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 48th year for the convention, which will take place July 19 to July 23.
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:
Cartoon Network Character Balloons
If you’re a fan of all things Cartoon Network, get your cameras ready and head downtown to see your favorite cartoon characters floating above the Children’s Museum Pool!
Where: Martin Luther King Promenade, between Front St. and 1st Ave.
When: Wednesday, 7/19 5:00 pm – Sunday, 7/23 5:00 pm
San Diego Comic-Con Art Show
Not just window shopping! Admire and even purchase artwork by amateurs and professionals, without needing to have a Comic-Con badge.
Where: Manchester Grand Hyatt in Grand Ballroom C on the lobby level of the hotel
When: Thursday, 7/20 – Saturday, 7/22: 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
Sunday, 7/23 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm
The Netflix Experience
Get a sneak peek of upcoming original films and series, giveaways, and more!
Where: Hilton Gaslamp Hotel
When: Thursday 7/20 – Saturday, 7/22: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sunday, 7/23: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Game of Thrones Musical
This hand-clapping, laugh-out-loud musical is an unauthorized parody of Game of Thrones that features 12 original songs. Five percent of ticket sales will be given to the Wayne Foundation. Tickets are $30 and available to purchase here.
Where: Tenth Avenue Arts Center
Showtimes: Thursday, 7/20: 6:00 pm, 9:00 pm
Friday, 7/21: 6:00 pm, 9:00 pm, 11:59 pm
Saturday, 7/22: 6:00 pm, 9:00 pm
Sunday, 7/23: 1:00 pm
This event will bring you laughter, music, and lots of entertainment! This four-hour long event promises “a night of geeks and music with Adam Savage, Paul & Storm and friends.” Purchase your tickets today!
Where: Balboa Theatre, San Diego, CA
When: Thursday, 7/20 7:00 pm
Ghostbusters Mass Hysteria Fan Party
For all of you Ghostbusters out there, this event is for you! You will be celebrating the past, the present, and the future of Ghostbusters. It is recommended that you arrive early to Werewolf, as capacity is limited.
When: Friday, 7/21 8:00 am – Saturday, 7/22 2:00 am
Open to all ages until 9 PM, then 21+
3rd Annual Chicano-Con
This is a family-friendly event that will offer food specials, entertainment, and guest appearances. Stay updated with announcements on their Facebook page.
Where: Border X Brewing
When: Friday 7/21 1:00 pm – Sunday 7/23 8:00 pm
Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses Concert
Enjoy a night of music with loved ones at this 66-piece orchestra and 24-person choir. You’ll be sure to relive your favorite music from Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda video game series. To purchase tickets click here.
Where: Civic Theatre
When: Friday, 7/21 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Art Show: Women in Comics with a Tribute to Carrie Fisher
This art event is brought to you by the founders of Prismatic Series, honoring the women in comics as well as a special tribute to Carrie Fisher. More details will be posted on their Facebook page.
Where: Iron Fist Brewing
When: Saturday, 7/22 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Underground Lightsaber Fighters (ULF) Tournament
Calling all Star Wars fans! Watch or join the Underground Lightsaber Fighters battle it out in a friendly, yet competitive, tournament. For more information, visit the ULF website.
Where: Balboa Park
When: Saturday, 7/22 8:00 pm – 11:00 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 2017:
- 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!