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Geeky Parent Guide: Family-Friendly Activities on Thursday at SDCC 2018

San Diego Comic-Con is definitely on my bucket list. The one time I was fortunate enough to be offered a ticket from a friend, I had to decline as my family had just moved and, obviously, timing wasn’t on point. It’s safe to say I cannot wait to make that entrance into the epitome of conventions, and, as a parent, I wonder what I would want for my kids to experience at the show.

I would want to definitely check out activities or vendors that are kid-friendly, and I would also want to know what is going on outside of the convention. As a parent, I know my kids would need a break from the constant influx of people, wildly colorful costumes, and the volume of noise that might be overwhelming for them after a stretch.

My goal for today’s post on the Geeky Parent Guide is to provide parents with a look at family-friendly activities or vendors associated with San Diego Comic-Con and to highlight a few ways to step away from the con after a long day and enjoy yourselves.

*As a side note, if you’re interested in attending a session, make sure to check the location, as some SDCC events are located in nearby hotels or the local library.

Thursday, July 19 at San Diego Comic-Con

KidsVO Cartoon Voices
Location: San Diego Convention Center, Room 6A
Time: 10:00am – 11:00am

Voiceover actors, including some from Steven Universe, Doc McStuffins, and Big Hero 6, will read a script and “show off their skills,” which will also include a question and answer (Q&A) session afterwards.

Beyond Wakanda: Intersectional Afrofuturism
Location: San Diego Central Library, Shiley Special Events Suite
Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm

Explore Afrofuturism as seen in the wonderful world of Wakanda, “a place of super science, spiritual communion, and geopolitical influence predicated not on closeness to colonial nodes of power, but autonomy from them,” featured in the blockbuster film, Black Panther. This session will let attendees see the influence popular films and other works of fiction have from “historical resources related to Afrofuturism.”

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles For All!
Location: San Diego Convention Center, Room 28DE
Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm

Parents and kids will have the opportunity to listen to the TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman and the team behind the current comic series. There will also be a “Turtle Trivia with prizes for the ultimate TMNT fan.”

Hasbro Transformers
Location: San Diego Convention Center, Room 29AB
Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm

Not only is there a Hall of Fame for Transformers, you’ll get to see the 2018 members inducted. Your kids might also like to take a look at the new animated series, Cyberverse, “full of new characters and familiar stories,” and see new toys that haven’t been released to the public. They’ll also get a chance to see “products inspired by the film,” Bumblebee: The Movie.

Advanced Digital Inking Techniques
Location: San Diego Convention Center, Room 2
Time: 11:30am – 1:00pm

If you or your kids are interested in digital, black-and-white art, then check out Brian Haberlin (Witchblade, Spawn, Anomaly) as he explores different software tools with the audience.

Raising Fankids: Teaching Young Geeks to be Self-Confident and Successful
Location: Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, Grand 1 & 2
Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Teachers, parents, and high school students discuss what it takes to “help kids grow up nerdy without the negative connotation.”

Toys Without Apps: Pin Mates
Location: San Diego Convention Center, Room 29AB
Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Nearly 60 years since its introduction, Pin Mates are making a comeback. This panel includes an “expert on child play therapy” as part of this session will focus on the importance of creative play for kids. It’s also worth mentioning that all attendees will receive a free Pin Mate!

Spotlight on Jim Lee
Location: San Diego Convention Center, Room 6DE
Time: 12:45pm – 1:45pm

The entire family will enjoy watching Jim Lee draw “live on the big screen” as he chats about his over 25 years in the industry. There is also a “How to Draw with Jim Lee” from 5:30pm to 7:00pm later the same day in Room 2.

Queer Comics for Queer Kids
Location: San Diego Central Library, Shiley Special Events Suite
Time: 2:00pm – 3:00pm

“Libraries are often safe spaces for teens who find it hard to fit in elsewhere. This includes queer teens. It is important to keep collections that reflect these teens, both so that they can find themselves in fiction and that their peers can see them normalized.” This session will discuss what comics and manga to start with and the importance of having them in libraries.

