Butlin’s Just For Tots Week Minehead 2017

As part of our ambassador role for Butlin’s we recently went along to their Minehead resort for a Just For Tots week*. We went last year when Aria was just one and not yet walking and I couldn’t wait to go again now that she is older, crazier and walking.

We stayed in the beautiful West Lakes Village again, you can see my review from last year or view this year’s chalet in my fancy video. The chalets and the location are stunning, as much as we love the fun hub of Butlin’s it is so nice to escape to the peaceful chalet and surrounding area for a break. These chalets come with housekeeping as standard so you can truly relax. They even load the dishwasher each day so that you don’t have to.

There is so much to do on a Just For Tots break at Butlin’s, so much that we didn’t get to do all of it. Our favourite things to do were to sit in the pavilion and take in the various shows (favourites being Teletubbies and The Skyline Gang), wander around the fair ground, play on the slot machines and join the singing and dancing sessions. You can see more of what we got up to in this short video.

Butlin’s Just For Tots truly was magical for us, Aria came away a different child. Her confidence came on leaps and bounds while we were there, she was playing independently and making new friends, saying hiya to children in the park, even chasing one little girl around and kissing her goodbye. Aria is usually very shy and keeps herself to herself, to see her come along so much in such a short space of time was incredible.

Spending money wise we spent less than £50. All we bought was a treat one day which was milkshakes for Spencer and I and a chocolate egg for Aria, rainbow the dog for Aria’s souvenir and we spent £20 on a fairy makeover. We could have easily came away without spending a penny. We had the premium dining plan which included a delicious choice of foods for breakfast and dinner. We snook out a few pastries and pieces of fruit from the breakfast for snacks and made sandwiches for our lunches. We bought a multi-pack of water and drinks for Aria and took plenty out with us each day. Be warned though, it is very commercialised so you do have to be prepared to either spend a lot of money or say no a lot.

Would I recommend a Just For Tots break at Butlin’s?Absolutely. Aria loved it, and so did we. Though parents be warned, you may want to book a relaxing break the following week to get over it. It is full on.

A blog review of Butlin's Just For Tots in Minehead West Lake Village Chalet

Aria loved it so much she didn’t want to go home.

*Disclosure – we are Butlin’s ambassadors and received a break and the dining plan in exchange for promotion* 

Travel : Butlin’s Just For Tots Break

As part of our role as Butlin’s Ambassadors we went along to Minehead for a Just For Tots break* in April. The Just For Tots breaks take place Monday – Friday during term time, the idea being that the older children are in school making this the perfect time to take your tot away with entertainment tailored to them and no worrying about them being pushed around or trodden on by older children. I’ve already reviewed our accommodation in the stunning West Lakes Chalet Village, in this post I am going to be talking about the entertainment and the food.

Blog review of Butlin's Just For Tots break at Minehead - baby sat in giant green and white striped butlins deck chair

baby sat in red and white striped deck chair in butlins skyline pavilion

We opted for Minehead Butlin’s as it is only a short drive from where we live in South Wales. When we booked we really weren’t sure what to expect, both Spencer and I had only ever been to Butlin’s for hen and stag weekends, obviously we were hoping for a completely different experience to that, and thankfully that is exactly what we got!
Our booking came with the premium dining plan, this gave us breakfast and dinner in a choice of two buffet style restaurants, both of which were next door to each other and allowed you to take food from one into the other, which is fab when your family can’t decide on where to eat! There was a wide variety of food, they even had live stations preparing food such as pasta & stir fry at dinner and pancakes & omelette at breakfast.Breakfast on premium dining plan at Minehead Butlin's for Just For Tots Break- fried breakfast with omelette
The kids buffet was shorter than the other parts so that it was accessible for children and again had a good variety of food, along with plastic plates, bowls and cutlery. There are also pouches of Ella’s Kitchen food for the younger children.  The food had been catered perfectly for children, they thought of almost everything. The only thing that wasn’t available was whole milk which came as a surprise on a Just For Tots break given that it is recommended that children have whole milk up to the age of two.

