‘Sounds of the Season’ Mansion Tours, The Gift of Membership, Winter Solstice Children’s Workshops

‘Sounds of the Season’ – Tours of Decorated Vanderbilt Mansion

Each December, the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum gives special evening tours of the decorated Mansion. This year, the Vanderbilt proudly introduced Sounds of the Seasons, a captivating new holiday program. The final evening of the program will be Saturday, December 16, 2023, from 5:00 to 9:00 pm.

Transport yourself to the heyday of Eagle’s Nest, a time when radio was the heartbeat of everyday life.

Explore the festively adorned mansion and be serenaded by timeless Bing Crosby melodies, relive President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Christmas Eve commemorations, and be captivated by special holiday episodes of Suspense Radio.

This holiday celebration masterfully captures the essence of the Golden Age of Radio, blending festive cheer with nostalgic charm.

The Vanderbilt Mansion’s halls were decked by the Museum’s curators in collaboration with the Dix Hills, Centerport, Three Village, Asharoken, and Nathan Hale garden clubs.

Tickets can be purchased on the Vanderbilt website for specific 30-minute tour times.

Tickets: $15 | $10 for members


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Membership: The Gift You Can Reopen All Year

Give the gift of a Vanderbilt Museum membership. Support from our members enables us to expand and enhance our education programs and to maintain and restore the collections, grounds, and historic buildings.

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium is a membership institution that provides benefits and privileges to its members in recognition of their annual support.

Membership fees are fully tax-deductible as allowed by law.


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Children’s Winter Solstice 2023 Workshops

Children can have fun and learn in  Vanderbilt Museum workshops that celebrate winter solstice traditions, look at how people adjust to fewer hours of sunlight, see a planetarium show, make a sundial, and learn about forcing flower bulbs.

Learn about solstice traditions and how people adapt to fewer hours of sunlight. We’ll explore the collections, see a planetarium show, decorate a repurposed plastic bottle for forcing bulbs, and make a working sundial.

Beth Laxer-Limmer, Associate Director of Education, said, “Winter is a magical time. The Vanderbilt’s workshops celebrate the beauty and activity in nature as winter begins.”

Tuesday, December 26 | Bulb Botany & Winter Blooms | Grades K-3

10 am to 12 pm | $20 / $18 for members


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Wednesday, December 27 – Sundial & Planetarium Show | Grades 3-5

10 am to 12 pm | $20 / $18 for members


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‘Season of Light’ Explores Religious, Cultural Traditions

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s Reichert Planetarium will show the holiday-themed Season of Light during December 2023 on Fridays at 8:00 pm and on Saturdays and Sundays at 3:00 pm.

Season of Light explores the reasons humans are so fascinated with lighting up their lives during the December holiday season. The presentation traces the history and development of many of the world’s most endearing holiday customs, all of which involve lighting up the winter season — from the burning Yule log, sparkling Christmas tree lights and candles in windows, to the lighting of luminarias in the American Southwest and the traditional ritual of the Hanukkah Menorah. The show explores the astronomical meanings behind seasonal traditions, including the “Star over Bethlehem.”

The show examines the historical religious and cultural rituals practiced during the time of winter solstice – not only Christian and Jewish but also Celtic, Nordic, Roman, Irish, Mexican and Hopi. It looks at light-hearted seasonal traditions: from gift-giving and kissing under the mistletoe to the custom of decking the halls with greenery and candles. St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, and Santa Claus all drop by, too.


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‘Laser Taylor Swift’ Extended through December

Showings of the Vanderbilt Reichert Planetarium‘s wildly popular new show, Laser Taylor Swift, have been extended through December 30, 2023,  – every day at 4:00 pm. If you were not able to see one of her shows on the Eras tour, Laser Taylor Swift is the next best thing!

With more than 200 million records sold, a shelf full of Grammys, and an army of fans, Taylor Swift is an inspiration for generations. This dynamic show takes her biggest hits and brings them to life in dazzling laser light.

Tickets: $18. (Free for Museum members.)


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Setlist: You Need To Calm Down, Love Story, Anti-Hero Exile, Look What You Made Me Do, Willow, Lavender Haze, I Knew You Were Trouble, Blank Space, You Belong With Me, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, Shake It Off.

‘Haunting Menagerie’, Museum’s First Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition

Gericroix (Pegasus)
Wendy Klemperer

On Earth Day, April 22, 2023, the Vanderbilt Museum debuted Wendy Klemperer: Wrought Taxonomies, the first exhibition of outdoor sculpture at the historic summer estate of William Kissam Vanderbilt II.

Wendy Klemperer’s sculptures—a haunting assemblage of animal forms that span imaginary, endangered, familiar, and exotic species—celebrate natural history and the nonhuman world through evocative interactions with the surrounding environment.

Using materials salvaged from scrapyards, she composes ecological narratives that respond to the history and collections of Suffolk County’s first public park and museum. Her brilliant use of gestural lines captures the spectator’s attention and invites museumgoers to reflect on the relationship between an interest in animal life and the incessant push of human industry.

Wrought Taxonomies is the inaugural exhibition in the Vanderbilt Museum’s outdoor sculpture program and the institution’s second exhibition of contemporary art focused on the relationship between culture and animals. Visitors will see large pieces visitors as they stroll the grounds of the Vanderbilt, one of the few remaining Long Island Gold Coast mansions. Smaller pieces suspended from trees wait to be discovered along the Vanderbilt’s hiking trail. Other works will be found near garden areas and the Marine Museum.

The Vanderbilt Museum occupies the former Gold Coast mansion and estate of William Kissam Vanderbilt II, the great-grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt and a pioneer of American motorsport. Located in Centerport on the north shore of Long Island, it is renowned for its extensive marine and natural history collections, Spanish revival architecture, and picturesque parklands.

All sculptures are viewable with general admission to the Museum grounds. Educational programs and workshops associated with the themes and content of Wendy Klemperer: Wrought Taxonomies will be offered throughout the exhibition. Special thanks are due to the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, whose generous support made Wrought Taxonomies possible. The exhibition will run through April 22, 2024.

Visitors are encouraged, during these weeks of mild autumn weather, to enjoy a picnic on the grounds.

Vanderbilt Wine Supports Education, Preservation

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum has partnered with Old York Cellars to create a special selection of wines – your purchase will support the Museum’s preservation efforts and education programs.

Eagle’s Nest, the waterfront estate of William K. Vanderbilt II, is the home of the Vanderbilt Museum and Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium.

Help us preserve this vital piece of local and national history. STEM education programs are based on Vanderbilt’s marine, natural history, and cultural artifact collections. Educational planetarium offerings are provided to more than 25,000 schoolchildren each year. Please purchase wine today and support our mission.


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