Whether your jam is Oz Comic Con, Nexus or Supanova, convention season is definitely upon us here in the land of Oz. Conventions can be hard to navigate at the best of times, and doubly so when you are toting a toddler with you. Here is my essential Convention Survival Guide for anyone bringing the kidlets along for some geektastic fun.
#1 – Do Your Research
Check out the con’s website ahead of time and look for chill out spaces, or quiet zones. Oz Comic Con for example had chill out spaces available – a small area with puzzles, and a more isolated room where people could sit without the constant sensory overload that is the convention floor. We all know that toddlers get over stimulated, so make sure you know where to find a place for them to power down for a little while. Word to the wise: also make sure to check the con’s website ahead of time, because some of them frown on prams.
#2 – Be Prepaaaaaaaared
Most food at cons is pretty over priced and even more unhealthy. Make sure to take water and some protein heavy snacks with you. Kids need fuel for all that walking!
#3 – Tool Up
Go out and treat yoself and make sure you have a good bag to hold everything you need to keep the fam bam going. You can get some pretty awesome kit on the internet to assist you, whether it be the Convention Bag of Holding or the Ultimate Convention Hoodie to keep all the things you buy. Conventions are really created to sell stuff, so make sure to allow a small budget for your child to spend on some of the coolness on display to save on tantrums.
#4 – Take It Slow
I am super guilty of overplanning and overscheduling, but don’t make my mistakes. Don’t try and see all the things and do all the panels and get all the autographs. Conventions are really overwhelming for little people, so if it’s the first time, maybe just try for a few hours. You can get a weekend pass to most cons, so you can always come back the next day for some things you missed.
#5 – Snappy Snap Snap.
Take all the pictures – your child has the opportunity to meet Harley Quinn, Merida and Pikachu all in one place, so snap away but please do ask permission before taking pictures of cosplayers. It’s only polite and most of them are quite happy to help you out. If you’ve got a Star Wars fan in the family, seek out the 501st Legion and thank me later. Their selfie skills are next level.
What’s your best tip for taking the kidlets somewhere crowded and busy?