When you arrive back home and your daughter says “Can we sell our house and move to Butlins” – I think it’s safe to say, she enjoyed herself.
Now, you are more than welcome to read my review, to take it all in, read each comment in depth, check out the pictures of our brilliant Butlin’s just for tots break but I can save you a lot of time, as a parent, your time is precious, so my top tip for you is JUST BOOK!
Let me take you back in time to the morning of Monday the 11th of April 2016, picture the scene, boot packed (That’s a lie, boot rammed full to the gills) – Baby fed and strapped in his seat, wife sitting comfortable and my 4 year old daughter the stereotypical bottle of pop ready to explode with excitement.
For months, every time she’d see the TV advert she’d proudly announce she was going to Butlins, she’d made her friends, teachers, our neighbours even the milk man fully aware she was off to Butlins and she was EXCITED!
We pull off and what do I hear……..Daaaaadddddd can I have my Frozen CD on – this was going to be a long trip but it was sure going to be worth it!
We made our way to Minehead, this was to be our home for the next 4 nights, I’d read their emails, I’d scoured the website and I’d checked the planner, we knew what we wanted to do and when we wanted to do it!
Upon arrival we were greeted by a very jolly Red Coat who waved us through and asked us to park up and pop inside to reception, usually, if you’re staying in Butlins new West Lakes Chalet Village you have your very own, private check in desk but today we were to check in here.
My little girl and I bounded into reception waving at each and every Red Coat we met (I’d be lying if I said it was only my daughter who was vigorously waving!!!).
We were quickly and efficiently checked in by Rhys, given maps, planners and keys.
Most importantly we picked up our B-Line passes and set out to find our Chalet. (The passes are the key to skipping waiting lines for any shows).
A few minutes later and here we are – now don’t get me wrong, I’d seen Butlin’s snazzy video clips of the Chalets and they say pictures say a thousand words and to be fair to Butlin’s, their website, video and pictures had set the bar pretty high so we entered with a degree of trepidation – would it be as good as we’d hoped?
OH YES! 27 Gloucester Chalet – You little beauty you were everything we wanted and more!
Modern décor, a welcoming chalk board, plush furniture and THAT View, oh that view – stunning! Our Chalet had 3 bedrooms.
A double en-suite for Mum and Dad, a bunk bed room that we popped the cot in for our little boy and a twin room for our little girl and Nanny – we had to bring Nanny aka Chief Babysitter and the font of all knowledge!
This Chalet would comfortably sleep 6 with a large family bathroom and large open plan kitchen, dining and living room with a fantastic balcony over the water.
Our pre conceptions weren’t wrong, I hadn’t built it up too much – was it everything I expected? No! It was so much more than I expected! As a parent, it was the little things that made the difference such as:
- Tea, coffee, milk and sugar so we could have a quick cuppa;
- Plenty of coat hooks to hand coats, bags etc on;
- Plastic step for toddlers to get on the toilet or use the sink;
- A Bathmat;
- Activity pack, crayons and safety sockets if you’d waned to use them ;
- Beautifully warm with a booster button if you wanted a bit more heat – worry not, the radiators never got hot to the touch – a relief as a parent;
- Plenty of towels and toiletries;
- Even a dishwasher with tablets so you didn’t even have to wash up!
Now I’m sure you get the picture, the Chalet was everything we wanted and more!
Dining Out – Premium Dining Plan
We decided to go for the Butlin’s Premium Dining Plan as we didn’t want to cook whilst we were away, we knew how much we wanted to see and do and it just made the most sense.
My top 5 reasons for doing the dining plan were:
- Could spend more time, playing, doing and seeing then just turn up for dinner/breakfast;
- No washing up;
- FREE Ella’s Kitchen & Heinz food for babies;
- Huge selection ever for fussy eaters;
- Free tea, coffee, hot chocolate, water & juices.
Plus by pre-booking the dining plan, its 20% cheaper than booking on resort.
Breakfast consists of cereal, pastries, toast, cooked breakfast selection, omelette station, pancakes, fresh fruit – basically anything would could and would want plus a huge selection of hot drinks and juices.
Evening Meal gives you two options at Minehead, The Deck and The Yacht Club, The Yacht Club was more of a traditional eatery that I would describe as all UK or English dishes.
The Deck, our preferred choice had more of an “Around the world” theme with a Noodle bar, Pasta station, salad bar, roast dinner section, grill, children’s section, deserts, bread, cheese plus much more – you will be able to feed even the fussiest of eaters – that’s a guarantee!
Just for tots break!
Now you don’t need to be a rocket scientists to realise that a Butlin’s “Just for tots” break is……………Just for tots, now that’s not technically true, we saw many children who were not tots but you need to have at least one tot in your party to make the most of this toddler break as its 100% geared up and perfect for them!
Each ‘Just for tots’ break varies slightly depending on the time of year and the resort you choose, but for our specific break at Minehead we enjoyed;
- Mike The Knight
- Thomas The Tank
- Fireman Sam
- Bob the Builder
- Billy & Bonny Show
- Aladdin Rocks Pantomime
- Treasure Island with CBeebies Sid & Rebecca!!! Yep, them from “Lets Play” on the telly – I bet you’ve just hummed the theme tune in your head?
- The Skyline Gang
- Dave Benson Phillips – those of a certain age will remember his from when we were little!!
- Play Doh Live
- Arts & Craft
- Indoor Funfair
- Outdoor Funfair
- Play parks
- Little Tykes play town
- Puppet Castle show
- Splashworld (Sensational swimming pool!)
There are also a few paid for sessions such as Balanceability, Archery, Football and swimming lessons but we didn’t need to book these and good job as we simply didn’t have the time!
Now, I could rabbit on and on about how amazing Butlin’s is but I’m going to stop and simply sum it up for you, if you’ve read until this point, pop back to the very first paragraph and do exactly what I said, Nike famously said “Just Do It” and now I’m famously saying “Just Book it”
Is it value for money? YES
Would we go again? YES
Should you go? YES
Will your kids love it? YES
Will they want to go back as soon as they get home? YES
As I said, JUST BOOK IT!
Butlin’s Just for Tots booking information
For latest availability and prices and more information on a Just For Tots break please visit the Butlin’s website.
The Just For Tots breaks consist of four days designed especially for little ones, from early starts to bedtime stories and everything in between. Plus your first child goes free and children under 5 eat free on selected breaks.