Things to Do While Your Friends Are at CONvergence

This year’s CONvergence is almost here. For some of you, that means last-minute fixes to your totally stellar costume, stressing way more than you should about what panels you can and can’t make it to, and eating ramen noodles for a week so you have enough money in your bank account to buy everything your heart desires.

But if you’re not going to CONvergence—whether you don’t have the funds, you’re watching the kids so your significant other can go, or cons just aren’t your thing—it can mean wondering what the hell you are going to do while a significant chunk of your friend group is camped out at the DoubleTree. This can be a pretty dismal conundrum, but it doesn’t have to be! There are so many other events and activities happening between July 6 and July 9 that you can enjoy.

From Pokémon Go to bondage night, here are some of the more interesting things happening during CONvergence 2017. Be sure to check out This Week in Geek for more ideas, and feel free to let us know about anything we might have missed!

Two cosplayers pose for a picture at CONvergence 2016

A peek at CONvergence 2016. But don’t get too excited because you’re not going to be there, remember? But keep reading, because there’s other great things going on! We promise.
Photo by Madeleine Vasaly

PokéCon Anniversary Picnic (July 6)

If you’re an avid Pokémon Go player and/or want to get back into it, then this is a great idea for the first day that CONvergence starts. There will be a huge “Pokéwalk,” food, and a guest appearance from Jason Paige, the singer of the original Pokémon theme song. If that doesn’t play some chords on your nostalgia heartstrings, than I don’t know what will. Plus, with Pokémon Go recently implementing raids, this will be a great way to team up and take down some of those higher CP ‘mons. More info can be found here.

A line of people gather to play Pokemon GO.

A view from last year’s PokéCon GO picnic. Participants make their way down Victory Memorial Parkway collecting Pokémon. Photo courtesy of MN PokéCon

Basilica Block Party (July 7 and 8)

If you like beer, music, and partying in churches, then this is definitely the place to be. With a lineup that includes the Shins and Brandi Carlile, there is no shortage of talent at this annual summer party. For being a two-day event, tickets are relatively cheap, going for $110 for both nights.

Duluth Bayfront Festival (July 8)

If you feel like getting out of the Twin Cities during CONvergence, then this festival is something you may be interested in. Featuring prominent local acts like Hippo Campus and Poliça, it’s guaranteed to be the most buzzed about event that overlooks our side of one of the Great Lakes. You might even get to watch the sun set over Lake Superior as Hippo Campus plays one of the many summer jams they have that have been seeing heavy rotation on 89.3 The Current. Tickets are pretty cheap, too, only running around $30 before fees.

Bondage-a-Go-Go (July 8)

So maybe cosplay isn’t your thing. Maybe you’re more into, say, backroom BDSM shows in dimly lit nightclubs. Well we’ve got just the thing! This weekly event at Ground Zero Nightclub is an absolute one-of-a-kind experience. The crowd is incredibly diverse, the music is pounding, dark, heavy, and danceable, and the costumes are outrageous and fantastic. (Costumes you say? Yup! You can still get your costume on without being at CONvergence.) Cover for Bondage-A-Go-Go is only $7 and the event is (obviously) 21-plus.

Artist-Designed Mini Golf (Open Most Days)

Mini golf at the Walker Art Center is an excellent idea for a day trip if you are looking to pass the time during CONvergence. The fee to play is totally worth it, as the whole course is unique, artsy, and Twin Cities inspired. Plus, you even get to be outside! Which is something we all need a little more of (well, at least I do). After you’re done golfing your heart out, grab a bite at the newly opened Esker Grove restaurant inside the Walker.


These are just a few of the many ways to spend your time while you’re not at CONvergence. From seeing midnight movies at the Uptown Theatre to bar hopping on Hennepin Avenue, this list could extend onwards endlessly. Let us know what you plan on doing!

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