2019 marks our second year of attending Awesome Con as a family. We took our two boys to Awesome Con for the first time ever last year and it was a huge success! My boys are super stoked to return again this year. We already have tickets and are planning out our costumes and mapping out a schedule. I hope that this article will help families in their planning by offering tips and tricks for attending this amazing family friendly event.
WHAT IS AWESOME CON JR
Awesome Con is a comic convention that comes to Washington, DC each spring to showcase all aspects of geekdom and pop culture, with a wide assortment of comic books, collectibles, toys, games, original art, cosplay, and more. This year the event will take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center April 26 – April 28, 2019. Awesome Con welcomes the whole family, with three days of events and activities perfect to share with the kids as they have incorporated Awesome Con Jr for the third year in a row. Awesome Con Jr is a family-focused section within Awesome Con. Awesome Con Jr will provide hours of fun with entertaining and educational programs just for kids including interactive opportunities, a kids costume parade, and more!
I’m very excited that this year Awesome Con Jr has partnered with The Toy Association and will include Playfair as a part of the convention this year!!! The Toy Association’s goal is to bring the joy of play to families. With hands-on exhibits, awe-inspiring displays, dozens of toy and entertainment brands, and never-before-seen exclusives, attendees can feel, touch, and take home their favorite toys and games — and be the first to glimpse the toys of tomorrow!
FAVORITE ACTIVITIES FROM LAST YEAR
Much of the entertaining for the kids is in the exhibit hall in the block of aisles designated for Awesome Con Jr and Playfair. Check your schedule for special guests, characters and events so that you don’t miss out on the fun things happening in this area. There are some great booths last year that I hope to see again this year. Here is a look at activities to expect.
- Hands on activity centers
- Art programs including; drawing lessons, contests and more.
- Meet your favorite characters.
- Visit booths and get free swag and enter giveaways!
- Check out the Backlot stage
- Be prepared to find toys to take home.
- Visit museum and learn about movie costumes and props.
- Hands on science activities.
- Check out the gaming room! Try out new games or play your favorites in the arcade. There is a board game room too!
There are a variety of ticketing packages. This year there is a special kids pass that provides admission for children aged 3 to 10 years old, all three days at Awesome Con for only $15. All tickets for Awesome Con are good for both Play Fair DC and Awesome Con 2019. Daily admission price for adults start at $40. Visit their site for more information. Last year Certifikid had a special offer, so be on the look out. I hope to have a special discount code posted soon.
TRAVELING INTO DC
There are two good options when it comes to traveling to the Washington Convention Center. You can drive and park within a block from the convention center or take the metro into town. We parked in the garage under the Renaissance Hotel on 9th Street. You will spend about $15-20 to park near the convention center. If you take the metro you will want to ride it to the Mt. Vernon Station on 7th street.
PICKING UP YOUR PASSES
Once you walk through security to have your bags checked, you will make your way upstairs to Registration in Hall E. You might get nervous when you see the check-in line. However, it will go super fast! Last year, we were in and out with badges in hand with-in ten minutes. If you are worried about attention spans while waiting, you can bring a small toy or snack to keep them occupied. Bring a permanent marker with you or ask for a market at registration. Once you get your pass write your name and phone number on your children’s badge just in case you should get separated. This is unlikely to happen; however, it’s always good to be prepared.
- Have a goal: This is my biggest tip! When taking your kids you should consider what you want the experience to be about. Check out the map and schedule of events to pick a few things you hope to do. It’s impossible to do everything, especially with little ones in tow. Having a plan before going will make your trip less stressful and more enjoyable.
- Go in Costume- Let your kids pick what they would like to go as. Cosplay is a huge part of the experience, going in costume really makes the trip special and more fun. You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money on them, simple homemade or store-bought costumes are fine.
- Bring a camera and take advantage of photo opportunities: Taking photos is one of the best parts. I love watching everyone in costume and I’ve noticed kids and even adults too get very excited about having their picture taken with favorite characters. You will find that there is a huge sense of community and many fans dressed in costume are happy to pose for a shot.
- Pack Snacks & Drinks: The food at the convention hall is insanely expensive and lines for food can be very long. I suggest throwing some water bottles or juice boxes and some easy snacks like granola bars, string cheese and fruit for snacks. Be sure to eat a good meal before going; while there eat what you’ve packed than head out to a nearby restaurant for dinner.
- Lost Plan: Before entering the hall, have a pre-designated meeting space in case you get separated.
- Set a Spending Limit: Conventions are like a glorified shopping excursion. Remember to set a budget and limit to spending.
- Avoid becoming overwhelmed: conventions are huge. It is very crowded so be sure to pay attention to your little ones needs. If you notice they are becoming overwhelmed take a break in the quiet room or call it a day.
- Purchase tickets ahead of time: Be on the look out for coupon codes that make it free for kids ages 10 and under to attend the convention with an accompanying adult.
- Be open to meeting new friends. My little’s were so excited to find new friends with similar interests.
AWESOME CON INFORMATION
April 26-28, 2019
Friday: 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am to 7:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am to 5:00pm
Walter E. Washington Convention Center- 801 Mt Vernon Pl NW
Washington, DC 20001
Cost: Adult Admission $40-55 Day Pass/ $80 3-Day Pass/ Kids Ages 3-10 $15 3-Day Pass
Discount Code: Coming Soon
Update- The winner is Michelle Nichols of Waldorf
One lucky family will win four tickets to attend Awesome Con 2019 on Sunday April 28, 2019. To enter:
- LIKE the post
- COMMENT your favorite Comic book character of all time
- TAG a friend, maybe they will invite you to tag along with them if they win?
- Giveaway closes April 10, 2019 at 9 AM
***Thank you Awesome Con for donating tickets. The Playful Parent is not paid to write articles or given money for affiliate links. All pictures and content belong to The Playful Parent and information presented are my own unbiased opinion. ***