Gaslamp provides free fun for guests without badges outside of Comic-Con
So you didn’t get a badge to San Diego Comic-Con this year. Not to worry. Visitors can still get their pop-culture fix with dozens of free events in the Gaslamp while the convention runs from July 20 to 23. Here are a few:
The Laika Experience | 520 Fifth Ave | Thursday – Sunday, 11am-11pm
Oscar-winning animation studio LAIKA, creators of Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls and Kubo and the Two Strings, brings its pop-up exhibit to the heart of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter from Friday, July 14th to Sunday, July 23rd.
Admission is free to the exhibit, which will feature props, puppets, monsters, and sets from LAIKA’s award-winning films as well as fan art, a photo/GIF booth with LAIKA characters, daily drawings for a pair of Nike’s LAIKA-themed shoes designed by Tinker Hatfield, social media activations, LAIKA merchandise offered for sale (including a new limited edition Coraline doll and display case), giveaways, and more.
AMC Deadquarters | Hilton Gaslamp (401 K Street) | Thursday – Sunday, 11am-6pm
AMC is being a DEADQUARTERS fan zone to Comic-Con, of course featuring The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead. Stop by and test your swing at the Negan Batting Cages, score a chance to meet cast members, and much more.
Kong Skull Island | Omni Hotel (675 L Street) | Thursday – Sunday, 8:30am-7pm
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Legendary invite you to experience firsthand the primordial wonders of Kong: Skull Island. The MonsterVerse comes to life as fans get to visit a Monarch Containment Zone which houses the gigantic bones of Kong’s ancestors, enter the Iwi temple to uncover the ancient secrets of Skull Island, and navigate the beast-infested jungles of the island for a close encounter with the mighty Kong himself!
Rabbitville: A Hop-Up Gallery | 453 Fifth Avenue | Thursday-Sunday, 10am-8pm
The Downtown Partnership and Gaslamp Quarter Association are proud to announce a limited exhibition of the “Rabbitville” public art project during the 2017 San Diego Comic Con International. This four-day long “hop-up gallery” will feature many of the rabbit sculptures which celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Gaslamp Quarter. Photos of Gaslamp’s history, limited edition t-shirts, and photo opportunities with the iconic rabbits will be available.
Movies in the Park: Guardians of the Galaxy | Faultline Park (14th and J) | Saturday, 8pm
Join the Downtown San Diego Partnership for a Comic-Con-themed Movies in the Park event. Wear your favorite superhero costume, bring your friends and family (even the furry ones), and watch Guardians of the Galaxy – for free!
Fandom Fest | Petco Park Interactive Zone | Thursday – Sunday, 10am-6pm
The largest entertainment fan site in the world is heading back to Comic-Con for a weekend full of parties and fun. Fans are invited to stop by FANDOM FEST at the Petco Interactive Zone all week long, where FANDOM has teamed up with Pepsi to provide a special fantasy food truck dishing out pop culture-inspired foods with drink pairings, a lounge area for fans to congregate, and a stage that will feature live FANDOM programs, fan-participatory trivia games, cosplay shows, and talent interviews. No badge is required!
Star Trek: Discovery Gallery & Pedicabs | 363 Fifth Ave | Thursday – Sunday, 10am-3pm
CBS is creating a fully immersive Discovery experience at the Michael J. Wolf Fine Arts Gallery; Comic-Con badges are not mandatory for entry. The exhibit will feature the debut of – and a photo opportunity with – the U.S.S. Discovery captain’s chair and will showcase additional props, costumes, sketches and more from Discovery. One thousand fans each day will receive complimentary limited-edition Discovery posters, and the location will also house an official Star Trek Shop with items exclusive to Comic-Con.
Fans can get free “intergalactic” rides throughout the Gaslamp District in pedicabs inspired by the design of the U.S.S. Discovery’s captain’s chair. The pedicabs will feature the series’ chair’s distinctive stitched black seats as well as video monitors built into its arm rests which, in this case, will screen trailers for the highly anticipated new show. As an added touch, each vehicle will display an illuminated U.S.S. Discovery delta shield on the back.
Daily Ninjoga: LEGO Ninjago Yoga | Omni Hotel (675 L Street) | Thursday – Sunday, 9am
In honor of the LEGO Ninjago movie coming out in September, fans looking for a good stretch before standing in their next line can head to the lawn at the Omni Hotel to participate in “NINJOGA,” a tai chi/yoga-like workout for the ninja in everyone.
Pinball Lounge | Marriot Marquis San Diego Marina (333 W. Harbor Dr) | Thurs – Sun, 10am-7pm
If you’re a casual player, stop by the Pinball Lounge for Free Play. It’s a great place to hang out, relax, and regroup while getting to play classic arcade games with friends.
For the more seasoned pinball players, there will be tournaments. Everyone is welcome to enter the competition, but only the top four contenders will qualify to compete in the final round.
The Netflix Experience | Hilton Gaslamp (401 K St) | Thursday – Sunday, 11am-5pm
Step into the world of Netflix at the Hilton Gaslamp for a one-of-a-kind experience with a sneak peak of upcoming original films and series, exclusive giveaways, and more! Visit the Upside Down with Stranger Things, get immersed into the world of the new film Bright, and dive into the streets of New York City with the Defenders.
Impractical Jokers Fan Event | Petco Park | 11:30am – 8:30pm
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.
FXhibition | Hilton San Diego Bayfront (1 Park Blvd) | Thurs (12p-6p), Fri (10a-6p), Sat/Sun (10a-2p)
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.
Heroes Brew Festival | Waterfront Park (1600 Pacific Highway) | Saturday 4pm ($20-$99)
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. 21 and up; heroesbrewfest.com
Adult Swim On The Green | Fifth Ave Landing and Convention Way | Thursday – Sunday, 1-6pm
Adult Swim Nighttime on the Green| Thursday/Friday, 7-10pm
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 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.
Nighttime On The Green will offer free screenings for fans who want to see the latest series and pilots.
Amazon Prime’s Tick Takeover | First and J Street | Thursday-Saturday, 9am-5pm
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.
There will also be an Amazon Prime Member Lounge, where Citizens will have the chance to relax and experience Amazon Prime benefits as they stream the pilot episode of the The Tick.
San Diego Blood Bank Blood Drive | Manchester Grand Hyatt (1 Market Place) | Thurs-Sun, 9am-3pm
The annual Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive returns to Comic-Con, and will again be located in the Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel in the Coronado Ballroom. If you actually want to shed some blood at Comic-Con – donate it!