Wishing you could attend Comic-Con International this year, but you weren’t able to score a coveted badge? Zoiks! We hear you––Comic-Con badges are nearly impossible to snag these days, selling out long before the big event. But that doesn’t mean you need to miss out on the entire experience! Head on downtown anyway for fab photo opportunities and tons of fun happening right outside the convention center. Don your superhero costumes alongside your little sidekicks and click through our slideshow of events for the ultimate in Comic-Con festivities. No badges required!

Nintendo Gaming Lounge

Gaming giant Nintendo is back again this year, with one of the most popular offsite events at Comic- Con. Allow plenty of play time here, as this event gets busy. The Nintendo Gaming Lounge is located at the Marriott Marquis & Marina and will feature several popular games and titles, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2, Pokémon Sun, Pokémon Moon, Super Mario Maker and more. If your kiddos are dying to get their hands on the new Nintendo Switch console, this is the perfect time to check it out! There are also opportunities to earn cool prizes and to have awesome photo ops with your favorite Nintendo characters.

Fans can stop by the Nintendo Gaming Lounge on Thurs., July 20 – Sun., July 23 (exact hours haven’t yet been revealed, but in the past, the schedule has been 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Thurs.-Sat., and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sun.).

Photo: Marissa Mullen

Comic-Con Insider Tips

  • Be prepared for large crowds!
  • Be sure to check out the area around PETCO Park for kid-friendly activities.
  • There are always fun attractions on the front lawn of the Hilton Bayfront Hotel. This is also a good place to let the kiddos run around. And remember the sunscreen!
  • Don’t forget your camera! Right outside the convention center itself, you’ll see throngs of people in elaborate costumes and fun displays.

Which offsite Comic-Con events are you planning on going to? Let us know in the comments!

— Marissa Mullen