‘Storytime Under the Stars’, ‘Museum Together’, ‘Soil and Spirit’, Architecture Tour

‘Storytime Under the Stars’ Returns to Planetarium

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s next Storytime Under the Stars is set for Sunday, August 27, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm in the Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium. Sponsored by Bank of America.

Storytime Under the Stars. Sponsored by Bank of America. Your favorite bedtime storybooks come to life in the planetarium theater! Children are invited to wear their most comfy pajamas and bring their favorite stuffed animal. Sunday August 27 at 6:00pm. $8 gusts, $6 members. Ages 2+.Storytime evenings feature a live narrator at the front of the theater who reads from selected picture books, with pages projected onto the Planetarium dome so families can enjoy the illustrations and follow along. Narrators include Museum educators and local guest authors.

On August 27, Ellen Mason will read her book, Patches and Stripes, one of four scheduled that evening. In it, she and co-author—and Vanderbilt Museum colleague—Ed Clampitt, tell the true story of a family that lost an heirloom during a Museum visit. That tale, in which the heirloom eventually “turned up,” is one the authors call “Vanderbilt magic.”

Mason, a Museum tour guide, and Clampitt, a member of the security staff, will do a book signing in the Planetarium lobby after the show.



The Planetarium’s 145-seat theater provides a magical and immersive literary experience for everyone. Between stories, an astronomy educator explores seasonal constellations visible from here on Long Island.

All children are invited to wear their comfiest pajamas and bring their favorite stuffed animals. The admission fee is $8 per person and $6 for members.


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Hearing stories read aloud creates a delightful opportunity for families to connect—and to have fun while learning. Featured stories include children’s classics, motivational and virtues-based subjects, and more. Many evenings will offer light refreshments, product giveaways, book signings, and workshops.

Museum Together: Explore and Make Art

The Vanderbilt will offer Museum Together!, a new program for families, on Wednesday, August 23, 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 | $9 for members




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.

Poet-Farmer Scott Chaskey Reflects on ‘Soil and Spirit’

On Thursday, August 24, the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum will host Scott Chaskey, poet-farmer and pioneer of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement, for a presentation of his latest memoir, Soil and Spirit: Cultivation and Kinship in the Web of Life (Milkweed Editions, 2023).

As a farmer with decades spent working in the fields, Chaskey’s worldview has been shaped by daily attention to the earth. His career as a writer has been influenced by these experiences, showing a profound commitment to the promotion of food sovereignty and organic agriculture. In both writing and farming, his efforts have been animated by a central conviction—that humble attention to microbial life provides us with invaluable lessons for building healthy human communities.

Soil and Spirit is a collection of personal essays, mapping the evolution of Chaskey’s thoughts on ecology, agriculture, and society through decisive moments in his biography. In its pages, he takes readers to his original homestead in Maine; the rugged Irish countryside, complete with blackberries, heather, and Nobel-Prize-winning poets; the ancient granite cliffs of the Cornwall coastline; Santa Clara, New Mexico, where he harvested amaranth seeds alongside a group of indigenous women; and finally, to Amagansett, in Suffolk County, where he recalls planting Redwood saplings and writing poetry beneath a centuries-old beech tree.

The lecture will take place at 7:00 pm in the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium. Support for the lecture series is generously provided by a grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.


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Scott Chaskey is the author of Soil and Spirit. He is also the author of a memoir, This Common Ground: Seasons on an Organic Farm, and a book of nonfiction, Seedtime: On the History, Husbandry, Politics, and Promise of Seeds. His poetry, first printed in literary journals in the early seventies, has been widely published over four decades.

A pioneer of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement, for thirty years he cultivated more than sixty crops for the Peconic Land Trust at Quail Hill Farm in Amagansett, New York, one of the original CSAs in the country. He is the past president of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York and was honored as Farmer of the Year in 2013.

Chaskey was a founding board member for both the Center for Whole Communities, in Vermont, and Sylvester Manor Educational Farm, in Shelter Island, New York. He taught as a poet-in-the-schools for over two decades and as an instructor for Antioch International and Friends World College in Southampton. He lives and works on the east end of Long Island, New York.

