Aurora-Inspired Live Music, Morning at the Museum, Exclusive Media-Arts Event

Roman Zavada to Perform ‘Résonances Boréales’

Roman Zavada will perform piano compositions inspired by the spectacular aurora borealis in the Reichert Planetarium Theater on Saturday, October 7, at 5:30 and 7:00 pm. He describes the performance – accompanied by stunning video images on the dome – as a dialogue between a single piano and the northern lights.


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With an upright piano anchored to the rock of the Canadian Shield, at the edge of the taiga, Roman Zavada created piano compositions inspired by one of the most spectacular and majestic phenomena on Earth: the aurora borealis of the Northwest Territories.

Acclaimed by critics and audiences alike for its beauty and originality, Résonances Boréales is an exceptional 360-degree dome show featuring Zavada’s piano performance. This immersive experience takes the audience on a journey above the 60th parallel as Zavada translates the spirit of the North in a dialogue between the piano and the pulsing energies of the astonishing northern lights.

Roman Zavada is a self-taught Ukrainian and Québécois-born pianist whose creative direction is based on instinct, spontaneity, and improvisation. His first piano experiences go back to early childhood. As he got older, he quickly developed a passion for showmanship and improvisation while breathing new life into the silver-screen classics of the past and became a silent-film accompanist. He improvised musical narration in real-time, which made the musical notes of the soundtrack seem part of the film. He later returned to his personal compositions with an all-new large-scale project: Résonances Boréales.

Inspired by the Northern vibes and the splendor of the aurora borealis, Roman Zavada continued the composition of nine evocative titles over two years. Each piece, based on twenty hours of improvisation in the middle of Prelude Lake’s boreal forest in the Northwest Territories, reflects deeply the sensibility felt beyond the 60th parallel. Résonances Boréales is an album rich in emotion with a strong pianistic and artistic personality.

‘Morning at the Museum’ for Families With Special Needs

The Vanderbilt Museum will present Morning at the Museum, its annual event exclusively for people with special needs and their families, on Saturday, October 7, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Admission is free, but advance registration is required.


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Spend the morning exploring the collections, grounds, gardens, architecture, and the Reichert Planetarium’s “Open Sky.” Activities include a preserved specimen touch table and crafts.

For more information contact Beth Laxer-Limmer at 631-854-5552 or

Media Arts Experience: ‘A Guided Sublimation’

The Vanderbilt Museum will premiere A Guided Sublimation – a media arts experience developed by transdisciplinary artist Laura Splan in collaboration with the theoretical biophysicist Adam Lamson – on Saturday, October 21. The work will be projected onto the Reichert Planetarium dome.

A twenty-five-minute full-dome artwork, A Guided Sublimation explores the connections between the natural world and the built environment through a reflection on biotechnics and the language of scientific representation. In exploring these themes, Splan draws inspiration from emerging research in epigenetics, or the study of environmental influences over gene expression, as part of her examination of the relationships that exist between processes that are invisible and objects that lay in plain sight.


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Splan and her collaborators use a range of technical, scientific, and aesthetic strategies to give expression to this conceptually challenging but ubiquitous condition of contemporary society. In an immersive media environment, she allows the mirrored surfaces of 3D molecular models to reflect AI-generated landscapes built from carefully chosen scientific prompts. Splan selects these prompts from clinical source material—publications on the effects of trauma, climate change, and other external factors on public health—to invite viewers to a meditation on the microcosmic space and dramas of the human body. In doing so, Splan creates a moving multimedia experience that reveals how, at the most minute level, we are at once biological and technological, autonomous from and deeply entangled with the wider world.

A Guided Sublimation is the latest artwork to play with the unique technical parameters of the planetarium and its full-dome projection system. By participating in the logic of a machine that is equally appropriate for science communication and musical light shows, Splan’s daring artwork establishes the conditions for an engagement with phenomena that are otherwise beyond direct experience.

About Laura Splan

Laura Splan is a transdisciplinary artist working at the intersections of science, technology, and culture. Her research-driven projects connect hidden artifacts of biotechnology with everyday life through embodied interactions and sensory engagement. Her work has appeared at the Museum of Arts and Design, Pioneer Works, and the New York Hall of Science, and is represented in the collections of the Thoma Art Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, NYU Langone’s Art Collection, and the Berkeley Art Museum.

The Vanderbilt Museum’s commission of A Guided Sublimation is the organization’s latest effort to bring world-class scholars, authors, and artists to Suffolk County’s first public park and museum. The Vanderbilt, as an organization dedicated to the education and enjoyment of the people of Long Island, commissioned this new work by Laura Splan to reflect its commitment to making innovative and thought-provoking culture accessible for everyone, regardless of location, background, or life experience.

