Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does general admission include?

A: General Admission is what allows you on the grounds. Along with this you also can go into the Museum exhibits wings attached to the Mansion, including the Habitat and Stoll Wing wild-animal dioramas, as well as The Hall of Fishes marine Museum. This does not include a Planetarium show or a Mansion tour, however the exhibits in the Planetarium lobby are available to you.

Q: Can I pay just for a Planetarium show or Mansion tour?

A: Only at night when the grounds are closed. During the day, the price of general admission is built into the price for a Planetarium show or a Mansion tour. Our nighttime prices are different than the daytime.

Q: Can I make a reservation for a Planetarium show?

A: Yes. Daytime Planetarium show tickets are available for purchase here. Tickets for evening shows may be purchased here.

Q: How long are Planetarium shows?

A: The running time for shows varies. On the average, shows run about 45 minutes. However, One World, One Sky is approximately 30 minutes, and Long Island Skies about 60 minutes.

Q: Are all the Planetarium shows the same?

A: Different shows are offered every hour. Shows also change by season. You can see our schedule of shows here: here

Q: Are evening Planetarium shows prices the same as daytime shows?

A: No. At night, you are not required to pay for general admission, as the Museum and Estate grounds are closed. Evening Planetarium show tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors (62 and older) and students with ID, and $8 for children. Children under 2 are free. Laser shows at 10pm are $17 for adults, $15 for seniors (62 and older) and students with ID, and $14 for children.

Q: What is a Mansion tour?

A: The Mansion tour is a guided introduction to the history of the Vanderbilt family and the Eagle’s Nest estate. It brings groups of 12 people through the historic living quarters, which are not viewable with general admission, and shares stories about the objects, furnishings, and art collected by William Kissam Vanderbilt II during his world travels.

Q: Can I make a reservation for a Mansion tour?

A: Due to limited capacity, Mansion tour tickets must be purchased in person on the day of your visit. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend that you arrive as early as possible to secure a spot on a Mansion tour.

Q: Can I go through the house by myself?

A: Self-guided tours of the living quarters are not permitted. If guests would like to view the rooms where the Vanderbilt family lived, tickets for a guided mansion tour can be purchased at the admissions desk in the Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium.

Q: How many people can be on the Mansion tour?

A: The maximum number of people on a Mansion tour is 12. Guided tours allow the Museum to protect the historic artifacts, art, and furnishings, while also providing an intimate educational experience. Due to limited capacity, tickets for Mansion tours must be purchased in person on the day of your visit.

Q: How long are the Mansion tours?

A: The average tour lasts about 45 minutes. However, depending on the discussions that take place, a tour can take up to an hour.

Q: Can children take a Mansion tour?

A: Based upon our experience, we recommend tours for children 8 and older.

Q: Is photography allowed?

A: Indoor photography is prohibited in the Mansion and in all exhibit galleries. Personal outdoor photography is, however, permitted. To book appointments for professional photo shoots, please contact the site-use department at

Q: When is the Observatory open?

A: The observatory is open on Friday evenings throughout the year. As successful astronomical observation depends on good weather, the observatory will be closed on cloudy nights. Please consult the local weather forecast for guidance.

Q: Are the grounds and mansion handicapped-accessible?

A: The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum aims to provide an enjoyable visitor experience to all its guests. Security is able to transport individuals between buildings on a motorized tram to make the landscape more accessible. As a historic structure listed on the National Register for Historic Places, however, not all sections of the Museum are handicapped-accessible. The exhibit halls and galleries that meet ADA guidelines are the two galleries on the first floor of the Memorial Wing, the mummy room and Lancaster Gallery on the first floor of the Nursery Wing, and the entirety of the Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium. A videotape of the Mansion tour is available upon request for anyone who cannot access the house.

Q: Is there food on the property?

A: Yes. Our new café is located in the lobby of the Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium. Our café serves sandwiches and baked goods from Copenhagen Bakery in Northport, as well as snacks, drinks, and a selection of ice cream flavors.

Q: What are the benefits of becoming a member and where can I apply?

A: General membership at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum supports museum operations, historic preservation, and educational programming. To show our appreciation for our members, the general membership package comes with several benefits to make the most out of a day at the Museum. Guests can purchase memberships online or at the admissions desk in the lobby of the Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium.

The benefits of general membership include, but are not limited to:

  • Unlimited access to the Museum grounds
  • Unlimited Planetarium shows
  • Unlimited Mansion tours
  • Discounts on select programs throughout the year
  • And a 10% discount in our Gift Shop

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum also offers membership tiers with benefits greater than those included in the general membership package. These tiers include the family membership, the associate membership, and the three supporter tiers. At the associate membership level and above, members access the North American Reciprocal Museum (NARM) program. NARM participation allows members at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum to enjoy free admission and discounts at more than 1,000 participating museums worldwide.

Q: Are group rates available?

A: Yes, group rates are available for private tours and community organizations. If you would like to organize a private tour, please contact our group tour coordinator, Carol Sporandeo, at

Q: Who can I talk to about parties, weddings, and use of the grounds?

A: The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum has a dedicated site use and events department to coordinate your special occasion. For inquiries and additional information, please contact

Q: Can I bring my dog to the Vanderbilt?

Only service dogs are allowed on the grounds.