Rein ins Rathaus! (Into the City Hall!)

© Barbara Mair for WIENXTRA

For one week in summer, children aged 6 to 13 year old come to the City Hall to study and work in their own Children's City, governed by them.


Vienna's City Hall becomes the venue for the Children's City, as part of the WIENXTRA Ferienspiel (VIENNA-EXTRA Holiday Play) initiative, where every day about one thousand young citizens create and manage their own city. The aim of the Children's City is to motivate children to engage in independent and responsible action. Participation, self-determination, and democratic awareness are the central objectives of this simulation game. A special feature of the Children's City is that kids are given the daily opportunity to communicate, interact, and exchange (political) experiences with real-life city politicians. 


Members of the City Council engage with the kids for the Children's City elections and discuss mock party manifestos, election pledges, and election results. City Councillors answer the questions posed by Children's City journalists and Councillors, and Vienna's Mayor holds a press gathering where he is interviewed by the young reporters. In addition to the whole political point of view, children learn how a city is managed and what needs to function to keep it running successfully. Without noticing, children learn about politics, democracy, taxation, and the functioning of a municipality.


The high degree of personal responsibility and the naturalness and seriousness of the children's actions is particularly remarkable, showing it's never too early to practice real-life democracy! Children experience the impact their actions and decisions have on themselves and their fellow Children's City citizens. They learn how to address their ideas and verbalise their intentions in a playful way. On the other hand, they participate in elections and thereby learn how to decide for their own interests in interaction with those of the Children's City. 

Project owner
Vucko Schüchner
Project owner
Dolores Bakos
Chairwoman of the Management Board of WIENXTRA
Project team
Daniela Gärtner
Project leader
Project team
Teresa Cancura
Project Organization
Project team
Jutta Hofer-Shetler
Game Management
Project owner
Christoph Wiederkehr
City Councillor for Education, Youth, Integration and Transparency
Project owner
Brigitte Bauer-Sebek
Head of MA 13 - Education and Youth (funding agency)