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: 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: Is there any way I can preview a Planetarium show before coming in?

A: Yes, you can preview some of the shows on our website here, where you also can check out the show schedule.

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 small group tour that takes a maximum of 10 people through the living quarters of the Mansion, which you cannot see without a tour. Guides provide historical information about the house, the Vanderbilt family, and its famous guests. On a tour you will see Mr. Vanderbilt’s considerable collection of fine and decorative art, and antique furnishings purchased during his travels around the world.

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

A: Due to limited capacity (10 people per tour), tickets for Mansion tours must be purchased in person the day of your visit. Tours are available on a first-come first-served basis, therefore we recommend that you arrive as early as possible to be included in a tour since they do sell out quickly.

Q: Can I go through the house by myself?

A: Self-guided tours through the living quarters are not allowed, because the Vanderbilt Mansion is a “living” museum of one prominent family’s life in their grand house, with fragile and priceless artifacts displayed in the open – as if the family still lives there – and not in exhibition cases.

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

A: The maximum number of people per Mansion tour is 10. Guided tours with small numbers of guests are one way the Museum ensures the safety of artifacts, art, and furnishings and makes sure you have a positive, enjoyable experience. Due to limited capacity, tickets for Mansion tours must be purchased in person 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 Carol at 631-854-5568, or e-mail her:

Q: When is the Observatory open?

A: It’s open year-round on Friday nights, depending on cloud cover and weather conditions. In inclement weather, however, the observatory is closed.

Q: Are the grounds and mansion handicapped-accessible?

A: We are able to provide transportation from building to building. The only parts of the Museum that are handicapped-accessible are the first floor of the Memorial Wing (natural-history and cultural artifact galleries) and the mummy room on the first floor of the Nursery Wing, and the Planetarium and Planetarium Theater. A videotape of the Mansion tour is available on request for anyone who cannot access the house.

Q: Is there food on the property?

A: Yes! Our new café is located in the Planetarium lobby. We offer food (including sandwiches and baked goods from Copenhagen Bakery in Northport), snacks, and drinks on Saturdays and Sundays from 12am-4pm.

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

A: Annual membership offers many benefits, and you can apply online ( or at the Admission desk in the Planetarium lobby

Benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • Unlimited access to the Museum grounds
  • Unlimited Planetarium shows
  • Unlimited Mansion tours
  • Discounts on all special events throughout the year
  • A 10% discount in our Gift Shop

At the Associate Member level and higher, you get general membership benefits for two adults and four children under the age of 18, plus free admission to the Vanderbilt, and North American Reciprocal Museum privileges: free admission and discounts at more than 800 participating museums worldwide.

Q: Are group rates available?

A: We do have group rates. If you would like to organize a group tour, please call our event coordinator, in advance: Carol at 631-854-5568, or e-mail her:

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

A: Event coordinator Sarah 631-854-5521 to make an appointment to view the site, or e-mail her:

Q: Can I bring my dog to the Vanderbilt?

Only service dogs are allowed on the grounds.

To log in with your membership, open any ticket page and click on the “sign in” or “register” option
Your username will be the email you used to sign up for your membership. 
For additional assistance, please see the links below:
User Registration
Password Reset