Start Your Holidays at the Vanderbilt Tree Lighting

Free Community Event on Saturday, November 24

Many Other Late Fall Events and Programs

Every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum invites everyone to kick off the holiday season at its free Tree Lighting event.

December at the Vanderbilt Mansion
Vanderbilt Museum photo

Also on the November-December calendar are guided tours of the decorated Vanderbilt Mansion, children’s workshops, Twilight Tours of the Mansion, live Beatles music, a Carriage House Players productions, and new and seasonal Planetarium shows.

The Tree Lighting and Children’s Workshops are sponsored by Northwell Health.

Annual Tree Lighting

Saturday, November 24 | 4:00-6:00 p.m.

This free, annual, family-friendly event in the Vanderbilt Mansion Courtyard features carol singing,  a children’s ornament-making workshop, cookies and hot chocolate, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Northwell HealthFree hands-on activity for the whole family:

Friday-Saturday, November 23-24 | 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.

A Museum educator will be on hand all day in the Memorial Wing with preserved specimens for examination.  Free with admission.


Laser Queen Marathon

Saturday, November 17 | 7:00. 8:00, 9:00 p.m.

The legendary British rock band Queen and singer Freddie Mercury perform their classic hits on the soundtrack to dazzling laser-light imagery. All ages.

Laser Queen Marathon Tickets


Guided Tours of Decorated Mansion

November 22 – December 30 | 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Guided tours of the Vanderbilt Mansion, decorated elegantly for the holidays by local designers and garden clubs, will be given from the day after Thanksgiving through December 30. During the day, tours are given at regular intervals on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday (except December 24-25 and December 31-January 1) from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Visitors pay the general admission fee at the door, plus $6 per person for a tour.

The Liverpool Shuffle

Sunday, December 9 | 7:00-8:30 p.m.

This popular Beatles Tribute band, in its 10th Vanderbilt show, will perform in the Planetarium. Tickets: Adults $20 online, $25 at the door, and $15 for ages 15 and under.

Liverpool Shuffle Tickets


Twilight Tours of Vanderbilt Mansion

Thursday-Friday, December 27-28 | 5:00-8:00 p.m.

These special evening tours of the Mansion, decorated for the holidays, are the only times during the year that visitors can see the Vanderbilt family’s luxurious living quarters at night. Pre-registration highly recommended as availability is limited. Tickets: Adults $10 online; students/seniors (age 62 plus) with ID, $9; children age 12 and under $5; Members free.

Twilight Tour Tickets



Sessions are from 10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (unless otherwise indicated) Fee: $20 / $18 members. Advanced registration is required.

For details and to register, please call 631-854-5539.

November 17 | Bears and Mask Craft (Pre-K, ages 3 and 4, with an adult)

We’ll hear a story in the wildlife dioramas, learn about bears, and make a mask.

December 8 | Beneath the Waves (Grades 3-5)

Explore the seas with Mr. V!  We’ll learn about the diversity of life beneath the waves, examine preserved specimens, and make a marine invertebrate pillow.

December 26 (Grades K-3)

Winter Solstice and Glowing Lanterns

In this workshop we’ll learn about the reason days are shorter in winter, observe the sun with a specialized telescope, and make lanterns using re-purposed materials.

December 27 (Grades K-3)

Animals at Night and Diorama

Explore the collections, learn how wildlife adapts to less sunlight, and make our own miniature glow-in-the-dark diorama.

December 28 (Pre-K, ages 3 and 4, with an adult)

Starry Night Snow Globe

In this workshop we will visit the wildlife dioramas, learn how animals adapt to less sunlight, and make a twinkling snow globe.


Carriage House Players

This local theater company performs year-round in the Carriage House Theater at the Vanderbilt Museum. Tickets for all performances: $20 adults, $15 seniors and children, available online and at door. To purchase tickets, please click here.


November 9, 10, 16, 17, at 8 p.m.; November 11 and 18 at 3 p.m.

In Nick Payne’s spellbinding story, a romantic journey begins with a simple encounter between a man and a woman, and the difference between choice and destiny.

'Constellations' Tickets


‘Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol’

December 7, 8, 14, 15, at 8 p.m.; December 9 and 16 at 3 p.m.

What happened to Ebenezer Scrooge’s infamous partner, Jacob Marley? Tom Mula’s story is Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol told from a different, funny, touching perspective.

'Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol' Tickets




Discover what asteroid and comet impacts can teach and how scientific advances may allow us to find and track cosmic threats before they reach planet Earth. Grades 3-12.

Laser Queen

The legendary British rock band Queen and singer Freddie Mercury perform their classic hits on the soundtrack to dazzling laser-light imagery. All ages.

Laser Stranger Things

Experience the ’80s tunes and soundscapes from the show reinterpreted in our vibrant laser lights. All ages.

Two Small Pieces of Glass: The Amazing Telescope

Learn the history of the telescope from Galileo to the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, and the future of astronomy. All ages.


Laser Holidays

Festive holiday favorites, from classical to modern, enhanced with laser light and digital artwork. All ages.

Season of Light

Explore the astronomy of the winter sky, and fascinating cultural celebrations from around the world. All ages.

Check out the complete, updated Planetarium show schedule here.

Related Posts