Author Topic: SDCC with a (cool) kid  (Read 365 times)

Offline Jesse O

  • Freebie Table
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2014
  • Posts: 26
  • Liked: 12
SDCC with a (cool) kid
« on: May 25, 2019, 05:09:14 PM »
I'm a convention vet - been going for decades. But this time is the first time I'm going to be attending the entire show W-Sun with my nephew, who's 11 years old.

I'd appreciate any ideas or tips from folks who've gone with kids in tow, as well as any panels that might be more kid-friendly.

Thanks in advance!


Offline puppy

  • Room 6BCF
  • ***
  • Join Date: Apr 2018
  • Posts: 213
  • Liked: 71
Re: SDCC with a (cool) kid
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2019, 05:17:30 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I'm a convention vet - been going for decades. But this time is the first time I'm going to be attending the entire show W-Sun with my nephew, who's 11 years old.

I'd appreciate any ideas or tips from folks who've gone with kids in tow, as well as any panels that might be more kid-friendly.

Thanks in advance!


Sunday was always my children's favorite day for panels when they were younger, and they liked spending a whole day in the Nintendo room.

Offline Transmute Jun

  • Moderator
  • Stan Lee's Hospitality Suite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 20757
  • Queen of the Bird Missiles
  • Liked: 7141
Re: SDCC with a (cool) kid
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2019, 07:15:27 PM »
How ‘kid-friendly’ definitely depends on the kid. At that age, my kids were not as interested in ‘talking heads’ panels, but would sit through short ones. They were more interested in sneak peeks, performances, cool offsites, etc. They would be interested in seeing actors from properties they enjoyed, but weren’t as interested in 45 minutes of talking. But if that was interspersed with sneak previews or trailers or some such, they liked that. They enjoyed the interactive things to do at the offsites, like on the Bayfront lawn or the PetCo Interactive Zone. They liked going to the Exhibit Floor and picking up swag. I remember them meeting Sergio Aragones and loving it when he drew pictures of Groo for them. They also enjoyed the Quick Draw panel and the Nintendo offsite.

Make sure the child has a small backpack. Fill it with snacks and a couple of drinks (preferably a bottle with a cap so they can take small drinks and reseal it), some comics and maybe a device for playing games. That way they can eat when they are hungry and entertain themselves when in line. Do make sure that you take them to a proper sit down meal somewhere at least once a day.

If the child has a property they enjoy, help them dress up in costume or at least in a t-shirt related to that. It helps them feel involved and like a part of thof con as they go around.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 07:18:37 PM by Transmute Jun »

Offline Jesse O

  • Freebie Table
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2014
  • Posts: 26
  • Liked: 12
Re: SDCC with a (cool) kid
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2019, 10:01:45 PM »
Great advice!

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
How ‘kid-friendly’ definitely depends on the kid. At that age, my kids were not as interested in ‘talking heads’ panels, but would sit through short ones. They were more interested in sneak peeks, performances, cool offsites, etc. They would be interested in seeing actors from properties they enjoyed, but weren’t as interested in 45 minutes of talking. But if that was interspersed with sneak previews or trailers or some such, they liked that. They enjoyed the interactive things to do at the offsites, like on the Bayfront lawn or the PetCo Interactive Zone. They liked going to the Exhibit Floor and picking up swag. I remember them meeting Sergio Aragones and loving it when he drew pictures of Groo for them. They also enjoyed the Quick Draw panel and the Nintendo offsite.

Make sure the child has a small backpack. Fill it with snacks and a couple of drinks (preferably a bottle with a cap so they can take small drinks and reseal it), some comics and maybe a device for playing games. That way they can eat when they are hungry and entertain themselves when in line. Do make sure that you take them to a proper sit down meal somewhere at least once a day.

If the child has a property they enjoy, help them dress up in costume or at least in a t-shirt related to that. It helps them feel involved and like a part of thof con as they go around.