The Science of Star Trek
Location: San Diego Convention Center, Room 6DE
Time: 5:45pm – 6:45pm

This panel, which includes NASA scientists, will take a look at “the real science behind sci-fi’s most beloved universe,” Star Trek. Enough said.

More Science in Your Fiction with the League of Extraordinary Scientists and Engineers
Location: San Diego Convention Center, Room 5AB
Time: 8:00pm – 9:00pm

If you want to ask about what is or isn’t real science in your favorite works of fiction, then you’ll want to attend this session.

Attending a convention can be exhausting, and that’s when you’re going solo, let alone if you’re going with your kids. With my kids, I know they’d need a break from the constant stimulation, whether it be a lunch or dinner break, or switching gears to something that doesn’t involve so many people in a condensed space.

If you’re going to be looking for something to do away from the San Diego Comic-Con to give you and your kids a break from the busy geeky goodness, then take a look at other things happening or restaurants around San Diego during this special weekend.

Food Options in the Area

Tin Fish Gaslamp (across the street from the Convention Center)
170 6th Avenue (Across the street from the Convention Center)
San Diego, CA 92101

If exiting the Convention Center, exit at Lobby E for the quickest route to Tin Fish Gaslamp.

Joe’s Crab Shack (next to Embarcadero Marina Park South, near the Convention Center)
525 E Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101-5995
Kid’s Menu

If exiting the Convention Center, the Grand Stairway might be the closest route to Joe’s Crab Shack.

The Old Spaghetti Factory (next to Hard Rock Hotel, near Convention Center)
275 5th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
Kid’s Menu

If exiting the Convention Center, exit at Lobby E for the quickest route to Tin Fish Gaslamp.

Look Ahead to Tomorrow

Food Truck Fridays
Location: Balboa Park, Plaza de Panama and El Prado Walkway
Time: 4:00pm – 8:00pm

“Visitors of all ages can enjoy live family friendly entertainment while eating gourmet treats from a rotating selection of more than a dozen food trucks.”

Check out this link for their list of food trucks and performers. Their children’s activities are also mentioned – creating toys for pets, which can be taken home or donated to the San Diego Humane Society, free fingerprint identification card provided by the SDPD’s Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol Unit, which helps “in the event the child is reported lost or missing,” and a symphony for kids as they can “check out various instruments in their musical petting zoo.”

Free Event Outside of SDCC

Balboa Park Twilight Concerts
Location: Spreckels Organ Pavilion
Date: THURSDAY, July 19
Time: 6:30pm – 7:30pm

Enjoy Your San Diego Comic-Con

If you are headed to San Diego Comic-Con with your family, this is the perfect opportunity to cosplay together, take pictures, and also to share with your kids the importance of asking people before taking pictures. You’ll have photos to look back on and maybe costume ideas to use in the future, while providing an important lesson on respecting people’s space and having the opportunity to tell people how awesome their cosplay turned out.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, pick up one of the San Diego Attendee Guides “at the convention center, in most convention hotels and select sites around San Diego.” There is also an online version for quick access. This can be a simple distraction during lunch to see what San Diego has to offer or you can prep your trip by staking out places to eat, beaches for your kids to have a splash break, or even track the Metropolitan Transit System or other forms of transportation, even taking a FRED.

FRED – Free Ride Everywhere Downtown – “seats five passengers, electric and open-air, and you can request a free ride through the FRED App available on the App Store and Google Play.” You will also have access to Deaf and Disabled Services while at SDCC. They are “located in Lobby A on the lower level of the San Diego Convention Center.”

If you want help getting around Comic-Con International 2018, make sure to take a look at the online Quick Guide that provides an exhibitor list, program schedule for each day, and a map of the Convention Center itself.

If you’re heading to SDCC, don’t forget to check out the Geeky Parent Guide on Facebook and Twitter and share your favorite moments with us. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out Fanbase Press for all of the latest and greatest during the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con. They’ll be posting live coverage on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, including live coverage of the Eisner Awards on Friday night.

Until tomorrow, happy parenting and happy geeking.

S.T. Lakata, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor



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