Comic-Con week is here! Downtown has been invaded by your favorite superheroes and there is so much to do and see. While you do need a badge to get into the convention center itself, there are plenty of activities outside of Comic-Con your family can check out without a badge and some of them are totally free.
Adult Swim Festival on the Green
Thursday, July 20 to Saturday, July 22, Times vary | 5th Avenue Landing
Behind the Convention Center, Adult Swim has their yearly massive setup including live music, comedy shows, games and more on the lineup for this free event. All reserveable spots are taken but a stand-by line will be available each day for those 18 and up.
Casa Mexico at Comic-Con
Thursday, July 21 to Sunday, July 23, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. | Seaport Villiage
Seaport Village is getting into the Comic-Con spirit with live music, delicious authentic cuisine and an exhibition featuring the Mexican comic artist Rius.
Thursday, July 20 to Sunday, July 23, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. | Gaslamp Quarter
It’s not Comic-Con season without Snoopy! This year, they’ll be in the Gaslamp for a free pop-up experience at 200 J. Street, Suite 105. There will be all kinds of camp activities for the whole family including bird spotting with Snoopy, learning to read a compass and mailing a letter — just like camp.
Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Balboa Park
If you haven’t been to the Comic-Con Museum yet, this is the perfect time for a visit. You can get all the fun of the con, without dealing with the parking issues downtown. You can check out the new exhibits added for the event including one dedicated to comic book legend Stan Lee and the anime series “Cowboy Bebop.” Tickets cost $25 for adults, $12 for children and $18 for students, seniors and military members. During this time the Comic-Con Museum will also be running the If/Then STEAM Fair with a ton of hands-on activities and all included with the price of admission.
The Lodge: A Paramount+ Experience
Wednesday, July 19 to Friday, July 21, Times vary | Happy Does Bar (Gaslamp Quarter)
Some of the most popular shows on Paramount+ will have some fun activations in the Gaslamp including Spongebob Squarepants, Star Trek and Transformers! Also, if you’re a 90’s kid you are going to LOVE the Good Burger experience! Reservations are recommended but a stand-by line will also be available.
Petco Park Interactive Zone
Thursday, July 20 to Sunday, July 23, Times vary | Lexus Premiere Lot
The Petco Park Interactive Zone is always a favorite of locals during Comic-Con. There is always a TON of stuff to do and most of it is free. This year those experiences will include the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck, GNC vitamin company will debut new flavors inspired by iconic Marvel superheroes and be on the lookout for “Attack of the Metallic Menace”, a ten foot metal monster created in the style of Kaiju monsters by Fandom. It’s also a great spot to find some fabulous San Diego food trucks.
SDCC Art Show
Thursday, July 20 through Sunday, July 23, Times vary | Manchester Grand Hyatt
Talented artists enter original drawings, paintings, sculptures and more into this annual show at the Manchester Grand Hotel lobby level. Books and comics nominated for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards are also on display. The art hall is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Sonic the Hedgehog Speed Cafe
Monday, July 19 to Aug. 20, times vary | 910 J St Space 2, San Diego
A pop-up cafe is coming for San Diego Comic-Con to bring fans a taste of what it’s like to dine in the SEGA world.The Menu includes Sonic’s Classic Chili Dog, a fried chicken sandwich called Knuckles Sandwich the Flying Tox, a mango orange slushie drink and much more. Meals are packaged in special Sonic-themed branding and merch will also be available for purchase. Visit the cafe 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 13-18 and July 24 -Aug. 20; and 11 a.m. to midnight July 19-23.
Step Into Jurassic Park
Friday and Saturday, July 21 & 22, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. | Luce Cielo (Gaslamp)
Universal and Amblin Entertainment are bringing dinosaurs to San Diego for two days only to celebrate the Steven Spielberg movie’s 30th anniversary. Reservations for the event are filled but a standby line will be available.