There was lots to do during our time at Butlin’s, in fact we struggled to fit everything in! There is both an outdoor and indoor fair, the indoor fair is suitable for little ones, although Aria was still a bit too young for the majority of rides, though me and her really enjoyed the little train ride, even if the photo doesn’t look like she did!train ride at Butlins Minehead just for tots break mummy and baby
The Skyline Pavilion is the main activity hub, with shows taking place throughout the day and home to the slot machines, fast food joints and coffee shops you could easily and happily spend a day there. We watched several shows in the Pavilion including Mike The Knight, Bob The Builder and the Skyline Gang, all of which were fantastic.

Skyline gang at minehead butlins evening entertainment on just for tots butlin's break
Outdoors activities in Butlin’s included the cutest Little Tikes racing course which Aria loved, adventure golf and a park. There was also a swimming pool which we had a splash around in on the one day. The baby pool is fab, Aria could happily sit up in the water and splash around while playing with the water toys provided.

Little Tikes Town racing track at Butlin's just for tots break in minehead
There are also bookable activities throughout the stay, these include swimming lessons, balanceability, mini bow and Music & Movement. We went along to the Music & Movement class which Aria loved. I often take her to baby groups at home and this was very similar, with the added enthusiasm of three Red Coats. It was a nice change for Spencer to be able to come along and see how much she enjoys this type of thing as he is usually working when I take her.

music and movement class at butlins just for tots break in minehead
Other activities available are Play-Doh sessions, free films, football coaching, Tots Discos and evening performances such as Aladdin Rocks. We skipped the majority of these because of Aria’s age, though we did get to watch half of Aladdin Rocks before Aria got too tired and it was fantastic, plenty of humour for both the kids and adults.

In the unlikely event that the entertainment provided in Butlin’s isn’t enough there is also the option to book a trip on a steam train with a surprise guest, in our case the guest was Billy The Bear. You also have Minehead Beach literally just across the road from Butlin’s.

Butlin's express steam train journey with billy the bear from Minehead train stations on the just for tots holidaymother with baby in pao papoose baby carrier at Minehead beach opposite Butlin's

If you’re looking for a holiday with young children I 100% recommend a Just For Tots break at Butlin’s. There is no chance of the children getting bored, the accommodation and food were lovely and the staff were very friendly and couldn’t do enough for you, special mention goes to the man swiping us into the restaurants each morning and night, he always greeted Aria by name and commented on her amazing hair styles! We are already talking about going back next year.
If you are booking a Just For Tots break my top tips would be :

  • Download the entertainment guide app, there is so much going on you will find yourselves constantly checking what is next.
  • Check which activities need to be booked, this is clearly marked with a ‘B’ on the guide but I somehow managed to miss it, as did others.
  • A little naughty but take food out of the restaurants, we loved the American Pancakes so would wrap a few up in a serviette for a mid-morning snack. This would also work well with the Ella’s Kitchen pouches and fruit.
  • Don’t try and fit too much in, explain to your children that they probably won’t get to do everything because there is so much going on.
Carry on scrolling for a few more holiday snaps.
You can find out more about a Just For Tot’s break and make a booking here.

Mike The Knight photo shoot with crying baby at Butlins' Minehead just for tots holiday baby girl with chocolate covered face
baby and daddy playing on 2p machines in butlins
baby photo shoot with fireman sam in butlins for just for tots break
puppet show at butlins just for tots holiday

Review : West Lakes Chalets at Minehead Butlins

Earlier this year we were thrilled to be selected as Just For Tots Ambassadors for Butlin’s, the result of which was our Monday – Friday break at Minehead Butlin’s a few weeks ago. We stayed in the new West Lakes Village in a chalet* so beautiful that it deserves a blog post all of it’s own.

blog review of West Lakes Chalets at Butlins Minehead

Lake view in butlins west lake chalet village

West Lakes Chalet Village really is the creme de la creme when it comes to accommodation at Butlins Minehead, with a separate check in area and parking just outside our door my lazy husband was happy. With lakes, water features, pretty pastel chalets and wild rabbits I was happy. With lots of room to bum shuffle around and ducks coming up to the patio doors Aria was happy. Something for everyone.

view from lake view chalet in west lakes village butlins minehead

When booking to stay in the West Lakes Chalet Village you get to pick Lake View, Lake Side or Park View. We stayed in a Lake View Chalet on the ground floor, the above photo was taken standing on our patio area. Such a beautiful view and a delightful place to enjoy your morning coffee in the sunshine.

