10 Things To Do At Comic-Con 2019 Without a Badge

It’s that time of year again: when fans from all over the country make their way to San Diego to attend Comic-Con. This year marks the 50th year for the convention, which will take place July 18 to July 21.

Comic-Con badges are nearly impossible to grab these days. Luckily, there are plenty of events and activities that extend beyond the Convention Center that will make you feel like you are a part of the madness!


Here are 10 Things to Do at Comic-Con Without a Badge:


1. Comic-Con Museum Pop-Up

The Comic-Con Museum will be open to the public each day of Comic-Con 2019. The public can enjoy free admission to interactive features and attractions like The Batman Experience and Paint Like Bob Ross.

Where: The Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park

When: Thursday, 7/18 – Saturday, 7/20: 9:30 am to 7 pm; Sunday, 7/21: 9:30 am to 5 pm.


2. Pokémon Detective Pikachu Cityscape

Experience the magic of the hit movie Pokémon Detective Pikachu in real life. Fans of the film can explore Rhyme City marketplace, the neon cityscape, film prop displays, and more all without a San Diego Comic-Con badge.

Where: Outside of the Omni Hotel

When: Wednesday, 7/17: 5 pm to 7 pm; Thursday, 7/18 – Sunday, 7/21: 10 am to 7 pm.


3. San Diego Comic-Con Art Show

Not just window shopping! Admire and purchase artwork from amateurs and professionals. No badge required!

Where: Manchester Grand Hyatt in Grand Hall CD on the lobby level of the hotel

When: Thursday, 7/18 –  Friday, 7/19: 9 am to 9 pm; Saturday, 7/20: 9 am to 6 pm;
Sunday, 7/21: 12 pm to 7 pm.


4. Hello Kitty Cafe Truck

Stop by the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck to refuel before a long day of walking in the San Diego sunshine. The Sanrio themed food truck will have Hello Kitty merch and cute treats modeled after the famous anime character.

Where: Petco Park Interactive Zone

When: Thursday, 7/18 – Saturday, 7/20: 10 am to 7 pm; Sunday, 7/21: 10 am to 5 pm.


5. Artists’ Loft at BarrioHaus

See Comic-Con panels without paying big bucks for a badge. The Artists’ Loft at BarrioHause will be hosting panels with an emphasis on Latinx culture and their contribution to the arts.

Where: BarrioHaus

When: Thursday, 7/18 – Sunday, 7/21: 12 pm to 4 pm


6. Her Universe Geek Couture Fashion Show

For the 6th year, you can watch fangirl fashion lovers strut their stuff on the Her Universe runway. Designers will be vying for the opportunity to create a line for Hot Topic. For more information, visit the Her Universe website.

Where: Manchester Grand Hyatt in the Harbor Ballroom

When: Thursday, 7/18: 6 pm to 9 pm.


7. Return of The Underground Lightsaber Fighters (ULF)

Calling all Star Wars fans! Watch or join the Underground Lightsaber Fighters battle it out in a friendly, yet competitive, tournament in the biggest lightsaber event in the country.

Where: Balboa Park Fountain

When: Friday, 7/19: 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm.


8. 5th Annual Chicano-Con

This is a family-friendly comic and music event that will offer food specials, comic book giveaways, entertainment, and guest appearances, spotlighting the work of Latino artists. Check out Chicano-Con’s weekend of events on their Facebook page.

Where: Border X Brewing

When: Friday, 7/19: 6 pm to 9 pm; Saturday, 7/20: 11:30 am to 10:30 pm; Sunday, 7/21: 12 pm to 8 pm.


9. Comic Pop Up Market + Art Show

Head to Balboa Park for this Comic-Con themed pop-up market and art show. The event will have vegan food vendors, prize drawings, face painting, and hand made artisan gifts to buy from local artists. This event is free, but don’t forget to RSVP.

Where: WorldBeat Cultural Center

When: Saturday, 7/20: 12 pm to 6 pm.


10. The 13th & Final Zombie Walk

After 12 years as a staple of San Diego Comic-Con, the Zombie Walk will be walking down Gaslamp for the last time. Bring your scariest costume for the grand finale of this iconic San Diego Comic-Con event.

Where: Gaslamp Quarter

When: Saturday, 7/20: 6:30 pm


Lastly, you can’t go wrong with people watching downtown. Whether it be food specials, live entertainment, or a costume show-down, you’ll be sure to enjoy yourself!


Tips for Comic-Con 2019:

  • If you’re headed to Comic-Con festivities with little ones, make sure to keep them close and organize a meet-up spot as downtown can get hectic!
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • If you decide to walk around downtown, apply and reapply sunscreen, and wear comfortable walking shoes.
  • Traffic and parking can get overwhelming, so consider using a rideshare company or public transportation.
  • Bring your camera! Don’t miss out on special moments with loved ones.


Even if you aren’t a part of the chaos inside the Convention Center, there are still plenty of events and activities that offer the Comic-Con experience. For more local happenings, check out the Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups’ articles!


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