Tours Explore Vanderbilt Architecture and Collections

Take 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, and visit the marine, natural history, and cultural artifact collections

Created by the Vanderbilt Museum Education Department, the next of these tours will be offered on Thursday, August 24, at 12:00 and 1:30 pm.

Tickets, which include general admission, are available for purchase only at the door: Adults $16; seniors/students $15; children under 12, $14; and members free.


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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. 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.

Pop Up Prana Restorative Yoga in the Planetarium

Jennifer Eagen of Pop Up Prana Yoga has scheduled another of her popular programs at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum.  On Sunday, August 20, she will present Restorative Yoga in the Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium, below the digital sky. Early registration is suggested.

5:30 to 6:30 pm | $37

Guest instructor Nick Vishanka will offer a yin and restore yoga session with very limited availability. This 60-minute class will include a fusion of yin, restorative postures, and mindful movement blended with relaxing asanas, concluding with a guided yoga nidra.

Eagen urges participants to bring their own props, including blankets and blocks. “You’re welcome to bring a bolster or other props to assist your practice,” she said. “If you require props, please reach out to popuppranayoga@gmail.com so that we can accommodate your needs.



Shakespeare Festival: ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’

The Vanderbilt Museum’s thirty-fourth annual Summer Shakespeare Festival concludes with Love’s Labour’s Lost, which runs through September 8. Performances are presented on the Mansion Courtyard stage.

Wednesday and Friday at 8:00 pm, and Sunday at 7:00 pm.

Tickets: adults, $20 | seniors & children under 12, $15


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

Gericroix (Pegasus)
Wendy Klemperer

On Earth Day, April 22, 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.

The Vanderbilt Museum occupies the former Gold Coast 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.

‘Laser Taylor Swift’ Extended to September

Showings of the Vanderbilt Reichert Planetarium’s wildly popular new show, Laser Taylor Swift, have been extended through Sunday, September 3 – every day (Tuesday through Sunday) at 4:00 pm. If you can’t score tickets to 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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You Need To Calm Down

Love Story

Anti-Hero Exile

Look What You Made Me Do


Lavender Haze

I Knew You Were Trouble

Blank Space

You Belong With Me

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

Shake It Off

Come Explore Birds With Dr. Gabby Wild

Calling all ornithophiles!  Join National Geographic Kids Educator Dr. Gabby Wild on Sunday, October 8, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm for a morning full of bird-related STEAM activities at the Vanderbilt Museum. Best suited for children in grades 3-5.

Children will learn about bird evolution, anatomy, and physiology; identify birds by sound and appearance; draw birds in the collection; and bird watch on the Vanderbilt Estate grounds!

Tickets: $30 guests | $27 members


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Wild, acclaimed for her role as “the veterinarian” on National Geographic Kid’s Animal Jam, the world’s largest online “playground” with 54 million players, she creates videos about conservation medicine.

A wildlife veterinarian, conservationist, and educator, she has traveled the world saving a variety of wildlife species from Sumatran rhinos to Belizean jaguars. Wild is certified in Chinese veterinary acupuncture and became the first elephant acupuncturist in the past 3,000 years.

When not in the wild, she works as a veterinary surgeon at the Animal Surgical Center and volunteers as a veterinarian with the Wildlife Conservation Society Health Program at the Bronx Zoo in New York City. She is the mother of four, she said, “two humans and two fur babies.”

Next Classic Car Show: Jaguars, September 10

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum has honored William K. Vanderbilt II’s automotive and racing legacy for more than three decades by hosting shows of beautiful, restored vintage automobiles on the estate grounds.

The next show of this season will be presented on Sunday, September 10 (rain date: September 18) by the Jaguar Drivers Club of Long Island.

Oct 1 – Studebaker Drivers Club, Inc.

Oct 29 – Porsche Club of America, Inc.

Visitors pay only general admission to the museum – adults $10; seniors (62 plus) $9; students (with ID) $9; children 12 and under $7; military and children under 2 are free.

Vanderbilt, a pioneer race driver who competed in Europe, brought auto racing to the United States. He inaugurated the famous Vanderbilt Cup Races in 1904. That same year, he set a new land-speed record of 92.3 miles per hour in a Mercedes at a course in Florida. He also spurred the development of the American auto industry and built the prototype for the first toll road, the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway on Long Island.

