My 2016 guide to San Diego Comic Convention did so well last year, I’m going for a repeat! If this is your first venture here, this list is full of fun events and specials that don’t require a badge.
The Comic Con’s official blog has populated their list of 2017 off-site activities for this year’s event, so check that often for updates, but mine is quite a bit more complete. Sorry, Toucan. For the “invite only” parties, get creative. It happens. Good luck!
Event Legend | = Drinkie | = Foodie| = Party
Before Comic Con is the monster it is today, badge-holders were king. Now, most places know they have a lot to gain if they allow everyone a piece of their Comic Con deals, so check out the official restaurant guide.
Tuesday, July 18
Crossover: Where Comics and Science Meet
A regular series from the famed science center, attend this special SDCC special event speaking engagement. All ages are welcome, and all attendees will receive a free comic book; however, if you are of age, you will also receive two free beers from Aztec Brewing Company. Guest speakers include:
- Kevin Eastman, co-creator Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Jonathan Maberry, New York Times Best selling Author and creator of V-Wars
- Dr. Ronald Colman, Research Associate, The Scripps Research Institute
- Dr. Sharon Schendel, Technical Writer, The Scripps Research Institute
Fleet Science Center | 1875 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101 | 6:30 – 8 PM | $15
Wednesday, July 19
Stone Brewing’s self-proclaimed “annual celebration of nth-degree beer geekery” is back with a beer in celebration of Drew Curtis, Wil Wheaton, and Greg Koch, the Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout quinquennial. All five versions will be on tap (full vertical!) with three custom casks of this year’s w00tstout. The price might seem steep, but it includes quite a bit:
- Fifteen (15) 3oz. beer samples (includes five of this year’s w00tstout)
- The opportunity to sample the full five-year vertical
- A commemorative Hop-Con 5.0 glass
- Gourmet food stations with unlimited tastings
- Unlimited plays at Mike’s #HopCade
- Photo Booth
- Churros for dessert
- Lots of geeky good times!
Hero Initiative will once again be partnering with us to bring you this year’s bottle art in a lithograph signed by the bottle artist Walt Simonson! Lithographs can be purchased for $20 during the event. There will also be a very limited number of previous years’ artwork for sale. ALL proceeds go back to comic artists from yesteryear!
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens | 2816 Historic Decatur Rd., San Diego, CA 92106 | 7 – 11 PM | $40 – 75
Alcon Entertainment Blade Runner 2049 Party
Even though the highly anticipated Blade Runner 2049 doesn’t come out until October 6, 2017, that’s not going to stop them from starting the party early.
[ABM Parking] Lot 1035 | 450 2nd Ave., San Diego, CA 92101 | 7 PM | Invite only | RSVP required
Game of Bloggers
House of Blues San Diego | 9 PM
San Diego Comic Con Unofficial Blog | 2 Blog 2 Furious
Who needs Preview Night when you can hang with the minds behind UBlog and their fans? They’re trying to extend the all-ages end time past 9 PM, but for now, it remains.
McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon | 731 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101 | 7 – 11 PM | All ages until 9 PM | Free, first-come, first-served
Thursday, July 20
Dark Tower’s “Dixie Pig”
IGN and Sony Pictures is transforming The Tipsy Crow is into the “Dixie Pig” for all Dark Tower fans, leading up to the nationwide release of “The Dark Tower” on August 4.
Join us at The Tipsy Crow for SDCC’s largest fan party, featuring a full venue transformation in to the ‘Dixie Pig” featuring ‘baby’ ribs, music, drinks and live entertainment along with the IGN team, this is the ultimate party you can’t miss!
The Tipsy Crow | 770 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101 | 21+ | 8 PM – 2 AM | Free with RSVP
The Laika Experience
Oscar-winning animation studio LAIKA, creators of “Coraline” and “ParaNorman,” is bringing props, puppets, monsters, sets from its films and fun activities to an exhibit during Comic-Con.
11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. 520 Fifth Ave., San Diego. laika.com.
FX Networks will bring several interactive experiences inspired by shows like “American Horror Story” and “Atlanta” to San Diego for Comic-Con. This includes a mixed-reality experience based on “Legion,” which will use Microsoft’s “HoloLens” to bring the show to life.
Noon to 6 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Hilton San Diego Bayfront, 1 Park Blvd., San Diego. Free.
“The Walking Dead” and “Fear The Walking Dead” will be featured at AMC’s “DEADQUARTERS” experience. Test your swing at the “Negan Batting Cages,” meet cast members and more.
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Martin Luther King Promenade, in front of the Hilton Gaslamp Hotel at Fourth Avenue and L Street. Free.
Adult Swim at Comic-Con
One of the more popular (read: crowded) off-site events, “Adult Swim On the Green” returns with carnival games, free personalized t-shirts, a tarot card reader, an over-sized claw machine, celebrity appearances, and more. The “Meatwad Dome 4D Experience” is also back, but honestly, it’s not my favorite. Worth a go at least once, though.
Their “Nighttime On The Green” will offer free screenings for fans who want to see the latest series and pilots beginning at 7 – 10 PM Thursday and Friday.
