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New exhibit allows modern kids to step back in time

Wednesday 11 September, 2013

A stunning new interactive exhibition that recreates a children’s bedroom from the Victorian era has opened at Werribee Mansion.

A Victorian Children’s Bedroom features replica toys and objects from the 1880s including a beautifully furnished and decorated dolls house; a Punch and Judy puppet theatre, a rocking horse, toy soldiers and dress up clothing.

Parks Victoria Visitor Services Officer, Helen Hopkins, said the hands on display is the first of its kind in the state and has been designed to encourage children to enjoy interacting and playing with the objects and toys.

“Werribee Mansion, once home to a wealthy pastoralist family is a popular attraction with visitors. There are many interesting stories told throughout the displays but this is the first exhibit that encourages people to touch and play with the objects and focuses on what it was like to be a child growing up in the mansion,” she said.

Other features in the exhibition include a miniature silver tea set, an old-fashioned animation toy that creates moving pictures when spun and slate blackboards.

“We have also developed a new education program that is based on the exhibition and will become a focus of tours for primary school children.

“The program has been developed to provoke discussion that compares and contrasts the lives and experiences of children in different eras and we’re looking forward to introducing children to this historic time in a fun and interesting way,” said Helen.

Other activities that will run on some weekends and during school holidays include craft sessions, story-telling and interpretive theatre performances.

The new exhibit was made possible by a $20,000 ‘Your Community Heritage’ grant from the Australian Government’s Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.

This adds to the range of activities available for visitors to Werribee Mansion, including exploring the superbly restored 1870s mansion, beautiful formal gardens, internationally acclaimed Victoria State Rose Garden, contemporary sculpture walk and original farmyard.

Werribee Mansion is open from 10am-4pm on weekdays and 10am-5pm on weekends and public holidays.

During daylight saving time the mansion opens daily from 10am -5pm.

There is an entry cost for Werribee Mansion that includes admission to the new exhibition.

During the school holidays, additional interactive Junior Ranger activities will be run in the Victorian Children’s Bedroom exhibition from 1-4pm on 24 and 26 September and 2 October, 2013.

For more information on the school holiday activities visit www.juniorrangers.com.au or for more information about Werribee Mansion contact Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 1963 or visit www.parks.vic.gov.au

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