Today's Groupon is a man dressed as a woman feeding you food. You get $50 worth of food for $25 at Lips, a "drag diner" where men dressed in high heels, bras, skirts, dresses, and women's goalie masks wait your table and put on wildly entertaining drag shows. You get $50 worth of pasta, seafood, poultry, and anything else on the menu, plus drinks such as Lips' famous frozen cosmopolitan. Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
The Art of Framing's skilled craftspeople protect and prolong the life of treasured paintings, photographs, and three-dimensional artifacts by encasing them behind thousands of frame designs. Outside of their standard framing services, technicians also stretch mats and fabrics; heat-mount delicate documents; and mend scratched, chipped, and shrink-rayed framework. More than merely preserving personal collections of photos and posters, The Art of Framing promotes the area's thriving art community, hosting a show once a year as well as selling local artists' work in the gift shop.
Open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, Lestat's Coffee House curates a menu of café favorites, from sandwiches and salads to coffee, tea, and smoothies. Brave baristas concoct the espresso latte ($2.50–$3.75) and the cappuccino ($2.25–$3.60) using Diedrich coffee. A special menu of house hot drinks soothes the senses with combinations including caramel and Mexican chocolate in the Dulcé Mexican mocha ($3.50–$4.75) and peppermint, chocolate, and a disarmingly attractive sense of sarcasm in the Peppermint Patty ($3.50-$4.75). On the chillier side, fruit smoothies, such as the pineapple-, mango-, and banana-packed Hawaiian Vacation ($4.50), set apart surf-ready stomachs, or sustenance seekers can fill the hungry stomach inside their regular stomach with a succinct menu of sandwiches ($4.50-$7.95), house-made soups ($4.25–$5.75), and salads ($4–$6.50).
The historic fountain at the east end of Balboa Park’s El Prado pedestrian walk is a lure for visitors, thanks to its majestic and cooling spray. But a quick turn to the right is the entrance to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, another local draw. For the young, it’s a two story, interactive science playground. For the young at heart, there are sophisticated displays, rotating exhibits and the new, NanoSeam IMAX Dome Theater. Films splayed across the 76-foot wraparound screen plunge viewers into the depths of the sea and out into space, through jungles and between skyscrapers around the planet. Resident astronomers also create new shows monthly, using the latest SkyScan System software. The café near the entrance takes care of hungry visitors with a modest menu, a few tables indoors and patio seating in front of the fountain.
For more than 65 years, San Diego Junior Theatre has been training young thespians for a life on the stage. The training has sparked the careers of many notable actors including Dennis Hopper – who took part in one of the earliest productions, and award-winning actresses Raquel Welch and Annette Bening. Although the theater doesn’t offer tours, there are productions running from October through August in the Casa del Prado Theatre. The historic façade is decorated with a rich terra cotta relief and sits just east of the Timken museum and in front of Balboa Park’s Botanical Building. The theater also offers educational programs in Chula Vista, La Jolla and throughout San Diego County, as well as at the central Balboa Park location.
In Shakespeare’s time, theatergoers thronged to an outdoor stage set in a unique octagonal building. The aristocracy watched from boxes ringing a central courtyard, while the peasants stood below, close to the action. In San Diego the tradition of performing the Bard’s plays outdoors continues with a similar architectural layout, though the entire audience now gets to watch from comfortable seats. The three performance spaces known collectively as the Old Globe include a modern indoor theater whose exterior is modeled after Shakespeare’s, a smaller indoor theater, and an outdoor festival stage. One of the most respected regional theaters in the nation, The Old Globe offers more than a dozen plays and musicals each year, from recently acclaimed playwrights to fresh takes on traditional productions. The Tony Award-winning theater has been charming audiences for more than 75 years, and offers free seminars, educational programs and special events throughout the year.