‘Wildman’ Steve Brill: Foraging at the Vanderbilt

Environmental educator and author “Wildman” Steve Brill, who leads wild food and ecology tours, will offer Foraging with the ‘Wildman’ on the estate grounds of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum on Sunday, October 29, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

“The Vanderbilt Museum grounds—with cultivated areas, fields, thickets, and woods—is a bonanza for wild foods in late fall,” Brill said, “and everything the group will be finding is renewable.”

Brill said wild greens will be thriving in sunny areas and along trail edges. These include chickweed, which tastes like corn on the cob, lemony sheep sorrel, garlicky garlic mustard, spicy hairy bittercress, pungent and field garlic. Roots could include burdock, field garlic, and wild carrots. We could find fruits and berries such as wild raisins, autumn olives, and crab apples.

If there have been days of pouring rain beforehand, gourmet mushrooms such as chicken mushrooms, hen of the woods, oyster mushrooms, various puffball species, and inky caps could be growing in abundance as well, and other habitats will provide many more delicious, renewable edible and medicinal species, he said.

A 60-minute indoor presentation in the Vanderbilt Reichert Planetarium will precede a two-hour foraging tour, followed by a book signing.

Adults and children 10 and older $10, children under 10 free. Members $9.

“Participants should bring plastic bags for veggies and herbs, and paper bags for mushrooms, which spoil in plastic,” he said. “Digging implements such as small hand shovels are recommended, as roots will be in season.”

Everyone should wear closed shoes, long pants, and long sleeves for protection from poison ivy and ticks, plus an extra layer of clothing in case it gets cold. Smoking and vaping are not allowed. Please note that this is the first day of Daylight Savings Time.




Brill’s books include Foraging in New York (Globe Pequot Press, 2017), on the state’s best edible plants; Foraging with Kids (Brill is author, artist and publisher, 2014), a wild foods guide with science, folklore, history, recipes, games, and activities, for teachers, parents, and grandparents to use with kids; The Wild Vegan Cookbook: A Guide to Preparing Wild (and Not-So-Wild) Foods (Harvard Common Press, 2002).

Also: Shoots and Greens of Early Spring (Brill is author, artist and publisher, 2008), and Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places (Harper-Collins 1994), plus the iOS/Android app Foraging with the Wildman.

Environmental educator Brill is still best known for having been arrested and handcuffed by undercover park rangers for eating a dandelion in Central Park in 1986. (See wildmanstevebrill.com for details, and more.)

Linda Trott Dickman” Under the Sea & Poetry

Join local poet Linda Tott Dickman, and write a poem inspired by the amazing creatures in William Vanderbilt’s collections. Sunday, October 15, from 10:00 to 11:30 am.

Guests $20 | Members $18


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Dickman, who has lived most of her life in East Northport, is an award-winning poet whose work has been anthologized locally and internationally. She is the author of four chapbooks and a poetry prompt book for children of all ages. The coordinator of poetry for the Northport Arts Coalition, she also works with poets of all ages at the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association and at local museums and leads a poetry workshop at Samantha’s Li’l Bit O’ Heaven coffee house. Dickman is a retired elementary school librarian.

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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Journey into Earth’s Ecosystems in New Show, ‘We Are Guardians’

Join us for the premiere of a new award-winning planetarium show: We Are Guardians. Saturday, April 22, 2023 at 3 PM. Adults $16, students and seniors $15, Children ages 2-12 $13, members FREE.The Reichert Planetarium’s new show, We Are Guardians, takes audiences on a journey into, under, and around the many ecosystems across our planet. Ages 8 and up.


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We are all connected. Come and find out how.

Join us on a journey into, under, and around the many ecosystems across our planet. Discover how each component fits together, and how the health of each part is vital to the health of Planet Earth. Find out how, with the help of satellites and scientific study, we can understand the links between human activities and climate change, and what we can do to work together to improve the health of our shared home.

This visually stunning show is an immersive science film that features beautiful animation and creative storytelling that viewers of all ages can enjoy together.


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