Kid-Friendly Minnesota Conventions for Your Geekling in 2019

Adult Wonder Woman and young ladybug cosplayers

Convention-goers at Minnesota Fan Fusion 2018: local author A. C. Weston and geekling. Madeleine Vasaly

If you have some young geeklings around, you may have considered finding a convention to attend as a family. Here’s the good news: the vast majority of the sci-fi, anime, and pop-culture cons in the Twin Cities welcome families, offering discounted and/or free admission for younger attendees and marking panels meant only for older audiences to prevent sudden surprises.

However, just because a convention touts itself as being family friendly and offers a lower rate for kids doesn’t always make it truly ideal for a family. Kids and young adults have different needs than adults. Most people need some downtime at conventions, for example; when there’s a space meant for smaller geeks, it makes it more pleasant for everyone (including fellow attendees). These rooms may have scheduled events, such as crafts, STEM activities, movies, or video-game tournaments, but they also usually include an open sandbox element. They may even also provide a place to take care of the younger geeks, offering a place for diaper changes, feedings, and naps or a place for expressing milk.

Little girl enjoying kids' activities

Having fun in the kids’ room at Minicon 2016. Rae Black

So, which cons are more truly kid friendly than others? The conventions on this list all have some element (beyond discounted admission) that is specifically focused at younger fans. As always, every kid is incredibly unique—your geekling may be perfectly happy attending panels for an entire weekend. Their favorite con may not be included on this list.

Be sure to check out our guide on bringing your kid(s) to a convention—and if you’re still on the fence about bringing them at all, see “Should I Bring My Child to a Convention?”

Winter

VGM Con (February 22–24, 2019)
Minnetonka, MN
Kid-friendly features: Strings Clinic designed for middle school youth (but open to all ages)

MarsCon (March 1–3, 2019)
Bloomington, MN
Kid-friendly features: Youth room with youth-oriented programming

Spring

Minicon (April 19–21, 2019)
St. Louis Park, MN
Kid-friendly features: Youth room with youth-oriented programming, teen room

Teen Lit Con (April 27, 2019)
Mendota Heights, MN
Kid-friendly features: Teen-oriented convention

MCBA Spring ComiCon (May 18–19, 2019)
Roseville, MN
Kid-friendly features: Youth-oriented activities, children’s costume contest for kids under 12 on Saturday

A young girl in an orange dress

A young cosplayer at CONvergence 2018. Madeleine Vasaly

Summer

MLP-MSP (June 14–16, 2019)
Minneapolis,MN
Kid-friendly features: Youth-oriented programming, convention designated family friendly until 8:00 p.m.

CONvergence (July 4–7, 2019)
Minneapolis, MN
Kid-friendly features: Teen room, parenting room

Autumn

LionCon (September 21–22, 2019)
St. Cloud, MN
Kid-friendly features: Kids’ cosplay contest for 13 and under, youth-oriented activities

MCBA Fall ComiCon (TBA, generally early October)
Roseville, MN
Kid-friendly features: Youth-oriented activities

Anime Fusion (October 18th-20th)
Plymouth, MN
Kid-friendly features: Family room

Galaxy Con (November 8-10)
Minneapolis, MN
Kid-friendly features: Kids’ cosplay contest for 13 and under

A family of Doctor Who cosplayers

Conventions are a group activity for the Nelson family, pictured at Minnesota Fan Fusion. Madeleine Vasaly

We hope to see you at one of these cons in 2018! And of course, if we missed any, please email us or let us know in the comments below so we can add them to our list. (We also recommend adding them to our free community calendar.)

And don’t miss our 2019 convention guides for gamers and cosplayers!

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  1. By Adam Ness

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