I know a lot of you are not only science geeks, but pop culture ones as well. So when guest contributor Jessica Dembo mentioned she was headed to C2E2, the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, I asked her to share a mom’s eye view of the festival with Maker Mom readers. She received a media pass, but paid for the other members to attend.
C2E2, the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo
The first word that comes to mind to describe C2E2 is WOW! My family and I attended Chicago’s 2016 C2E2. We were there for 1 day and didn’t even touch the surface of all the things we could have seen, participated in or shopped for.
C2E2 is a conglomeration of all things comic book, TV, manga, movie, anime, video game and toy! Think of any character and we probably saw a cosplayer dressed up as it. The costumes were amazingly detailed, some people investing years of work to perfect for C2E2.
Grut from Guardians of the Galaxy, a towering Baymax and a variety of Ironman armors including the incredibly massive “Hulkbuster,” especially impressed of. But of course our favorites were the Star Wars costumes. My son Aiden dressed up as Luke Skywalker from Jabba’s Palace and Ruby dressed up as Rey from The Force Awakens. My kids love any excuse to dress up and at C2E2 the majority of the people were in costume.
C2E2 was created in 2010. It’s put on by ReedPOP. They run several other Con’s such as the New York Comic Con and Star Wars Celebration. It has everything imaginable to do from a large show floor filled with artists and exhibitors, to panels, play areas and much more. There are also other rooms that have TV show screenings, Artist Panels, Autograph sessions and an entire area dedicated to kids and families.
The Crowds at C2E2
It is crowded… I mean really crowded. Like ‘elevator with 20 extra people over the limit crowded.
The Family Area
We loved retreating to the family area to escape the majority of the crowds. The folks that make Yo Kai were giving away free discs for the Yo Kai watch (click to learn more, but I must offer and ear worm alert). They also had several Lego and Duplo tables for kids to make cars and ramps to race them down. It was really nice to let the kids play and not worry about them getting washed away by a crowd of people.
The family area had lots of other activities going on all day long Both kids were able to play Quidditch, Ruby was able to take some Knight in Training classes from some of the Knights from Medieval Times and they both participated in a Kids’ Costume Parade.
C2E2 is not cheap, but it is certainly worth it. One day tickets at the door were $50 for everyone older than 6 (children under 6 were free). Sunday was ‘kids day’, which dropped the price down to $5 for children ages 6-12. For the hardcore conference goers planning to spend the weekend, a three-day pass was only $65 through pre-order. In fact, pre-event prices were lower at all ticket levels.
C2E2 Survival Tips
The 2nd floor food court was the place to eat. Most people crowded into the food court in the expo area, or waited in line for the food carts on the show floor. The expo café was jam packed with no seats available regardless of the hour. However, seating was plentiful in the 2nd floor food court just a short walk down the hall from the expo.
The 1st floor bathroom is the place to go. With the number of people attending, it’s no surprise that the bathrooms were packed. Nearly every bathroom anywhere near the show floor had at least a line 5 people deep. However, The bathroom located outside the family area on the 1st floor never had a line to use it. Well worth a short walk down the hall!
Recharge in the family area. In addition to the bathrooms, the family area was an awesome place to recharge your body and your phone before heading back to the crowds. A section of it was filled with oversized beanbag chairs dozens of power strips.
Everything about C2E2 is obnoxious, but in the best possible way. The costumes are over the top, the people are amazingly friendly and the atmosphere is contagious. I’m even thinking of wearing a costume next year. A friend suggested the Pink Power Ranger but I think I’m more of a Wonder Woman kind of a girl!