For two weekends of the year Como Gardens in the Dandenongs has a special event called Como Gardens Open Days. Step back in time and enjoy some simple fun with the family in the beautiful Como Gardens.
When: 10am – 4.30pm on the third weekend in April and October. More details.
Where: Como Gardens, 79 Basin-Olinda Road, THE BASIN
Cost: $7.50 entry fee – Children under 14 Free.
Thank you to our wonderful guest reviewer Sally T. Ridden and her mini reviewer for this fabulous review and photos.
Como Gardens Open Days: Autumn April 2015
It rained and it poured this morning, so we very nearly decided not to go but I had my heart set on showing my 3.5yr old son the miniature trains, and as we drove up into the Autumn fog in the lovely Dandenongs of Victoria the skies cleared and the sun began to shine for the Como Gardens Open Days.
Parking was voluntarily manned and easily accessible on-site. The first thing we saw and heard was the miniature railway and the excited adrenalin fuelled squeal my son let off made the surprise worthwhile. Entry was $7.50 to all above 4yrs of age with all monies equally divided to St John’s Ambulance and Knox S.E.S.
Straight over to the ever popular Como Gardens Train Station & Miniature Railway, we paid the ticket ride $3.00ea and lined up in the short queue (we were probably 15 minutes ahead of the masses that arrived once the skies cleared). Be sure to make time to enjoy the wonderful historical memorabilia at the station. 650 meters of track traverse over 3 creek bridges and the outskirts of the 6.5 acres of formal gardens. They ran both a diesel and a steam engine in tandem over the weekend.
Next stop the Vintage Car Museum, (of course the signs saying “do not climb” meant nothing to my son), once off the vintage blue amusement ride we both fell in love with the authentic 1927 type 35 C supercharged grand prix blue Bugatti. We did not walk the museum tour, instead ooh’d and aaah’d our way through the 16 cars at my son’s speed. Everywhere you look there is amazing items relative to early motoring artefacts – early tools, car jacks, pumps, radiators, spark plugs and tin cans, historic racing photos and posters, enamel illuminated signage, early fire fighting equipment, canvas lithographs, two Mr. Mulligans, petrol bowsers, an 1880 Penny Farthing and even overhead scale model aircraft, phew…. total sensory overload!
A need for an early toilet visit had us come across the bird aviaries with peacocks, pheasants, turkeys, silky chickens, bantams all on display. Then we headed over for a Rotary snack, they were offering a sausage sizzle $2.50 or delicious large scones plate $5.50 with jam & cream – bargain! Walking over to the lake we watched the grown elderly men play with their remote controlled motorised model boats whilst we fended off the large geese and finished off our snack.
Last stop, the Fairy Garden with the famous deciduous conifer trees and Historic Oak, and the many beautiful shrubs and trees in full autumn splendour quaintly capturing the enchanted spirit. Face painting for a golden $2.00 coin. Peter Pan, Wendy, Hook the pirate, his boat and treasures, doll displays and items for sale, lawn croquet, assorted tree swings, a secret blue door way, play tents and play-dough (only the play-dough was so wet from the morning rains it was pure muck as my son discovered and was soon covered in – luckily they removed this risk once they saw the condition of him!).
Sadly we had to go after the play dough incident, so missed the teddy bears picnic, rainforest walk, Japanese drumming, many demonstrations and garden tours but the event was memorable and a great adventure for the whole family with the autumn day perfectly showcasing the amazing grounds.
We were farewelled by Ross Gorden the Ventriloquist, Hans and his Organ Barrels. Make sure you go in October as the Como Gardens Open Days occur twice yearly on the third weekend of April and October.
Open 10am – 4.30pm over the open weekend
On site parking, catering for over 180 cars
Dogs on leads permitted
Toilets for the disabled
Sausage Sizzle & Devonshire Tea refreshments
Situated at 79 Basin-Olinda Road, The Basin, Victoria, 3154, Australia. Approximately 30 kms East of Melbourne at the foothills of the scenic Dandenong Ranges. (Melways Map 65 H7).
Thanks again Sally – it sounds like one visit isn’t enough!