Go ahead, claim you bought FanX passes because the “kids want to go.” In truth, you’ve wanted to meet Lynda Carter (TV’s Wonder Woman) since you first saw her kick butt on that TV with the bunny ears your dad fixed with tin foil in ’76. Now, she’s set to meet fans at Salt Lake’s twice-annual pop culture convention, your golden opportunity. Don’t be embarrassed; FanX has grown-ups in mind. Along with Carter, you can meet stars from The Office, Garrett Wang (Star Trek: Voyager) and Alice Cooper (yes, really). Panels cover topics like the Rocky films, 3D printing and writing novels. Clearly, like us, you’re going for you, but that doesn’t mean kids can’t have fun too. Cue KidCon.
FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention, changed from Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience following a legal battle with San Diego Comic-Con, will be held at the Salt Palace Convention Center, April 19–20, 2019. KidCon, the part of FanX reserved for kids, has been a staple since 2014. “It was just our second event, and we were looking at doing something different,” says Dan Farr, FanX co-founder. “The KidCon idea came up, and I have to tell you, it’s one of those things that’s taken on a life of its own.”
Past KidCons had superhero, wizard and space themes. This spring, it’s pirates! “Our plan is to have a giant pirate ship that kids can get pictures on and pirate-themed activities,” says Marshall Williams, KidCon director. “It will be a giant pirate party,” Volunteers will unsurprisingly dress as pirates for the occasion. Yar.
Along with the Pirate fun kids can experience:
- Princess tea party
- Grit League (a military-type obstacle course for kids)
- Toddler play area
- Face painting
- Storytellers and magicians
- Balloon art
- Activities with The Leonardo and Utah STEM Action Center
- Star Wars cosplay group Saber Guild
- Kid-sized Star Wars character models
Celebrity guests have been known to make appearances at KidCon as well. “Last time, we had Evangeline Lilly; she came in and read her book for us,” Williams says. Laraine Newman (Saturday Night Live), Renee O’Connor (Xena: Warrior Princess) and Zachary Levi (Shazam!) have also stopped by to greet the kids.
For Williams, who has volunteered with KidCon from the start, it’s about more than pirates and celebrities though. “We wanted to make an environment where the kids are really the goal, the purpose; they’re the important ones,” he says. “We’ve had children who have felt a little timid and don’t think they can do the activity, but we’ve been there to help them realize they can do this activity. It opens a light in their eye, and they realize, ‘Hey, I can do this. This is so cool.’ I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to witness this many times.”
And umm, KidCon is NOT a daycare. Parents are expected to stay with their kids and, you know participate too.
Outside of KidCon, kids will enjoy posing for photos with costumed fans and meeting celebrities like Jess Harnell (Transformers), Pom Klementieff (Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2), Tom Felton (Harry Potter film series) and Zachary Levi (Shazam!).
KidCon will be held in room 255 on the north end of the Salt Palace Convention Center. Admission is included with FanX passes. Children under 8 years old can get into FanX free with the purchase of an adult pass. Discounted student passes are available for kids who are 9 years old through high-school age. Passes are available at fanxsaltlake.com.
Read more of our family content in our Kid-friendly blog roll.