Denver Comic Con 2017: Last Minute Family Tips!

Conventions Entertainment Featured GeekMom

We’re at about T-1 day for Denver Comic Con 2017 here at our house, even though many of you might already be there, getting ready to enjoy the Day 1 festivities. I started a new job last week and could not get the time off I needed to truly enjoy the full event. But that’s okay; there’s plenty to see and do on Saturday and Sunday!

GeekDad Randy and I are proud to be representing the GeekDad/GeekMom blogs with our “team coverage”; we are planning live video and Tweets of what we’re seeing, as well as analyses of our favorite parts of the con after the event is done.

Tonight and tomorrow, my family is working on our last minute Simpsons-themed family cosplay prep. Some of what we have to do involves royal blue hair and learning how to affix spiky false eyelashes! Read on to learn more about what our family is planning to do, along with some tips for those attending Denver Comic Con, especially with younger children.

Don’t forget to download the Denver Comic Con app BEFORE heading to the con. You’ll thank me later!

This week I’ve also been planning what events I think our readers will want to hear about. I’ve downloaded my Denver Comic Con app (which you really ought to do before getting to the Colorado Convention Center–grab it from your Apple App Store or Google Play store). This year’s app seems to be working smoother-than-ever with easy click-throughs to scheduled events, custom search filters, and easy-taps to add events to your device’s personal calendar within the DCC app. With each event addition, you can choose how soon you want to be reminded of the event, which is fantastic if you have plans to queue up before some of the bigger celebrity panels. What have I added to my app so far?

  • Weird Al Yankovic, Saturday, 12:00pm, Captain Colorado Stage
  • Diversity in Comics II – More We Could Be Doing?, Saturday, 1:00pm, Coast City Room
  • Stranger Things – Millie Bobby Brown, Saturday, 3:00pm, Captain Colorado Stage
  • NASA: The Science of Star Trek, Saturday, 3:30pm, Gotham City Room
  • Christopher Paolini book signing, Saturday, 4:00pm, Tattered Cover Signing Booth 2
  • Wallace Shawn, Sunday, 11:30am, Night Lynx Stage
  • State of the Star Wars Franchise, Sunday, 2:00pm, Room 505
  • Napoleon Dynamite’s Jon Heder, Sunday, 2:30pm, Night Lynx Stage
  • The Montauk Project-Inspiration Behind The Hit Show Stranger Things, Sunday, 2:30pm, Room 607
  • NASA: Tips for Observing the Great American Eclipse, Sunday, 3:30pm, Gotham City Room

Yes, I fully understand that without a Time Turner, I can’t possibly do all of these things. Perhaps I’ll add more items, or perhaps I’ll delete some. There will be a lot of playing-by-ear once we get there, based on crowds, my kids’ interests, distances between events, wait times to get into panels, and simply how I am feeling at the time.

My youngest son is ready for Denver Comic Con…guess who? Image credit: Patricia Vollmer

Here are a few tips for managing a Denver Comic Con experience, especially if you’re attending with kids:

  • Know the approved Colorado Convention Center entrances, security rules for prop weapons, and cosplay rules. This is not SDCC or Dragon*Con… just because it’s okay at other cons you’ve been to doesn’t mean it’s okay for DCC. This is one of the most family-friendly con events in the country and I, for one, hope they can maintain that reputation for years to come.
  • As mentioned above, download the Denver Comic Con app well-ahead of time, either via the iTunes App Store or the Google Play store!
  • Be sure you have lightweight but filling snacks and activities for the kids, especially if you’re planning activities that require waiting in lines, such as at Celebrity Summit and most-popular panels. Heck, even without kids, have a few snacks on hand and save a few bucks that could be spent on more comics!
  • Know where the restrooms are. Among the smaller panel rooms, away from the crowds, are nicer, less-used restrooms that might be less stressful for the kids.
  • Be prepared for kids to get cranky and tired. It’s a fact of life in the con-attendance world. The crowds, noise, heat, and “Hey Dad/Mom! I want to do this! That! The other!” will wear them out in a hurry.
  • If the kids are in cosplay, they might get a lot of attention for photographs and conversations. If you or your children aren’t comfortable with that, don’t be afraid to speak up. Remember Cosplay Is Not Consent!
  • Do you have a portable battery for your mobile devices? Charge them up and have them handy. Your phones and tablets will be working overtime to try to stay on the network with over 100,000 people all trying to share their experiences.
  • Read here about some of my other first-hand experiences about taking children to large comic conventions.

Denver Comic Con is a program of the Colorado nonprofit Pop Culture Classroom, whose mission is to inspire a love of learning, to increase literacy, celebrate diversity, and build community through pop culture education. The proceeds from the con benefit Pop Culture Classroom’s overall educational endeavors.

If you’re going to be at Denver Comic Con this weekend, give us a shout-out in the comments. Come find me as the media-credentialed-Marge Simpson on Saturday with a press pass and I’ll give you a GeekDad/GeekMom sticker (while supplies last)!

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