Additional support for A Guided Sublimation is made possible by the Simons Foundation, NEW INC at the New Museum, Beall Center for Art+Technology, Wave Farm Media Arts Assistance Fund, New York Council on the Arts, and the Rochester Community Foundation.

Popular Morning, Evening ‘Birdwatch and Architecture Tours’ Resume

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum once again will offer more morning and evening Birdwatch and Architecture Tours, led by the Museum’s director of curatorial affairs. Next tours: September. Morning: October 14. Evening: October 6.

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum once again will offer morning and evening Birdwatch and Architecture Tours, led by the Museum’s director of curatorial affairs, beginning in early September.

Participants will enjoy the unique opportunity to view the Vanderbilt estate in the early dawn hours and at dusk, when the grounds are closed but the birds are active.

Tickets are free for members, $12.00 for non-members. Early Registration is Suggested

Sturdy hiking footwear is strongly suggested. Participants are asked to bring their own binoculars.

Morning Birdwatch

Saturdays: October 14, 28


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Evening Birdwatch

Fridays: October 6, 20 | November 3


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Birdwatches are semi-regular touring events offered during the fall and spring months, when local and migratory bird species are at their most active and visible – during the waves of migration along the Atlantic flyway.

Each Birdwatch will feature aspects of the estate’s architectural history while participants view the Vanderbilt’s resident avian species and hear their calls and songs. Some of the species observed and identified recently at the Vanderbilt Museum include red-tailed hawks, osprey, merlin, brant, northern flickers, great-horned owls, grackle, white-breasted nuthatch, mourning doves, and more.

SOLD OUT: ‘Mr. Vanderbilt’s Spooky Science Lab’

The Vanderbilt Museum Education Department will offer Mr. Vanderbilt’s Spooky Science Lab, a program for children in grades 2-5 on Friday, October 27, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.

Join us for some creepy fun! We’ll tour the galleries with flashlights, looking for creatures, and will create a creepy potted cactus that can be used in any spooky Halloween display.

Registration is online only. Cost: $20 / $18 for members. For more information, call 631-854-5552.


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“Kids love exploring the collections in the dark with flashlights,” said Beth Laxer-Limmer, Associate Director of Education. “They notice things they might usually miss – like a hawk’s hooked beak or the spines on a sea urchin.”

Pop Up Prana Restorative Yoga in the Planetarium

Jennifer Eagen of Pop Up Prana Yoga has scheduled two sessions of Restorative Yoga at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum, on Sunday, October 8, below the digital sky in the Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium. Early registration is suggested.

5:30 to 6:30 pm | 7:00 to 8:00 pm | $37

The minimalist style yin practice involves support by minimal props that allow you to rest and relax, Eagen said. Contrary to our yang lifestyle, or highly active state of being, this practice will introduce the elements of yin to foster and promote optimal relaxation. Held for a few minutes or more, restorative poses include light twists and gentle backbends. All levels are welcomed and encouraged.  She invites participants to bring their own props if they like.

Cork blocks and yoga blankets are provided upon request. Please bring a yoga mat. Check-in begins at least 10 minutes prior to practice.


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Lecture: ‘Immigrants and the Evolution of the American Landscape’

Wambui Ippolito, an award-winning landscape designer and author, will give a lecture at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum on the contributions immigrants have made to the American landscape – on Thursday, November 2, at 7:00 pm in the Reichert Planetarium.

In a relatively short period of time, American landscapes have been altered, reshaped, and diversified by intense immigrant activities. Much like waves of earlier settlement, today’s immigrants continue to change the land through their gardening activities. These individuals introduce plants and practices that are beneficial and problematic to the land, forever transforming the American terrain.

In her lecture “Immigrants and the Evolution of the American Landscape,” Ippolito will take us through various immigrant garden landscapes and histories—from the early Scottish and Irish gardeners at great estates to today’s largely Central American workforces—with hopes of inspiring a new understanding and approach to immigrant land management.

The lecture will take place at 7:00 pm in the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium theater. Support for the lecture series is generously provided by a grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.


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Wambui Ippolito is a horticulturalist, landscape designer, and author based in New York City. She is a graduate of the prestigious New York Botanical Garden’s School of Professional Horticulture, and she has designed gardens for commercial, residential, and public spaces. Her design for the 2021 Philadelphia Flower Show won the competition by unanimous decision.

Ippolito is the author of an upcoming book on the contributions of immigrants to the American landscape. In 2022, she was invited to design a new Exhibition Courtyard for the expansion of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia. Her commission marks the first time that an African-born female designer has been asked to create a permanent installation for a North American botanical garden.

