Fun, Festive Fall at the Vanderbilt

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum is offering an intriguing calendar of events and programs for late summer and early fall.

Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Last daily admission tickets are sold at 4:00 pm.

The Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium, which is marking its 50th anniversary, offers a full playbill of shows.


Fundraiser: Evening with Alex Torres Latin Orchestra

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
with Alex Torres and His Latin Orchestra!

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s annual fundraising event will feature a performance by Alex Torres and His Latin Orchestra on Friday, September 17, from 7:00 to 10:00 pm. This will be the 14th summer the celebrated orchestra has performed at the Vanderbilt (weather permitting). The evening will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and cultural diversity with music, the world’s universal language.

The orchestra will perform on the outdoor stage in the Vanderbilt Mansion’s beautiful Spanish-Revival courtyard overlooking Northport Bay. Gates open at 6:00 pm. Bring a picnic cooler.

Tickets: $65. Event tickets are limited, and early purchase is highly recommended. Reservations will be accepted only for tables of 10 and must be paid with one credit card.

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These renowned musicians and recording artists have performed to many sold-out Vanderbilt audiences and received rave reviews. The orchestra has performed its original blend of Afro-Caribbean rhythms – including salsa, merengue, cha-cha, bomba, plena, and Latin jazz – throughout North and South America. They have released 10 critically acclaimed CDs. Visit

Raptor Day: Meet Live, Rescued Birds Up Close

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum will present Raptor Day: The Bald Eagles of Centerport on Saturday, September 25. 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.

This one-of-a-kind event –held at the Vanderbilt Estate and Museum, originally named “Eagle’s Nest” – will feature a live exhibit of rescued raptors, with a bald eagle, golden eagle, owls, hawks, and more. 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 no longer can be released into the wild.

Tickets: non-members, $20; members: $10. Kids are free with general admission. Three sessions available: 11-1 pm / 1-3 pm / 3-5 pm. Bring your camera!

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  • Photographs of eagles will be available for silent auction
  • Kids’ arts and crafts table
  • Raptor face painting
  • Showing of a special movie about the Bald Eagles of Centerport
  • Gorilla conservation coffee
  • Craft beer from Oyster Bay Brewery

Planetarium Premieres ‘Laser Grateful Dead’

The Vanderbilt Reichert Planetarium just premiered a new show, Laser Grateful Dead, which will run on Friday nights through September. Appropriate for ages 13 and up.

The playlist includes Truckin’, Fire on the Mountain, Friend of the Devil, One More Saturday Night, and Sugar Magnolia.

Dave Bush, director of the Planetarium, said, “Laser Grateful Dead is our newest planetarium laser show, and we think it’s absolutely fantastic! Laser lights fill the entire dome with an endless array of colors and mind-blowing graphics. Beams of light appear to emerge through the air and across the dome through an atmospheric haze. We encourage visitors to tap their feet, clap their hands, and dance in their chairs during this epic experience of one of the greatest bands of all time.”

Tickets: Adults, $17; seniors (age 62 plus) and students with ID, $15; children 12 and under, $14.

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Exhibition – ‘Alva Belmont: Socialite to Suffragist’

Alva Belmont, the mother of William K. Vanderbilt II, was a pioneer in the movement to secure voting rights for women. The Museum just opened its newest exhibition, on her life and work, in the Lancaster Room. The exhibition was created by Killian Taylor, archives and records manager.

Belmont, along with suffragist leader Alice Paul, created the National Woman’s Party in 1913 to fight for women’s suffrage: the right of women by law to vote in national or local elections. An unexpected advocate and the party’s primary benefactor, Belmont was elected its president in 1921.

Belmont’s involvement and financial support helped lead to the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on August 26, 1920. The amendment put women on an equal basis with men. She died in Paris in 1933.

Virtual Exhibition: Local Villages

The newest virtual exhibition explores the history of the Museum’s four neighboring villages.

View it Here


The village histories presentation, North Shore Life, was created by Steven Clampitt, curatorial associate. “The exhibit shows scenes of daily life in Northport, Centerport, Greenlawn, and Huntington during Mr. Vanderbilt’s time at Eagle’s Nest,” he said. “This is a fascinating look into a lost age of Long Island history when the North Shore was dominated by grand mansions and small fishing hamlets.”

Raptors & Recycled Art: Parent-Child Workshop

The Museum Education Department is offering Raptors & Recycled Art, a workshop for children ages 3-4 with an adult, on Fridays, October 1 and 8, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.

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. To reserve a space, call 631-854-5539.

Face masks are required for all participants ages 2 and up.

