How Cities Work, Museum of Sydney

The world premiere How Cities Work exhibition, currently on at the Museum of Sydney, invites children to explore the inner workings of cities from skyscrapers to sewers.
This innovative, interactive exhibition brings to life the bestselling Lonely Planet Kids book How Cities Work. The exhibition was developed in collaboration with the book’s creator James Gulliver Hancock. Just like the book, which is packed with interesting facts and flaps to lift, this family exhibition is vibrant, hands on and immersive.

The How Cities Works exhibition encourages kids to uncover urban life in a multitude of tactile ways. Upon entering the space, children may don a hardhat and hi-vis vest if they wish and hit the bustling Construction Zone – the highlight of the exhibition for many. Here kids can build their own fabulous creation using pool noodles and soft foam connectors. Next they can peer into houses, other buildings and gardens, opening and closing doors and windows and turning on and off lights. An interactive streetscape animation that uses touch technology is another fun feature. Kids can ‘go underground’ to discover the sights and sounds of the subway and sewer systems. They can even envision our cities of the future, choosing from a range of space-age building illustrations to colour. Once finished, the buildings can then be incorporated into a futuristic scene.

This exhibition is ideal for children aged three to seven years who love to build and investigate. Our children, aged four and six years old, were happily engaged for at least an hour.

There’s also a partially contained space for littlies to engage with the concept of cities through building blocks, puzzles and a mix-and-match scene.

We found the exhibition to be well supervised and maintained. There are ample hard hats and hi-vis vests for the kids to wear, placed on hooks in various areas. And in the Future Cities section there are plenty of good-quality coloured pencils and scissors so children can produce their creative works.
We do suggest arriving early at this popular exhibition. By 11 am on the day we visited – a Sunday during the January school holidays – the Construction Zone and drawing areas were both becoming rather crowded.
The exhibition is on until 21 July 2019.
For more information, visit the Sydney Living Museums website.
How Cities Work, Museum of Sydney, Cnr Philip and Bridge Streets, Sydney
Access to the exhibition is via a lift to level 2.
Open daily from 10 am–5pm (closed Christmas Day and Good Friday)
On until 21 July 2019
The exhibition is included in museum entry fee. Cost: Adult $15, Child/Concession $12, Family (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children) $38, under fives FREE.
(Free for Sydney Living Museums members and Sydney Museums pass holders)
Baby changing and bathroom facilities are located on the ground floor.

Photographs © Ginny Grant

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