LeakyCon and 4 other nerd-tastic summer cons perfect for parent-teen bonding

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Hank Green as the 10th Doctor at the opening ceremonies for LeakyCon 2012. Photo via LeakyCon.
Guys, summer is almost upon is… which means it’s TOTALLY time to get ready for con season! We’ve chatted about taking a small child to a con (totally doable), but never before have we waded into aspirational con territory for many a parent-child duo: taking your teen to a con.

Luckily there are tons of options this time of year — there’s a con for just about every form of geekery you can drum up. Harry Potter fan? Check. Horror movie aficionado? You got it. I mean… what sounds better than loading up the car with you, your fave tween or teen, a solid audio book or two and heading out for a few days of solidarity with your fellow nerds? Here are a few upcoming cons that might strike your fancy:

LeakyCon: Portland, June 27-30 and London, August 8-11

Calling all Harry Potter die-hards: LeakyCon 2013 will take place in Portland, Oregon (June 27-30), and for the first time ever outside the US, London, England (Aug 8-11). If you’re totally scratching your head and wondering what exactly this con is and why it’s leaking… lemme explain.

LeakyCon is a 100% fan-driven conference for the Harry Potter fandom. If you live and love HP hard, you’re going to want to be there. We’re talking four days of non-stop Potter mania: there are shows (Harry and the Potters!), panels, workshops, and meet-ups about anything and everything Harry Potter-related. If you and your kid have shared a Harry Potter passion for a decade, this is the con you need to be at.

Speakers and guests aren’t strictly limited to Harry Potter characters (Anthony Rapp from Rent will be in Portland, for example), but there are plenty of easily recognizable people there if you’re a fan of the films (Seamus! Whaaa!).

Details are still emerging about exactly who will be at which con and why, but you can snag tickets to one or the other (or BOTH, you lucky fool!) right here.

Supanova Sydney: June 21-23

Supanova Sydney is Australia’s biggest con, and is allegedly so celebrity-laden you can’t even move without running smack into the object of your geekery. The con actually takes place in five other Australian locations besides Sydney: Perth (June 28-30), Brisbane (November 8-10), Adelaide (November 15-17), Gold Coast (April 4-6, 2014), and Melbourne (April 11-14, 2014). Events include Cosplay Chess (someone go and take photos, please), the Timezone Supanova Pinball Championship, trivia, and karaoke. You can snag tickets for your location of choice here.

Star Wars Celebration Europe: Meese Essen, Germany, July 26-28

Having attended a Star Wars Celebration with my then two-year-old, let me say this: it’s not rough bringing a small kid, but it would be way more fun bringing an older one! These celebrations are filled with amazing opportunities, and the European celebration looks like it won’t disappoint: check out the guest list!

The Official Star Trek Convention: Las Vegas, August 8-11

I feel like if I mention apples, I must mention oranges: The Official Star Trek Convention is also happening later this year. This will be the con’s twelfth year in existence, and the event boasts non-stop, ’round the clock entertainment and experiences with over 70 Star Trek cast members. Obviously there are will be many, many panels on the newest movie.

Gen Con: Indianapolis, August 15-18

Gen Con is the con for gamers: board games, role-playing games, collectible card games, and video games alike. The Gen Con Indy has been serving up gaming fun for more than 45 years, so these people know how to bring it for attendees. The con features industry veterans, authors and artists, costumes, thousands of events, and gives you the chance to try the newest games on the market — sometimes before they even come out. Gaming nerds, let’s freak out: it’s con time!

Will you guys be attending any of these or any OTHER cons with your families this year? Which ones? Let’s geek out!

Comments on LeakyCon and 4 other nerd-tastic summer cons perfect for parent-teen bonding

  1. We’re thinking of visiting DragonCon as a family this year– or at least the parade part. I know my little guy will get a kick out of all of the superheroes and other fun cosplayers.

    • My advice is to keep a close eye on the clock. The freaks do come out at night- around 8pm.

      Stay away from the Hyatt- just too many people at all hours of the day and night. The fire marshal is very attentive to that hotel. The Marriott is getting crowded, but the 10th floor was more relaxed.

      The restuarant area is a great place to hang out and sight see.

      I’m so looking forward to my daughter being potty trained and us finally being able to go back.

      • Thanks for the advice! We will definitely stick to daylight hours and less crazy-packed spaces. We fortunately live not too far away, so it’s just a matter of hopping on MARTA for a visit.

    • SO excited to be going back to Dragon*Con this year after being away for 4 years. And we’ll have our toddler in tow. (And in costume!)

  2. My family is going to Otakon. August 9th-11th in Baltimore, Maryland. It’s the biggest anime convention on the East Coast. We did it with a small baby last year & will have a toddler this year.

  3. Kumoricon is a great anime/nerd con in Portland, Oregon. It usually happens over Labor Day Weekend, so it’s a nice ending to the summer before school starts up again. They’re quite family friendly. 🙂 It’s mostly for anime fans, but there is a lot of nerd crossover.

    I’m going to be 8 damn months pregnant when it happens, and I’m still trying to figure out if I can lug my huge self down there. 😛

  4. My husband and I will be attending the North American Discworld Convention, which is in Baltimore, Maryland from July 5th-8th. If you are a fan of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, you should consider attending too! We’ve gone to the two previous ones and they were lots of fun. They have plenty of family friendly programming and we’ve seen lots of families enjoying the previous conventions.

    Here is their website if you’d like to find out more: https://www.nadwcon.org/

  5. I’m not a parent but I will be attending Florida Supercon. The post years actually have a lot of teen-center entertainment including manga and anime based stuff. It’s in Miami so you can plan a week family vacation and hot the convention. I’ll also be joining at the first ever Creator Owned Expo in Ft. Lauderdale. It is a one day affair and if your teen or you are into comics you can really get to know the writers and artists first hand.

  6. Daughter and I, along with Daughter’s best friend (aka “Other Daughter”) went to Geek Girl Con last year. They were 16 and 17 at the time – and so was I 😉
    The plan, from the moment we left, was to head back next (this) year, but then we heard that Jewel Staite is going to be at the Rose City Comic Con in Portland, and ever since then Daughter has been pointing out that Portland is closer, would cost less, and because KayLee *squee* She has an excellent point. So it looks like that’s our plan for this year. I wish the funds were available to go to more than one a year, but even that is a stretch.

  7. LeakyCon London looked awesome for a moment there… but it’s been sold out for a while. Boo for only just hearing about it.

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