Saturday, head into Petco Park at 7 – 11 PM to see Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, the creators of “Rick and Morty.” Use the East Village Gate. #AdultSwimSDCC
5th Ave. & Convention Way | Thursday – Sunday, 1 – 6 PM | Free with Registration
Skydance Interactive’s Gamers Lounge
Maryjane’s Diner at the Hard Rock Hotel | Thursday – Sunday | 9 AM – 10 PM | Free
FANDOM Fest with Pepsi
Petco Interactive Zone | Thursday – Saturday| 10 AM – 6 PM | Sunday, 10 AM – 3 PM | Free
Viceland Bus Party
Corner of Island & 6th | Thursday – Saturday| 10 AM – 6 PM | Free
FANDOM Party, featuring a Big Boi performance
Float at the Hard Rock Hotel, 7 p.m. (invite only)
“Sharknado 5: Global Swarming” Party
Sycuan Casino Sports Bar, 7 p.m.
Fandango Kickoff Party, featuring a performance by Elle King
Omnia, 8 p.m. (invite only; invitees are requested to arrive early, as entry is not guaranteed)
Rave of Thrones, featuring a DJ set by “Game of Thrones” actor Kristian Nairn (Hodor)
Omnia, 9 p.m.
New Children’s Museum | Thursday – Saturday | 9 PM
Omni Hotel Palm Terrace | Thursday, 11 AM – 6 PM | Friday, 12 (noon) – 6 PM | Saturday, 11 AM – 6 PM
“Wynonna Earp” Party
F6ix Nightclub | 9 PM
Friday, July 21
Gotham Group Luncheon
Monkey King | 1 PM
Buzzfeed and The CW’s SRSLY the Best Damn Superhero Party
Marriott Gaslamp Quarter’s Altitude Skyline Lounge | 5 PM | Invite only
Universal Cable Productions Reception
Omnia Hotel | 6 PM
“Dragon Ball” Super Fan Bash
McFadden’s Restaurant | 7 PM
Fox TV’s Cocktail Party
The Skybox | 7 PM
MTV Fandom Fest
Petco Park | 7 PM
Warner Bros. TV Mixer
Float at the Hard Rock Hotel | 7 PM | Invite only
IMDboat Party, Presented by XFINITY
Fifth Avenue Landing | 7:30 PM | Invite only
“Future Man” Party, presented by Hulu, Nerdist, and Geek & Sundry
Oxford Social Club | 9 PM
“The Gifted” Party, presented by IGN and Fox
The Rooftop by STK, 9 p.m. (invite only)
The Nerd Party, presented by Syfy and Zachary Levi
New Children’s Museum | 9 PM
Viceland’s What Would Diplo Do? Party, hosted by James Van Der Beek
Fluxx Nightclub | 9 PM | Invite only
After-Con, presented by NVE/ Nylon Magazine
Omnia Rooftop | 9:30 PM
Saturday, July 22
Heroes Brew Festival
I had a free ticket to last year’s event and had a wonderful time, but this year, they’re changing things up a bit — it’s pay-per-taste compared to the AYC-drink in previous years. You may opt for unlimited tasters for an extra fee. With over 50 breweries, it might be worth it to spring for the latter. Also enjoy a costume contest, live music, augmented reality exhibits, and much more.
Waterfront Park | 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92101 | 4 – 8 PM | 21+ | $20 – 99
The Largest Lightsaber Battle in the Country
The Underground Lightsaber Fighters of San Diego are hosting “the largest lightsaber battle in the country” during Comic-Con at Balboa Park. Dress up, bring your lightsabers and battle it out. All cosplayers are welcome, not just “Star Wars” fans.
8 p.m. Saturday. Meet at the large fountain in Balboa Park, 1549 El Prado, San Diego. Free. ulfsandiego.com
“Impractical Jokers” Block Party
Cast members from truTV’s “Impractical Jokers” are throwing a big block party with a White Castle food truck, a DJ, a virtual reality experience, sumo wrestling, a mechanical bull and more. They’ll be there signing autographs and fans can watch a never-before-seen episode of the show.
Petco Park | 100 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101, 7th Ave. Entrance | 11:30 AM – 8:30 PM | Free
Red Planet/Blue Planet, presented by Nat Geo and Nerd Nite
Solamar Terrace & Pool at Hotel Solamar | 7 PM
Oxford Social Club | 7 PM
Entertainment Weekly Comic-Con Bash
Float at the Hard Rock Hotel | 9 PM
Red Wedding Afterparty
House of Blues | 9:30 PM
Sunday, July 23
Super Hero Pool Party
The Lafayette Hotel | 12 PM
Adam West Remembrance Gathering (It’s definitely not a party, but for the joy he brought to the world, let’s call this a celebration of life.)
What a way to wrap up the convention, but with a remembrance event in honor of the late Adam West, our first and arguably, best, Batman, to date. May he rest in piece in a place where wham, bams, and kablams are aplenty.
Convention Center steps | 7 PM
- Bleeding Cool
- The Hollywood Report
- Pacific San Diego
- SDCC Unofficial Blog
- Variety Magazine