So after a slightly bumpy start to our Butlins weekend, we had much higher hopes for the second day of our getaway.
I booked the Food Court dining plan, which meant we’d be eating at the Ocean Drive restaurant. Last year, we had the premium dining plan – we ate at the Yacht Club and the Deck restaurants, which were lovely and very posh. We were a little unsure about Ocean Drive (although it did make me think of the Lighthouse Family song, which I love!), but once we got in there and sat down any worries we had went away!
It is, as one of us said, “proper Butlins” – when you imagine the food hall of olden days; Ocean Drive is an updated version of that, but the food is SO yummy, it’s an unlimited buffet service with so much choice for young and old, everyone is so polite and friendly and there’s always space to sit and a nice atmosphere in there! We had our breakfast – SB had her first ever “full English” (toast, sausage, beans and a bit of egg) and we were ready for the day.
The guide we were given when we arrived suggested waiting until the afternoon to go swimming, as mornings were always busy, so we followed that advice, and went into the Skyline pavillion. SB wasn’t fussed on the soft play area, but she loved the little train ride in the arcade, and watching people ice skating!
We also went to the fairground, and went on the carousel (in the carriage – SB is a bit too young for the horses just yet!) She loved watching them bob up and down as we span around and around.
We went to the SOHO Coffee Co. in the Skyline for lunch, and were served by the loveliest people imaginable. They made a huge fuss of SB, and the lovely lady who served us gave us a little gingerbread man for her, which she loved!
When we checked in, we were given a template for a letter to Santa, so we filled it in and posted it in the little postbox by the Christmas tree, because we’d heard a rumour Santa was staying at Butlins that weekend too, so we had to make sure the letter arrived! SB said she’d been very good and was hoping for some Happyland for Christmas (of course, it’s absolute coincidence that she’s getting a village full of Happyland on Christmas morning… we had nothing to do with writing the letter, no siree…).
A lovely security guard very kindly offered to take a picture of all three of us!
After lunchtime, it was time to go swimming! We love the pool at Minehead, it’s perfect for any age. We stuck to the kiddy area, and SB loved it, although we did go for a dip in the nice big swimming pool, which was pretty quiet and lovely and warm! There’s plenty of space for people to sit and watch, and so much to do in the pool complex (more on that later!).
After that it was naptime for SB (although we came close to falling asleep too; bloody knackered we were!), after which it was time for dinner. We saw the Skyline Snowstorm last year, and it was amazing, but there was lots of jostling about and rude people shoving in, so we decided to give it a miss this year and timed our dinner perfectly as it was busy, but not too busy. There were loads of food options and it was all cooked to perfection!
On check-in we were given a ticket to Frosty’s Frozen Dome. Unfortunately, due to the weather they’d had to move it into the Crazy Horse near the Skyline, but we were welcomed in by a lovely Redcoat who made a huge fuss of SB and was impressed by her sign language skills, and then we saw Frosty – and the big man himself, Father Christmas!
I tell you what, Daf and I were both amazed by Father Christmas. He was incredible at interacting with all of the children, no matter their ages. He played a little peekaboo with SB and gave her a present. Lots of little touches really made all the difference – the Redcoats took every child’s name, and introduced each one to Father Christmas personally. Just little things like that make a huge impact on your holiday.
Last year, as SB was so little, we didn’t get to meet Father Christmas – and although she’s met him at nursery a couple of times, this was the first time she’s met him with us (I did tell Daf to get in the picture, but he was happier being official photographer, and did very well!). SB got a little box of chocolates from Santa and was very happy indeed!
Our second day at Butlins went much better than the first – and we went to bed, excited to see what Sunday – our last full day – would bring…