11 Things To Do At San Diego Comic Con Besides Panels

Written By: Laura Dengrove and Alisha Weinberger

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Ah, nothing says summer like the smell of sunscreen and gearing up in your best cosplay in the scolding sun.

It’s that time of year again, yes, San Diego Comic Con is finally upon us. The sound of fandom debates, lines beginning to develop, and movie news is ringing throughout the year. If you were lucky enough to grab a ticket for this wondrous event, the anticipation has now begun to bubble over and you are wondering to yourself, “How will I fit everything I want to do in just four days?”

Well, Pop-Break is here to help you with that.

While all the panels haven’t been officially released yet for fans, there are a lot of fantastic things to do around the Con that you may not have heard of yet. So let Pop-Break give you a break down of some of the can’t miss events happening around and outside the Con to help you wait for those must see panels.  (List in no particular order.)

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DC’s ‘Worst of the Worst’ take over Comic Con: With all the hype surrounding the new ‘Suicide Squad’ film being released later this summer, it only makes sense Comic Con would host a slew of events in its honor. In a press release sent by DC Comics, it looks like the Squad will be coming to the Con to wreck some havoc. In addition to panels starring the stars of the new DC hit, events for the film will be happening all around the Con. Costume contests, Hard Rock Hotel being turned into the Belle Reve penitentiary, where the villains spend out the majority of their days in the film, and a virtual reality stimulation that puts you in the midst of the action with the squad. Now thats what I call real “squad goals.”

TruTV’s Impractical Jokers Invade San Diego Comic Con: The jokesters of TruTV will be in full swing at the Con as they bring laughter and joy to fans of the long running comedy series. In a press release from TruTv, it is said the Jokers will be holding an exhibit for true fans of the show entitled, “Hall of Impractical Jokers” full of memorabilia from the show, and a Bloc Party that will commence on July 23rd at the The Park at Petco Park.

Marc Summers Brings Back Double Dare: Back in time for its 30th Anniversary, ‘Double Dare’ will be performed in a special live event at the Con, streamed on Facebook Live for fans of the show who cannot attend the Con, and we will once again feel some 90’s nostalgia as we watch teams play trivia and perform difficult tasks on legendary obstacle courses. (Sources cited from Nickelodeon Press release.)

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Archer Live: Looks like the Danger Zone is coming to Comic Con! On Comicbook.com, it says the cast and crew of the hugely successful FX comedy will be doing a live reading of the show and have fans interact with them as well.

Batman v Superman Fan Experience: On the official Comic Con website for San Diego, it is said that fans will be able to join in once again on the Batman v Superman fun as fans will have the chance to see the Batmobile and join in on giveaways and scavenger hunts at the OMNI MLK Promenade. 

Adult Swim on the Block: The beautifully bizarre folks at Adult Swim are convention regulars. As the late-night television block grew more popular and more strange, so has their presence at SDCC, offering alternative fun other than their regularly scheduled panels. If you need a little time away from the convention hall crowds and BO, Adult Swim on the Green may be just your thing. Set up behind the convention center fans can relax and catch their breath or enjoy their Carnival Midway which will feature giveaways, prizes, a photo op with everyone’s favorite satanic canine companion Mr. Pickles, or experience Adult Swim’s iconically gorgeous and psychedelic bumps in a full 360 degree experience in the Meatwad Dome. If you can’t make it to the open air madness during the day, there will be Nightime on the Green. Adult Swim on the Green will be located at Convention Way & 5th Ave Pier, behind the convention center, and will be from July 21-24. Event is free, no RSVP required.

Photo Credit: Patrick Eccelsine/FOX
Photo Credit: Patrick Eccelsine/FOX

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Presents Space Odyssey:  We can’t promise you’ll ever be explore the final frontier or save a galaxy far far away but if you want to make that Trekkie or Star Wars cosplay just a little more authentic, then head across the convention hall to witness a one of a kind, immersive exhibition. No rocket or dark matter engine required, just slap on some VR goggles and get lost in annals of the space. Space Odyssey, presented by the beloved mustachioed astrophysicist, is a spotlight on the blossoming industry of VR tech. One such experience will include “NASA’s Journey to Mars.” Space Odyssey is located in The Spa at the Hilton Gaslamp Hotel, across from the convention center, and will be from July 21-24. Event is free, no RSVP required.

Nintendo Video Gaming Lounge: Feeling competitive? But can’t strut your stuff down the runway of a cosplay competition? Pick up a controller, and defeat your enemies! …well, in a manner of speaking. The Nintendo Video Gaming Lounge offers a kid-friendly experience and gaming utopia. Gamers of young and old can partake in Nintendo 3DS or Wii U gameplay. Maybe team up with fellow Pokémon GO trainers, and see what pickings San Diego has to offer. There will also be photo ops, live competitions, and giveaways. The Gaming Lounge will be located at the San Diego Ballroom, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina (Lobby Level, North Tower), and will run from July 21-July 24. Event is free, no RSVP required.

South Park 20 Experience: Celebrate the upcoming 20th season of TV’s favorite fowl mouthed Colorado kids. Like Adult Swim, the minds behind South Park want to offer a different fan experience if one can’t make their scheduled panels in the convention center. Fans will have the chance to step into the infamous cartoon with 20 life-size 2D/3D builds of the show iconic settings and moments. Or relive those moments in the Hulu Viewing Lounge, which will be streaming episodes across all seasons. Take a peek a real world props inspired by the anticipated South Park video game, revealed at this year’s E3. Fans can also stroll through an art gallery featuring 20 works from 20 different prestigious pop artists, including Ron English, original cells, and concept art from the show’s beginnings. The South Park 20 Experience is located next to the Hilton Gaslamp Hotel, July 21-24. Event is free, no RSVP required.

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Comic Con-Con HQ: If you can’t decide on one thing to see or visit at SDCC, get a birds eye view of coverage at Comic-Con HQ. Hosted by Alison Haislip and Steve Zargoza, HQ will offer 20 hours of convention coverage as well as interviews and appearances with the industry’s leading stars, artists, and creatives. Fans can watch the coverage from above on the Sapphire Balcony of the Hilton Bayfront, four floors up from the Live Stage and overlooking the Comic-Con HQ Balcony. Want to give a shout out to mom? Be on the lookout for CC HQ’s live-field segments. Live coverage will be daily from 12pm-5pm. Comic-Con HQ Live Stage will be in the San Diego Hilton Bayfrom Promende Plaza next to the Fox Sports Grill, on the Sapphire Balcony. Coverage will run July 21-24.

Conan at SDCC: Team Coco assemble! Late-night’s own superhero The Flaming C AKA Conan O’Brien will be taping live shows covering the convention. Conan will be covering the full SDCC weekend, feturing interviews with Silicon Valley cast (Wed), Nick Kroll and Weird Al (Thurs), Suicide Squad Cast (Sat), and Game of Thrones Cast (Sun). The show will be broadcasted from the Spreckel Theatre. This is of course a very limited event, tickets are selling very quickly if not sold out already. But standby, first come first serve passes will be given out at the Team Coco Ticket Space at 969 1st Ave at 8AM, the morning of each taping. There is no guarantee and supplies are limited.

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.