These workshops actively involve history seekers in the skills and stories that were traditionally handed down from generation to generation.

The West Volusia Historical Society provides interesting hands-on experiences for the youth of our community, and for adults who are young at heart, to help bring history - our shared past - to life.  Learning about the treasures of the past gives a new perspective to view our lives today and to prepare for our future. 

Hands-on History
Programs for Youth & the Young-at-Heart

In keeping with the nationwide efforts to promote the safety and sell-being of our community, the Conrad Educational and Research Center is currently open only on a limited basis.  Reservations are required. CDC guidelines will be in place for these workshops with a limited number of participants spaced safely apart with masks required for all.

Handed Down - Basic Sewing 101 Workshop is online

Winter 2021 Workshop Schedule

January 16   The STORY in History: Can YOU write Historical Fiction?       We will celebrate National Book Month talking sharing ideas, and encouraging you to write your own historical fiction story. A local author of 2 juvenile historical fiction books will share how she wrote these books, tips for doing research before writing your own story, and challenges you to write your own story at home. You don’t have to write anything if you don’t want to but for those who accept the story challenge, we will assist you in “publishing” your own story or book this spring, adding illustrations, and help share your story. If you like to read, like to write, like to drawing, like history, you will have fun at this workshop. The workshop is for young and young at heart! Ages 8 and up.


Time: 10:00 – noon. Location: Conrad Center Cost: Youth - FREE for WVHS members/$5 for not yet members. Adults - FREE for WVHS members/$5 for nonmembers

February 13  Monkeying Around: Make a Sock Monkey         What do WWI soldiers and American patriots have to do with sock monkeys? Come to this workshop to find out! Sock monkeys have been favorite toys for decades. In this workshop each person will be making their own sock monkey to take home by stuffing and hand stitching using traditional Rockford red heeled socks. The ability to stitch by hand is a prerequisite to this workshop. Monkeys might need to be finished at home.


Ages 8 and up. Time: 10:00 – 12:00 Location: Conrad Center Cost: Youth - $10 material charge for WVHS members/$15 for nonmembers. Adults - $15 material charge for WVHS members/$20 for nonmembers

February 6   ECHO Rangers program   This workshop highlights the the “H” in ECHO.  Children will explore Heritage or history and make up a story map about the beginning of DeLand.  Time: 1:30 - 2:30 pm. Location: Conrad Center. Cost: free to children who register for the ECHO Rangers program. Click this link for information.

May 1  ECHO Rangers Program  This workshop highlights the “O” in ECHO. Children will go outdoors and draw and paint a picture of the DeLand House, noticing the gable roof, the columns, and the tall chimneys! How many are there? Time: 1:30 - 2:30 pm. Location: Conrad Center. Cost: free to children who register for the ECHO Rangers program. Click this link for information.

for the Young at Heart

This two-part video introduces hand sewing for children.


First project: The tools and supplies needed to complete this project are: sharp scissors, needle, thread, pencil, pins, small piece of fabric (no larger than 10" x 10" is needed - a square of felt is preferred but any light to medium weight fabric will do), a button, stuffing (fiber fill, batting, or even cotton balls will work).

Second project: Another small piece of fabric and a piece of ribbon, cord, or even a shoelace approsimately 18" long is all that is needed. Some ironing is use for the second project to parental supervision is necessary for that portion of the activity.

January 30  Handed Down Sewing: Make a Hat!   Baby it’s cold outside! And it’s always nice to have a soft, warm and comfy hat made just for you to wear on a chilly morning. Or, you can make a hat for someone else. We will cut out our patterns, sew on a sewing machine, and then decorate with hand sewing. Some previous hand sewing experience will be helpful. Bring your own sharp scissors. We will provide everything else.


For kids ages 8 and up. Time: 10:00 to noon. Cost: Youth - $5 material charge for WVHS members/$10 for nonmembers. Location: Conrad Center

February 27  I Never Felt Better... Make a Wet Felted Purse          What do yurts, bowls, and shoes have in common? They can all be made using the ancient technique of wet felting. Wet felting is a process of using warm water to interlock layers of sheep or other animal fiber and form it into a fabric. In this workshop, we will explore wet felting hollow vessels, which will become small purses or bags. No previous felting experience is necessary but be prepared to work with your hands! Wet felting doesn’t happen quickly; we enjoy the process as much as the final result. Adults are invited to this workshop as well; this workshop is for young and young at heart! Please bring a towel to place under your workspace and dress casually as you might get a bit wet!


Ages 8 and up. Time: 9:00 – noon. Location: Conrad Center Cost: Youth - $10 material charge for WVHS members/$15 for nonmembers. Adults - $10 material charge for WVHS members/$20 for nonmembers

March 13  Handed Down Sewing: Make a Patchwork Pillow or Doll Quilt      Join us for a sewing workshops that is creative and thrifty! We will learn to piece scraps of fabric by hand and/or machine (depending on experience) and combine our small pieces to make a patchwork pillow, wall hanging, or even a doll quilt. Previous hand sewing experience is required. Bring a pair of sharp scissors and we will provide everything else.


For kids ages 8 and up. Time: 9:00 – noon. Location: Conrad Center Cost: Youth - FREE for WVHS members/$10 for nonmembers

March 27  Poking Around: Make a Needle Felted Sheep       Working with natural fiber is an exciting experience! We will be dry felting wool and local alpaca fiber to create a small sheep. This is accomplished by the use of special felting needles to compress the soft and lofty fibers into a harden piece. We will use leather finger covers for protection but be aware that this involves sharp needles.


Ages 8 and up. Time: 10:00 – 12:00. Location: Conrad Center Cost: Youth - $10 material charge for WVHS members/$15 for nonmembers. Adults - $10 material charge for WVHS members/$15 for nonmembers.