Pocket Prairies, STEAM Workshops, Live Rock, Museum Together

Alex Torres and His Latin Orchestra Return for 15th Summer

The internationally renowned Alex Torres and His Latin Orchestra return to the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum on Friday, July 15, for their 15th annual performance.

A perennial favorite, the orchestra performs annually to sold-out audiences at the Vanderbilt, playing their original blend of Afro-Caribbean rhythms – including salsa, merengue, cha-cha, bomba, plena, and Latin jazz. This critically acclaimed 11-piece ensemble, which tours throughout North and South America, has performed in hundreds of festivals and leading performing-arts centers throughout the world.

The Vanderbilt Estate grounds open at 6:00 pm. The performance, for listening and dancing, will be from 7:00 to 10:00 in the Celebration Tent. Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner and enjoy the evening under the stars as the music and dancing start.

Tickets: $65. Table of 10: $650.


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The orchestra, which has released 12 critically acclaimed CDs, has shared the stage and billings with such major acts as Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Andy Montañez, Los Hermanos Moreno, Arturo Sandoval, Ray Barretto, Jane Burnette & The Spirits of Havana, King Changó, Arrested Development, Branford Marsalis, and the Count Basie and Woody Herman orchestras.

Visit www.alextorres.com

Making a ‘Pocket Prairie’ from Native NY Grasses

The Vanderbilt and Anthony Marinello of Dropseed Native Landscapes will host an interactive workshop on how to create “pocket prairies” on Sunday, July 17, at 10:00 am in the former agricultural extension of the Vanderbilt Mansion.

Workshop participants will learn all about Long Island’s unique grassland communities—from the only tall-grass prairie east of the Allegheny Mountains to the maritime grasslands along our coasts—and discover what makes Long Island’s imperiled plant communities unique and why they deserve our appreciation and preservation.

All in attendance will learn how to conveniently convert a section of their lawn into a brand-new “pocket prairie,” restoring a small section of the native grasslands frequently lost to suburbanization and ornamental landscaping.




Program participants also will have the option to purchase a “pocket prairie” take-home kit, allowing them to implement the lessons learned during the workshop. Each kit includes a 3- by 4-foot sheet of cardboard, a bag of cedar mulch, and 12 landscape plugs to create a prairie of their own. All plants will remain under 3 feet high, so these plants are perfectly suitable for front- or backyards.

Additionally, all these plants are native to Long Island and will attract and support pollinators, butterflies, and songbirds throughout their life cycle. A participation fee of $50 is required for the workshop with an optional supplies fee of $100 for those wishing to create their own “pocket prairie” at home. Supplemental supplies and materials will be available for an additional cost to attendees who wish to create a larger pocket prairie.

This workshop will take place on the grounds of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s Superintendent’s Cottage, located across the street from the main Vanderbilt campus. Handicapped parking will be available for program participants.

Summer STEAM Workshops for Children Grades K-6

Vanderbilt Museum educators are offering a second week of astronomy, science, and history workshops for children. Junior Explorers is for grades K-4 and Junior Astronomer is for grades 3-6. Sessions for both age groups will be offered Aug 15-19, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Fee: $200 non-members | $180 members. Space is limited and spots fill quickly. Advance registration is required. Facemasks are required indoors.

Junior Explorer, grades K-4

Explore the world at the Vanderbilt Museum in a week of creative science and history workshops. We will sail the seas, dive the deepest oceans, soar among the tallest trees, and make unique art inspired by nature and the collections. Registration is open for children entering kindergarten through 4th grade.

(Please note: July and August sessions of each workshop feature the same activities. Therefore, we recommend against registering a child for the same workshop twice.)

Junior Astronomer, grades 3-6

This exciting program for young astronomers features multiple astronomy topics including the solar system, using a telescope, and identifying constellations seen from Long Island backyards. The focus on hands-on learning includes STEAM activities and crafts supplemented by immersive live and pre-recorded full-dome presentations in the Planetarium theater. Registration is open for children entering grades 3-6.

For more information and to register, please contact dawn@vanderbilltmuseum.org.

‘Moonstruck Mania,’ an Art & Science Adventure

Moonstruck Mania, an art and science adventure between the Heckscher Museum of Art and the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum, will be held on Sunday, July 24, from 3:30 to 6:30 pm. The event is recommended for families with children age 6 and up.

The adventure begins at The Heckscher Museum. Participants explore the exhibition Moonstruck: Lunar Art from the Collection and create a lunar masterpiece. The program continues at the Vanderbilt Museum, located at 180 Little Neck Road in Centerport, N.Y. with a 30-minute live lecture on the night sky using the Reichert Planetarium theater’s amazing star projection system.

The presenter will explore the objects visible in the sky on the night of the event, including stars, constellations, nebulae, galaxies, and the Moon. Visitors will then watch the 30-minute fulldome film Earth, Moon & Sun.

Following the programs in the theater, and weather-permitting, visitors will be able to look through one of the Vanderbilt Observatory telescopes to see fine details of the Moon up close and to create a moon-themed craft. Also, sandwiches, snacks, and soft drinks will be available for purchase from the Planetarium’s café.

Tickets: $15 per person. Registration is recommended. Walk-ins are welcome if space allows.


