Cosplay and Cons with the Kids

One of my favorite big conventions is almost here – San Diego Comic Con! I went the year I got pregnant and haven’t made it back since I had my son, but we have done a lot of daenerys targaryen and baby cosplayother conventions together. In fact, he attended his first con at just 6 weeks old! I look forward to taking him to SDCC one day, but until then, we’ll be hitting up cons a little closer to home.

Attending a con with a kid was a whole new experience for me. My usual plan was just show up, take a lot of pictures and basically party all day and night. Now I have to plan around nap times, changing diapers and having no choice about being up at 7AM every morning.

So here’s my Top 10 Tips List for Attending Conventions with Kids:

  1. Try something local first. Short trips are best. There’s lots of great resources to find a local event no matter where you are. You can search for events on Eventbrite.com or use their new conference management page for finding and planning conference and conventions. There’s also sites that list cons by state like UpComingCons.com Cosplayconventioncenter.com. Basically, if you just put “cosplay conventions” or “comic conventions” into google, you’re going to find something!
  2. If you aren’t going to be local, be close enough so you can easily walk back to the hotel for naptime. Believe me, this will make things SO much easier.
  3. Check out the event ahead of time and plan your day. Make a list of events and things you want to attend with time and location.
  4. Forget about actually making it to any of those things. Just kidding. A little.
  5. cosplay with babyIf you have a baby, make sure you have something to cover your costume with. Nothing like ruining all your hard work with a bunch of spit-up.
  6. Plan your costume around being able to pick-up and hold kid, feed kid and change diapers. If you are not able to do this, make sure you have a “baby handler” with you for assistance.
  7. Go easy on the kid costume. They are probably just going to fBaby in Superman shirtall asleep, drop food on it or rip it off after two minutes anyway. A good easy costume is a t-shirt that matches your general theme. When I do Wonder Woman, I often dress my son in a Superman t-shirt. He’s had an impressive collective since he was born. He never went a month without one in his size. I actually just printed out a bunch of ink jet iron-ons and would make whatever size I needed at the time.
  8. If you start taking them when they are young, then they will love it as they get a little older and you won’t need to worry about them being afraid of the characters and costumes. My son loves getting up close and touching the costumes.
  9. Pack more than you think you need- extra food, diapers, clothes, drinks…extras of everything! We went to ConJure and after a 2 hour car ride my son started projectile vomiting. We went through a LOT of clothes. You never know what you are going to run into. Be prepared.
  10. Do a kid-friendly cosplay group. I had a great time as Princess Parfaya in a Sesame Street Star Smores group at Star Wars Celebration and the kids and parents totally got it.

Sesame Street Star Smores Cosplay Group at Star Wars CelebrationAnd most of all, just have fun, soak up the experience and share every moment with your little one. This is your chance to share your fandom and geekiness as a family affair.

Family Cosplay feature: The Keanes

I figured I should participate in the family cosplay feature myself since I’m gathering photos for the GeekMamas Cosplay with Your Kids panel at MegaCon this Sunday! So here goes-

Please introduce yourself:

halloween1We are Candy, Sean and Keelan from Jacksonville, FL. Sean and I have been married for 14 years and have been costuming together since college. (We met at UF) Now that we have a son we are excited to include him in the fun. Sean is in the Army and I own ThreeMusesClothing.com and recently started the GeekMamas blog. You can see more of my cosplay pics on my facebook page: www.facebook.com/CandyLKeane

 

1) Does the whole family cosplay or is it just the kids?

The whole family! Although sometimes one of us will dress down so it is easier to take care of Keelan at bigger events.

2) What have been your favorite costumes?

I loved our Alice in Wonderland costumes for Halloween. I was the White Queen, Sean was the Mad Hatter and Keelan was the White Rabbit. I couldn’t wait to visit all the neighbors and then K fell asleep about 5 minutes into trick-or-treating so we only made it to about 3 houses.

3) Do you make your costumes?

Yes! Well at least Sean and I do, but Keelan grows out of everything so fast and usually only gets to wear things once so I have started buying him some cheap easy pieces here and there. I’ve found it’s really easy to go get a blank onesie or t-shirt at the craft store and iron on anything I want. Easy superhero outfit!

 

4) What are your favorite events for cosplay?

I like going to conventions. Sean and I also loved dressing up for themed events and masquerades, but we don’t get as many nights out as we used to! So I try to find a lot of daytime, family-friendly stuff for us to do. I’m very much looking forward to MegaCon and hopefully getting back to DragonCon next year. Keelan’s first convention was CollectiveCon here in Jacksonville. He was just 6 weeks old! I was Daenerys Targaryen and Keelan was my little dragon. Well, for about 10 minutes before he refused to wear the dragon hat.

5) Do you have a funny family cosplay story?

I was part of a super hero group for the Folio Weekly’s Best of Jax issues. We were called the Folio 5. I knew I’d be bringing Keelan around with us at the shoot and events so I made him a onesie that said 5 1/2 so he could be part of the group too.

6) Any advice for parents that want to cosplay with their kids or just dress them up?

I’ve found that you really have to roll with it to cosplay with kids. If they are babies, they are probably going to spit up all over the outfit, chew on it, then grow out of it in a week. And then they probably will fall asleep or refuse to wear whatever you spent all that time making (or ordering). So get that quick pic with the screaming baby and then do something to make them happy.

Also, wear baby-friendly costumes. I never realized how pokey my costumes were until I had a baby I was trying to hold. My New 52 Wonder Woman might as well be baby repellent. And I spent hours crafting that House of Targaryen 3 headed dragon brooch only for it to make it impossible to hold Keelan close to my chest. My costume prep ritual used to include making sure I could walk, sit and go to the bathroom. Now it includes can I hold/change/feed a baby.