What Makes a City a CITY? We Review How Cities Work at Museum of Sydney

  • Mums & Bubs

By: Ann-Marie Kutasi, ellaslist explorer

Against the hustle and bustle of today’s city and her ever-changing face, one seldom has time to admire her heart and soul; let alone what she truly means for each one of us. For some, she is a place of work and livelihood. To others, she is home and comfort. Sometimes she is an escape - a space to explore and create. No matter what she may be to you, whether for better or for worse; one cannot help but appreciate her many, varied offerings and elaborate networks.  

How Do Cities Work?

Sure, everyone has a general understanding: streets, sewers, police, buildings, parks and so on, but try explaining these ideas and concepts to a toddler!  

The Museum of Sydney’s newest exhibition, ‘How Cities Work’, provides insight and a beautiful bird’s-eye view of the cityscape. This appealing exhibition was developed in collaboration with illustrator and city enthusiast, James Gulliver Hancock, and is adapted from the bestselling book, How Cities Work from Lonely Planet Kids. 

But How? 

This exhibition may be aimed at children aged 2 to 8 years old but even as an adult I could appreciate the snappy displays and cute illustrations (and the attention to detail is amazing!). As the entire exhibition is ‘hands-on’, I guarantee your youngsters will be constantly engaged and active. Bite-sized pieces of information are drip-fed to help little ones contemplate large ideas. This is definitely an exhibition which will open up young minds to the maze of networks that make up a city.  

As my 3 little explorers (2, 4 and 6 years old) stepped into the room, they were greeted with children’s hard hats and fluro vests to help set the scene and prepare them for their upcoming city adventure. Who doesn’t love taking on the persona of a construction worker like Emmet Brickowski from the ‘LEGO Movie’? 

At every turn and corner there is something new for your child to explore like peeking through a window or turning a dial to change the cityscape setting. My three little ones loved having the ability and creativity to build their very own life-size structure at the construction section, ‘Build, Build’, located near the entrance to the exhibition. The kids also enjoyed piecing together the layout of a museum and a zoo at the ‘Fun in the City’ section and walking through the fun ‘Underground’ mini sewer tunnel. If construction is not your child’s thing, perhaps they might consider an opportunity to design a forward-thinking metropolis at the ‘Future Cities’ arts and crafts table… 

Parents can team up at each section with their children or opt to enjoy and watch from the comfort of one of many sofas provided. 

Memories, Like The Corners Of My Mind

Parents can even make a day of it as the exhibition entry fee includes access to the rest of the museum. When was the last time you explored Sydney in all her glory? Learning about how much the city has developed over the years brought back memories from when I was a child and now as an adult, I can appreciate Sydney’s beautiful cityscape.  

After leaving this exhibition, the kids and I took a walk through the city and I knew our respect for her was heightened and our sense of adventure had come alive. I wonder what next we will discover... 

The Details

Where: Museum of Sydney, Corner Phillip and Bridge Streets, Sydney
When: Now until 21 July 2019
Price: Adult $15, Child / Concession $12, Family (2 adults & 2 children or 1 adult & 3 children) $38, Under 5s FREE.  
For more information, click here.