Not-to-Miss Geeky Conventions in Seattle

Cons in Seattle focus on fantasy, comic book, sci-fi, girl-power and more!

Emerald City ComiCon
••• Emerald City ComiCon. Mat Hayward/Getty Images

Seattle is a city with a healthy geek (and nerd) side. From comic shops to game companies based in and around the Emerald City, nerds and geeks of all stripes have no shortage of geekery to delve into. That’s not even counting the conventions that take place in Seattle—and there are several.

Whether your con of choice is centered on comic books, anime, games or sci-fi, never fear! There’s an event for you in Seattle. In fact, cons in Seattle are among the best in the country! Get your costume ready (or just bring your camera) and find the con that suits you.

  • 01 of 06

    Emerald City ComiCon is all about comic books and pop culture. With more than 80,000 attendees over the course of a weekend, this con is big and it’s very likely the best con to find a broad range of celebrity guests.

    Dozens of stars from movies and TV, comic book artists and inkers, and more attend the event. Watch for celebrities from afar, or book an autograph or photo op ahead of time online. There’s also tons of vendors, artists, exhibitors and more to check out.

  • 02 of 06

    On Easter weekend each year, Norwescon rallies science fiction and fantasy fans in the Northwest. This con is, in fact, the largest sci-fi convention in the Northwest. It’s especially a treat for readers, but beyond sci-fi and fantasy books and authors, the con also brings in artists, memorabilia, clothing, games and other awesomeness. As with any con worth its weight in action figures, you’ll spot plenty of people in full costume.

    While many other cons have a lot of pop culture cosplay, Norwescon tends toward nerd culture, medieval garb and fantasy. You’ll still see plenty of costumes from TV, movies, books and games as well as straight out of people’s imaginations. Norwescon is also known for its Masquerade party on Saturday night, its special guests, educational programs and its Philip K. Dick Award for sci-fi books published that year in the U.S.

  • 03 of 06

    Also over Easter weekend, Sakura-Con has a focus on anime. Expect a bit of everything anime—games and contests, art and fashion, performances and dances, and lots of costumes (of course). Highlights include cosplay chess with selected characters in full costume battling their way through a live chess game. To participate, you must apply in advance and not everyone who applies will be chosen.

    There’s also a Masquerade with semi-formal attire and masks required, as well as other dances on other evenings.

  • 04 of 06

    PAX stands for Penny Arcade Expo—where Penny Arcade is a popular webcomic. Penny Arcade Expo became PAX Prime in 2011 and draws more than 70,000 people each year. PAX Prime is a con dedicated to gamers.

    While there are tons of exhibits, panels, vendors and things to do, some of the highlights are simply coming to play—either in the Console Freeplay area (chocked full of consoles from long ago and present day) or in the Handheld Lounge where you can relax with your handheld console of choice. Live music also plays a role and there’s always a concert or two during PAX, too.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    GoPlay Northwest is another gamer event designed to bring together those who love all games—board, card, RPG, role-playing and more. The atmosphere of GoPlay Northwest is lower key than Seattle’s major conventions, but it’s an excellent place for those who want to spend the bulk of their time playing.

    GoPlay takes place over a weekend and focuses on game sessions of all sorts and there’s a fundraising banquet, too!

  • 06 of 06

    Gamers, cosplay, artists and writers, math geeks, scientists—the only common denominator at GeekGirlCon is that your support girl power across the board. GeekGirlCon set out to bolster geek girls, no matter their interests, and bring those women, girls and their supporters together into one place.

    Programming includes panels, exhibitors and vendors, games and gamer-focused events, and contests—including costume contests as costumes are a big part of this geeky con!