Strings Under the Stars, Raptor Day, Museum Invites Veterans as Guests

Raptor Day: Meet Live, Rescued Birds Up Close

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum will hold its annual Raptor Day on Saturday, November 11, 2023, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The event will offer identical sessions – at 10:00 and 11:00 am and at 1:00 and 3:00 pm. Featured: a live exhibit of rescued raptors, with a bald eagle, falcon, golden eagle, owls, and hawks. Ticket prices include general admission to the Museum.

The event will be held on Veterans Day weekend – and the Vanderbilt will offer free admission for veterans and active-duty military and their families.

The event, which will benefit WINORR – Wildlife in Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation – and the Vanderbilt Museum will be held rain or shine in the Vanderbilt Celebration Tent. The event also will support Museum programs. WINORR will do a short presentation and Q&A about its Eurasian owl. A member of the Shinnecock tribe will offer a blessing for a Centerport father eagle that died this year.

WINORR houses the birds and rehabilitates them. This is an opportunity for visitors of all ages to get an up-close look at these magnificent birds that can no longer be released into the wild. Bring your camera!

Activities for children will include an arts and crafts table, plus free face painting, and the showing throughout the day of a short movie, Bald Eagles of Centerport. Vendors will include  Westfield Farms (selling their local honey), the Sierra Club, and the Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society.  A raffle table will feature a raptor created by a local wood carver, as well as pictures donated by Bald Eagles of Centerport photographers.

Tickets: adults $20, children 12 and under $10. Members: adults $10, children $5. All tickets include general admission to the Museum.


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‘Strings Under the Stars’ Live in the Planetarium

Strings Under the Stars. Sunday, November 12 at 5:00pm. Relax and unwind at Long Island Chamber Music’s annual evening of string quartets under the stars. Amplified through the planetarium’s sound system for an immersive surround-sound experience. PRESALE: $30 individuals, $25 members. AT THE DOOR: $35 individuals, $25 members.The Long Island Chamber Music’s string quartet will present a live performance in the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s Reichert Planetarium on Sunday, November 12, 2023, at 5:00 pm.

Relax and unwind at Long Island Chamber Music’s annual evening of string quartets under the stars. Talented musicians will play a selection of classical music, amplified through the Planetarium’s sound system for an immersive surround-sound experience.

Beautiful panoramic views of the stars projected onto the 60-foot planetarium dome will complement the music at this unique event.

Tickets are available now.

Pre-sale: Individuals $30.00 | Vanderbilt Museum Members $25.00

Door price: Individuals $35.00 | Vanderbilt Museum Members $25.00


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Vanderbilt Celebrates Veterans, Active Military

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum will thank veterans and active military personnel for their extraordinary service by inviting them as guests on Veterans Weekend, Friday-Sunday, November 10-12, 2023. Sponsored by Northwell Health.

As it does each year, the Museum will offer free admission to them and their families. (Veterans’ proof of military service, or active-duty military ID is required for complimentary guest admission.)

“The men and women of our armed forces courageously choose to serve and defend our country,” said Executive Director Elizabeth Wayland-Morgan,“ and inviting them to be our guests is one way to thank them.”

The Vanderbilt offers this courtesy to active-duty service members and their families as part of its year-round extension of the summer-season national Blue Star Museums program.

The Vanderbilt salutes veterans and active military personnel in honor of the Vanderbilt family’s 132-year participation in U.S. military history – from the War of 1812 through World War II. William K. Vanderbilt II (1878-1944), an accomplished sailor and yachtsman, served in the Navy during World War I and later was a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the destruction of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific fleet, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought Vanderbilt’s support to help defend the nation. Vanderbilt gave his 264-foot yacht Alva to the Navy, which converted it to a gunboat, the USS Plymouth. In 1941, the U.S. government purchased Vanderbilt’s Sikorsky amphibious plane for wartime duty.

(The Plymouth was sunk by a torpedo from a German U-boat on August 4, 1943. Before the war, Vanderbilt moored the Alva near the mansion, in Northport Bay.)

CEED Biologist-Ranger to Lead Three Owl Prowls

Biologist and ranger Eric Powers, co-founder of the Center for Environmental Education & Discovery (CEED), will give the last of three Owl Prowls on the grounds of the Vanderbilt Estate and Museum – at 6:00 pm on Friday, November 17, 2023.

After a presentation on the owls of Long Island, Powers will lead a walk on the estate grounds, during which he will attempt to call in nearby owls. Flashlights are not permitted. Sturdy footwear is recommended as the hiking trail is uneven and it will be dark.

Tickets: Members, free; non-members, $12.




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.

Membership: The Gift You Can Reopen All Year

Give the gift of 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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For Members Only: ‘Child’s Life at Vanderbilt Estate’

The Vanderbilt Museum Education Department will offer a members-only program, A Child’s Life at the Vanderbilt Estate, on Saturday, December 2, 2023, from 10:00 am to 11:30 am. For children in grades K-5.

Children will tour the decorated mansion with an educator and hear stories about the Vanderbilt children and their family history. Like the young Vanderbilts, workshop participants will listen to 1930s radio programs and jazz, play period games such as jacks, marbles, and checkers throughout the house, and make a snow globe.

