Brent Bernasconi

Saturday Comic-Con Excitement in the Gaslamp Quater

The Gaslamp Quarter Full of Awesome Geekery

It’s the third day of San Diego Comic-Con and there is still a ton to do! Take a break from the Convention Center crowds and head out into the Gaslamp Quarter for one of these great Comic-Con related events: (best part: they don’t require a coveted Comic-Con badge!)

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Sony Hosts Phase 1 of the GT Academy National Finals
Where: Jolt’n Joe’s, 379 4th Avenue
Compete for a chance at snagging one of 32 exclusive spots in Phase 1 of the GT Academy National Finals. Register to compete at the Hard Rock Hotel (207 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101) on Thursday, July 12th from 10:00am to 4:00pm, and compete for top lap time in Gran Turismo 5. The top competitor will walk away with one-of-a-kind GT Academy swag.
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Power Rangers 3D Progressive Mural
Last Updated by Gaslamp Quarter yesterday
Where: Corner of 5th Ave. and Island Ave. Gaslamp Quarter
Time: 12:00 pm
Reveal of the Power Rangers 3D Progressive Mural. Join the cast of the number one kids’ action series, Power Rangers Super Samurai, to unveil POWERful new information and surprises surrounding the 20th Anniversary season next year, Power Rangers Megaforce.
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Superhero Pub Crawl San Diego
Check-In: Taste & Thirst on Fourth, 715 4th Avenue
Time: 12:00 to 9:00 pm
Don your favorite superhero costume and join your fellow heroes for this pubcrawl of some of San Diego’s best bars, hosted by Prices starting at $10 for one day, $15 for both. Group discounts available. Must be 21+ to attend.
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Chuck Jones Centennial – Meet the Artist, Tennessee Loveless
Where: The Chuck Jones Gallery, 232 5th Avenue
Time: 2:00 to 5:00 pm
Celebrate 100 years of Chuck Jones with an artist meet-and-greet with Tennessee Loveless. The artist will be signing and dedicating artwork purchased at this event.
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The Aquabats Super Comic-Con Show
Where: House of Blues San Diego, 1055 5th Avenue
Time: 6:30 pm
The Hub Network’s popular show/band The Aquabats returns to the House of Blues San Diego for live music event that is sure to please both kids and adults alike. All ages welcome, though persons under 18 must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or responsible adult 25+ with written authorization from a parent/guardian. Tickets are $27.50 per person.
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The Haunted Hotel
Where: 424 Market Street
Time: 7:00 to 11:00 pm
What: Each year, the Gaslamp Quarter’s scariest lodgings opens its doors exclusively for Comic-Con International. Get a sneak peek of the scares to come later in the year during Halloween Time in the Gaslamp. Wind your way through the terrifying corridors and try not to lose your sanity along the way. Tickets are available at the door for $16.99 per person, cash only. Not recommended for children under 10.
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Hollywood Babble-on: Kevin Smith with Ralph Garman
Where: House of Blues San Diego, 1055 5th Avenue
Time: 11:00 pm to 1:00am
What: Kevin Smith’s tradition of hosting off-site comedy shows continues at the House of Blues San Diego this year, with host of “The Joe Schmo Show,” Ralph Garman accompanying him for boundless shenanigans. Must be 21+with valid photo ID to attend. Tickets range from $46.50 to $67.50.
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Know of another great event in the Gaslamp Quarter? Let us know in the comments below.

Brent Bernasconi

Photos from Friday at San Diego Comic-Con

Only at San Diego Comic-Con can you enjoy movie sneak peeks, walk right past tons of celebrities (so far I have seen comic book god Stan Lee, director Guillermo del Toro and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Rob McElhenney), spot people dressed like they are from space and then actually win a trip to space (not jealous at all)! Can’t wait to see what Saturday has in store for us.


Downtown Hot Spots for the Kids

So you are coming to San Diego for Comic Con and staying downtown (can anyone say – Gaslamp Quarter?). Oh wait, you’re coming with the kids. Don’t despair, there are actually quite a lot of things to do that entertain both parents and kids alike.

What to do:

Children's Museum at night

This museum is great for kids 10 and under. They do have a tween/teen area, but I have found kids under 10 get the most out of it. There are some really great interactive exhibits, and when the weather is nice, they open their doors and you can’t tell if you are inside or out. Be sure to make and take home your very own clay sculpture!

Seaport Village – With 54 specialty shops and over 15 restaurants (and not to mention the awesome bayside location) Seaport Village is a great stop downtown. There is a carousel and other fun activities for kids. On the weekends be sure to look out for the balloon artist. He has made some of the best balloon animals/objects we have ever seen! He is definitely worth the wait.

Embarcadero Marina Park – Located adjacent to Seaport Village, Embarcadero is a great spot to picnic and watch sailboats go by. You can also walk the length of the park, which extends all the way around, to the USS Midway Museum.

USS Midway Museum – This is actually one of my favorite spots for kids and adults of all ages. Visitors can experience “life at sea” by touring galleys, officer’s quarters, engine rooms as well as getting inside real planes and helicopters.

Horton Plaza – If you have any tweens/teens in your group, this mall will not disappoint. With a movie theatre and more than 100 shops and dining options, as well as a festive European open-air atmosphere, Horton Plaza is sure to please even the most discerning teens.

Gaslamp Quarter – Primarily known for its nightlife, the Gaslamp Quarter is a great place to take a stroll, people watch and do a little shopping during the day. There are grand Victorian-era buildings which are now home to more than 100 restaurants, 35 pubs and nightclubs and 100 retail shops, as well as theaters and art galleries.

Where to eat:

Below is a list of some of my favorite places to take the kids downtown – however with over 100 restaurants in Gaslamp alone, feel free to find a restaurant that is perfect for you. Most restaurants post their menus outside so that you can see what is right for you.

Brickyard Café – Located just a block from Children’s Museum and Seaport Village, this café is a great place to catch breakfast or lunch outside. You will find mostly locals here. My kids love it because the Trolley stops in front of the café which keeps them entertained. Our favorite is their chili and grilled cheese sandwich combo. They also have a great coffee bar.

Maryjane’s – Located in the Hard Rock Hotel, this is an ideal spot any time of day. When the weather is nice be sure to sit outside and people watch. The menu includes a lot of diner style options. Be sure to try the fish tacos – they are great!

Spaghetti Factory – Located right in Gaslamp, this restaurant is a popular spot, so expect a wait. The atmosphere is always festive and fun. On some days there is also a balloon artist out front to keep the kids entertained.

Filippi’s Pizza Grotto – A mainstay in San Diego for over 50 years, this is an awesome place to experience San Diego’s Little Italy. The restaurant, located behind the deli, offers some of the best pizza in San Diego. Be prepared for a wait, but it’s worth it!

Sweet Treats:

Pinkberry – If you haven’t tried Pinkberry, it’s worth the stop. Located in the Hard Rock Hotel, Pinkberry is my favorite yogurt shop in San Diego. Love the original with raspberries and chocolate chips!

Heavenly Cupcakes
– For some reason on Friday’s, I always find a reason to be in the area to pick up some cupcakes. My favorite is the black and white. My son loves the mint chocolate.

Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop
– Need I say more? This is for serious desert people. Located in the heart of the Gaslamp, it is open late and offers the best chocolate sundaes!