Not all of the action goes down at the Convention Center. In fact, some of the most fun ways to fan out are open to the public and don’t require a badge. Here’s just a sampling of the best badge-less things to do, for geeks of all ages and predilections.
The Experience at Comic-Con
Where: Petco Park’s Lexus Premier Lot
When: July 19-22
What was known as Petco Park’s Interactive Zone is back with a new name but the same concept of a “pop-culture playground.” Three acres of Petco Park’s parking lot will host the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters, a very hungry Sharkzilla, and a semi-truck equipped with gaming pods equipped with Forza Motorsport 7 on Xbox One X, and a lot more. Did we mention food trucks?
Hulu’s Castle Rock House
Where: Front Street and Island Avenue
When: July 19-22
There will be no pause button when you get freaked out at this real life house at Front Street and Island Avenue. The house will embody scary stuff from the Hulu original series Castle Rock, based on the work of Stephen King.
Where: Liberty Public Market
When: July 18, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Though parents are probably the real superheroes, kids get to strut their stuff while dressed as their favorite superhero in this costume parade through Liberty Public Market. Scooped ice cream shop will reward the best-dressed groms with free ice cream scoops (while parents can find their own boozy milkshakes at Mess Hall Bar). There’s also a petting zoo.
The Movie Music of John Williams
Where: Jacobs Music Center
When: July 18, 7:30 p.m.
Hear the rousing soundtracks of Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, and Star Wars in the setting they were intended: a symphony hall. The concert will be preceded by a costume contest. Because Comic-Con. Tickets are $30 to $45.
Comic-Con International in San Diego | Photo: Kelly Kennedy