Last month we made the journey across the country visiting Butlins Minehead for their Astonishing Family Science Weekend. Thinking of Butlins as a holiday and entertainment resort I wasn’t aware until this year that they offered different types of family breaks. With the Astonishing Family Science Weekend being one of them.
With Roo loving school, especially science thanks to the Project MC2 on Netflix, it seemed the perfect weekend to attend. Tigger has always been a much more practical person so the promise of workshops I was intrigued to see whether he would get stuck in.
Astonishing Family Science Weekend
With Astonishing Family Science Weekends available at all three Butlins sites, it was Butlins Minehead that worked out with our schedule. Having booked this earlier in the year, the date crept up on me and before I knew I was hastily packing bags and heading off. Unfortunately, our journey wasn’t as smooth as we had hoped but we arrived in one piece and soon settled into our seaside apartment.
As we unpacked and investigated the apartment, Roo had the task of highlighting all the different activities and workshops that we would do over the next two days. This was no easy task, with a booklet full of live shows and workshops as well as the swimming sessions and fairground it was a juggling act to fit in everything we wanted to do.
A selection live shows were available throughout the weekend, a couple with allocated time slots on your check in paperwork and others that you were free to attend the different session times. Taking place in Centre Stage, Reds and on the main stage in Pavilion there was something for everyone.
Aardman – Animate It! Live
Take a seat and join two red coats as they attempt to make a promotional animation video in the hope of working with Aardman Studios. With an Aardman animator popping up to help guide them through the process they showcase the different types of animation in an interactive live show.
The multi-award winning Brainiacs showcase a 60-minute don’t try this at home live show. Filled with experiments and demonstrations that often end up with a loud bang (not a show to take sleeping babies too or those who don’t like loud noises). What you can expect is blowing up balloons, crazy experiments and electrocuted Brainiacs plus much more.
Gastronaut – Stefan Gates The Science of Sweets
BBC Gastronaut Stefan Gates is live on stage blowing the minds of children and adults alike with the science of sweets. From learning about sugar chemistry, explaining why we love sugar so much and why there is so much energy packed into it. Alongside tell you how they get the colours into natural sweets (almost put me off marshmallows for life).
I’m not sure what it is about bubbles that can capture everyone’s attention, but SamSam Bubbleman did a fantastic job. He is the country’s leading bubble expert, holding none Guinness World Records and three Blue Peter badges. Showcasing an array of tricks and spectacular bubbles he had the children captivated and adults looking on in amazement.
Drop-in Activities & Workshops
The Skyline Pavilion had been taken over my inflatable domes housing a series of drop-in activities and workshops. As well as activities and workshops available throughout the resort. In order to keep track of where and when you needed to be somewhere we were given a handy activity planner. Which meant we could jot down our live shows, activities, and workshops.
With a range of drop-in activities that you could wander over to and enjoy without needing to book a time slot. You could get hands on with the Science Museum experiments, take a look at computing through the ages. Walk on custard thanks to the University of Greenwich or work with L’Oreal on lip balm making.
Alongside the drop-in activities, there was a range of workshops that needed to be booked at one of the booking points throughout the resort. Depending on what time you arrive it might be best to do this straight away to secure the time/day you want. The majority of the workshops were included within your holiday price with only a couple requiring a £5 charge per person.
There were some fun workshops to choose from, including a slime making workshop, pin hole camera workshop and code breaking. The two favourites of the weekend were the eyeball dissection (yes, really!) and the architecture: hands on building workshops.
Boo Roo and Tigger Too’s thoughts…
What a weekend! So many different activities that there was something for every age group. We really liked the mixture of drop-in activities and booked workshops. This gave us the opportunity to complete a range of things whilst still having time to be on holiday. Throughout the weekend both Roo and Tigger were learning through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) activities whilst having fun at the same time.
We really loved the weekend and will be looking to see what other types of breaks they offer across the three Butlins resorts.
Disclosure: We were invited to Butlins Minehead for the Astonishing Family Science Weekend FOC for the purpose of review.