SOLD OUT: Two ‘Storytimes’ to Feature Halloween Themes

Halloween themes will be featured in the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s next Storytime Under the Stars evenings, set for Sunday, October 22 and 29, in the Reichert Planetarium. This popular program for parents, grandparents, and children is sponsored by Bank of America.

Join us for a special evening of storytelling and stargazing in the Reichert Planetarium. All children are invited to wear their Halloween costumes and bring their favorite stuffed animals.

A live narrator at the front of the theater will bring selected seasonal picture books to life, with pages projected onto the Planetarium dome for families to enjoy the illustrations and follow along. Between stories, an astronomy educator will explore seasonal constellations visible from here on Long Island.

Admission: $8 per person | $6 for members.


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‘Us and Floyd’ To Play Two Live Shows in Planetarium

Join Us and Floyd at the Vanderbilt Reichert Planetarium on Saturday, November 4, for a dazzling combination of live music and laser lights. The band will perform live and in sync with two of our stunning Pink Floyd laser light shows: The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon.

7:00 pm: The Wall Laser Show, featuring hits from Dark Side of the Moon


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9:00 pm: Dark Side of the Moon Laser Show, featuring hits from The Wall


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Us and Floyd is a tribute band that strives to perform accurate recreations of the timeless music of Pink Floyd. These professional musicians have grown up as avid Floyd fans and incorporate their knowledge of the band and its history into every live show. Their collective appreciation for Floyd is evidenced by the passion and precision of their performances.

There are limited opportunities to catch this music performed live. So, join Us And Floyd and honor the works of the greatest progressive rock act of all time; Pink Floyd!

American Rascal: How Jay Gould Built Massive Wall Street Fortune

On Thursday, December 7, the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum will host Greg Steinmetz, author of The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: The Life and Times of Jacob Fugger, for a lecture adapted from his latest publication American Rascal: How Jay Gould Built Wall Street’s Biggest Fortune (Simon & Schuster, 2022).

In American Rascal, Steinmetz recounts the gripping life of Jay Gould, one of the nineteenth century’s most infamous robber barons, whose brilliance, greed, and bare-knuckled tactics made him wealthier than Rockefeller and led Wall Street to institute its first reforms. Steinmetz shares how Gould quickly became a notorious figure at the age of twenty-four, when he paralyzed the economy and nearly topped President Ulysses S. Grant in the Black Friday market collapse of 1869 as he sought to corner the gold market.

American Rascal shows Gould’s complex, quirky character. He was at once praised for his brilliance by Rockefeller and Vanderbilt and condemned for forever destroying American business values by Mark Twain. He lived a colorful life, trading jokes with Thomas Edison, figuring Thomas Nast’s best sketches, and commuting to work on a 200-ft. yacht.

The lecture will take place at 7:00 pm in the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium theater. Tickets are available online at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s website. Support for the lecture series is generously provided by a grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.


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Greg Steinmetz is an American journalist, author, the securities analyst. He was born and raised in Clevland, Ohio. He attended Colgate University, earning degrees in History and German, before attending the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Steinmetz spent fifteen years working as a journalist for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Houston Chronicle, Newsday, and The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: The Life and Times of Jacob Fugger (Simon & Schuster, 2015), a highly regarded biography about wealth, politics, and religion.

‘Wildman’ Steve Brill: Foraging at the Vanderbilt

Environmental educator and author “Wildman” Steve Brill, who leads wild food and ecology tours, will offer Foraging with the ‘Wildman’ on the estate grounds of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum on Sunday, October 29, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

“The Vanderbilt Museum grounds—with cultivated areas, fields, thickets, and woods—is a bonanza for wild foods in late fall,” Brill said, “and everything the group will be finding is renewable.”

Brill said wild greens will be thriving in sunny areas and along trail edges. These include chickweed, which tastes like corn on the cob, lemony sheep sorrel, garlicky garlic mustard, spicy hairy bittercress, pungent and field garlic. Roots could include burdock, field garlic, and wild carrots. We could find fruits and berries such as wild raisins, autumn olives, and crab apples.

If there have been days of pouring rain beforehand, gourmet mushrooms such as chicken mushrooms, hen of the woods, oyster mushrooms, various puffball species, and inky caps could be growing in abundance as well, and other habitats will provide many more delicious, renewable edible and medicinal species, he said.

A 60-minute indoor presentation in the Vanderbilt Reichert Planetarium will precede a two-hour foraging tour, followed by a book signing.

Adults and children 10 and older $10, children under 10 free. Members $9.

