6 Reasons to Use a Personal Day and Take Your Kids to Gen Con

Let’s be honest: How much work are you really getting done on a Friday during the summer? (That is, except for me. If my boss asks, I get lots of work done, got it?)

Instead of languishing in the office on Friday, August 2, use a personal day and take your kids to the second day of Gen Con, the largest tabletop-game convention in North America, which takes place each year in downtown Indianapolis. Why the second day? We’re glad you asked! Here are just some of the reasons why Friday’s Gen Con will be a great day for families.

1. You’ll Skip the Crowds

When they say that Gen Con is the largest tabletop-game convention in the country, they aren’t kidding. In 2018, more than 61,000 people attended the four-day event. By going on a Friday (after opening day, but before the weekend), you hit that sweet spot where you can enjoy Gen Con with fewer people and shorter lines, which is perfect when you’ve got children in tow.

2. You’ll Play Games. LOTS of Games

Gen Con is all about games: board games, card games, role-playing games, electronic games — any game you can think of, you will find it here, including family favorites from makers like Spin Master, Pokemon, Mattel and Catan. Kids are welcome in every area of Gen Con, but kids and families also have a section dedicated just for them: the Family Fun Pavilion. Here, you’ll find family gaming for all ages and skill levels. This is also the place to demo new games right at the booths.

3. You’ll Introduce Your Kid to Gaming Culture

Located in the convention center, you’ll find the Gen Con Training Grounds, a place to introduce young kids to the gaming world and all its possibilities. In this interactive area, there is always something fun going on: there’s always a castle being built, or a pirate raid in progress, or a craft being taught. This area also has a quiet area with a clean, soft floor for babies and toddlers to crawl around. Kid Zone, located near Training Grounds, is designed for older kids, and is where you will find the scheduled kids’ events taking place.

4. You’ll Find Kid Events Happening Throughout the Day

If your child is into participating in structured activities, you’ll find a range of events happening on Friday — everything from crafting to kid-appropriate RPG games. Kids can drop in and learn how to create their own shield, make a mini-figure snowglobe, sit in on a storytime or participate in an arcade-themed party.

You’ll See and Do Lots of Cool Things on Friday

There is something happening 24/7 during all four days of Gen Con, but if you visit on Friday, here are some cool things to look forward to:

* Orc Stomp 5K: A great way for active families to kick off a morning at Gen Con, the Orc Stomp 5K happens rain or shine on Friday, Aug. 2 at White River State Park. The fee for the 5K includes a t-shirt for pre-registered tickets, and proceeds of the event benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Indiana.

* Cardhalla: On Friday, join this free event to help build a city out of donated cards. Just grab a pile and start folding and stacking! On Saturday night, Cardhalla is destroyed as people throw pocket change at the structure. All money is collected and donated to Gen Con’s 2019 charity partners, Special Olympics Indiana and Game to Grow.


* Creation of the Balloon Creature: On Friday, watch Gen Con’s resident balloon sculptor create a giant masterpiece out of balloons. On Sunday, the massive structure is “slayed” for charity.

5. You’ll Learn to Knit and Practice Your Zumba Moves

Yes, Gen Con is about gaming — but it isn’t only about gaming. It’s also about engaging the creative spirit, in whatever way that spirit moves you, whether that’s crafting, exercising or dancing. On Friday, why not take a class with your kiddo and make LEGO Ninjago-style cupcakes? Or create your own crocheted Harry Potter shawl? Or learn to tango during a beginner dancing class? There is a class or event for everyone and every family who wants to learn something new.

6. You’ll Let Your Freak Flag Fly (Or Not)

Gen Con is a judgement-free zone, so if there ever was a time and place to pull out your family Star Wars ensemble costume, this is it. Members of the Gen Con costume team will be roaming the halls every day of Gen Con, including Friday, and will hand out ribbons for best costumes — so get into it! If you’re not into public displays of geekiness, no problem: Gen Con is a great place for people-watching and appreciating other people’s creativity. And if your kids want to dip their toe into cosplay without wearing a costume, you’ll find face painters in the Family Fun Pavilion.

So, use that personal day on August 2! Gen Con is the perfect event to “unplug” with your family and have one last hurrah before the school year starts back up.

For more information, visit gencon.com


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