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JoyRide: Celebrating Dave Matthews Band

JoyRide: A Dave Matthews Celebration will return to the Vanderbilt again on Saturday, July 23, from 7:00 to 10:00 pm.

from 7:00 to 10:00 pm in the courtyard of the Vanderbilt Mansion at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport. N.Y.  Rain or shine. (If it rains, the band will play in the Vanderbilt’s large Celebration Tent.)

JoyRide’s seven musicians recreate the experience of a live Dave Matthews Band (DMB) show, complete with violin and horns. The group’s goal is to recreate the experience of a DMB live show, complete with violin and horns. DMB fans know their concerts are musical journeys filled with tight musicianship, extended jams, and fun.

JoyRide fans say the band’s performances are the next best thing to actually being at a DMB show. JoyRide will play all the hits that the casual DMB listener will be familiar with, as well as the deep tracks that hardcore fans know and love.

JoyRide originated in New Jersey, quickly gained a reputation for energetic shows, and became a sought-after act by venues still able to provide live music. Fans are amazed by how faithfully JoyRide reproduces both the music and live experience of DMB.

Tickets: members $40, non-members $45. BYO chair and picnic!


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Shakespeare Festival: ‘Troilus and Cressida’

The thirty-third annual Summer Shakespeare Festival at the Vanderbilt, presented by the Carriage House Players, continues with Troilus and Cressida, opening Friday, July 1. The festival is sponsored by Bank of America.

The Carriage House Players production of Much Ado About Nothing will run through July 24 (excluding July 15 and 22) in the 33rd annual Summer Shakespeare Festival. Performances are given on the stage in the Vanderbilt’s beautiful Spanish Revival Courtyard.

The Comedy of Errors – July 29-Aug 14

Henry V – Aug 26-Sept 18

Performances: Every Wed and Fri at 8:00 pm, Sunday at 7:00 pm. Tickets: Adults $20; children 12 and under (member child 18 and under) $15; senior (age 62-plus) $15.




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Evan Donnellan, director of CHP, said, “We are so excited to return to the Vanderbilt Courtyard for their annual Summer Shakespeare Festival. With a wide mix of comedy and tragedy, the festival has something for everyone. Join us under the stars for nights of timeless magic as these classical stories come to life before your very eyes.”

Museum Together!, New Program for Families

The Vanderbilt is offering Museum Together!, a new program for families, on Thursdays, July 28, and August 25, from 10:00 to 11:00 am in the Hall of Fishes marine museum. Join a museum educator for a tour of Willam K. Vanderbilt II’s collection of marine life, and make a creative project together.

Fee: $10 per person; members are FREE. Call (631) 854-5539 to reserve a space. Anyone not vaccinated must wear a mask.

Beth Laxer-Limmer, Associate Director of Education, says, “Families will have fun exploring the Museum’s collection of ocean fish and mammals together and collaborating on a work of art.”


‘Cactus Kids’ Workshop For Young Gardeners

Cactus Kids introduces junior gardeners to the joys and challenges of raising cacti. Participants will plant a cactus pot, discover how to take care of their specimens, and explore the unique attributes that allow cacti to thrive in hot desert environments.

Thursday, July 28, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. Plants and workshop materials are included in the price of admission. This program is ideally suited for children ages 8 to 12.

The workshop will take place in the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s “Superintendent’s Cottage,” located across the street from the main Vanderbilt Museum campus. Handicapped parking will be available for program participants.





CEED Presents Two ‘Wildlife Diversity’ Shows

Biologist and ranger Eric Powers, co-founder of the Center for Environmental Education and Discovery will present Wildlife Diversity, a live animal show, on Saturday, July 23. Showings at 9:00 to 10:00 am and 10:30 to 11:30 am. Tickets: Members, free; non-Members, $12.


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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.

Meditate Under the Stars in Reichert Planetarium

Jenn Eagen of Pop Up Prana Yoga will offer another evening of guided meditation in the Reichert Planetarium on Saturday, July 16. Gates open at 5:15 pm for check-in and meditation begins promptly at 6:00. Capacity is limited.

“We will lead you into a profound and memorable meditative state,” Eagen said. “Our 60-minute state-shifting practice will be complemented by a vibroacoustic healing playlist that features tunes designed by sound therapists to reduce anxiety and stress.”




Walk & Talk Tours: Architectural Details, Famous Ironwork

Come for an intriguing walking tour of the Vanderbilt Estate with knowledgeable Museum educators. Learn about the history of the Eagle’s Nest estate; Warren & Wetmore’s design and exterior architectural details of the 24-room Spanish Revival mansion; and the striking ironwork of Samuel Yellin, considered the greatest iron artisan of the early 20th century.

These Walk and Talk Tours, created by the Vanderbilt Education Department will be offered at 11 am and 12:30 pm on June 30; July 6, 20, 23, and 27; August 3, 10, 20, 24, and 31.

Tickets, which include general admission, are available for purchase only at the door: Adults $16, seniors/students $15, children under 12 $13, and 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.

Engraved Vanderbilt Bricks Mark Milestones, Memories

Celebrate your family, a loved one, a special anniversary, or other milestones and memories with us by sponsoring a commemorative brick with a custom engraving. Your donation will help us to bring outstanding science, history, and art education to more than 25,000 students annually.

Your message will be displayed permanently in one of the brick walkways around the Vanderbilt Mansion and Terrace, or on the grounds of the beautiful waterfront Estate. For more information, call Sue Madllinger at 631-854-5558, or email: sue@vanderbiltmuseum.org

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