Gen Con Family Guide – Kids Events

This year we attended Gen Con for the first time. We took our 8-year-old daughter and even though we had read it was a kid-friendly con, we were unsure of what to expect. By day two, our daughter was making plans to attend Gen Con next year.

This guide to Gen Con is for families – those who are looking to bring their kids for the first time. There is so much to do. Let’s begin with kids events.

Kid Events

Kids under the age of nine do not need a badge. You will have to get them a wristband that will have a phone number to call should the child get lost. Kids without a badge are limited to what events they can attend. Events listed with a kids ID (beginning with KID) are available.

We attended a few Kids events. Here is a list with a brief review of each:

How to make a mask – Kids build a paper mache mask and then decorate it. This was a really cool event that was much more involved than I had expected.

Story Time with Mother Geek – The Surreal Mother Geek read her Mother Goose inspired tale that teaches kids about geeky culture. Cute story and very enjoyable. You can get the book on Amazon.

Make your own cape – Kids were given a piece of material and supplies to decorate as they saw fit. This one was disappointing to me as I would have expected a fleece material instead of the nylon material that you see with cheap costumes. It wasn’t that bad though. My daughter enjoyed it making the cape. They did provide paper to place over the design so you could carry it around while the cape dried if paint or glue was used. Some of the paper dried to the cape and was very difficult to remove.

Game Fun – Kids created their own board game. My daughter created one that we played at the con and at the hotel.

Shadow Puppets – This was one of two puppet events we attended. Kids were given some objects to cut out and put together with brads. One object was a dragon. They used those cutouts to cast shadows.

Writing with kids – This was a family writing workshop that was fun but not really what I was expecting. This event was at 9am which might have been a little early for our late sleeper. We were all given a sheet a paper and then had to write a sentence about a picture. Then we took the sheet of paper, crumpled it up, and threw it into the middle of the floor. Then we picked up a sheet of paper and continued the story started by someone else. We repeated this for a few rounds and then shared the stories. It was fun although not as fulfilling as I had hoped.

Puppet Workshop with Mayfair Games – This was a fun workshop sponsored by Mayfair Games. A professional puppeteer gave tips and instructions. This was one of the events my daughter has requested to do next year.

Princess Islansardi’s Tea Party – This was a true tea party where each guest was a different type of fairy. My daughter and I were gnomes. You were given some background story and then role played as you worked together to find the missing princess. The group that sponsored this also has a kid LARP(live action role playing) where kids search for dragon eggs. My daughter wants to do that one next year,