When it comes to 2016 San Diego Comic Con International, we know what is best in terms of last minute ideas! You may have missed out on purchasing actual passes to the Con and you might have even missed out on the highly sought after Conan tickets, but we’re here to help you reach maximum #noFOMO (No Fear of Missing Out)! So if shifting through all the party lists is leaving you with a headache, have a look at our suggested events (separated by family-friendly and 18+, 21+). For a full listing of events, check out this interactive map made by @dustinmajitsu.
As per usual, there are several ongoing pop-up sites outside Comic Con that DON’T require a badge or entrance fee. Here are some of the noteworthy events that are just steps away from the San Diego Convention Center. For a complete listing and more details, refer back to the SDCC 2016 Interactive Map. Pro Tip: there are ongoing events at these sites, so be sure to check their calendars for dance parties, celebrity signings, and more!
- Amazon Village
- Suicide Squad Offsite
- Adult Swim on the Green
- South Park 20
- Entertainment Weekly’s ConX
- Neil Degrasse Tyson Presents Space Oddity
- Heroes Park: Batman vs Superman
Where: Werewolf 8:00am-CLOSE
Info: There’s something strange, in the neighborhood… and it’s Mass-Hysteria! Mass-Hysteria is back for a 3rd year, and this year they will be celebrating all things “Ghostbusters!” This is a FREE all day event, open to all ages until 9pm (21+ there after). The day begins w/brunch and follows through with grab bags, prizes, happy hours, and more. Check the invite for more info on the Ghostbuster schedule.
What: Mission: ComicCon Party
Where: Mission Brewery 7:00-11:55 p.m
Info: These days you don’t find too many Comic Con parties that are FREE, badgeless, and all ages! Join The Hashtag Show, Wyrd Con, and Nerds Like Us for a night of music, fashion, and food trucks over at the Mission Brewery.
What: SherlockedDCC 2016
Where: San Diego Central Library 7:30pm
Info: Taking over the entire 9th floor of the San Diego Central Library is SherlockedDCC – self-described as the largest comic con party in town! Join the Baker Street Babes, Nerd Out, SherlockDC, and more for a night of sleuthing, drinks, food, games, prizes, and awesome views of downtown San Diego! And yes, you read right, this party welcomes the under 21 crowd!
Where: Copley Symphony Hall 8:00pm
Info: Ready for a classy night of music? Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the classic video game “The Legend of Zelda,” where you’ll experience the San Diego Symphony perform tunes from one of your favorite childhood video games!
What: Rise of the Zombiewalk
Where: Location TBA 6:00pm
Info: They’re baaaaaack! After a quiet 2015, the zombies will rise and walk the streets of Comic Con again – and rumor has it this may be your last chance to walk with the original zombies of SDCC! Don’t miss out and keep updated with their Facebook event page for more info!
Where: Petco Park 3:00-8:30 p.m
Info: Join truTV at Petco Park with activities inspired by the cult-sensation TV show, Impractical Jokers. Free and for all ages, the event is set to feature sumo wrestling, a mechanical bull, a corn maze, and a 20ft tight rope.
What: Super Video Game Land 3
Where: Mission Brewery 6:00-12:00 p.m
Info: Looks like Mission Brewery is the place to be for post Comic Con fun! Another free party for all ages, Super Video Game Land takes over Mission Brewery for food, booze, and retro video game art! Meet artist Anthony Bulcao and check out the art dedicated to the 30th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda.
Where: Balboa Park Fountain 8:00pm
Info: Ever wonder what it is like to engage in a lightsaber battle? Join the Underground Lightsaber Fighters, San Diego’s largest monthly lightsaber gathering, and show off your battle skills!
ADULTS ONLY (18+ and 21+)
What: Hop-Con 4.0
Where: Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens 8:00pm-11:00pm
Info: For those who are interested in getting the party started a whole day early, take your geekdom over to Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens for the 4th annual Hop-Con! Back by popular demand, Hop-Con tickles the fancy of beer geeks w/tap beer, food, celebrity hosts (Wil Wheaton!), and more! This year, the garden area will be transformed into a Hopcade, w/classic arcade games and IPA beers only. Tickets start at $75, designated driver tickets at $40.
What: Mad Catz & Tritton Audio Presents: San Diego Playstation 4 Game Developer Showcase & ARK 100 Unveiling Event
Where: Henry’s Pub & Restaurant 6:00pm-12:00am
Info: Drink beer, win prizes, and play games! To celebrate the new range of gaming headsets, The Ark Series, Tritton and Mad Catz have teamed up to bring you an event where attendees will get to try out the ARK 100 on some new PS4 titles. This event is FREE with RSVP, space is limited so RSVP ASAP!
Where: Basic 9:00pm-1:00am
Info: Kick off SDCC week in the right way by attending a FREE chill fundraiser, where artists will be taking commissions to raise funds for the Hero Initiative. The pizza, drinks, music, and art are for all to enjoy, but if you’re one of the few lucky ones, you’ll walk away w/a rare item from Darkhorse, Funko, and Blizzard.
Where: Omnia San Diego 9:00pm-2:00am
Info: Ready to get real weird “Game of Thrones” style? If you’ve been to the Camp Playboy Comic Con party, you’re not going to want to miss this event! NVE and Nylon are teaming up to bring you no ordinary SDCC after party! It’s the Rave of Thrones with Kristian Nairan! That’s right, your beloved Hodor will be spinning a live set right inside Omnia San Diego! Tickets start at just $20 – hit the link for more info on VIP service and Bar Card.
What: Pokemon Go Bar Crawl (12:00-6:00pm)
Info: Team Valor, Team Mystic, Team Instinct, and Team Booze take the streets of San Diego in pursuit of Pokemon and drunken good times. Don’t miss out on catching Pokemon and meeting other enthusiasts just like you! Just remember to look both ways when crossing the street!
What: Cute, Cute Kawaii After Party (18+)
Where: Japanese Friendship Garden 7:00pm
Info: So kawaiiiiii!!! The Japanese Friendship Garden is hosting it’s first Comic Con party ever in celebration of the exhibit, “Cute, Cute Kawaii Japan’s Pop Culture Movement.” Indulge in cocktails, performances from the Mochi Maid Cafe, purikura (Japanese styled photo booths), and super kawaii makeup for anyone who wants their face done! $35 General Admission, $30 JFG Members.
Where: Waterfront Park 2:30pm for VIP 3:30pm for General Admission
Info: Tired of beer yet? No? Good! Then head on down to the Waterfront Park and join the hordes of drunken heroes taste testing over 100 craft beers from 40+ breweries. Show up in your best costume for your chance to win some prizes!
What: Pure Fandom SDCC Party
Where: Coin-Op Game Room 6:00pm-10:00pm
Info: Free parties are the best parties! Especially when the first 100 guests get a gift bag and the party is set in San Diego’s best barcade!
Where: Bassmnt 9:00pm-2:00am
Info: Looking for a wild night? Join Nukethefridge.com for a superhero themed night and get nuts w/Party Favor. Party Favor is gearing up to tear up the club w/his festival trap sounds. Don’t miss out, first 100 to show up in costume get in FREE!
Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Twitter for live updates and photos at @lajollabluebook!
[cover image courtesy of: Nathan Rupert; all other photos, except Pokemon Go event, courtesy of Aaron Turkeltaub]