How Cities Work

Explore the city inside and out, top to bottom in a whole new way! From sewers to skyscrapers, this interactive exhibition reveals the secret workings of the city. 

Enter an immersive cityscape full of magical, tactile experiences to discover how the city works. Peek inside buildings, duck underground, and explore the streets to find out what’s going on above your head and beneath your feet.

This spectacular exhibition has been developed in collaboration with illustrator and city fanatic James Gulliver Hancock, and is adapted from the bestselling book How Cities Work from Lonely Planet Kids.

See and hear the city come to life with interactive animations, bustling sounds and something new to uncover on every street corner.

Pop on a hard hat and step onto a lively construction site, design your ultimate building of the future or make the city move from day to night at your fingertips. What will you create? It’s the city as you’ve never experienced it before!

Recommended for children aged 2 to 8 years. 

  • Promo image in exhibition space.
  • Promo image in exhibition space.
  • Promo image in exhibition space.
  • Promo image in exhibition space.
  • Promo image in exhibition space.
  • Promo image in exhibition space.

What people are saying

"Just like the book, which is packed with interesting facts and flaps to lift, this family exhibition is vibrant, hands on and immersive." Innerwest Mums

"Kids will love this fun and interactive exhibition." Busy City Kids

"The exhibition is impressive with lots of buttons, blocks, drawing stations and screens for children to push, build and interact with." Kidsize Living City

About James

James Gulliver Hancock’s obsession with drawing has led him around the world to capture buildings in New York, London, and closer to home in Sydney and Melbourne. With a pencil always in hand, he reimagines cities, their buildings and people through his offbeat lens. 

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15 December 2018 - 21 July 2019


(includes museum entry)

Adult $15
Child / Concession $12
Family (2 adults & 2 children or 1 adult & 3 children) $38
Under 5s FREE
Sydney Living Museums Members FREE
Sydney Museums Pass holders FREE

Purchase your tickets at the museum.


Booked programs available for:

Museum of Sydney

Cnr Phillip and Bridge Sts, Sydney NSW 2000


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Related news

Man wearing glasses.

Museum of Sydney

Q&A: James Gulliver HancockTuesday 4 December 2018

Promo image of illustrated city skyline.

Media release

Media release: How Cities WorkWednesday 21 November 2018

Exhibition cases being worked on.


How exhibitions workTuesday 16 October 2018

Exhibition partners

Exhibition partner

In collaboration with

Education partner