Earlier this year an advert for Butlins at Christmas caught my eye. It had a cheap price, a low deposit and manageable payment scheme! So I decided to go for it 🙂
We’ve never really been on any holidays, except camping back when I was with the girls father, and certainly never since it’s been just the three of us. So this adventure would be a first, but it would also give us the much needed family time together that we seem to lack in our busy lives. Now in the last year of university it can be hard to switch off and actually spend quality time together, so getting away would be really good for us all.
Several months later and its finally xmas! And time for our family holiday, except one thing…..I have kept it a big surprise from the girls! They literally had no idea we were even going away, let alone where!
There were a lot of firsts and worries with this adventure, not only had I never taken the girls away, let alone by myself, I had also never driven so far! Only having passed my test 3 years ago, I had only once driven on a motorway and for only one turn off at that!
However I braved it and the journey was no where near as bad as I thought! Even with the unplanned stop in the middle for toilets and lunch, the wrong turn off and back road diversions, and arriving later than planned, we made it in one piece and checked into our home for the week.
We had a Gold standard apartment for the week and went self catering as I just couldn’t afford the dining plans but actually it was really lovely. The apartment was a good size, well equipped and clean. We had a toaster, dishwasher and microwave to boot! Two of which I don’t even have at home lol!
Another plus was being so close to the main area, if we go again I will certainly be trying to book in the same area!
After settling in we decided to venture out for an explore. The whole place was decorated beautifully and the kids both loved all the lights!
There was lots and lots to do, many free activities were included with the package such as tickets to the pantomime and every child gets to see Santa! (including a present as well!) You could book on to free activities such as arts and crafts, where the girls got to create lovely decorations to take home with them. There was also optional activities which incurred a small charge but I thought were definitely worth it, such as pottery painting, which the girls loved!
Every day and night there was something on, whether it be activities or shows, and they were plenty of places to visit including soft play which the girls loved.
As I mentioned before included with our package was tickets to the Christmas pantomime, which I was worried about coping with as a single parent. What if we loose are seats? What do I do when one needs the toilet? Will I ever be able to get drinks? As it turned out the whole experience was actually not too bad. We managed to get a nice little table for the three of us on the second level, which whilst not the most amazing close up view, we could still see and it wasn’t quite as crowded. It was also near the bar area which allowed me to pop up and get drinks/snacks whilst still being able to see the littlies at the table. Bonus.
Everyday there was also a Skyline “snowstorm” which involved a short little show, followed by the skyline being filled with confetti “snow”. Pretty cool I must say and again the kids loved it! Very pretty as well 🙂
The shows all went down really well with the girls, but especially the ones with the Skyline Gang! (whom I keep calling the Skyland gang for some reason oops!) So much so that they came away with a toy Rainbow (the dog mascot) and their very own skyline gang costumes! Another bonus was when we turned up for an included activity, it turned out to be run by the gang! Cue very happy girls indeed. Just wish I’d known beforehand to bring a coffee and book to chill for an hour!
To keep costs down we went self catering and I packed the car with a weeks worth of shopping, only buying butter and cheese on the resort (which were actually a decent price). If you do want to eat out, as we did for a treat, I highly recommend the Diner. Not only was it good prices, but the portions were huge and tasty as well! A meal for myself which left me stuffed, with a drink, plus two kids meals, which included both drink and dessert cost less than £25! I was happy with that.
Overall the experience was amazing, and I am so glad that I grabbed the opportunity to do it, even though it meant doing it all on my own. It is certainly manageable as a single parent, although I will say it does get very pricey as all the merchandise you will want to buy and there is also an arcade right in the centre of the skyline which you will no doubt want to play! (we did….a lot.)