Your Ultimate Guide To A Family Weekend At Phoenix Comicon

your ultimate guide to a family weekend at phoenix comicon

Phoenix Comicon is just 14 days away and if you’re anything like me, you’re planning your days out to a “T.” Since being established in 2002 the Con has grown in size and most recently has expanded into more buildings in the convention center area. With over 700 exhibitors, more than 30 geek celebrity encounters, photo ops, and panels, not to mention kid events it can get a little overwhelming!

Lucky for you, I’ve planned out the perfect weekend that provides perfect balance between family time and “adult” time. While this list is specifically laid out and curated for nerds and geeks with kids, do take note that I haven’t included any guest panels, photo ops, etc. These times usually change as Phoenix Comicon weekend draws closer and it’s important to incorporate your Celebrity viewing plans into the days laid out below. Lines get long for photo ops and autograph signings so work as a team and maybe have someone wait in line while you entertain the kids.

Here’s a comprehensive weekend plan for geek families of all ages! Download the Phoenix Comicon app and be the hero. Alright, here we go!

stephen colbert

Thursday – Day One

I like to arrive alive to comicon so I’ll be pulling up and parking early so I can ensure I’m not waiting in the unbearable Arizona heat. Typically this day is a little less crowded than others so if you’re right on time, that’s cool too.

GEEK TIP: Don’t show off your awesome cosplay yet, suit up in a fun outfit or t-shirt and get your bearings first.

10 AM – Line up and grab your passes. With record breaking heat last year you’ll want to make sure you’re there early and avoid the sweaty kid problem.

10:30 AM – Once you’ve grabbed your passes hit up the exhibitor floor, get your bearings and double check your costumes – everything still intact?  

ALTERNATIVE PLAN  10:30 AM – If you’re child is 6 years or older go to the Saber Academy.

11:30 AM – Nerdlings Storytime

12 PM – Take a lunch break Where? Head over to a local restaurant or food truck through the West building….do not waste cash on food court crap. Your little Youngling will thank you.

1 PM – Miss the first Nerdling Story Time? Here’s round two!

1:30 PM – If you caught storytime head over Swish & Flick. Learn how to cast spells and indulge your inner Harry Potter nerd.

3 PM – Kids Cosplay! Show off your mini me’s costume and let them romp and play with all the other Jerries – I mean….kids.

ALTERNATIVE PLANS – 3 PM – Maskmaking 101. Learn to make awesome superhero masks and inspire your little Thor to get creative.

4:30 PM – 7:30 PM – Head to Burton Barr Library and create nerdy crafts, indulge in comic book stories and learn to create!

ALTERNATIVE PLANS  4:30 – 5:30 PM – Build a Robot with Sylvan learning.

End of Day one! By the end of either building a little R2D2 or crafting something in the library your little prince or princess will be exhausted and out of energy. Go home and recharge for Day two.

rick and morty

Friday  – Day Two

Friday’s are super fun at Comicon. Everyone got the day off work and has suited up in their best and worst cosplay outfits. You can find Fox and I dressed up as alternate reality Rick and Morty. Give me slack all you want but you know deep down inside you wish you thought of that.

GEEK TIP: Park in a garage that’s close by. Yes, parking is expensive but if you’re dressing up in cosplay you’re not going to wanna sweat your butt off walking into the con and ruining whatever getup you have on.

10:30 AM – Hit up the Lego Lounge and work on those gross motor skills by building a skyscraper for your superhero to climb. The Lego Lounge is open until 2:30 PM today so feel free to stay a while and little the lego awesomeness overcome you.

10:30 AM – Experts from East Valley Krav Maga’s Young Warrior program can teach your kids how to do some superhero moves. Young sidekicks will punch, kick and jump their way through age appropriate superhero training in a safe and fun session.

10:30 AM – What Pokemon Are You? For an entire hour indulge yourself in some real life Pokemon GO!

11 AM – Face Painting! What kid doesn’t like their face painted? If your little one dressed up or is missing a little flair today head over and geek it up.

12 PM – Your little Ariel will LOVE diving into the world of Mermaid Odette and putting together ocean themed crafts and listening to tales of the sea.

1 PM – Lunch break! Maybe you packed some pokepuffs today, head over to a quiet place and eat up!

2 PM – Harry Potter Astronomy. Need I say more?

4 PM – Hit the Lego Lounge for some downtime. Alternatively go down into the depths of the vendors and exhibitors.

6 PM – Sit back and relax as you watch Syndicate Saber present a spectacular and action-packed lightsaber duel show. All of the chapters of Arizona’s premier lightsaber group come together to show off their skills and demonstrate each of the seven styles of lightsaber combat.

7 PM – Head home and replenish your engine. Saturday the kids stay home while the adults come out to play.

daenerys targaryen

Saturday – Day Three

See ya later younglings! Mom, Dad, and the entire adult crew will rule this day! Find me and my gang ditching the kids with the grandparents for a little geek break. I’ll be cosplaying as Daenerys Targaryen this day. 

