Can’t get a badge to Comic-Con? No sweat! More than ever before, SDCC has become a city-wide celebration of all things geek. Although you can only access (most of) the panels, show-floor and art room with a badge, there are plenty of other activities for the lover of all things nerdy!
1.) Home Bases
Companies like BioWare and Sega have bases of operations that are usually outside of the actual convention hall. This means you can still attend any events taking place at these locations. For example, I attended a signing at the BioWare base and tried out the new ME3 Earth DLC before it was released.
Gam3rCon is a gem of a convention. Featuring art, performances, a throwback gaming center and current gaming zones, this tiny con was my favorite part of my SDCC trip. I played Sonic until my friends dragged me away, slugged a few folks in UMvC3 and watched a hilariously campy series called Video Game High School. I watched the show on a huge screen, sitting next to Ashphord Jacoway on the roof, drinking a coke and eating a slice of pizza, surrounded by other nerds and looking out over the skyline of San Diego. There were even random fireworks!
Best night ever.
3.) Other outside events
There are also a ton of other, smaller events that take place during Comic Con, such as Nerd HQ, the YouTube Pavilion, the History Channel BBQ and more zombie themed events than you could shake a stick at!
These events often feature free finger foods, games and contests or small shows and swag.
4.) City Attractions
San Diego is a small city chock-full of things to do. With a zoo, safari, SeaWorld, a historic theme park and even zip lines! During Comic-Con, some of these locations will have special nerd-themed events like Adventure Time at the Children’s Museum.
Besides the big stuff, there are also tasty restaurants, bars of every kind, flavor and shape, and pedicabs to pedal you around the Gas Lamp District.
5.) Oh the People You Will See
Now this may come as a surprise, but your favorite TV series star or comic book artist has to eat food to sustain him or herself. I know right? I didn’t believe it either… even crazier, they eat people-food!
While at Comic-Con, my friends and I ran into the entire cast of Game of Thrones, Stan Lee and (from a safe distance) George Bush.
Besides the celebrities, you will also be surrounded by a plethora of other nerds! Comic-book fans, video game heads, collectables gurus, Whovians and more! Sit down for a burger and nerd out or take pictures of all the lovely cosplayers!
SDCC Can’t Be Replaced
Overall, I found that I had not one bit of free time: there was so much to do outside of SDCC!
Of course, nothing can replace San Diego Comic-Con itself. Walking the floor, buying adorable nerdy-things, meeting the artists behind your favorite comics and listening to the kind of banter you can only hear in a panel of famous nerds is not to be missed!