So what exactly is on offer then? I think it might be quicker to tell you what wasn't ...
The really lovely thing is that there is something for everyone, every day. We were there for five days and it was impossible to do everything and on the way home, R in particular was making a list of the things that we hadn't done, that we would have to do next time.
The overall favourite entertainment was the funfair. When we went into our room, we could see the funfair from the window and all three children spotted the amazing Helter Skelter standing proudly above the fair and shouted that they wanted to go there first. The funfair is the real old fashioned type with the Helter Skelter standing tall and proudly overlooking thrill rides for all ages, dodgems, trampolines, chair swings, a carousel and the all important amusements. Apart from the amusements, the funfair does not cost any extra.
Alongside the funfair, there are the Go Karts. These are brilliant and organised really well. There is an extra fee for this of £5 per car. R was able to go in a car on his own and he whizzed around the track like a professional. He loved it. L is a bit younger and smaller, so he went in a car with my husband. There are two sets of cars for the two age groups and they alternate which I thought was a really good way of doing it
If you have little ones who are too small for the outdoor fair rides, the Skyline Pavilion has a Tots funfair and A was thrilled with the smaller rides that were just perfect for her. Again there is no additional costs for this. A would have quite happily spent all of her days working her way from the Skyline rides to the Carousel to the trampolines, but I think the trampolines were her absolute favourite.
Also in the Skyline Pavilion, there is a fair sized soft play area. All three of the children loved running around in there and it was quite nice for us to be able to sit outside and have a coffee, while they ran themselves silly.
Butlins take the safety of their visitors very seriously and I was impressed by that. There are height restrictions on all of the rides and the soft play area and there is always a member of staff on hand to make sure that the rules and regulations are adhered to. The soft play area always had someone up and down, keeping an eye on things.
One of my personal favourites was the Amazing Animals show which is in the brand new Discovery Studio. I didn't know what to expect from the show, but with a combination of real animals, amazing 3D special effects and some very funny people on stage, I was seriously impressed. This is not for the faint hearted though; the 3D effects were so good that L was terrified at one point and I though I might have to take him out of the theatre.
R is 9 and his highlight was the daily football coaching. This was well organised and the coaches were great with the kids and gave them a really good work out. He also enjoyed the climbing wall even though it was actually snowing whilst he and his brother were doing that, he wasn't put off.
The Splash Waterworld is the swimming pool complex and from the outside, it looks really impressive with pools; deep and shallow, rides, slides, a lazy river and waves. It is an amazing facility, but very very busy and we did find it a little bit difficult simply due to the volume of people. L wasn't big enough to go on some of the rides, but didn't want to play on the little things with A and I, which made things a bit tricky, but R really loved some of the bigger slides and Space Bowl Flume which he says is the best slide he has ever been on. Had there been a few less people, I would have been able to relax and enjoy it, but it was the one thing about the week that we were a little disappointed with.
The wonderful thing about Butlins is that there really is something for everyone; whatever age. We seemed to cram a lot into our five days there but when we were chatting about our experiences on the way home, R and L both had a list of things that we had hadn't got around to doing and that we would definitely be doing again next time. There is a great mix of entertainment throughout the day and night and lots of different familiar characters such as Mike the Knight, Angelina Ballerina, Thomas the Tank Engine and Sesame Street (my favourite) along side Butlin's own characters. The important thing is to enjoy it. It is busy and can be a little overwhelming, but as long as you earmark the activities that need booking during your stay and book them as soon as you can, it is then easy to slot other activities in around them and the one very positive thing is that you certainly won't hear your children saying "I'm bored"!
I am a Butlins Ambassador and I was given this five day break at Butlins free of charge in return for an honest review. All opinions and images are my own.