For the second year in a row, we’ll be making the journey down to San Diego for the annual San Diego Comic Con… but we’re not going to the show. The actual Con is notoriously hard to get into (not to mention trying to get a hotel room) and the idea of waiting outside of Hall H for 12 hours isn’t quite our cup of tea. Thousands of people are into that, however, and if you were able to score badge, we salute you! But if you’re like us or you’re among those who didn’t make the cut—never fear! There are dozens of offsite events that happen during SDCC that are totally worth checking out. Last year, we featured 5 awesome offsite things to do, and this year we had to feature 10 because there were too many good ones!

1. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Laser Tag

Dates: Thursday, July 24 to Sunday, July 27 

Location: Top Floor of Petco Park

Um, yeah you read that right. Borderlands. LASER TAG. In anticipation for the upcoming Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, 2K Games and Gearbox have teamed up with Nerdist to bring a massive a massive game of laser tag to the top floor of neighboring Petco Park. Games are held 11 AM to 5 PM daily, with 25 vs. 25 players facing off against each other three games an hour. There will be special matches for Borderlands cosplayers (hoping to see some of the amazing group from London Comic Con), special guests like Chris Hardwick, Jessica Chobot and President of Gearbox Randy Pitchford, and a lot more! And good news—it’s open to anyone (but SDCC badge holders get priority access)! Perhaps we’ll see you there… and kick your suckerbutts at laser tag.


2. Assassin’s Creed Experience

Dates: Thursday, July 24 to Sunday, July 27

Location: M.L. King Promenade Park 

Have you ever been playing Assassin’s Creed, running along rooftops, scaling buildings, bravely diving off the tallest ledges, and thought, “Yo, I could do this.” Wanna put that to the test? Ubisoft—who had a fun presence at last year’s Con with a Black Flag themed scavenger hunt—will be setting up an Assassin’s Creed obstacle course just down the way from the Convention Center that was designed with the help of Tempest Freerunning and will feature a 25-foot Leap of Faith. Those who can complete the course will get a limited edition t-shirt. You can also play the latest AC demo and pre-order AC: Unity on site. For full details, check out the Ubisoft blog.

3. Her Universe Geek Couture Fashion Show

Date: Thursday, July 24 6 PM-9PM

Location: Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel

Star Wars: The Clone Wars alum Ashley Eckstein sure has taken the geek fashion world by storm with Her Universe! And Her Universe is entering the world of couture with a geektastic fashion show during preview night! In March, a design contest was announced which called for aspiring designers to submit geek couture or ready-to-wear fashion designs, with 30 contestants picked to participate in the show. There are no tickets available to the show (entry is on a first come, first serve basis) and is free to SDCC badge holders.

4. Geek & Sundry at Jolt’n Joes

Dates: Thursday, July 24 to Friday, July 25 10 AM-2 AM

Location: Jolt’n Joes

Once again, Felicia Day’s Geek & Sundry will be chillin at Jolt’n Joes in the nearby Gaslamp Quarter. This fan event includes everything from video games and tabletop games, special previews of  new and ongoing Geek & Sundry shows, panels and some awesome parties. Prepare to be rubbing elbows (quite literally, we hear it can get packed) with Felicia, Will Wheaton, the bloggers and other guests! Check out the full schedule and RSVP to some of the lounge’s events on Geek & Sundry. Good news, it’s all free!


5. Gotham Zip Line & UBER Rides

Dates: Thursday, July 24 to Sunday, July 27 

Location: Between the Convention Center and Hilton Bayfront Hotel

Gotham is one of the fall’s most anticipated shows, and—along with premiering the show on Saturday—Warner Bros. wants to immerse fans in Gotham with a zip lining experience. Fans can zip line 130 feet from 30 feet up through the Gotham skyline and get a sharable photo and SDCC Gotham badge. After you’re done zip lining maybe you need a ride to another great offsite experience. Users of UBER will have the option of requesting a special Gotham PD branded car to pick them up for free (and new users of UBER who sign up with code GOTHAMPD also get their first ride outside of SDCC free up to $30). The cars will also be outfitted with iPads containing special Gotham content.


6. Gam3rCon

Dates: Thursday, July 24 to Sunday, July 27 

Location: Tenth Avenue Arts Center

If you didn’t get tickets to SDCC or you’re looking for a chill place to get away from the crowds, check out Gam3rCon. We went last year and it was a cool, fan-centered Con. Held about a 20 minute walk from the Convention Center, Gam3rCon features 4 floors of console, PC, tabletop and retro games, and a sweet rooftop area that hosts musical acts and parties throughout the Con. The price is great and it’s a really family friendly event.

7. Danny Elfman’s Music From The Films of Tim Burton

Dates: Friday, July 25 at 8:00 PM

Location: Embarcadero Marina Park South

If you’re a Tim Burton or a Danny Elfman fan, you probably don’t want to miss this. Performed by the San Diego Symphony, this concert features the music from some of Elfman and Burton’s best collaborations such as BeetlejuiceEdward ScissorhandsBatman, Batman Returns, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Alice in Wonderland, accompanied by original storyboard and sketches. Tickets range from $25 to $90. 


Nerd HQ

8. Nerd HQ

Dates: Thursday, July 24 to Sunday, July 27 

Location: Petco Park 

There are just too many great things that go on at Nerd HQ to talk about them all. Aside from the high-profile and highly anticipated panels—which have included the likes of Matt Smith, Zachary Quinto, Felicia Day, Tatiana Maslany and Tom Hiddleston in the past—Nerd HQ also hosts gaming demos, fan meet ups and a geek dance party! And, of course, the proceeds to the popular “Conversations for a Cause” benefit Operation Smile.


9. The Walking Dead Escape

Dates: Friday, July 25 and Saturday, July 26 from 6 PM to 11:55 PM

Location: Petco Park

If running, jumping and hiding in the dark is your thing, you should check out The Walking Dead Escape. You may have seen this event at other Cons, but somehow running through a darkened Petco Park gives it some extra thrills. Run the course as a long survivor or as a team and try to survive! Tickets are available for Survivors, Walkers, as well as Spectators.

Heroes Brew

10. Heroes Brew Craft Beer Festival 

Date: Saturday, July 26 from 4PM to 7PM

Location: Embarcadero Park North

There are a lot of things you can be geeky about. Comic books, trading card games, video games, cosplay… and even beer. The Heroes Craft Beer Festival is back to combine our love of geek culture and nice, cold beer with a three hour beer festival, complete with food trucks, cosplay contests, and live music. And like Nerd HQ, this fun event also goes to benefit a good cause, in this case the Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station. Tickets range from $20 to $55. 

Which offsite events are you looking forward to/planning on attending? For a bigger list of offsite events, check out the Unofficial SDCC Blog. See you around San Diego!

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Co-Founder at Wrong Button Media
Emily Kelley is a writer, actress, video game junkie, comic book nerd, and future galactic war hero. She lives in Los Angeles and spends most of her time at the Disney Interactive office. Along with being a multiple award winning journalist, she is an avid RPGer, cosplay noob, and mother to two beautiful cats.
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