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FanX family guide: What to do at Comic Con

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Narrowing down the staggering amount of options at this weekend's Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience can be a daunting task. The FanX event will play host to over 100 pop culture celebrities and provide over 200 hours of entertainment experiences, ranging from Q&A panels to dancing lessons, and from the cast of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" to the wildly popular actor Nathan Fillion, who was brought to the convention by the voice of FanX’s Facebook fans.

Here is a quick breakdown of some of the many activities that may appeal to families who attend the event.

Note: This list is not all-inclusive. Some activities may come with additional fees.


Convention Survival 101

What is it? If it's your first time at a pop culture convention, this panel will provide some helpful tips about how to navigate the expo and manage your time effectively.

When: Thursday, noon

Back to the Future: Adventures in the DeLorean Time Machine

What: Terry and Oliver Holler talk about "Back to the Future" and show off the DeLorean.

When: Thursday, noon

Related activities: Back to the Future: Impact on Culture and Technology (Friday, 11 a.m.)

KidCon — Clark Planetarium: The Science and Perils of Space Exploration

What: A presentation by Salt Lake City's Clark Planetarium that will teach young Comic Con attendees about the exciting world of space travel.

When: Thursday, 1:30 p.m.; Friday, 2:30 p.m.; Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

KidCon — R2D2 Builders Club

What: Likely a hands-on creativity hour, structured around the famous Star Wars robot.

When: Thursday, 2 p.m.; Friday, 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 4:30 p.m.

KidCon — Princess Festival

What: A fun dress-up activity for young girls and their parents.

When: Thursday, 2 p.m.

Related activities: Princess Parade by Princess Festival (Thursday, 3:30 p.m.)

Hey, Hey it’s a Monkee! Spotlight on Mickey Dolenz

Who: Mickey Dolenz, drummer and singer for the popular 1960s music group The Monkees

When: Thursday, 3 p.m.

KidCon — Musical guest Kenzie Hall

Who: Recent “American Idol” contestant Kenzie Hall from Draper

When: Thursday, 3 p.m.

The Stars of YouTube

What: A panel of Internet celebrities who rose to stardom through their popular YouTube channels.

When: Thursday, 3 p.m.

Meet the Rebel Legion

What: A perfect family photo-op with an international costuming organization specializing in the "good guy" costumes of the Star Wars universe.

When: Thursday, 5 p.m.

Related activities: Meet the Mandalorian Mercs: Armor and CAUSEplay (Friday, noon)

KidCon — Animal Super Powers By Utah’s Hogle Zoo

What: A presentation by Hogle Zoo intended for young audiences.

When: Thursday, 5 p.m.; Friday, 4 p.m.; Saturday, noon

KidCon — The Living Planet Aquarium

What: A presentation by Draper's Living Planet Aquarium intended for young audiences.

When: Thursday, 6 p.m.; Friday, 6 p.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m.

KidCon — "Shrek the Musical"

What: A performance of the popular musical based on the hit movie franchise.

When: Thursday, 6:30 p.m.; Friday, 6:30 p.m.

Real Salt Lake players

Who: Members of Utah's pro soccer team.

When: Thursday, 7 p.m.

Muppets: A Cultural History and Look at What’s Coming Up

What: An in-depth discussion about the cultural impact of Jim Henson's Muppets and a thought-provoking look at their future.

When: Thursday, 7 p.m.


Salt Lake Pops Orchestra

What: Conductor Nathaniel Drew and the Salt Lake Pops Orchestra perform some of the iconic film and television music themes of FanX’s celebrity guests.

When: Friday, 10 a.m.

Star Trek Enterprise Bridge Restoration

What: New Starship Foundation CEO Huston Huddleston discusses Star Trek and specifically the Enterprise-D Bridge.

When: Friday, 10 a.m.

