The annual San Diego Comic-Con starts with Preview Night on Wednesday July, 8 and runs through Sunday, July 12. Maybe you don’t have a badge for every day. Maybe you know you’ll spend the night waiting in line for Hall H and want to plan something away from the convention center after your “must see” panel is over. If so, you’re in luck, there’s a lot of things to do in the area surrounding the convention center and the rest of San Diego.
First in the immediate area:
There’s usually something going on in the space between the convention center and the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel. Last year there was a Gotham-themed zip line.
The Hello Kitty Cafe food truck will be at the Petco Park Interactive zone from July 8 to July 12.
On Friday and Saturday July 11 & 12, The Walking Dead Escape will be across the street at Petco Park. You can try to evade the zombies ($40 per ticket), be a zombie ($75 per ticket, includes being zombiefied by a professional makeup artist), or just watch ($20).
Also at Petco Park, there’s been an interactive zone the past few years. This has includes an Adult Swim fun house, a place to meet Hello Kitty, and assorted promotions for upcoming TV shows and movies. You will need to be 18+, have a Comic-Con badge, and get an Adult Swim RSVP (free) for some of the attractions.
MTV Fandom Fest is in Petco Park on Thursday with a concert (All Time Low and Flo Rida), free food, games and giveaways. 7:00 – 10:45. Tyler Posey and Bella Thorne will host the MTV Fandom Awards.
Nerd HQ has a free hang-out spot for nerds plus Conversations for a Cause panels with favorite celebrities. Most of the panels sold out very shortly after going on sale, but you can still hang out at the New Children’s Museum from July 9 to July 12 with fan parties on Thursday and Saturday. Watch the video to find out all of the (FREE!) things they’ll be offering.
The 39th Annual Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive will be at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in Ballroom C. You’ll get a t-shirt, swag, snacks, cool water and the chance to help someone, maybe help save a life.
The Nerdist Conival at Petco Park, July 9 – 12. There will be a Borderlands-themed laser tag, panels, game playing, and robot building. Follow the link to see the schedule and details.
FX Fearless Arena will be in the Hilton Bayfront Park. There will be interactive experiences for The Strain, American Horror Story: Hotel, Fargo, and The Bastard Executioner. You must be 18+ for most of them. July 9 – 12.
Free Assassins Creed Obstacle course across the street from the Convention Center. July 9 – 11.
The Central San Diego Downtown Library with have a gallery display of the Art of Comic-Con. Free.
Play LEGO Dimensions at the Hard Rock Hotel with photo ops and exclusives.
Cat Cafe Coffee and Kitties Comic-Con Special. $20 will get you 30 minutes of cat visit time, a souvenir, and a drink or food item.
Line Webtoons‘ US launch will be at Lou & Mickey’s on Friday and Saturday with free give-aways, comic inspired make-overs, and free drinks. They’ll also have free charging stations for your phones.
Donate a comic book for US Marines serving overseas. The first 400 donors will get a special lanyard that will get them a 20% discount at the Hard Rock Cafe.
Free screening of the movie Vacation. Register for tickets in advance.
The next generation of Griswolds is at it again. New Line Cinema’s ”Vacation,” starring Ed Helms (”The Hangover” films) and Christina Applegate (the ”Anchorman” films), takes the family on the road for another ill-fated adventure. The film marks Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley’s directorial debut. Following in his father’s footsteps and hoping for some much-needed family bonding, a grown-up Rusty Griswold (Helms) surprises his wife, Debbie (Applegate), and their two sons with a cross-country trip back to America’s ”favorite family fun park,” Walley World.
A Little Farther Away:
Gam3rCon, July 8 – 12. Table top games, classic arcade, panels, parties, art exhibit and cosplay. $60.
Tickets are $75 but include 10 4 oz. samples of craft beer, a commemorative glass, complementary gourmet food stations, and the company of fellow geeks.
Chris Hardwick will be doing a live Nerdist podcast on Saturday, July , 2015 at the Balboa Theatre. Sir Ben Kingsley is expected to be the guest for the 7:30 pm show. There will be a second show at 10:30 pm.
The tickets for the 7:30 show are for sale now for $37.50 each. Tickets for the 10:30 show will go on sale June 5.
The San Diego History Center has an exhibit of the art of Dr. Seuss. Museum admission is $10.
Zombie Attack Total Combat Paintball July 10 and 11. $30 per ticket if you buy before July 6, after that it’s $50.