Maitland Gaol has a jam packed program for the Autumn school holidays

LOCKED UP: Maitland Gaol archaeologist Georgia Bennett, pictured, will be part of a packed school holidays program which will see Easter eggs and archaeology.. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
LOCKED UP: Maitland Gaol archaeologist Georgia Bennett, pictured, will be part of a packed school holidays program which will see Easter eggs and archaeology.. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Maitland Gaol is sure to cure the kids' boredom these school holidays with a host of fun activities and programs to enjoy.

Treasure Trove looks at the heritage fabrics that we pulled from the buildings

Zoe Whiting

One of the highlights of the holiday program is first Snitch's Easter Egg Hunt.

Service delivery officer Zoe Whiting said it was an exciting activity that had already gained attention from the community.

"We have two sessions over the day. The kids will be given a specially designed map and word puzzle, and then have to find their eggs," she said.

"Once they are in, the children can stay on site and do a tour. It's already been very popular."

Every child will be rewarded with a special Easter surprise.

Tickets for the hunt are $10 per child and $5 for accompanying adults.

But the fun doesn't stop there. On April 16 and 23, curious youngsters will be able to dig for gaol treasure and experience a tour.

"It's one of our most popular school holidays activities. The kids and their parents go on a mini tour of the site," Ms Whiting said.

"Then our archaeologist George Bennett will be showing them some of the stuff that she's dug up from all around the world, and some of the stuff from here."

They will also get the opportunity to become archaeologists themselves, where they can dig in tubs to see what treasures they can discover.

The cost is $10 per child, and everyone will leave with an archaeologist certificate.

Ms Whiting said the school holidays were always a busy time for the iconic former penitentiary.

"Tickets sell out fast so we encourage families to purchase them earlier," she said.

But wait there's more.

The 150-year-old institution also launched its latest exhibition over the weekend - Treasure Trove.

"Treasure Trove looks at the heritage fabrics that we pulled from the buildings when we did maintenance work in late 2018," Ms Whiting said. "There will be a whole heap of things that are original. They include the pots from the chimney on the chapel, down pipes, the suspected contraband tennis balls." Treasure Trove will also explore the vast amount of skill and knowledge required by heritage stone works to undertake repair work while keeping the site as authentic as possible.

The exhibition will run until July 14.