Butlins – Just for Tots

So. Last week, we packed our car and headed down to Butlin’s in Minehead for our much needed holiday.  I thought that by booking a ‘Just for Tots’ break, our little Angel would be over the moon and have lots of fun things to do and be the happiest girly on earth.  Well, how wrong was I?!

She DID have lots of things to do but she certainly didn’t appear happy.  In fact, she acted like a complete and utter brat and had approx 5,000 tantrums per day.  Including an ear piercing screaming fit in the changing rooms because she didn’t want to get out of the pool. I wanted the ground to swallow me whole.

Anyway, it wasn’t just my kid acting like a dick…Butlins had turned them all into miniature demon monsters from hell.

Wtf was their problem man?!  They had Mr Men on stage, Milkshake Live, Playdoh workshops, Little Tikes towns and the Teletubbies…THE TELETUBBIES?!!!  They should have been in pure heaven!

There were stressed parents as far as the eye could see with kicking, screaming toddlers slung over their shoulders and looks on their faces that mimicked my thoughts… ‘whose stupid, feckin idea was it to come ‘ere?!’

On 2 occasions I had to remove myself from the situation.  I just wanted to cry.  I was fortunate enough to have Maddie’s dad on hand to watch her whilst I buggered off by myself for half hour to just sit in silence on the beach with a coffee.  Sounds selfish but it was safer for everybody that way!

I came home feeling like I’d been on a lads holiday to Shagaluf! I spent the whole first day back at home quivering on the sofa and having flashbacks.

I felt quite bitter. And sad. And gutted.  I had spent a lot of hard earned money on this break and had visions of a perfect family holiday where Maddie played and laughed and had the time of her life whilst we sat on deckchairs sipping half a lager and eating chips out of newspaper.

I wallowed in my self pity for a bit and then realised that, since being back at home, my daughter had reverted back to the loving, well behaved, easy going little darling that she was pre-Butlins.  Hmmm.  Then I started to feel guilty.  I re-played the holiday in my head and realised that it was probably all a bit too much for her. A massive, sensory overload and very confusing.

I was too consumed with trying to make sure we saw every show and take part in every activity and go on every ride when in reality…she would of been happier playing in the park or chasing seagulls on the green.  I stressed myself out trying to fit everything in which made it tiring and not enjoyable.  It was like I was trying to force these things on Maddie instead of going with the flow and enjoying things as they came.

We had all of the right tools for a perfect holiday; Stunning weather, a lovely beach, fantastic amenities…it was me that ruined it with my idealisations.

I wish I could go back and do the week again differently but never mind, I have definitely learned a few things for next time (which I am going to share with you below)



The Good Bits

Ok, so it wasn’t ALL bad. There were some really great moments, (normally when she was getting her own way)

Butlins itself was fantastic.  We had a warm welcome at the gates, speedy check in, clean and fresh apartment and SO much to do. Maybe too much to do if I’m honest. The kids were literally spoilt for choice.

We opted for the dining package and I am so glad we did!  We were greeted every morning and evening by a very friendly maitre’d who was brilliant with the kids.  There was a huge choice of meals including a carvery, wok station and pasta station.  It all tasted delicious too.

We did sample the fish n chips on the last evening and they were yummy!  I loved that they were wrapped in replica vintage, butlins newspaper!

The entertainment was top notch. It’s just a shame that my kid has the attention span of a goldfish and got bored half way through.

The Splash, Water World was huge but VERY crowded.  We did have fun going round and round the rapids about 20 times though!

The Skyline Pavilion was great and Maddie was very happy playing on the 2p slot machines and winning tickets.  She also loved going on the little rides.  My fave part about the Pavilion was Soho Coffee (obv)

There was a softplay and kids funfair but it was extremely busy and Maddie found it a bit overwhelming.

We did spend a lot of time in the Little Tikes Towns where she was very happy going from plastic car to plastic car and playing with the kitchens and slides.

She absolutley ADORED being transformed into a pink, princess fairy at the darling little beauty parlour.  For £20 she got to sit at a dressing table with lights around the mirror and get her hair dutch braided and her nails and face painted.  She was given her very own pink tutu, tiara and wand and a special certificate.

Butlins have clearly put a lot of thought into making it a special break for tots but like I said, it was maybe a bit too much for them to take in.