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Comic-Con 2017: You don’t need a badge for these 10 fun events

The coolest events and activities you can do outside the Convention Center.


Ariana Nova, left, and Dakota Shapiro, dressed as Star Trek characters wave to the crowd at Comic-Con 2016. (John Gastaldo/Union-Tribune)

You’ve got the costume, the love of comics and the burning desire to go to Comic-Con, but you don’t have the badge you need to make it into the hallowed halls of the San Diego Convention Center.

Considering badges sold out within hours this year, that’s understandable.

No problem. The pop culture juggernaut has been spilling out onto the streets over the past few years and the opportunities for San Diego locals and travelers who just want to soak in the scene and be among their people continue to get bigger and better.

Where to spot celebrities near San Diego convention

Here are 10 of the coolest events and activities you can do outside the convention center without a Comic-Con badge.

Adult Swim at Comic-Con

“Adult Swim On the Green” will feature games, motorized animals, a tarot card reader, dart throwing, an oversized claw machine with Comic-Con-related prizes and something referred to as the “Meatwad Dome 4D Experience.” “The Green” is located behind the convention center at Fifth Avenue Landing and Convention Way and is open to anyone older than 18. Celebrity guests will be stopping by throughout the Con and AdultSwim.com will be broadcasting some of your favorite shows live. It’ll be open from 1 to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

Adult Swim’s “Nighttime On The Green” will offer free screenings for fans who want to see the latest series and pilots. Start lining up at 7 p.m. and the screenings will run from 8 to 10 p.m on Thursday and Friday.

At Petco Park on Saturday, Adult Swim will host a “Rick and Morty” event with creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon. Use the East Village Gate to line up at 7 p.m. The show will run from 7:30 to 11 p.m. For more information visit adultswim.com/presents.

Heroes Brew Festival

Beer selections from 60 breweries will be available for purchase at this event celebrating superheroes and beer. An upgraded ticket is also available for access to an unlimited tasting event that will feature more than 50 types of beers from top breweries across the country. There will be a costumed crusader contest, art exhibits, augmented reality technology and live music at this ages 21 and up festival.

Read more about Heroes Brew Festival here.

4 p.m. Saturday. Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego. $20 to $99. heroesbrewfest.com

AMC’s “DEADQUARTERS”

“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.

“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.

Hop-Con 5.0

The “annual celebration of nth-degree beer geekery” returns. Every year, Stone Brewing creates a new version of its Drew Curtis / Wil Wheaton / Greg Koch Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout and teams up with an artist — this year it’s Walt Simonson — to create a bottle design perfect for Comic-Con. Sample all five versions of the w00tstout and 15 other beers. There will also be a photo booth, “hopcade,” churros and “lots of geeky good times.” Attendees will also receive a commemorative Hop-Con 5.0 glass. The event is also a fundraiser for the Hero Initiative.

Read more about Hop-Con 5.0 here.

7 p.m. Wednesday. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, 2816 Historic Decatur Road, San Diego. $75. stonebrewing.com.

Crossover: Where Comics and Science Meet

The Fleet Science Center will host a crossover event to explore the ways comics and science intersect. Featured guests include Kevin Eastman, co-creater of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and Ronald Colman, research associate at The Scripps Research Institute. Attendees of this ages 21 and older event will receive two free beers from a local brewery and one free comic book.

6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Fleet Science Center, 1875 El Prado San Diego. $15.

“Impractical Jokers” fan event

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.

11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Petco Park (use Seventh Avenue entrance), 100 Park Blvd., San Diego. Free.

Amazon Prime Video’s “Tick Takeover”

The newest Amazon Original Series, “The Tick” will present a movie set-level experience for fans that includes a challenge-based scavenger hunt that takes fans through multiple rooms replicating locations essential to the show.

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. MLK Promenade at the corner of First and J streets. Free.

“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.

“FXhibition”

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.

Email: abby.hamblin@sduniontribune.com
Twitter: @abbyhamblin

2 Comments

  1. James H. Hay

    July 17, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    There are over 250 badge-free CCI-related events listed at http://www.sansfis.org/FandomIndex/Offsite2017.htm.

  2. Nick Murico

    July 18, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    Can’t wait for the Lightsaber Battle!!!

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