Safari Wilderness in Lakeland, FL offers customized tours and facilities for private events.


How many of London’s spectacular palaces have you visited or hosted an event in? One of the most unexpectedly incredible venues I’ve ever been to is the Banqueting Hall. I kept imagining myself in a Renaissance dress and hair garland of flowers dining at the long table under massive wooden chandeliers and low-lit wall sconces while the musicians played lilting melodies. This place is truly fit for a luxurious dining event. The Banqueting Hall and other sites such as Kensington Palace and the Hillsborough Castles are all included in the special edition of Historic Royal Palaces, a guidebook of venues and special offers only available to Meeting Planners and Travel Specialists. The book is available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.


When I first learned about the 260-acre Safari Wilderness located halfway between Tampa and Orlando, my reaction was swift. What? How could I not have ever visited this place, a family-owned working game ranch with up-close encounters with exotic animals normally found only in zoos, theme parks or faraway countries? Your admission fee includes an experienced guide driving you through an open vista of animals such as Eland, Red Lechwe, Sitatunga, Waterbuck, Grant’s Zebra, Greater Kudu, Watusi Cattle, Barasingha, Axis Deer, Fallow Deer, Water Buffalo, Scimitar-Horned Oryx and Nilgai. Other tour options include a 90-minute camelback expedition. Imagine yourself joining the herd as they are guided through the area. Safari Wilderness describes this is as the only full-on camel-backed game-viewing safari outside of Africa. Another option is piloting a kayak through freshwater areas, rich with waterfowl and wetland species. Many more exciting adventures are possible. Reservations only. Tours are strictly limited in size to ensure a high-quality experience for every guest. Each guided safari lasts approximately one and a half to two hours. Safari Wilderness also has facility rentals for events.

Winter Claus at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium; (813) 382-2120;


A Napa Valley, CA wine, romance, and a stay at one of the loveliest boutique inns in Napa City could be the gift worth giving, even to oneself. The setting is enchanting (I know because I’ve experienced it) and the packages are numerous. Each package offers a different incentive, from a bottle of California wine, or a trip on the Napa Valley Wine Train, or just savings for booking the River Terrace Inn in advance.; (866) 627-2386

Celebrate Hotel Santa Fe, The Hacienda & Spa in Santa Fe, NM being named one of the Top 10 hotels in the Southwest by Conde Nast with this exclusive offer. Stay by December 22, 2017 and you can receive an upgraded Standard Room to a Jr. Suite for $99/night; a complimentary bottle of local NM Champagne upon arrival; and a   $25 per person Spa credit.; (855) 825-9876

Plan your San Francisco, CA meeting at one of these two Hilton hotels and choose your perks from exclusive offers.

Take the Hilton San Francisco Union Square for example. The 1,919 room hotels is the largest hotel on the West Coast, with 130,000 sf of meeting space. Book dates in 2017 and 2019 by December 29 for incentive options, depending on the number of rooms booked. Book an event at The Hilton San Francisco Union Square or its next door sister property, Parc 55 San Francisco, by Feb. 28 and actualized by Dec. 31, 2018 and receive a complimentary morning or evening meeting break with coffee or cocktails. Parc 55 San Francisco has 1,024 rooms and 30,000 sf of meeting space.

Book your next meeting at Delta by Marriott Hunt Valley in Maryland with actualization by December 31, 2019 (yes, that is the correct year!) and you can pick your perks! To Qualify for this perk group must be a minimum of 25 sleeping rooms per night for two consecutive nights. Delta Hunt Valley has 392 rooms and suites, free WIFI throughout its 17 bucolic acres, and nearly 30,000 sf of meeting, event, and banquet space, including 16 flexible venues.;


November 1 – 30: Clearwater Marine Aquarium (Clearwater, FL) shows its appreciation to Floridians with a special admission offer. Adults, $14.99; kids 12 and under, $9.99 and children 2 and under Free. Must show valid Florida ID at ticket window to receive this special pricing.

November 18 – December 29: Napa Valley Wine Train welcomes Santa. Sip hot cocoa, munch on cookies, sing along during the 1.5 hour Christmas train ride to the North Pole. Napa Wine Train has partnered with the Ticket to Dream Foundation to bring hundreds of foster children on the Santa Train and to be sure they receive a gift. Please bring a donation of new and unwrapped toys, books, games, movies, and gift cards.

(800) 427-4124;

November 24 – December 23: Clearwater Marine Aquarium (Clearwater, FL) transforms into a Winter Wonderland, featuring photo opportunities with “Winter Claus,” special Santa dive presentations, lights and decorations. On four of those nights, Dec. 15, 16, 22 and 23, the Aquarium will remain open until 9 pm for a special Sea of Lights experience! For an additional fee, guests can board the Sea of Lights Boat Cruise to view the holiday lights around Clearwater Bay. The mission of the Aquarium is “preserving our environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership in the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine life; environmental education; research; and conservation. We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.”

January 11 – 28, 2018: Laugh your face off for 17 days to comedians you know, and some you’ll be glad you got to know at the 2018 San Francisco Comedy Festival. SF Sketchfest once again has teamed up with 826 Valencia, a nonprofit organization that provides free writing, tutoring and publishing programs to under-resourced students in San Francisco. This is the 16th anniversary of its program. Acts include TV, Movies, Live Reads, Theater, Music, Comedy, Podcasts, Sketch Comedy, Improv, Storytelling, Debates, Game Shows and Family shows, as well as workshops and showcases for emerging talents.


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Karen Kuzsel is a writer-editor based in the Orlando area who specializes in the hospitality, entertainment, meetings & events industries. She is an active member of ILEA and MPI and is now serving on the 2016 – 2017 MPI Global Advisory Board for The Meeting Professional Magazine for the second consecutive year. Karen writes about food & wine, spas, destinations, venues, meetings & events. A career journalist, she has owned magazines, written for newspapers, trade publications, radio and TV. As her alter-ego, Natasha, The Psychic Lady, she is a featured entertainer for corporate and social events.;; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady.