by Allen J. Sheinman | April 01, 2015

Nobody Gets Whacked

The Mob Museum in Las Vegas is offering new group packages for up to 400 people, including talks by experts such as a retired undercover FBI agent and the daughter of a reputed mobster. Among other offerings are museum scavenger hunts, group "lineup" photos and even overnight "courtroom slumber parties" (please observe a code of silence) for up to 50 suspects, er, participants. 


Sounds of Summer

Here are some top U.S. music festivals for a variety of tastes.

• June 26-28: Big Barrell Country Music Festival, Dover, Del. Stars include Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.

• June 26-28: Loudwire Music Festival, Grand Junction, Colo. Rock here, with Linkin Park, Weezer, more.

• July 15-Aug. 1: Carmel Bach Festival, Carmel, Calif.; for fans of baroque.

• July 16-19: Yidstock, Amherst, Mass.; aka, the Festival of New Yiddish Music.    


Offbeat Venues in the Big Apple

The next time you plan a happening in New York City, think outside the usual glittering boxes and consider one of the following.  


When you think of wine, your thoughts naturally turn to the scenic vineyards of -- Brooklyn?! Yep, the Brooklyn Winery, in trendy Williamsburg, is where groups of up to 160 can enjoy a luncheon among rustic wood furnishings, attentive servers and premium small-batch wines.  


Throw a reception for circa 200 at the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House in Ridgewood, Queens. With construction dating from the early 1700s, it's the oldest Dutch Colonial stone farmhouse in NYC, complete with cobblestoned paths winding through bucolic front/back yards.


When it comes to wild, even New York's subways can't beat the Bronx Zoo, which dates from 1899, and where anything from an intimate BBQ to a formal gala for up to 300 can be held in proximity to lemurs, crocodiles and sea lions. This is the one place in town where the cry of "Take your paws off me!" is likely to be meant literally.


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