Comic-Con has become the focal point for the world of comics conventions. The event continues to offers a giant Exhibit Hall (topping over 460,000 square feet in its current incarnation); a massive programming schedule with hundreds of separate events, featuring comics and all aspects of the popular arts, including hands-on workshops and educational and academic programming such as the Comics Arts Conference; anime and film screenings (including a separate film festival); games; the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the “Oscars” of the comics industry; a Masquerade costume competition with prizes and trophies; an Autograph Area; an Art Show; and Portfolio Reviews, bringing together aspiring artists with major companies.
In short, Comic-Con is amazing. Attending the actual event is not easy since passes usually sell out the day the go on sale. But, there are literally hundreds of associated events taking place throughout San Diego that even people without Comic-Con badges can attend! Here's a list of FREE things you can do in San Diego during Comic-Con that don't require an official badge:
- FOX FAN FAIR at the Children's Museum & Park
Fox is highlighting its new block of Animation Domination featuring "fun twists on popular amusement rides and games all themed to fan-favorite animated series," includingThe Simpsons,Bob's Burgers, and others. Expect a 70-foot Ferris wheel along with AR experiences and FREE swag for all your favorite shows.
- BROOKLYN NINE-NINE EXPERIENCE at Tin Fish Gaslamp Restaurant
You'll have to complete a variety of different tasks to prove you're good enough to join the Nine-Nine squad, and it's going to be toit toit toit. Also in the NBC family, nearbySuperstoreis taking over the Hard Rock Hotel lobby, and you can also visit The Good Place's IHOP (Interdimensional Hole of Pancakes) just outside the convention. You can register for a wristband that willsupposedlyshorten your wait time righthere.
- HER UNIVERSE FASHION SHOW at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel
The annual event features up-and-coming designers strutting their geeky fashions on the runway. A group of winners will be selected and they'll go onto collaborate with HerUniverse founderAshley Ecksteinon brand new designs for the coming year.
- THE BATMAN EXPERIENCE at the future home of the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park
Celebrate Batman's 80th anniversary, and Caped Crusader's induction into the Comic-Con Character Hall of Fame. In tribute, a sprawling, massive Batman pop-up museum showcasing DC props, vehicles, games, costumes, and archives will be open. There will also be "a one-of-a-kind VR skydiving experience into the Gotham City," if that's your jam.
- CRUNCHYROLL at Fluxx Nightclub
The world's most popular anime brand is opening up its doors for Comic-Con this year, and fans can stop by its HQ and play games, participate in photo ops, and also jump in the Bananya Pool pool.
- WB's DETECTIVE PIKACHU and SHAZAM! EXPERIENCE outside of the Omni Hotel San Diego
Take a photo with Detective Pikachu and his friends before you stroll through his world. Also, carnival games, thanks to Shazam!
- AMERICAN HORROR STORY: 1984 FACE THE DARKNESS at the Hilton Bayfront Park
Very little info has been revealed about the activation, but you can register for it here.
- AMAZON PRIME VIDEO EXPERIENCE at the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade and 1st Drive
Step into the world of The Boys, Carnival Row, at this 60-thousand square feet activation experience. Also, there will be SNACKS. Amazon will have on-hand relaxation zones, beverages, and food provided by Carl's Jr.
- IMPRACTICAL JOKERS: JOKERS ISLAND at Park at the Park (Petco Park)
NSYNC's Joey Fatone, will host this day-long event will feature a live DJ, Tru-TV show screenings, autograph signings, photo experiences, and free food, along with gifts and gags.
- THE ORVILLE EXPERIENCE at the Carnation Building
Step into the world of with a display of costumes, creatures, props, and art pulled directly from set, and giveaways sprinkled in throughout the weekend. Also, the activation teases that cast members, along with those who work behind-the-scenes on the show, will drop by throughout the weekend for surprise visits.