Offline ThePowerOfGus

  • Sails Pavilion
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2019
  • Posts: 13
    • My Instagram
  • Liked: 4
Re: SDCC with a (cool) kid
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2019, 08:49:25 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
How ‘kid-friendly’ definitely depends on the kid. At that age, my kids were not as interested in ‘talking heads’ panels, but would sit through short ones. They were more interested in sneak peeks, performances, cool offsites, etc. They would be interested in seeing actors from properties they enjoyed, but weren’t as interested in 45 minutes of talking. But if that was interspersed with sneak previews or trailers or some such, they liked that. They enjoyed the interactive things to do at the offsites, like on the Bayfront lawn or the PetCo Interactive Zone. They liked going to the Exhibit Floor and picking up swag. I remember them meeting Sergio Aragones and loving it when he drew pictures of Groo for them. They also enjoyed the Quick Draw panel and the Nintendo offsite.

Make sure the child has a small backpack. Fill it with snacks and a couple of drinks (preferably a bottle with a cap so they can take small drinks and reseal it), some comics and maybe a device for playing games. That way they can eat when they are hungry and entertain themselves when in line. Do make sure that you take them to a proper sit down meal somewhere at least once a day.

If the child has a property they enjoy, help them dress up in costume or at least in a t-shirt related to that. It helps them feel involved and like a part of thof con as they go around.

I've been taking my kids (who are 4 & 7 now) since they were tiny. This is all great advice, and the one thing I would add is to make sure the kids have a little down time to be kids. Whether it's running around on the grounds between the Con & the Bayfront or checking out the stuff at Petco, they need time to relax and get some energy out in ways other than walking the halls don't allow. Snacks/distractions/electronics are all great ideas. Just remember to find time in your agenda for things that fit their agenda.

And yes, we totally dress them up as Daleks every year, because it's just fun.


Offline puppy

  • Room 6BCF
  • ***
  • Join Date: Apr 2018
  • Posts: 213
  • Liked: 71
Re: SDCC with a (cool) kid
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2019, 09:04:54 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I've been taking my kids (who are 4 & 7 now) since they were tiny. This is all great advice, and the one thing I would add is to make sure the kids have a little down time to be kids. Whether it's running around on the grounds between the Con & the Bayfront or checking out the stuff at Petco, they need time to relax and get some energy out in ways other than walking the halls don't allow. Snacks/distractions/electronics are all great ideas. Just remember to find time in your agenda for things that fit their agenda.

And yes, we totally dress them up as Daleks every year, because it's just fun.

We have been going to SDCC for about six years. My kids were 9 and 12 when they started, which is closer to the OP child's age.  These recommendations are great for young children, but at 11, I'll say they were quite excited about talking heads when the talking heads were talking about the cartoon shows or games that they liked.  I remember they loved the drawing panel, Steven Universe, Pokemon, and Simpsons panels.  They had long attention spans and didn't need the pampering (downtime, playtime, snack time, etc.) of younger children.  That's why I said Sunday.  That's the day that had all the more child-oriented panels.  And the Nintendo room.  My son spent at least one full day there every year, and my daughter got in at least a couple of hours.

Oh, and one more thing, my kids loved autographs.  And those stars go out of their way to give them cool autographs.  For me, I get a scribble.  For them, they get a whole cartoon drawing, fully personalized.  I got serious envy.   :P
« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 10:09:28 AM by puppy »

Online TossedSalad

  • Gaming Lounge
  • ****
  • Join Date: Mar 2015
  • Posts: 265
  • Greetings Programs!
  • Liked: 74
Re: SDCC with a (cool) kid
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2019, 01:31:05 AM »
Some really great tips and advice already given. My oldest son hasn’t come with me every year but the two times he came he’s loved it. He had just turned 12 last year and his highlight was definitely the Bumblebee panel as he got to ask John Cena a question and even did the “you can’t see me” to him and got Hall H laughing. He was also with me a couple of years ago and got to attend a Saturday Hall H Marvel panel which he loved. It was the GotG vol 2 year and when the Ravagers came out and walked through the aisles one of them stopped and gave him a high five. He’s been pretty mellow and just enjoyed whatever we did when he’s gone.

