Comic Con Family Day

Comic Con Family Daywebsite
I posted some information about Comic Con before we attended; this is my follow up with more information and our experience. Comic Con is gone from Chicago for this year, but will be in mid-Ohio, Austin, New Orleans, Toronto, the Big Apple, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. Dates can be viewed online. The next Chicago Comic Con will be August 9-12, 2012.

Hours: Comic Con opened on Thursday, August 11 and runs until Sunday, August 14, 2011.
Friday, 8/12               Noon – 8:00 pm
Saturday, 8/13           10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday, 8/14             10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Admission: $25/person (in advance; $35 on site); up to 2 children 10 & under get in free with each paid adult
Parking: The Convention Center has a parking garage across the street. Parking is $13 for the day.
Bathrooms: There are bathrooms in the lobby and in the convention area. There are changing tables.
Nursing: There is no designated nursing area.
Handicapped/stroller accessibility: The Convention Center is accessible. It was crowded so there were times when navigating a stroller or wheelchair would be difficult.
Food: There were concession counters selling food and plenty of tables. There are a variety of restaurants near the Convention Center as well.
All kid-friendly activities, vendors, booths, and sessions will be designated with a Kid-Friendly button.
  • Adventure Passport Quest
  • Costume contest
  • Meet Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, Disney Princesses, and superheroes, and get pictures taken with them
  • How To Be A Hero presentation
  • Storytime with Peter Mayhew (who played Chewbacca)
  • Face painting
  • Balloon art
  • Draw Like A Superhero session with artists Franco Aureliani and Art Baltazar
  • Shoot Jar-Jar Binks with a Nerf gun
  • Get “Simpsonized” by Simpsons artist Phil Ortiz

We paid: $13 for parking. I was provided with complimentary tickets for my family. If we had purchased tickets we would have paid $50 for tickets ($25 each for me and John and the kids would have been free).

Our experience:

We arrived at Comic Con at about 11:00 or so and it wasn’t quite what I expected. The costumes were incredible and I LOVED that, but I was a little disappointed at how cramped it was; I expected it to be crowded, but I guess I was a bit spoiled by the auto show and expected things to be a little more spread out. We didn’t bring a stroller in and I was happy about that because it would have been difficult to navigate it at times, but we weren’t able to let the boys walk alone too much because it was crowded. Naturally, they got a little irritated and wanted to be free for  while so that made things a bit difficult.

We visited the Wizard World Digital booth and saw Wubbzy, princesses, and superheroes. Cooper liked the costumes, but wasn’t interested in taking pictures with them (which was kind of a shocker – he loves getting pictures taken with anyone costumed normally, but for some reason he just wasn’t in the mood then). We got a balloon sword made for Cooper, but Dexter wasn’t able to get one because they don’t do them for kids under two to prevent choking accidents, which makes sense, but lead to a bit of a meltdown. The facepainting was there too, but the line was very long, so we skipped that. We picked up our Adventure Passports at the Wizard World booth too.   

The “Simpsonizing” had a long line so we didn’t do that, and we also didn’t do the story time or Jar-Jar Binks game. The How To Be A Hero and Draw Like A Superhero sessions sounded like fun, but my kids are a little too young so we didn’t attempt it. I do think the costume contest would have been fun, but it wasn’t until 2:00 pm and we left before that.

We enjoyed the Adventure Passport. The kids each got a little booklet and we got a map of the participating booths. We walked around collecting stamps from each of those booths and when we finished the boys each got a prize. We actually somehow lost Dexter’s book, but they were very understanding and gave him a prize anyway (phew!). The booths we had to collect stamps from were a bit odd though. The first three were booths of child actors who were in The Walking Dead, a zombie show. I only know this because their booths were plastered with photos of them in zombie makeup, covered in blood and looking pretty scary. One even had a zombie doll of herself. Luckily, the kids (Cooper was really the one I was concerned about) were pretty distracted with all the people and things going on around them that they didn’t really even look at the booths, but we got out of there pretty quickly. Maybe older kids would think that was cool, but I think that any kid that is old enough probably wouldn’t be very interested in the Adventure Passport anyway.

The rest of the booths were kid-friendly; Cooper even got a special Spongebob and Patrick drawing in his book from Dave Aikins, a Nickelodeon Publishing Artist who creates Spongebob, Dora, Diego, and other children’s books. Some of the art in the Artists & Creators section was scary and not exactly for kids, but it was easy enough to avoid it.

There was a fantastic LEGO display with scenes from Futurama, Arrested Development (one of my favorite shows!), Clerks & Clerks 2, Indiana Jones, and others. It was really detailed and we all really enjoyed it.

I think the highlight of our day was when we were walking through the Artists & Creators section; Dexter was crying and we were having a difficult time calming him down. One of the artists, Dirk Strangley, stopped us and asked if it would help if he drew him a picture. He drew Elmo with vampire teeth (he asked first if it was okay with us), then realized we had Cooper too & drew Cooper a Batman picture. As you can see in the picture, Dexter did stop crying and was very excited about his picture. I hoped to put it in a little frame in his room, but he wasn’t letting it go so it got a bit crumpled and eventually, sadly, lost. We were able to hang on to Cooper’s so we’ll be putting his picture in his room.

Overall, we had a decent time and I really enjoyed the costumes, but I think I’d wait a few more years before I tried taking the boys again. If I was going to try to take them again, I would probably do it on Thursday in the hopes that it wouldn’t be as crowded. We’d miss out on the family activities, but I think they’d have a better time. 

I was provided passes for Family Day at Comic Con. The opinions expressed about Comic Con are my own.

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