welcome note on chalkboard in butlins minehead west lake village chalet

On arrival we were greeted with a welcome message on the chalkboard in the hallway, along with some chalk to help us plan our week. As well as organisation Butlins had our entertainment in mind leaving out a pack of playing cards, a game of Twister, and plenty of tea and coffee which was replenished each day.

living room in butlins west lake chalet village minehead

We stayed in a three bedroom chalet, all in there was a living room, kitchen/dining area, a twin bedroom, a kingsize bedroom, a small room with bunkbeds, a family bathroom, a small toilet and a large hallway. The living area was spacious and all of the rooms had plenty of storage, including pull out storage under the beds. The kitchen is fitted with a microwave and dishwasher, they even provided a few dishwasher tablets and other cleaning products to get us started.

king size room in west lakes chalet village butlins minehead

All of the rooms were light and airy, the decor bright and cheerful but not too overwhelming. The beds were very comfortable, I slept amazingly well, the best that I have in a long time which I guess was a combination of the fresh air, being relaxed and the comfortable bed.

Twin bedroom west lakes chalet village minehead butlins

Bloggers and general tech lovers would be pleased by the fact that there are plug sockets next to every bed, perfect for charging your phone at night and not letting it too far out of sight!

family bathroom and bunk bed room at west lake chalet butlins minehead just for tots break

The chalets are very child friendly. There is a stool provided in the family bathroom, there were two travel cots provided and already set up for us, we actually only needed one so just collapsed the other, plug socket covers were set out on the dining room table giving us the choice of whether to use them or not. The towels in the bathrooms had been made into animals, Aria was too young to appreciate this but older kids, and adults of course, would love this. There were lamps over or next to every bed and the curtains blocked almost all outside light.

towel animal elephant in hotel

The price of staying at West Lakes Chalet Villages includes toiletries, daily housekeeping and wifi for two devices. The daily housekeeping was fab, they came to see us on the first day to check if there were any times that we wanted them to avoid, or if there was a particular time we wanted them to come each day. They gave the chalet a thorough clean everyday, all floors were hoovered and mopped, the bedding made and even our dishes washed. They left Aria’s dirty bottle in the sink but to be honest I wouldn’t expect them to wash that, and they probably aren’t allowed to. The wifi wasn’t great and I often found myself disconnecting and using my phones 3G instead as it was quicker.

Overall we were very pleased with our chalet at West Lakes Chalet Village, the wifi wasn’t great and we did hear quite a lot of noise when our upstairs neighbours moved about, but other than that it was perfect. The accommodation is of a very high standard and provided everything that we needed and more. When I next go to Butlins I will definitely be looking to book the same accommodation.

Carry on scrolling to see a few more details, click here to find out more about the chalets and to book or view my review of the Just For Tots break as a whole here.

snail towel animal and free toiletries at butlins in chaletbaby and duck staring at each other through windowlittle touches at butlins minehead chalet toilet roll folded into bow refreshments

Have you ever stayed in the West Lakes Village Chalets, or been to Butlins?

Week in Photos #114
Food this last week has included steak with cabbage home-made chips & tomatoes, chicken in Maggi garlic & herb crumbs with sugar snap peas light Babybel & coleslaw, pork steak with vegetable stir fry, pork steak with green beans and tomatoes.
Flick escaped into the eaves of the attic, this is how she came back out.
This weekend I went to Butlin’s for my best friend’s hen weekend. The theme for the weekend was 90s which got us all pretty excited. We met in our local Wetherspoons on the Friday for a bit of grub before getting a minibus down to Minehead. I spilt coffee all over my hen t-shirt before leaving which I just about managed to clean off, I then ended up getting pink sidekick over it on the minibus, doomed to be dirty it would seem! I was pretty much dead yesterday, to the point that I wore my PJs home, I don’t do things like that, I was probably still drunk! 
We all had a personalised Coke bottle in our survival kits so had to have a Coke photo taken.
On the Saturday night we decided to do 90s fancy dress. I went as Mrs Doubtfire but apparently looked more like Mrs Brown! Everyone looked amazing in their outfits and we all had a blast on the weekend. 
I’ll be honest I was dreading Butlin’s a little as I’m more of a pub girl than a club girl but I had a ball of a time, I think the 90s music helped. We even got to watch some fantastic tribute bands including Robbing Williams, Stereo ironics and Oasish. It was definitely a party weekend!
Have you ever been to a Butlin’s adult weekend? Is it something that you think you’d enjoy?