There’s perhaps no experience quite like riding the escalators at the San Diego Convention Center with throngs of fans at the start of a day at Comic-Con, or being swept up in total pandemonium. from a Hall H sign. But the Comic-Con experience is so much bigger than the Con itself, as the annual celebration of comic books, video games, and genre movies/TV draws thousands of revelers to San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, where a new activation, experience, game, or photo op seems to be around every corner.

The Times Comic-Con veteran group had just as much fun when the day’s work was done and it was time to catch a movie on the rooftop, play an arcade game with a ice cold beer or even dancing late at night partying. With that in mind, we’ve combed through this year’s carnival of options to leave you with 10 ideas for things to do at Comic-Con 2022 without a badge.

Light up Pac-Man at the Coin-Op Gaslamp

Do you remember the arcades? Dark video game havens were popular in the late 70s and throughout the 80s – until home consoles helped bring them down. Well, the Coin-Op Gaslamp arcade keeps the spirit of the Con alive just outside the convention center a few blocks away with plenty of events (some private, some public), a range of games, classic coin-operated arcade and an extensive food and drink menu. The arcade is constantly adding activities and booking parties, so you’ll need to check her to place and Facebook page for up-to-date information. Cosplay welcome! —Jevon Phillips

When: 4 p.m. to midnight Monday to Thursday; 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday; 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday; 2 p.m. to midnight Sunday
Where: Corner-Op Gaslamp, 789 6th Ave.
Price: Varies

Witness Spider-Man’s induction into the Comic-Con Museum’s Character Hall of Fame

It’s been a big year for Spider-Man. Following the record-breaking success of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (which reawakened the stagnant pandemic box office), this month the webslinger’s story is explored in an immersive experience at the Comic-Con Museum in San Diego. . “Spider-Man: Beyond Amazing—The Exhibitionfeatures interactive installations and sets tracing the superhero’s legacy from its inception in the early 1960s to the present day. And on July 20 at 6:30 p.m., Spider-Man will be inducted into the Comic-Con Museum Character Hall of Fame in a ceremony that will include cosplay, food and cocktails. —Sonaiya Kelley

When: Museum open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Comic-Con Museum, 2131 Pan American Plaza
Price: Ticket for the induction ceremony: $250; admission to the exhibition: $30

Appreciate the cosplay artistry and creativity of fellow pop culture fans

Comic-Con is a convergence of all types of pop culture fans, and they express their love for their favorite TV shows, movies, and video games differently. Some of the most visible outside the convention center are the many cosplayers. It’s almost a guarantee you’ll see at least one Harley Quinn and enough Spider-Man to recreate the meme pointing at each other, as well as those equally impressive dressed as characters from titles you had no idea even existed. Remember that it’s polite to ask before you start taking pictures of strangers. —Tracy Brown

When: July 21 to 24
Where: In the whole region
Price: Free (usually)

Watch your favorite comic book characters on screen at the Rooftop Cinema Club

Thursday afternoon and evening, the Rooftop Cinema Club Embarcadero celebrates its Comic-Con Day screening films featuring classic comic book characters, including ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ (2014), ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ (2021) and ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ (2021) . Located on the fourth-floor terrace of the Manchester Grand Hyatt in downtown San Diego, the outdoor screening series offers guests wireless headphones for a seamless audio experience while food and drinks are available outside. shopping a few steps away. Reserve a padded lounger or Adirondack loveseat for that cinematic experience under the stars. —Sonaiya Kelley

When: 4 p.m., 7:45 p.m. and 11 p.m. on July 21
Where: Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, 1 market place
Price: $17.50 to $25

Drink at the Dungeons & Dragons Tavern

The cultural significance of “Dungeons & Dragons” has changed dramatically in the 12 years since the first live-action – and largely forgotten – “D&D” movie. Today the game is a hit, fueled in part by the popularity of online web series like “Critical Role” and a legion of fans who have found solace in the game’s improvisational experience and the ability to play as who wants. Into this landscape comes a new film, which will hopefully erase the bad memories of past endeavors. Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez with “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” will have its release party at this year’s Comic-Con, complete with an offsite tavern where fans can sip drink specials — both alcoholic and non-alcoholic — while interacting with some of the movie’s creatures. Come with dice rather than weapons, and chainmail is optional. —Todd Martens

