Take the whole family to a Convention filled with science, computers and pop culture–Escape Velocity DC!
If you’re a family of geeks (ahem), with passions like sci fi, coding, movies, cosplay and more, you will love the Museum of Science Fiction’s convention. Escape Velocity DC is happening this Memorial Day weekend in National Harbor.
If you’ve ever been to a Comic Con, you may have thought it was not exactly family-friendly, and often STEM festivals are aimed at younger kids.
That’s what makes Escape Velocity perfect for tweens and teens! It mixes the fun and pop culture of Comic Cons with real-world math and science for an amazing 3-day experience.
What will we see at Escape Velocity?
My family attended last year and we absolutely LOVED it! I was so pleasantly surprised by how family-friendly the programming and exhibits were.
There really was so much for all ages to do and enjoy. Plus, there was a wide range of activities for all types of people–whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. As a mom, here’s what I really liked about this Convention:
The programming includes lots of classes and workshops for both kids and adults on cartooning, anime, character creation, creative writing and more. Plus, there are artists in the Exhibit Hall showing and selling their work.
Authors, performers and filmmakers are there to share their work, answer questions, and inspire new talent.
Costumers and makeup artists teach workshops on cosplay and movies, and other teach 3D printing for props and weapons.
Math & Science
There’s real-world math and science, not just science fiction! There are astronomers and astrophysicists from NASA, many from right here in the DC area at Goddard Flight Center.
Family programs are focused on STEAM activities. We were already familiar with First Lego League, so we were thrilled to see them in the Exhibit Hall doing robot demonstrations.
Diversity & Inclusion
I love that the programming at Escape Velocity has such wide representation in many areas. There’s a session on African-American Science Fiction and another on Neurodiversity in Sci Fi Literature.
My daughters attended sessions filled with female scientists, professors, researchers and engineers–of varied ages and nationalities
The Exhibit Hall is filled with everything from hands-on STEAM activities to real-life technology demonstrations and lots of photo opps.
Last year, one of my daughters even cosplayed as Thor for the day. I need to get up the nerve to do it myself this year so I can join my kids in the fun.
We stayed into the evening so we could watch the Costume Contest. Plus, I got to hang out with the Ghostbusters!
The evening programming is aimed at older teens and adults. There are film and anime showings and a lot of cosplay and dance-offs.
If you’re a fan of anything science fiction or pop culture, you’ll find something to like. These are just a few:
- Star Wars
- Doctor Who
- Star Trek
- Marvel & DC
- lots of other Sci Fi TV shows and movies
- Board Games
- Video Games
What can tweens and teens do at Escape Velocity?
Escape Velocity is not just about cosplay and photo ops. There are plenty of hands-on classes on cartooning, anime, creating characters, creative writing, Lego robotics and more. Teens may want to listen to a panel discussion or check out the film festival.
My girls went to a coding workshop, listed to a panel on how to take a video game idea from concept to reality, and learned about faux weaponry.
The whole family loved the Starship Horizons Bridge Simulation. Each person gets a role, and you have to work as a team to rescue another ship.
You know we’re a gaming family, so we loved the huge board game library. You can borrow and play in the Exhibit Hall anytime during the convention!
One of my daughters is really into Steampunk, so she loved seeing this homemade Steampunk R2D2!
Where and when is Escape Velocity DC?
This Memorial Day weekend, Escape Velocity is happening at Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.
- Friday, May 24, noon to midnight
- Saturday, May 25, 9am to midnight
- Sunday, May 26, 9am to 4pm
Take a look at the complete schedule and figure out what day (or days!) work for you and your family.
How do I get tickets?
Children 10 and under are FREE with a paying adult. Regular ticket prices are $25/day for adults and $10/day for youth ages 11-16.
If you think you’ll want to go all three days, get the weekend pass, which is $50/adult and $30/youth. There are also VIP options.
If you’re doing just one day, I recommend purchasing through my Certifikid link instead. They are offering a great deal on 1-day passes for both kids and adults:
- $5 for One Youth (Ages 11-16) Single-Day Admission to Escape Velocity
- $20 for One Adult Single-Day Admission to Escape Velocity
I hope I’ve covered everything you need to know about Escape Velocity. My family is excited to go again this year!
Do you think your family will enjoy it? Here are some highlights from previous years: