Free Fun: "Outside" SDCC 2012
San Diego, California
Okay, so you couldn't get a 4-day badge for San Diego Comic-Con. The past few years have seen more and more (mostly) free things to see and do outside the San Diego Convention Center which don't require a Con badge at all.
Many of the restaurants and a few parking lots close to the convention center are taken over by studios promoting their shows, films, and games. Most of these events do not require a Con badge nor any money. They do require a lot of patience as you will be waiting in long lines.
My best advice for finding these events is to follow Outside Comic-Con on Twitter (@OutsideComicCon) for updates, and you can check the scheduled they comprise at Outsidecomiccon.com.
The next few days, I'm going to recap a few of the events/displays I attended (all but 1 was free) I have attended the past 3 years.
The "outside comic-con" events are also great for those who live in San Diego or are willing to travel to San Diego (I don't suggest trying to find a hotel, though) to spend a day checking out the sights, costumes, and enjoy the specials many of the restaurants offer during SDCC weekend. The Gaslamp Quarter has many great restaurants, and most offer some deals on food and/or drinks (also check out Outsidcomiccon.com for possible coupons).
In 2012, my two nieces and I spent most of our time inside the Convention Center except for food (we hit the closest Subway for lunch each day), but spent most of Sunday checking out the activities in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Behind the Convention Center is a large grassy area where there are always great displays.
This particular year had the various Batmobiles on display and you could get a picture (free print) taken in front of the black Tumbler.
Down the street was a parking lot where you could tour the facility for Coma (a show I never saw nor heard anything about after SDCC), and you email yourself a picture they took on a green screen. You could also get makeup done of sutures across your neck. It looked really creepy.
Yahoo had a Movieland where you could take pictures in various movie props, and they had characters for ParaNorman there for a photo op. You did get a print of the ParaNorman photo. On your way out, you got a free t-shirt and there was an ice cream truck outside for ParaNorman giving out free ice cream and stickers.
|Front of Hard Rock Hotel|
|Saw Molly Quinn (Castle) inside the Hard Rock Hotel|
I did more outside stuff in 2013 since I wasn't able to get SDCC badges. I took my nieces to San Diego for the day to do whatever free stuff we could, and we had a great time. Keep a look out for that post!