Plan Your Visit:Plan You Visit:
View Maps
Book Now

School holiday fun with meaning at Port Arthur


Peg dolls, brick making and other popular activities for young people make a welcome return to the Port Arthur Historic Site these June school holidays.

The activities, which are both fun and educational, will take place in the Education Centre on Church Street. They are selected from a range of education programs and family activities developed at the Historic Site by Education Officer Sarah Stockwin.

“As well as being fun, the activities are designed to engage kids and to help them understand about the history and heritage values of Port Arthur,” said Ms Stockwin.

“If they can be engaged at a young age, they will go on to appreciate and advocate the value of heritage.”

Ms Stockwin witnessed examples of children who had participated in the activities going on to share and inspire their parents and families with similar appreciation. One example involved a young participant in her popular brick making activity.

“This young man then explored the Site with his family. As they approached the Penitentiary, he could be overheard explaining how the bricks were made, why there were weathering in a particular way, and describing the causes of the differences in colour between the various bricks.”

“All this knowledge had been imparted in a way that was fun and enjoyable and possibly had made more impact than a week’s worth of book lessons.”

Three activities will be offered during the holidays, rotating each day.


Convict Brick Making

As you walk around Port Arthur – you may have noticed the bricks are in different states of decay and are different colours. There are reasons for this. Find out what these are and discover how they were made. Make a mini brick to take home!

Peg Doll Making

A quick look at entertainment for the young in the 1800’s.  Children in the 1800s had to learn to entertain themselves with what was available. Participants learn about costume and toys for children in the 1800’s. Make your own doll to take home!


In 1830, before television, computers and hand - held game machines, the fantascope was invented. See how people entertained themselves at home in the 1800’s and create your own fantascope to take home!


The activities will run between 12.00pm and 1.00pm, Monday-Friday from 31 May until 11 June. Participation is included in the cost of Site entry. Advance bookings are not required – intending participants are advised to turn up and be prepared to learn a little and have fun. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate.

Further information and online bookings for the Port Arthur Historic Site are available at

School holiday fun with meaning at Port Arthur

Peg Dolls made at Port Arthur Historic Site as part of its education programs

School holiday fun with meaning at Port Arthur

Young visitors make 'convict' bricks at the Port Arthur Historic Site