There’s plenty of summer fun to come at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium. The appealing lineup includes music, dancing, theater and special events. The Vanderbilt has long been a popular destination for families looking for moderately priced entertainment, history and culture.
All year long, the Vanderbilt offers a rich historical and educational experience. Visitors can tour the Estate, Mansion and Museum of William K. Vanderbilt II (1878-1944) – including his marine life, natural-history and cultural-artifact collections, and 22 wild-animal dioramas – or they can see a show in the state-of-the-art Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium.
Mr. Vanderbilt’s spectacular Eagle’s Nest, a 43-acre waterfront estate and 24-room Spanish-Revival mansion, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Mansion holds a considerable collection of fine and decorative art, and centuries-old furnishings from around the world. The grand house is a museum in itself, a time capsule of the privileged life on the Gold Coast from the Jazz Age through the Second World War.
Tickets for most events may be purchased at www.vanderbiltmuseum,org, except where indicated.
Summer Fiesta at Eagles’ Nest
Saturday, July 21, 6:00-10:00
Wine, food, music and dancing in the beautiful Vanderbilt Mansion Courtyard. This is the year’s most important fundraiser for Museum education programs and the Vanderbilt Learning Center. (Rain location: Celebration Tent.) Catered by Sangria 71 restaurant of Commack. Tickets online (www.vanderbiltmuseum.org): $135 nonmembers, $125 members.
Living History Tours
Saturdays-Sundays through September 2, 12:00-4:00
It’s 1936 in the Mansion, and Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan is enjoying a reunion of her friends in the women’s suffrage movement. Tour guides dressed as members of the Vanderbilt family and household staff tell stories about the Mansion’s famous residents and their world-renowned visitors. Tickets: $8, available only at the door.
Alex Torres and His Latin Orchestra
Friday, August 3, 6:00-10:00 p.m.
For the 12th summer, rain or shine, this renowned orchestra will bring music, dancing, Latin dance lessons, and romance to the elegant Vanderbilt Mansion Courtyard. Tickets: $40, online (www.vanderbiltmuseum.org); $45 at door.
Tango in the Courtyard
Saturday, August 25, 5:00-10:00 p.m.
Music and tango dancing in the beautiful Spanish-Revival courtyard of the Vanderbilt Mansion. Early ticket purchase highly recommended, as availability is limited. Tickets: $25 online (www.vanderbiltmuseum.org), $30 at door.
First Responders Day
Sunday, September 9, 12:00-4:00 p.m.
The Vanderbilt salutes those who respond daily to emergencies and keep us safe. Free admission for police, firefighters, paramedics, and emergency medical service technicians, and their families.
Gardeners Showcase – Bringing Back the Gardens
Through Sunday, September 30
In the Museum’s first Gardeners Showcase, Bringing Back the Gardens, local nurseries, landscape designers and gardening groups demonstrate their skills and creativity by designing and planting perennials and annuals in one of the gardens that grace the 43-acre waterfront Estate. Participants include Gro Girl Horticultural Therapy, Pal-O-Mine Equestrian J-Step Program, Sacred Gardens, Dina Yando Landscape & Perennial Garden Design / North Service Nursery, Landscapes by Bob Dohne, Inc., Carlstrom Landscapes, Inc., Mossy Pine Garden & Landscape Design, Mother Earth’s Landscape & Nursery, Centerport Garden Club, Joe DeGroot Designs, Inc., and Vanderbilt Volunteer Gardeners.
Sunday, July 22, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
This Led Zeppelin tribute band returns to perform in the Planetarium. Tickets: Adults $20 and children 15 and under $15, online (www.vanderbiltmuseum.org); $25 at door.
The Liverpool Shuffle
Thursday, July 26, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
This popular Beatles Tribute band, in its ninth Vanderbilt show, will perform outdoors in the Mansion Courtyard. (Rain location: Planetarium.) Tickets: Adults $25 and children age 15 and under $10, online (www.vanderbiltmuseum.org); $35 at door.
Shakespeare Festival: A ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’
June 29–July 29
The Carriage House Players will open the Vanderbilt’s 30th annual Summer Shakespeare Festival with the comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Performances are outdoors on the stage in the beautiful Mansion Courtyard. Performances (weather permitting) Wednesdays and Fridays at 8:00, Sundays at 7:00. Tickets: $15 online (www.vanderbiltmuseum.org). Tickets also available at the door.
Shakespeare Festival: ‘Hamlet’
August 5–September 2
The 30th annual Shakespeare Festival continues with the drama Hamlet. Performances are in the Mansion Courtyard, enhanced by the graceful backdrop of the Spanish-Revival architecture. Performances Wednesdays and Fridays (except August 3) at 8:00, Sundays at 7:00. Tickets: $15 (www.vanderbiltmuseum.org). Tickets also available at the door.
CLASSIC CAR SHOWS
Metro New York Porsche Club of America Show
Sunday, July 29, 11:00-4:00 p.m.
Cadillac Club of Long Island Car Show
Sunday, August 5, 11:00-4:00 p.m.
Jaguar and MG Concours d’Elegance Car Show
Sunday, September 16, 11:00-4:00 p.m.
Owners display beautiful classic automobiles on the Vanderbilt Great Lawn. Visitors pay only Museum general admission; there is no extra charge for the car show. Admission at door: Adults, $8; students/seniors (age 62 plus) with ID, $7; children 12 and under, $5.