I guess just follow the previous commenters advice and that each kid is different. Hope he has a great time!
Fun isn’t something one considers when preparing for Comic-Con, but attending does put a smile on my face

Offline Islander009

  • Exhibit Hall
  • **
  • Join Date: Jan 2017
  • Posts: 57
  • Liked: 15
Re: SDCC with a (cool) kid
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2019, 06:10:05 AM »
There are some great tips already mentioned so I will just share a few things we did with our son since he is a bit younger than the OPs. My son started going to the con since he was 5 and attention span was almost non existent. So we did things like let him dress up in his favorite character T-shirts and made it appoint to check out booths with his favorite shows. We also made it appoint to roam around Bayfront and the halls of the convention to see all the amazing cosplays. He loved seeing all the work put into the costumes. Then when things got crazy we would wander artist alley as there are quite a few artists that like seeing kids ooh and ahh at their work. Nintendo room was a must. Kid friendly offsites like Laika and some of the petco events were fun for him as well. As to panels we knew he wouldn’t want to sit in on them so whenever we could check out a sneak peak of a show we would try that. But one thing I didn’t see mentioned and worth it is if the OPs child likes board games there is a board game room for attendees to play. Sometimes they could stay hours learning a new board game and it’s usually pretty fun.

Offline perc2100

  • Pre-Registration
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 2339
  • Liked: 625
Re: SDCC with a (cool) kid
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2019, 11:10:36 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I'm a convention vet - been going for decades. But this time is the first time I'm going to be attending the entire show W-Sun with my nephew, who's 11 years old.

I'd appreciate any ideas or tips from folks who've gone with kids in tow, as well as any panels that might be more kid-friendly.

Thanks in advance!
Fun times; I've been going with my older kid (17 this summer) now for most of his life.  Obviously everything depends on the temperament of you nephew, but some times that worked like gang-busters for my kid at that age:
* backpack with plenty of activities: books, comics, game devices, tablets, etc.  Stuff to do while waiting in line or if something is going on that is "boring" in a panel the two of you are in together (remember CCI security get snippy if you have a tablet or phone on while they screen footage).
* snacks in their backpack w/water
* try to take either blocks of the day, or even a full day or two, where THEY get to call the shots on what to do.  For me, Thurs-Sat. were panel days that I generally dictated, but I let my kid lead the way in the Exhibit Hall most of the time, and let them pick what to do on Sunday.  As my kid got older and our tastes differed more I let him be more independent, but at 11 I was letting him pick some panels and what not: giving him 'ownership' of the experience a little bit goes a LONG way when asking him to sit through a panel or two they might not care about.

I always tried to think of ways to get my kid a little bit of freedom when I could, and in my experience he was very laid back about other stuff that I wanted to do.  I still do that, and that sometimes means hanging out for awhile while he demos video games or something I'm not into but it means a lot to him

Offline Jesse O

  • Freebie Table
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2014
  • Posts: 26
  • Liked: 12
Re: SDCC with a (cool) kid
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2019, 11:19:40 AM »
Really appreciate that advice. He already asked me if he could wear a costume of one of his favorite video game characters one day. I told him yes (of course), but then went ahead and downloaded the game so we could talk about it at the con (I suck at it, btw). I love the idea of giving him choices to what we’ll do together - I’m sure it’ll make for an easier experience.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Fun times; I've been going with my older kid (17 this summer) now for most of his life.  Obviously everything depends on the temperament of you nephew, but some times that worked like gang-busters for my kid at that age:
* backpack with plenty of activities: books, comics, game devices, tablets, etc.  Stuff to do while waiting in line or if something is going on that is "boring" in a panel the two of you are in together (remember CCI security get snippy if you have a tablet or phone on while they screen footage).
* snacks in their backpack w/water
* try to take either blocks of the day, or even a full day or two, where THEY get to call the shots on what to do.  For me, Thurs-Sat. were panel days that I generally dictated, but I let my kid lead the way in the Exhibit Hall most of the time, and let them pick what to do on Sunday.  As my kid got older and our tastes differed more I let him be more independent, but at 11 I was letting him pick some panels and what not: giving him 'ownership' of the experience a little bit goes a LONG way when asking him to sit through a panel or two they might not care about.

