So, can you take a baby to Comic Con?
We tried it a couple of years ago, and we weren't the only ones. The short answer is: it depends on the venue, but almost certainly yes you can.
The longer answer is: be prepared to have a different Comic Con than most people!
Some may be wondering, "Why would you take a baby to Comic Con anyway?"
Well, why not?
We like it there, our older kids love it, and we're not inconsiderate to those around us. And for a baby, Comic Con isn't that different from a day out anywhere else with a lot of people around. Plus there are great photo ops 🙂
All in all, it makes for a great family outing.
Tips for the Tricky Parts First:
Bearing in mind that all babies are different, of course...
First of all, you might want to do a trial run if you're planning to wear a costume.
It turns out babies don't like masks.
Especially on people that are carrying them.
Even when they've seen you put it on.
So, masks with babies: bad idea.
But baby costumes are fun. Have a look at ThinkGeek for some very suitable baby clothes.
Planning for your Baby's Comfort
Second practical tip: Comic Cons tend to be crowded events in big convention centers or hotels that can be hard to find your way around.
Take your usual supplies for a day out, get any kind of maps you can, and figure out where the elevators and toilets are, as well as any baby changing or feeding areas (if you're lucky!).
It's also worth scouting out any quiet areas where you can take your baby out of the crowds, walk him around and calm him down for a nap (good luck!) when you need to.
Will you Get to See Anything?
Next, don't expect to sit through any interesting talks or panel discussions, which will probably be held in small, quiet rooms where a crying baby isn't fun for anyone (I know, really, where would it be?!).
Small Room Events
We did manage to hide out in the back of one room by the door for a while, and we saw a talk about drawing comic book characters and a Doctor Who panel Q & A while our baby was asleep in the stroller.
Those were great, but these small room events were going on all day, and we made it to two of them. The fact that we saw these events and not any others was purely down to the lucky timing of when our baby took a nap.
Lecture hall sized events are a different matter, and here we had a fantastic piece of luck. A steward pointed us towards a huge lecture hall where William Shatner (the original Captain Kirk from Star Trek) would be speaking.
He was being telecast into other rooms around the building, but several of us families with strollers were allowed into the back of the main hall. What an event! He told us a story about taking his dogs for artificial insemination. He could have got huge rounds of applause for saying anything 🙂
Exploring the Booths and Autographs AreaBut even with William Shatner thrown in, Comic Con isn't just about the events. We all got a huge kick out of just wandering around, looking at the booths and seeing everyone in their costumes.
The older boys enjoyed seeing this car from the Jurassic Park movie, which we had just seen at the time.
Little Stormageddon didn't seem bothered at all by costumed characters that weren't carrying him. He was interested and thought they were funny.
My oldest son was very excited to meet Frank Beddor, author of 'The Looking Glass Wars', which he was reading in school at the time.
He took the time to chat, signed the next book for him, and gave him a cool free bookmark too.And we saw where we could have got lots of TV celebrities' gold-plated autographs.
We didn't find that area till late in the day, so we missed seeing the cast of 'The Guild', but Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and Colin Baker (Doctor Who) were still around, so we did get to see some famous people packing up from a distance 🙂
We saw lots of interesting comic book artists' stalls, and got fliers and business cards for lots of cool clubs and events in our area.
We got some great souvenirs too: a Muppet version of 'The Scream', and lots of Doctor Who and Adventure Time badges.
And there were some great photo opportunities too, especially for Star Wars fans: you could take photos with the droids, or as Princess Leia.
We had a lot of fun with that, especially the spaceship corridor.
Think of anything you do get to see as a bonus, and you'll enjoy Comic Con more and get a lot less stressed out with your baby!
One final practical tip: check the venue's stroller policy, because if you bring one with storage, you'll have so much more room for all your shopping and freebies 🙂
We'll be taking a toddler to Comic Con this year, and we can't wait. Wish us luck!
Have you taken your kids to Comic Con? What ages do you think it's best for? Click to comment here...