How To Survive A Comic Con With Littles
It’s been a crazy busy year so far! A lot has changed, good changes, but I have neglected this blog. Well we attended Salt Lake City’s FanX event last week and now that it’s over I had some thoughts. First of all, we enjoy being around people who are as nerdy as us. Not to mention it’s just fun having an event to go to where we can go and be ourselves. We also have two adorable and most of the time rambunctious little children. So, we often have to evaluate if the events we want to enjoy are something we want to bring our kids to. I love being able to let my kids come nerd out with us. It’s a fun family time activity filled with precious memories. However, when your little ones are 2 and 4 (we’ve been going since these two were babies) fun can turn into exhausting pretty quickly. After taking kids with us for a couple of years I feel like people are always asking how do you enjoy cons with small kids.
Could we find babysitters and ditch our kids during the entire convention? I’m sure we could. But, being the mom I am, I feel guilty leaving them behind for an entire weekend. Life is a lot easier if we either don’t go with them or don’t go at all. However, that makes life boring in my opinion. So, call me crazy but I Like to think that cons give me an excuse to be able to educate my kids in all things nerdy. So how do you survive and even enjoy yourself at conventions with babies and toddlers? Here’s what I have learned from our experiences so far.
- Get your kids excited about the event.
Sometimes kids aren’t as excited as you are to go to events you want to go to. Tell them all about the cool stuff they will get to do and see. We told Alissa about all of the princesses that were going to be there. She was also excited to get her Jedi outfit on even though it wasn’t Halloween. Getting your kids excited about the event give both of you something to be excited for instead of dreading.
- Pack lots of extra everything.
I don’t think there is such a thing as over prepared when it comes to going’s out with babies and toddlers…. And there is usually still something you need that you didn’t foresee anyways. So, make sure you have plenty of diapers, extra clothes, and snacks. Lots of snacks! Having plenty of snacks helped our kids not be as grumpy. It feels like a lot to haul around, but it will save your sanity many times.
- Know the locations of baby and small kid zones.
Know where the family rooms are so when that dreaded blow out or potty accident happens, you’ll know where to run. It’s very likely that kids will get overwhelmed with all of the excitement so it’s nice to have a space to decompress for a while if needed.
- Don’t drag them around with you. Instead involve your kids in what you do.
If the kids are coming it’s a family outing in my opinion. So, you do the activities that everyone will enjoy. Find age appropriate activities. Attention spans don’t last long for small kids so we had to plan accordingly. It helped for us that FanX had a kidcon that was catered to their interests. But we also went through the vendor floor and participated in activities that piqued our interest. Not everyone is always excited about everything, but if we balanced it out, we all had fun.
- Bring extra help (babysitters).
One year we joined up with my siblings and parents one day of the con. It was nice being able to take shifts with the kids. That way the kids did kid stuff and all of the adults could take a sanity break. Taking shifts allowed us to really enjoy the time we did have with the kids instead of just getting through it.
- Ditch the kids for a few hours of you time.
This kind of goes along with bring babysitters. But in this case, we left the kids somewhere else with grandma and grandpa while we enjoyed ourselves. Cons go for several days usually, so if you can, find someone to hang out with the kids while they take a nap, we found it to be easier on everyone.
After all is said and done, you know your kids and family best. Make sure you have an escape plan just in case things go bad (like that tantrum because they didn’t get the right color of fruit snack). It might take some trial and error moments, but cons can be fun for everyone. That’s the point after all isn’t it?