Wind In The Willows

The Wind In The Willows in the Royal Botanic Gardens

The Wind In The Willows is a genuinely fun show, one that all Melbourne families should experience at least once!

When:  24 December 2015 – 23 January 2016, 10.30am and 6pm shows, click here for more details

Where:  Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne enter via Gate F on Birdwood Avenue, SOUTH YARRA

Cost:  Single ticket $25, family $90 (children under the age of 1 are FREE), click here to buy tickets or tickets are also sold on-site at the box office from 1 hour prior to the performance start time (subject to availability).

Thank you to our contributor Natalie for her fabulous review!

Is there a more perfect way to spend a balmy summer evening than on a picnic blanket being entertained by Badger, Mole and Toad from the family classic, The Wind In The Willows?

The Melbourne institution of The Wind in the Willows is an experience that every Melbourne family should enjoy at least once. I took along Miss 7 and her school friend and they were the perfect age to enjoy the comedic antics of The Australian Shakespeare Company’s 28 year run of the classic book adaptation in The Botanic Gardens.

We had the perfect Melbourne evening for the performance of The Wind in the Willows we attended, balmy but not too hot, and we secured a lovely spot in the shade facing the pond. Prior to the performance there is a crowd participation sing-a-long to loosen everyone up and to introduce some of the characters. As it is only a short performance the story is a condensed version which suits the family crowd perfectly. The kids loved the characters arrivals; from behind us up the hill, peeking from behind some trees and the favourite, on the pond in boats and canoes. Mole and the young Otter, Portly, were favourites and we enjoyed joining in on ‘booing’ Toad Hall squatter, Weasel.

The Botanic Gardens provide a magical backdrop for the performance, and the two areas provide different charms; after we had packed up and moved for the second half of the performance, the performers were interrupted by very loud cackling by a family of kookaburras in a nearby tree! This caused much excitement in the crowd and some fantastic ad-libbing by the talented cast.

The Wind in the Willows is a performance for the whole family, there were many younger children who were very well behaved, although it is probably suited to the attention spans of those over five. The adults enjoy plenty of pop culture jokes scattered throughout and slapstick (“he’s behind you..HE’S BEHIND YOU”!) and singing for the kids. A funny, interactive performance and coupled with relaxing on a picnic blanket on a summer evening surrounded by the lush greenery of the Gardens = perfection.


  • Come early to get the best spot in the shade and to spread out the picnic hamper and rug
  • There are no food options (that I saw!) so do pack that picnic, water and some cheeky Pinot Grigio for the adults
  • Make sure you do a toilet stop prior, they are a bit of a hike.
  • Although it says one and half hours, it was more like two hours for our performance
  • Depending on the time of your show be prepared with sunscreen, hats and insect repellant
  • Love the only merchandise options at the end were $2 wristbands and programs
  • The show suits children aged 5+ (but younger children who don’t mind sitting still and have developed attention spans will enjoy the singing and slapstick)
  • Click here to find out what happens in extreme weather