When: noon to 10 p.m. on July 21; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 22 and 23
Where: Corner of Sixth and Island avenues
Price: Free

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Get out of the office with the ‘Severance’ experience

Leak from Lumon. This is how Apple TV+ teases its “Severance” Experience at Hard Rock Hotel, which is designed to simulate his first day working for the mysterious brain-hijacking firm. Does that mean we start by spreading it out on a conference room table? Details are scarce, but we have questions. Will there be goats? Probably not. How about deviled eggs? We have our fingers crossed for at least one, mostly because the word is that experience trumps hotel restaurant. We mostly expect weirdness, as Apple TV+ says executive producer-director Ben Stiller helped create the facility. The goal is to get out of Lumon, and even that makes us wonder. If the Comic-Con crowds — and the general stresses of life in 2022 — prove too much, can we, uh, just stay apart from ourselves? —Todd Martens

When: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from July 21 to 24
Where: Hard Rock Hotel, 207 Fifth Ave.
Price: Free

Relive Bruce Campbell’s ‘Doctor Strange’ Cameo

Bruce Campbell made a surprise appearance as Pizza Poppa in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” and Marvel is extending the character’s legend by offering a themed game for fans to play at the Omni Hotel. To celebrate the film’s July 26 release on digital and 4K, Blu-ray and DVD, fans will have the chance to play “Pop-A-Poppa”, take photos against a themed backdrop and win prizes. . Because Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange cast a spell on Poppa to continually hit himself, maybe the experiment involves some belittlement? They keep this detail magically hidden. —Jevon Phillips

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from July 21 to July 24
Where: Gaslamp Diagonal, adjacent to the Omni San Diego Hotel, 675 L St.
Price: Free

Enjoy at ‘Patty Hour’ with ‘Bob’s Burgers’

“Bob’s Burgers” often does something to entice fans at Comic-Con, and this year is no different. “Bob’s Burgers Movie” activation will feature photo ops, a Lucky Duck game, and a free burger during daily “Patty Hour” from 3-6 p.m. – while supplies last and on a first-come, first-served basis – touting the film’s digital release on July 12 and on Blu-ray and DVD on July 19. —Jevon Phillips

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from July 21 to July 24
Where: Gaslamp Diagonal, adjacent to the Omni San Diego Hotel, 675 L St.
Price: Free

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Play video games outdoors in the Petco Park Interactive Zone

The Not-So-Secret Comic-Con Experience open to the public is taking place in the parking lot across the street in Petco Park’s Interactive Zone. The best part about this event – besides the fact that it’s free – is that it’s taking place outdoors, so those who are still understandably wary of indoor crowds may feel a little more inside. easy. The Nintendo Switch Road Trip will make a stop in space this year, bringing the latest version of the Switch console along with games like “Nintendo Switch Sports”, “Kirby and the Forgotten Land” and “Mario Strikers: Battle League” for that the guests play (advanced registration is recommended). There will also be Nintendo swag and photo opportunities. If video games aren’t your thing, you can also check out food truck offerings like the Star Trek Wrath of P’Khan Coolhaus Ice Cream Truck and the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck. —Tracy Brown

When: July 21-24, hours vary but most open at 10 a.m.
Where: Petco Park Interactive Zone, 100 Park Blvd.
Price: Free participation, purchase prices vary

Dance the Night Away to Celebrate ‘Tron’s 40th Anniversary

Disneyland fans haven’t forgotten: For a while in the early 2010s, a section of Disney California was transformed into one of SoCal’s coolest dance parties. Sure, it was to promote the movie “Tron: Legacy,” but the azure glow of neon lights that greeted guests at ElecTRONica led to a dance music wonderland with a nerdy-cool bent ( light drinks! Vintage video games!). For one night in San Diego, the ElecTROnica atmosphere will revive as Disney’s D23 fan club will host a dance party at the House of Blues to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the video game-obsessed original film. While it’s unclear if retro games will make an appearance, expect a bright grid and music from Japanese electronic artist Qrion and Jason Bentley, longtime KCRW personality who served as a producer on the “Tron: Legacy” soundtrack. —Todd Martens

When: 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on July 22
Where: House of Blues, 1055 Fifth Ave.
Price: $45 to $65, not including service charges. Requires a free D23 subscription.