“Participants should bring plastic bags for veggies and herbs, and paper bags for mushrooms, which spoil in plastic,” he said. “Digging implements such as small hand shovels are recommended, as roots will be in season.”

Everyone should wear closed shoes, long pants, and long sleeves for protection from poison ivy and ticks, plus an extra layer of clothing in case it gets cold. Smoking and vaping are not allowed. Please note that this is the first day of Daylight Savings Time.




Brill’s books include Foraging in New York (Globe Pequot Press, 2017), on the state’s best edible plants; Foraging with Kids (Brill is author, artist and publisher, 2014), a wild foods guide with science, folklore, history, recipes, games, and activities, for teachers, parents, and grandparents to use with kids; The Wild Vegan Cookbook: A Guide to Preparing Wild (and Not-So-Wild) Foods (Harvard Common Press, 2002).

Also: Shoots and Greens of Early Spring (Brill is author, artist and publisher, 2008), and Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places (Harper-Collins 1994), plus the iOS/Android app Foraging with the Wildman.

Environmental educator Brill is still best known for having been arrested and handcuffed by undercover park rangers for eating a dandelion in Central Park in 1986. (See for details, and more.)

‘Haunting Menagerie’, Museum’s First Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition

Gericroix (Pegasus)
Wendy Klemperer

On Earth Day, April 22, the Vanderbilt Museum debuted Wendy Klemperer: Wrought Taxonomies, the first exhibition of outdoor sculpture at the historic summer estate of William Kissam Vanderbilt II.

Wendy Klemperer’s sculptures—a haunting assemblage of animal forms that span imaginary, endangered, familiar, and exotic species—celebrate natural history and the nonhuman world through evocative interactions with the surrounding environment.

Using materials salvaged from scrapyards, she composes ecological narratives that respond to the history and collections of Suffolk County’s first public park and museum. Her brilliant use of gestural lines captures the spectator’s attention and invites museumgoers to reflect on the relationship between an interest in animal life and the incessant push of human industry.

Wrought Taxonomies is the inaugural exhibition in the Vanderbilt Museum’s outdoor sculpture program and the institution’s second exhibition of contemporary art focused on the relationship between culture and animals.

The Vanderbilt Museum occupies the former Gold Coast estate of William Kissam Vanderbilt II, the great-grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt and a pioneer of American motorsport. Located in Centerport on the north shore of Long Island, it is renowned for its extensive marine and natural history collections, Spanish revival architecture, and picturesque parklands.

All sculptures are viewable with general admission to the Museum grounds. Educational programs and workshops associated with the themes and content of Wendy Klemperer: Wrought Taxonomies will be offered throughout the exhibition. Special thanks are due to the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, whose generous support made Wrought Taxonomies possible. The exhibition will run through April 22, 2024.

CEED Biologist-Ranger to Lead Three Owl Prowls

Biologist and ranger Eric Powers, co-founder of the Center for Environmental Education & Discovery (CEED), has planned three Owl Prowls on the grounds of the Vanderbilt Estate and Museum – at 6:00 pm on Saturday, October 21; Friday, October 27; and Friday, November 17.

After a presentation on the owls of Long Island, Powers will lead a walk on the estate grounds, during which he will attempt to call in nearby owls. Flashlights are not permitted. Sturdy footwear is recommended as the trail is uneven and it will be dark.

Tickets: Members, free; non-members, $12.




CEED, based in Brookhaven, Long Island, is a nature center that inspires connections to the joys of nature through education and experience. CEED serves children, youth, and adults through public nature programs and events, school and community-based environmental education, conservation projects, live animal ambassadors, and more.


Next Classic Car Show:
Jaguars, September 10

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum has honored William K. Vanderbilt II’s automotive and racing legacy by hosting classic car shows on its grounds for more than three decades. The next show will be Sunday, September 10, by the Jaguar Drivers Club of Long Island.

Next Classic Car Show: Porsches, October 29

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum has honored William K. Vanderbilt II’s automotive and racing legacy for more than three decades by hosting shows of beautiful, restored vintage automobiles on the estate grounds.

The last show of this season will be presented on Sunday, October 29, by the Porsche Club of America, Inc.

Visitors pay only general admission to the museum – adults $10; seniors (62 plus) $9; students (with ID) $9; children 12 and under $7; military and children under 2 are free.

Vanderbilt, a pioneer race driver who competed in Europe, brought auto racing to the United States. He inaugurated the famous Vanderbilt Cup Races in 1904. That same year, he set a new land-speed record of 92.3 miles per hour in a Mercedes at a course in Florida. He also spurred the development of the American auto industry and built the prototype for the first toll road, the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway on Long Island.