‘Walk and Talk’ Tours: Architecture, Ironwork

Come for an intriguing walking tour of the Vanderbilt Estate with knowledgeable Vanderbilt Museum educators. Learn about Warren & Wetmore’s design and the exterior architectural details of the 24-room Spanish Revival mansion – including the striking ironwork of Samuel Yellin, considered the greatest iron artisan of the early 20th century – and explore Mr. Vanderbilt’s passion for travel, marine biology, and auto racing.

These Walk and Talk Tours, created by the Vanderbilt Education Department, are available now through mid-October. Tours, limited to 10 people each, are offered on Fridays and Saturdays at 12:00 and 1:00 pm. Tickets may be purchased at the door: Adults $16, seniors/students $15, children under 12 $13, members free.

Beth Laxer-Limmer, associate director of education, said, “The grounds are beautiful at this time of year and the walking tour is a perfect way to be introduced to the history of the estate and collections. There is an abundance of beauty in the eclectic architecture and the unique details that reflect William Vanderbilt’s interests.”

William K. Vanderbilt II (1878-1944) spent summers at his Eagle’s Nest estate and mansion on Northport Bay between 1910 and 1944. He and his wife, Rosamond, hosted intimate gatherings and entertained well-known guests, such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Pierre Cartier, Conde Nast, Charles Lindbergh, and the Tiffanys. Eagle’s Nest is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Watercolor Painting in the Hall of Fishes

A museum educator will discuss William Vanderbilt’s expeditions, his contributions in marine science, and the work of his curator and illustrator, William Belanske. Participants will sketch and paint from the collection.

Tuesday, September 21 and 28, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Fee: $10. Members are free.

Call 631-854-5539 to reserve a space.

Shakespeare Festival Continues: ‘Richard III’

The Carriage House Players continue the 32nd annual Shakespeare Festival at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum with Richard III, the history of a misguided man who will stop at nothing to rule with absolute power – through September 26.

The festival is sponsored by Farrell Fritz Attorneys.

Performances are Wednesdays and Fridays at 8 pm, Sundays at 7 pm. Tickets: $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and children. Visitors must bring their own chairs.

Evan Donnellan, executive director of the CHP, said, “The Carriage House Players are so excited to be performing again in Vanderbilt Museum Courtyard! We cannot wait to entertain you.”

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‘Museum Together’ – Family Workshop in Hall of Fishes

The Vanderbilt will offer Museum Together, a family workshop, on Monday, October 11 (Columbus Day), from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Spend time in the Hall of Fishes learning about the marine life in Willliam Vanderbilt’s collection and create a work of art together.

Fee: $20 per person, $18 for Members. Call 631-854-5539 to reserve a space.

Vanderbilt Moments in History: New Video Series 

The Museum just premiered the third chapter of its series of six narrated video series, Moments in History, on the fascinating history of William K. Vanderbilt II (1878-1944), his family, and his estate.

The latest in the series, Eagle’s Nest: The Making of a Summer Estate, 1910-1936.

View It Here


Series highlights include rare archival photographs and clips from a documentary of one of Mr. Vanderbilt’s around-the-world collecting cruises. Moments in History was created by Killian Taylor, the Museum’s archives and records manager.

Bank of America is a major supporter of more than 2,000 cultural organizations across the country. Bank of America is committed to supporting local partners like the Vanderbilt Museum to ensure that neighborhoods remain strong and vibrant.

Available for viewing:

Alva Belmont: Socialite to Suffragist

Did you know Mr. Vanderbilt’s mother, Alva Vanderbilt Belmont, well-known for her fabulous grand mansions and lavish parties– also championed and helped to fund the women’s suffrage movement? Learn about her life and the struggles of this unexpected women’s rights leader and crusader.

View It Here


The Alva: A Ship for the Seven Seas

Did you know that Mr. Vanderbilt, a well-known yachtsman and scientific explorer, spent much of his life at sea? The Alva was his largest and grandest yacht– a marvel in its time.

During World War II, President Roosevelt requested the Alva be commissioned to support the United States Navy.

View It Here


More Moments in History, coming soon:

  • Vanderbilt Family Military Salute: Perspectives (two parts)
  • The Vanderbilt Cup: Long Island’s World-Renowned Road Race
  • Flying Lanes: South America by Air, 1937

Vanderbilt Annual ‘Morning for Families’

The Vanderbilt will present its annual A Morning for Families event on Saturday, October 16, from 9:00, am to 12:00 pm. Admission is free, but advance registration is required. The event is exclusively for people with special needs and their families.



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 

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