Fee: $10. Advanced registration is required.


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One Night Only: Elton John Tribute Band

On Sunday, December 3, 2023, at 6:00 pm, the Elton John tribute band JC & The Crocodiles will give an unforgettable live performance in the Vanderbilt Museum’s Reichert Planetarium. The musicians will be accompanied by stunning synchronized laser lights.

Sponsored by AARP Long Island

JC & The Crocodiles combine marvelous piano performances, iconic songs, and ostentatious outfits to bring Elton John’s signature style to their shows. Let their sound wash over you in the Reichert Planetarium, where their amazing live performance will be accompanied by stunning synchronized laser lights.

Tickets are available now!

Pre-sale: Adults $30.00 | Children 15 and under $25.00 | Vanderbilt Museum Members $25.00

Door price: Adults $35.00 | Children 15 and under $30.00 | Vanderbilt Museum Members $25.00


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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.

Restorative Yoga Evening in Reichert Planetarium


Jenn Eagen of Pop Up Prana Yoga will offer Restorative Yoga in the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s Reichert Planetarium on Sunday, November 19, 2023, from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. Sessions sell out quickly, so early registration is encouraged.

Eagen says the class incorporates 60 minutes of stillness and empowerment to your practice. Restorative poses, held for a few minutes or more, include light twists and gentle backbends.

The minimalist style yin practice involves support by minimal props that allow you to rest and promote optimal relaxation. Cork blocks and yoga blankets are provided upon request. Please bring your yoga mat. Fee: $37.


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American Rascal: How Jay Gould Built Massive Wall Street Fortune

On Thursday, December 7, 2023, the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum will host Greg Steinmetz, author of The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: The Life and Times of Jacob Fugger, for a lecture adapted from his latest publication American Rascal: How Jay Gould Built Wall Street’s Biggest Fortune (Simon & Schuster, 2022).

In American Rascal, Steinmetz recounts the gripping life of Jay Gould, one of the nineteenth century’s most infamous robber barons, whose brilliance, greed, and bare-knuckled tactics made him wealthier than Rockefeller and led Wall Street to institute its first reforms. Steinmetz shares how Gould quickly became a notorious figure at the age of twenty-four, when he paralyzed the economy and nearly topped President Ulysses S. Grant in the Black Friday market collapse of 1869 as he sought to corner the gold market.

American Rascal shows Gould’s complex, quirky character. He was at once praised for his brilliance by Rockefeller and Vanderbilt and condemned for forever destroying American business values by Mark Twain. He lived a colorful life, trading jokes with Thomas Edison, figuring Thomas Nast’s best sketches, and commuting to work on a 200-ft. yacht.

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


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Greg Steinmetz is an American journalist, author, the securities analyst. He was born and raised in Clevland, Ohio. He attended Colgate University, earning degrees in History and German, before attending the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Steinmetz spent fifteen years working as a journalist for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Houston Chronicle, Newsday, and The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: The Life and Times of Jacob Fugger (Simon & Schuster, 2015), a highly regarded biography about wealth, politics, and religion.

Museum, BAE Systems Offer ‘Thankful Thursday’

The Vanderbilt Museum’s Reichert Planetarium is pleased to offer another Thankful Thursday on November 16, 2023, at 7:00 pm. Free admission to Night Sky Live! and night-sky viewing in the Observatory. Funding is generously provided by BAE Systems.

On that evening, BAE Systems also invites visitors to make donations to its annual Holiday Toy Drive to benefit the Family Service League. Those who wish to donate are asked to bring new, unwrapped toys for deposit in a collection bin.

On several Thursday evenings throughout the year, we invite you to join us for Night Sky Live!, a FREE, family-friendly planetarium show.

One of our highly trained astronomy educators will take you on a tour of that day’s night sky from here in Centerport. Topics vary depending on the time of year but may include seasonal constellations, visible planets, galaxies, nebulae, and more. Recommended for ages 6+.

After the show, the Observatory will be open to the public and an astronomy educator will invite you to look through a telescope at the night sky (weather permitting).


‘Storytime Under the Stars: Sunday, December 10 & 17

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s next Storytime Under the Stars will be presented on Sunday, December 10, 2023, at 6:00 pm. Sponsored by Bank of America.

Join us for a special evening of storytelling and stargazing in the Reichert Planetarium. All children are invited to wear their comfiest pajamas and bring their favorite stuffed animal.

A live narrator at the front of the theater will bring selected seasonal picture books to life, with pages projected onto the Planetarium dome so families can enjoy the illustrations and follow along. Between stories, an astronomy educator will explore seasonal constellations visible from here on Long Island.

The admission fee is $8 per person and $6 for members.


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‘Laser Michael Jackson’ Returns to Planetarium

Laser Michael Jackson. Friday, October 27 at 9:00pm. $17/individual, free for members, sponsored by AARP Long Island.Enjoy timeless hits from the King of Pop’s legendary career in this exciting laser show, showing every Friday at 9:00 pm through December 1, 2023.

Generously sponsored by AARP. 

The Laser Michael Jackson setlist features many of his greatest hits, including ABC, The Way You Make Me Feel, Thriller, Bad, and many more.


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‘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.


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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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