‘Raptors & Recycled Art’ for Children Grades K-2

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum Education Department will offer Raptors & Recycled Art, a workshop for children in grades K-2 on Saturday, November 4, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Beth Laxer-Limmer, associate director of education, said “Participants will explore the Bird Room and learn about the birds of prey in the collections, dissect an owl pellet, and make art out of egg cartons.”

Fee: $20 per person, $18 for Members.

Registration is online only.


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Raptor Day: Meet Live, Rescued Birds Up Close

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum will hold its annual Raptor Day on Saturday, November 11, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The event will offer identical sessions – at 10:00 and 11:00 am and at 1:00 and 3:00 pm. Featured: a live exhibit of rescued raptors, with a bald eagle, falcon, golden eagle, owls, and hawks. Ticket prices include general admission to the Museum.

The event will be held on Veterans Day weekend – and the Vanderbilt will offer free admission for veterans and active-duty military and their families.

The event, which will benefit WINORR – Wildlife in Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation – and the Vanderbilt Museum will be held rain or shine in the Vanderbilt Celebration Tent. The event also will support Museum programs. WINORR will do a short presentation and Q&A about its Eurasian owl. A member of the Shinnecock tribe will offer a blessing for a Centerport father eagle that died this year.

WINORR houses the birds and rehabilitates them. This is an opportunity for visitors of all ages to get an up-close look at these magnificent birds that can no longer be released into the wild. Bring your camera!

Activities for children will include an arts and crafts table, plus free face painting, and the showing throughout the day of a short movie, Bald Eagles of Centerport. Vendors will include  Westfield Farms (selling their local honey), the Sierra Club, and Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society.  A raffle table will feature a raptor created by a local wood carver, as well as pictures donated by Bald Eagles of Centerport photographers.

Tickets: adults $20, children 12 and under $10. Members: adults $10, children $5. All tickets include general admission to the Museum.


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For Members Only: ‘Child’s Life at Vanderbilt Estate’

The Vanderbilt Museum Education Department will offer a members-only program, A Child’s Life at the Vanderbilt Estate, on Saturday, December 2, from 10:00 am to 11:30 am. For children in grades K-5.

Children will tour the decorated mansion with an educator and hear stories about the Vanderbilt children and their family. Like the young Vanderbilts, workshop participants will listen to 1930s radio programs and jazz, and play period games such as jacks, marbles, and checkers throughout the house, and make a snow globe.

Fee: $10. Advanced registration is required.


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Laser Shows Premiere This Weekend: Foo Fighters, The Weeknd

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s Reichert Planetarium has just premiered two new laser-light shows from Laser Fantasy, a leading laser entertainment creator: Laser Foo Fighters is shown at 9:00 pm on Friday, and Laser The Weeknd at 9:00 pm on Saturday.


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Alternative Rock, Post-Grunge, Hard Rock, however you want to categorize them, the Foo Fighters fill arenas and melt faces. Fronted by Dave Grohl, previously known as the powerhouse drummer for Nirvana, Foo Fighters brilliantly combine melody and punk energy to create their award-winning sound. Laser Foo Fighters captures the power and intensity of a concert and pours it onto the dome in spectacular laser light.

Set list: Something From Nothing, Learn to Fly, Times Like These, Wheels, Best of You, Everlong, My Hero, Walk, All My Life, The Pretender. Encores: This is a Call, Monkey Wrench.

Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of Laser The Weeknd! With a stunning display of choreographed lasers, you’ll be taken on a journey through the chart-topping artist’s most iconic hits. From the Grammy-award winning Blinding Lights to the dance floor anthems Can’t Feel My Face and Starboy, this show will transport you to a world of mind-blowing visuals.

Set list: I Feel It Coming, Save Your Tears, Die For You, Call Out My Name, Can’t Feel My Face, Party Monster, Earned It, Heartless, The Hills, Pray For Me, Starboy. Encores: Blinding Lights, Take My Breath.

‘Laser Taylor Swift’ Extended to September

Showings of the Vanderbilt Reichert Planetarium’s wildly popular new show, Laser Taylor Swift, have been extended through December 30 – every day at 4:00 pm. If you can’t score tickets to the Eras tour, Laser Taylor Swift is the next best thing!

With more than 200 million records sold, a shelf full of Grammys, and an army of fans, Taylor Swift is an inspiration for generations. This dynamic show takes her biggest hits and brings them to life in dazzling laser light.

Tickets: $18. (Free for Museum members.)


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Setlist: You Need To Calm Down, Love Story, Anti-Hero Exile, Look What You Made Me Do, Willow, Lavender Haze, I Knew You Were Trouble, Blank Space, You Belong With Me, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, Shake It Off.

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