Wake up and grab brunch in costume at Mother Brunch Brew, the Breakfast Club, or anywhere around the convention center, then head off into the great day. 

GEEK TIP: Make sure to bring along an extra set of clothes just in case. You never know what could happen on Adult day. It’s a wild card.

10:30 AM – Alan Tudyk Signing. Okay I lied earlier, but Alan Tudyk is my personal choice for signing and panelists. He has options available on both Saturday and Sunday so if you miss out on one day you’ll have an alternative. Here’s his Saturday schedule:

10:30AM – Signing

1:30PM – Con Man Panel | West 301BCD

3:00PM – Signing

4:30PM – Photo Op

5:00PM – Signing

10:30 AM – Winter is coming. This is the only Game of Thrones panel I’ve been able to find and they discuss the science behind GoT. Get ready for July with this sweet panel!

12 PM – The Last Jedi and the future of Star Wars is up for discussion in this panel. Hosts of the podcasts “The Wampa’s Lair”, “Star Wars: The Saga Continues”, and “The Animanicast” discuss what Star Wars has in store for us in the coming years, including the next chapter and standalone movies.

1:30 PM – Need to figure out how everyone makes amazing Cosplay costumes and props? A 3D Printing workshop is just right for you.

ALTERNATIVE PLANS 1:30 PM Zombie lovers this one’s for you. Talking Dead AZ hosts a panel on the theories surrounding The Walking Dead.

3 PM – Indulge your left brain with a science talk on Light. As one of the most important tools in research and development. Using it, scientists can see into the depths of space or the components of a cell.

ALTERNATIVE PLANS 3 PM The Legacy of the Stroomtrooper. Need I say more? Okay, maybe I do. Get up close to more than 15 screen-accurate costumed variants of the Stormtrooper, including three new versions from “Rogue One” and three from “The Force Awakens.” Whether your favorite is the Deathtrooper, the Shoretrooper or the classic Stormtrooper, you’ll be sure to walk away eager to suit up and serve!

5 PM – Dr. Horrible shook us. Sing along during this panel and get super geeky.

6 PM – Geeky foodie? No prob. For anyone who has ever wondered where they can dine with a ghost. Take this haunted tour from the comfort of your chair with The MVD Ghostchasers as they tell the tales of Arizona’s most haunted eating establishments. See what’s on the menu for your next ghostly adventure! Bone Appetit!

ALTERNATIVE PLANS 6 PM – Zelda fans unite! Discuss the entire game series and start to finish with this amazing Legend of Zelda Panel.

6 PM – Go into the upside down and discuss the upcoming season of STRANGER THINGS.

7:30 PM – Poet and didn’t know it? Rap or beat in a geeky Poetry Slam contest and see who shall reign supreme.

ALTERNATIVE PLANS 7:30 – 8:30 PM – Always wanted to learn a few Irish jigs or English step dances? Now’s your chance. Join this Social Event and learn to dance.

9 PM – Screw Tempe Improv, hit up a FREE comedy show at Comicon. It’s almost an alliteration. Be barraged by a horde of nerdy local comedians regaling you with tales of the things that matter most in life: comic books and video games.

Whether you stayed for the comedy show, got drunk with Deadpool, or hit up a few balls, the night is dark and full of terrors and Sunday is your final day. Go home and rest ye weary head.

baby groot

Sunday – The Final Day

After a fun-filled adult based Saturday, bring the tyke along for one last hoorah.

GEEK TIP: Make your last minute purchases the moment you arrive today. Everything is last call and you won’t want to miss out on anything you’ve had your eye on.

10:30 AM – Hit it hard ‘cause it’s MORPHIN’ TIME!

Enjoy a little shopping and take Baby Groot to check out the vendors. Pick up some comicbooks, a princess dress or two, and grab that blaster they’ve been eyeing all weekend long.

12:30 PM – If your kid(s) dressed up for this final day boost their confidence in the Cosplay Fashion show.

1:30 PM – If your family is like mine and watches Star Wars Rebels hit up this low-key panel for a season three recap and interject with your fan theories.

ALTERNATIVE PLANS 1:30 PM Not a Star Wars fan? Totes okay. Join Poppy and Branch for a Trolls mask making workshop and fight the feelin’.

End the day on a shopping note. Visit the rest of the exhibitors you may have missed over the weekend and make your last minute purchases / pick up that super awesome painting you’ll be hanging over your couch.


Do you have any Comicon weekend recommendations? Share them in the comments below and release your inner geek with Travel Foodie Mom during the Phoenix Comicon Weekend. Tickets are still on sale and are available for purchase onsite day of the event.

Your Ultimate Guide To A Family Weekend At Phoenix Comicon

Your Ultimate Guide To A Family Weekend At Phoenix Comicon

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Sarah is the co-founder of Travel Foodie Mom, The Blonde Spot, and podcast host for Monday Morning Mimosas and Nerd Biscuit (coming soon). She believes life is better when you can embrace and she does just that.

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