When selling Butlin’s, it’s all about who you know. Charlotte Cullinan outlines the who’s who of kids’ entertainment
A standard day at Butlin’s can see kids spin around a fairground, learn new football skills, dabble with lollipop stick art and plummet down an 18-metre water flume – all before watching a live show with their favourite TV star.
The entertainment at the three resorts in Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness is a key selling point for Butlin’s breaks. Louise Tansey, national sales manager of parent company Bourne Leisure, explains: “We know that when children are happy, parents are happy and that’s why every aspect of our breaks – from the entertainment to the accommodation – has been created with families in mind.”
Live shows are a highlight for many. The following acts will appear at all three resorts this year and are included in the price of each break.
Justin Fletcher MBE
When selling to parents with pre-school children, Justin Fletcher is the man to mention. He’s amassed a legion of young fans thanks to his appearances in a raft of CBeebies TV shows, including Something Special – where he appears as both himself and as the incredibly popular Mr Tumble.
Fletcher will perform at all of the midweek, term-time Just For Tots breaks this year, which are aimed at families with children aged five and under. Guests can expect a fun, one-hour show, with plenty of songs, dancing and audience interaction.
Perfect for: Five-year-olds and younger
Teletubbies’ Big Party
Head to the Skyline Pavilion when Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po are performing and prepare to hear a packed crowd delightedly singing the theme tune to the hit CBeebies’ series. The Teletubbies will be at all family breaks this year and will be a big draw for parents with young children. In the 20-minute show the four characters plan a party, and there’s plenty of goofing around, falling over and general merriment that fans of the show expect.
Perfect for: Under-fives
While many will remember Danger Mouse from his 1981 TV series, since 2015 he has been gathering a new generation of fans with shows on CBBC, voiced by celebrities including Alexander Armstrong and Stephen Fry. Danger Mouse will perform for 40 minutes on all family breaks this year, making Butlin’s the only place to see a live show with the self-titled “world’s greatest secret agent”. In each lively show he will be saving the world with his sidekick, Penfold the hamster.
Perfect for: Five to nine-year-olds, but older children will also enjoy the show
The Skyline Gang
The Skyline Gang are Butlin’s own team of colourful performers, who perform magic, comedy and the odd prank. There’s Bud (the red one); Sprout (green); Pip (purple); Mimi (yellow); Candi (pink); Dude (blue); Misty (grey); and Rainbow the dog. The gang have an impressive following among Butlin’s fans and there are always lots of children in fancy dress.
Three different 35-minute Skyline Gang shows are available on every family break, and a special Halloween performance will be added during half term (October 20-30).
Perfect for: Five to eight- year-olds
Billy and Bonnie
It wouldn’t be a Butlin’s break if there wasn’t a cheery six-foot bear, so all term time and school holiday breaks include a Billy and Bonnie Wizard of Oz-themed show, and the furry pair’s Tots Sing-along. During Just For Tots breaks and October half-term the pair will also host kids’ Rise and Shine morning workout sessions, and early evening story times. The duo will add a Halloween show for October half term.
Perfect for: Young children, particularly under-fives