From a Galaxy Far, Far Away to the Legend of Johnny Lingo: Spotlight on Daniel Logan

Who: Logan, an energetic actor who recently moved to Utah, has starred in movies like "Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones" and "The Legend of Johnny Lingo."

When: Friday, 10 a.m.

Roger Rabbit and Beyond: Spotlight on the Many Roles of Charles Fleischer

Who: Fleischer is best known for being the voice behind Roger Rabbit.

When: Friday, 11 a.m.

Power Ranger School

What: Learn how to become a Power Ranger, as taught by the Power Rangers themselves.

When: Friday, 3 p.m. (two hours)

KidCon — Superhero Parade

What: A chance to parade your costumed kids around with other like-minded youngsters.

When: Friday, 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, 5:30 p.m.

How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Dr. Who

What: A panel of authors and fans discuss why they love the BBC's hit show "Doctor Who."

When: Friday, 6 p.m.

Related activities: From Dr. Who Companion to Guardians of the Galaxy's Nebula: Spotlight on Karen Gillan (Saturday, 11 a.m.), The Doctor's Confidante: The Role of the Companion in the Dr. Who Universe (Saturday, 5 p.m.)

Jedi Mind Tricks

What: Hypnotist and comedian John Moyer hosts an interactive show which is fun and safe for all ages.

When: Friday, 6 p.m.

What We Know and What We Think We Know About 'Star Wars: Episode VII'

What: Lots of speculation and discussion based on released facts and rumors about the 2015 continuation of the Star Wars saga.

When: Friday, 8 p.m.

Related activities: Gayle Sayers, Harvey Dent, Lando Calrissian, and “The Lego Movie”: Spotlight on Billy Dee Williams (Friday, 3 p.m.), Star Trek vs Star Wars — Living in a Post-JJ Abrams World Part Deux (Saturday, 2 p.m.)


Easter Bunny

Who: The Easter Bunny

When: Saturday, 9 a.m.

Downton Abbey: How A Stuffy British Drama Became One of TV’s Most Addictive Shows

What: A panel-style discussion about the BBC's popular drama "Downton Abbey."

When: Saturday, 10 a.m.

Saturday Morning TV

What: A discussion about popular TV cartoons of yesteryear.

When: Saturday, 10 a.m.

Captain Mal, Captain Hammer, and Captain... er, Castle: Spotlight on Nathan Fillion

Who: One of FanX's most popular guests, the star of cult sci-fi show "Firefly" and ABC's "Castle."

When: Saturday, 10 a.m.

Related activities: From Star Trek to Star Wars to Babylon 5 to Firefly to Battlestar Galactica: What Makes a Good Space Opera? (Saturday, 1 p.m.); Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Cabin in the Woods & the Avengers: Joss Whedon and the Art of Storytelling (Saturday, 6 p.m.)

Studio C

Who: BYUtv's popular sketch comedy troupe.

When: Saturday, 2 p.m.

Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror in Young Adult and Middle Grade Books: What's Fun and New Between the Pages

What: A great way to get your kids reading books.

When: Saturday, 3 p.m.

Butch Patrick and Pat Priest — The Munsters Kids

Who: Two stars of the hit 1960s TV show, "The Munsters."

When: Saturday, 4 p.m.

KidCon — Dance guests Tadd Gadduang and Gevorg Manoukian

Who: Professional dancers and former competitors on "So You Think You Can Dance?"

When: Saturday, 5 p.m.

Power Rangers Samurai: Live on Stage

Who: Stars of the popular Power Rangers television series

When: Saturday, 6 p.m.

The Wonderful World of Weird Disney

What: Rare images and videos of odd Disney artifacts

When: Saturday, 6 p.m.

For a full schedule of all FanX events and panels, visit saltlakecomiccon.com/master-panel-list-fanx-2014.

For a full list of the KidCon schedule, visit saltlakecomiccon.com/kid-con.

For tickets, visit saltlakecomiccon.com.

Email: achristensen@deseretnews.com, Twitter: atownmania