Bringing your own little Stormaggeddon to the con? Here are some extra tips, you awesome parent, you.
For all parents, remember:
- Everyone age 3 and up must be registered. Only children under 3 are free.
- Children 16 and under must be accompanied by a registered adult.
- At badge pickup, you can pick up the badges for your kids without them present.
- There is no daycare available. (And no, the kids programming track is not the same thing as daycare.)
A panel that isn’t family-friendly is rare, but reading the panel description should tell you all you need to know. Some guests and panelists might swear, but that’s pretty few and far between. The only possible exception may be The Hub (aka Gaming Suite), since there will be both scheduled and impromptu games of the very R-rated, NSFW game Cards Against Humanity.
As far as being able to see: on the Main Stage, they have a giant screen on each side of the stage – you should be able to see quite well from wherever you’re sitting. Other program rooms are relatively small and most children should be able to find a seat with at least a partially obstructed view of the stage.
The past few years have featured some specific child-friendly programming outside of the kids programming track. For example, last year’s Timey Wimey Puppet Show with puppeteer Mike Horner was quite popular. You can preview the show on YouTube. Billed as an all-ages show, it’s great for kids – but parents should enjoy it too. For 2015 it’s getting a room upgrade, to Program B, on Saturday at 1pm.
The Children’s Programming track is held upstairs in the Executive Suite on the 18th floor. Your tween is probably too old for it, but your younger kids might enjoy some of the events. As mentioned above, this is a programming track, not supervised daycare.
While we wouldn’t recommend letting your kids run around unsupervised, you can rest assured that this is a relatively small convention space. However, if you send your child off to the bathroom on their own, make sure they really know their way back – this is a hotel, and all the hallways and decorations look pretty much exactly the same.
It might be a touch difficult to find a quiet spot for a nap, if your little one is still little enough to need it. The hallways will generally be too loud, as will many programming rooms. You could try hiding out in one of the video rooms, but if the video playing isn’t too loud, the sound bleeding over from the panels next door might be. The lobby is quite loud at all hours of the day and night. It’s a bit quieter on the first floor (where the con suite is), but if you don’t have a nearby hotel room, your best bet might be the patio/courtyard outside the lower level. Stay away from the smokers and it might be calm enough for you. (Beginning in 2014, the courtyard is a non-smoking area only while there are lines for convention events stretching outside.)
While the con requires teens be accompanied by an adult, no one’s going to stop your independently-wandering teen unless they’re causing a scene. Evening events that serve alcohol are all-ages since it’s a cash bar, with the exception of the Torchwood Four-hosted party on Friday night. There’s a bar on the lobby level, but unless your 15 year old looks about 40, good luck getting served without showing ID. All in all, bringing older kids & teens shouldn’t throw too much of a wrench in your plans.Back to Top