seriously good ice cream and you could get all sorts of flavours and toppings (we highly recommend the cookie dough). They had three flavours of sorbet which is great for Finn who can't have dairy and I love the pink cow bench and tables outside.
Butlins is such a fantastic place to visit with young children and all four of ours had a brilliant time. There is so much included that you really don't need to spend much but there are lots of things you can pay for if you want something extra. I made a little video about our visit if you want a better look at what we got up to.
We were provided with our weekend away for the purpose of this review as part of the Butlins Ambassador program but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.