I always tried to think of ways to get my kid a little bit of freedom when I could, and in my experience he was very laid back about other stuff that I wanted to do.  I still do that, and that sometimes means hanging out for awhile while he demos video games or something I'm not into but it means a lot to him

Offline Transmute Jun

  • Moderator
  • Stan Lee's Hospitality Suite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 20757
  • Queen of the Bird Missiles
  • Liked: 7141
Re: SDCC with a (cool) kid
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2019, 11:38:13 AM »
Jesse, is it a current game? It's possible the game developer might be at SDCC. If so, they might love seeing a kid coming up in a costume from one of their games.

Offline Jesse O

  • Freebie Table
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2014
  • Posts: 26
  • Liked: 12
Re: SDCC with a (cool) kid
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2019, 12:07:50 PM »
Great idea. It’s Undertale by Toby Fox. I know he’s currently working on another game (Deltarune). Don’t know if he does the con circuit. I’ll check it out.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Jesse, is it a current game? It's possible the game developer might be at SDCC. If so, they might love seeing a kid coming up in a costume from one of their games.

Online Angel_

  • Volunteer HQ
  • ******
  • Join Date: Dec 2012
  • Posts: 4191
  • Aizawa Enthusiast
    • The Geekiary
  • Liked: 1472
Re: SDCC with a (cool) kid
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2019, 12:27:38 PM »
I don't have kids so I do defer to the people with kids who have posted here more than myself.  I'm coming at this as someone who has been going to cons consistently since I was 10. 

My first con was one of those fandom specific (Xena) cons that's basically all talking head panels and autographs.  I loved it so much I decided to keep going to cons for the rest of my life.  I do recall the footage of the upcoming episodes that they showed far more than anything anyone said, though.  And I remember meeting Lucy Lawless and crying with excitement.  While every kid is different, I do think these types of visual and in person experiences will stick with them for a long time and possibly make them con lifers like us, haha.  I met my "hero" and I'll never forget it.

As I got older and started going to cons on my own around 14 or 15 years old I was way more into cosplay and video rooms where I could just chill and watch videos all day. I mainly just wanted to hang out and chat about stuff and not spend a lot of money.  I didn't have a lot of cash to spend in the exhibit hall and I wasn't too interested in sitting in a panel room where I just listened to other people talk.

Now as an adult, I'm aaaaaall about the panels.  I plan my convention experience around panels.  And in my free time I prowl artists alleys (though surprisingly less so at SDCC than my local cons) to help support local artists since I have a bit more disposable income now than I did as a teen.

Strange how interests change over the years!

But yes, my experience isn't one size fits all for sure.  Kids have their own interests and own levels of patience.  And those interests will change depending on not just their personality, but their age.  The stuff I enjoy now would not be stuff 10 year old me would enjoy.  Ten year old me would be horrified that I frequently camp out on concrete for hours just to sit in a room for even more hours and listen to other people talk about things.

Good luck and have fun!
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Offline Transmute Jun

  • Moderator
  • Stan Lee's Hospitality Suite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 20757
  • Queen of the Bird Missiles
  • Liked: 7141
Re: SDCC with a (cool) kid
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2019, 12:55:15 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Great idea. It’s Undertale by Toby Fox. I know he’s currently working on another game (Deltarune). Don’t know if he does the con circuit. I’ll check it out.

Oh man, my kids loved Undertale when it came out. It was all 'Sans and Papyrus' for months and months! I'm not certain if Toby Fox attends SDCC or not, but it's certainly worth investigating. He may appear on a panel or so a signing or some such, even if he doesn't officially have a booth.