• The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, Calif., features an annual autumn outdoor Italian Street Festa for groups of 100 and more that includes Italian cuisine, music, wine and more.
• Roll your own: The Bavarian Inn Lodge in Frankenmuth, Mich., offers a popular daily pretzel-rolling activity for groups of up to 45.
• The Mad Scientist Chef Break at the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Point Clear, Ala., teaches groups of 50 and up the secrets of molecular gastronomy (don't miss the "Nitro Dragon Cake Station").
Big Bubble in the Big Apple
Winter can't put a damper on outdoor socializing at Midtown Manhattan's 230 Fifth Rooftop Garden & Penthouse Lounge (230-fifth.com), thanks to the recent installation of four transparent "bubble tents" made from one-millimeter-thick PVC. Impervious to wind, rain and snow, the tents provide magnificent views of the NYC skyline along with cozy sofas, lamps, rugs, TVs - and heat.
London Celebrates the Bard
This year marks the 450 birthday of William Shakespeare, and venues throughout his hometown will be commemorating the occasion with a host of dedicated programs, including the following.
• Globe Theater (shakespearesglobe.com): Look for new stagings of Antony & Cleopatra and The Comedy of Errors, plus in the new candlelit Wanamaker Playhouse on-site, The Duchess of Malfi by Shakespeare's contemporary, John Webster.
• Middle Temple Hall (templesong.com): Enjoy a special guided tour (and lunch) where the Bard himself strolled (the hall dates from the 1570s) and Twelfth Night likely debuted in 1602.
• Noel Coward Theater (noelcowardtheatre.co.uk): Based on the Academy Award-winning film, the new stage production of Shakespeare in Love begins its run here this summer.
"For any event held on an outdoor lawn, learn where the sprinklers are and be sure they're turned off. Don't ask how I know this." - Darren Johnson, CEO, Darren W. Johnson Productions, and author of Going Live: Insider Secrets to Corporate Event Production
Now that Colorado has legalized pot, would you hold meetings there?
"Yes, but I wonder if I need to make sure the hotels we use are nonsmoking in every sense. I'm not arguing legality, but rather smell and sensitivity issues, and that it might make some people uncomfortable in a way cigarettes don't." - Deborah K. Gaffney, Tax Executives Institute
"I would but I am concerned. It's a whole new area for our members to get into trouble, and I wouldn't want anyone coming to meetings while high." - Anonymous