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Days Out in Review – January to June 2016

For some 2016 has been shocking and they have been very vocal about it and how they are looking forward to 2017.

For us however, 2016 has been one of our best years yet, full of fun and adventures and here are some of our favourites.

January 2016

We love to get out and about and bad weather never stops us from having fun. In January we journeyed to Hampshire where we climbed the Spinakker Tower, explored the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth and then headed to Rock Up in Whiteley for some climbing fun.

Staying a little closer to home we enjoyed playing in the sand dunes at Sandbanks beach, explored a new beach for us, Ringstead Bay near Weymouth and took part in the Stickman Trail at Moors Valley.

I also attended my first ever Toy Fair at Olympia, London where I was introduced to some of the fantastic toys that arrived into the shops in late 2016.

Spinnaker Tower

February 2016

For her birthday in January, Eliza got her first bike so we headed out to Potterne Park to get some riding practice and headed out to Farmer Palmers for some animal fun.

The highlight of the month had to be our holiday to France where we stayed at Eco Gites of Lenault and visited all the historic D-Day beaches, Pegasus Bridge and Le Mont St Michel, saw the Bayeux Tapestry and even had some snow.

We also had an unexpected stop in Jersey after a rather traumatic ferry crossing and a disappointing stay in Guernsey where we learned that EVERYTHING closes in winter.


March 2016

March was a busy month for us with a visit to Thomas Land at Drayton Manor, a fabulous preview day at Thorpe Park where we barely queued for any rides and still on the adrenalin theme we tried out some new flumes at Splashdown Poole and released our inner apes, swinging through the trees at Go Ape, Moors Valley.

We did do some calmer activities as well, with strolls around Christchurch Harbour, Whitecliff Park and Lulworth Castle.

Lulworth Castle

April 2016

April saw us heading back to Farmer Palmers to feed the deer, get down and dirty with some Owl Forensic investigations at Avon Heath Country Park

We headed to Lighthouse Poole to watch Gruffalo’s Child Live and Genting Arena in Birmingham for some WWE action.

Owl Forensics

May 2016

May is one of my favourite months in Dorset as there is a plethora of activities for families to enjoy. This year was no different and we visited the Dorset Knob Throwing Festival, Lyme Regis Fossil Festival and Donkey Derby in Kinson. We also headed across to Weymouth to see its new exhibit in the Sea Life Centre and enjoy a spin on the Jurassic Tower.

We are frequent visitors to Paultons Park and could not wait to go to the opening of its new Lost Kingdom section of the park.

Lost Kingdom

June 2016

It was back to the Sea Life Centre in June for a very special occasion – we got to have a personal tour of the centre, meet some of its famous residents and feed the Seals.

June is a big birthday month for us and we had a great time at Hollywood Bowl to celebrate but the highlight of the month had to be meeting Ashley Banjo and learning to dance with the Diversity crew on a Diversity break at Butlins.


It was also the month that Kian finished his GCSE exams so we celebrated with a rather damp Forest Segway experience with Go Ape.


So that is the first half of the year, second half coming soon………..


Dream, Believe, Achieve with a Diversity Break at Butlins

We have been fans of Diversity since they won Britain’s Got Talent back in 2009 and always follow what they are doing next. In fact I really wanted to take part in their Secret Street Crew TV show but sadly that has ended now.

Now you can get to see Britain’s favourite dance troupe to all of Butlins seaside resorts in 2016, with a brand new live show and exclusive Dance Academy and we lucky enough to see them this weekend on a Butlins Diversity Break.

Our first port of call was the Reds Bar where Isaac and Eliza were to take part in one of their Street Dance Academies. As we lined up to get in, the Red Coats took the kids name, issued them with a badge and allocated them to a group. All the younger children were group A and the older ones group B.

To keep the kids entertained before Diversity came on, the Red Coats had them practising cheering along. The room was set up like two dance studios with two sets of mirrors for the kids to see themselves in. I fully expected just a few members of Diversity to come on stage and was really surprised to see all our favourites arrive stage to whoops and cheers from everyone in the room.

Diversity Dance Academy

They got to work straight away on warming all the kids up together, along to some great music. I think there were a fair few of us mum’s joining in too as the music was infectious. The warm up lasted about 15 minutes before the groups were split with Perri leading the younger team A and Jordan the older Team B.

The Academies are all about giving budding dance stars of the future a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet Diversity, be coached personally by them and experience a face to face street dance master class like no other and it didn’t disappoint. There were three members of the group per team and they encouraged all the kids with clear but fun direction. The routines, choreographed by Ashley Banjo, were challenging but not too difficult, even for younger team members like Eliza as they were broken down into bitesize chunks.

Diversity Dance Academy

There was plenty of seating for us parents to sit around and watch everything that was going on and when it was time for the kids to perform their routines we were asked to come to the front and watch each group perform their routine.

Diversity Dance Academy

For learning a brand new routine and performing it in just an hour they all did brilliantly. The music was made even louder as they were joined by Kieran Gaffney, also of BGT fame, on the drums. Every child was given a certificate of achievement and got the chance to pose for a photo with Diversity themselves.


The Dance Academy lasts around 90 minutes you must be aged 5 and over to take part. It costs £30 per person but is worth every penny, especially if you have dance fans in the house.

The Diversity treat didn’t stop their though as they also performed a live show that evening that allowed us to see them perform up close. I was expecting an hour of dance, but they got the audience involved with some fun games and even grabbed some poor Dad’s on stage for the ultimate dance off.


We were introduced to some new members of the team and were treated to costume changes, pyrotechnics and even a perfectly timed dance routine complete with lights in their costume. It was well worth the hour long queue to get inside!


We were on Team Jordan for the evening, but sadly we lost out after leading most of the way, thanks to a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors with Jordan and Perri for the decider.

Diversity breaks are on selected School Holidays and Term Time Weekend breaks at all Butlins venues, and it is advisable that you book early to avoid disappointment.

Disclaimer: We are Butlins Ambassadors and were guests of Butlins for the purpose of a review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.