Summer 2015 Events Preview

Outdoor Music, Shakespeare in the Courtyard, Food, Dancing, Living History

Looking for summer fun? The Vanderbilt offers an appealing calendar of music, dance, theater and special events. The Vanderbilt has long been a popular destination for Long Islanders and their families looking for moderately priced cultural entertainment close to home.

Vanderbilt Mansion
Vanderbilt Mansion

The Vanderbilt offers visitors a rich cultural, historical and educational experience. Year-round, visitors can tour the estate, mansion and museum of William K. Vanderbilt II – including his marine-life, natural-history and cultural-artifact collections, and wild-animal habitats– or see a show in the new, state-of-the-art Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium.

Mr. Vanderbilt’s spectacular Eagle’s Nest, a 43-acre waterfront estate and 24-room Spanish-Revival mansion, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The mansion, with its considerable collection of rare fine and decorative art – and centuries-old furnishings from around the world – is a museum in itself, a time capsule of the privileged life on the Gold Coast from the Jazz Age through the Second World War.

Tickets for most events may be purchased at, except where indicated.


Sunday, June 14

Songs in the Key of Earth, 4:30–5:30

Award-winning singer-songwriter Patricia Shih and her sidekick, Stephen Fricker, will perform a one-hour, multi-media, audience-participation family concert – with images and video projected onto the Planetarium dome. Tickets: $8 per person, on-line.

June 25September 3 (most Thursdays)

Mid-Summer Night Dances, 6:30–9:30

Popular summer dances are held in the Celebration Tent most Thursday evenings. Ballroom and other types of dancing are featured. Instructors teach a new dance step each week. Co-produced with C & D Productions, Inc. Gates open 6:00. Dance lessons, 6:30 to 7:00, with dancing until 9:30. Light dinner fare included (51 Broadway Caterers). Admission: $30 at door; $25 in advance, on-line. Season tickets available: $160 (or $20 per evening).

Schedule with featured dance step: June 25, bachata by Rhythmology; July 9, West Coast swing by Ellen McCreery; July 16, rumba by Antz Joseph (special performance by Dancing Classroom Long Island Youth Ensemble); July 23, fox trot by Ballroom of Huntington; July 30, cha cha by Patti Paneibianco; August 20, hustle by Donna DiSimone; August 27, East Coast swing by Swing Dance Long Island; September 3, salsa by Rhythmology.

Saturday, July 18

Clam Bake IV, 6:00–10:00

This annual fund-raising event, held in the Celebration Tent, offers a wide seafood-lovers’ menu plus wine, beer and soda, and a DJ with music for listening and dancing. Tickets: $100 person, on-line; Members, $90.

Friday, August 7

Alex Torres and His Latin Orchestra, 6:00–10:00

For the ninth summer, the orchestra will perform (rain or shine) Spicy Sounds for a Hot Night. Bring a picnic, take a club-style Latin dance lesson, and listen and dance to the music of these renowned musicians and recording artists. Tickets: $25 on-line, $30 at door.


Living History Tours

Sundays: May 24 and 31, July 26, August 30, September 6, 5:007:00

These special, time-machine tours offer visitors the chance to meet the Vanderbilts’ summer guests. This summer it will be 1936 in the Mansion, and featured family guests will be golf champion Sam Snead and renowned writer Dorothy Parker. Tours are synchronized with the evening performances of the Outdoor Summer Shakespeare Festival. Visitors are encouraged to take a tour, bring a picnic dinner, and stay for a Shakespeare play in the Mansion Courtyard. Guests and household staff are portrayed by Museum guide-actors. Tickets: $10 on-line. Members, free.


Sunday, June 7

Woodstock Revival III, 12:00–6:30

This annual outdoor summer concert – several dozen artists painting to live music – is a benefit for museum education programs. Concert-goers bring beach chairs, blankets and picnic lunches. Tickets: adults $25 online, $35 at door. Children ages 515, $10 on-line or at door. Children under 5 are free.

Sunday, July 12

The Liverpool Shuffle Summer Concert, 7:00

This Beatles tribute band, a regional favorite, will perform classic songs live outside on the Great Lawn. Bring a picnic, blankets and chairs. Tickets: adults $25 on-line, $35 at door; children 515, $10 on-line or at door; children under 5 free.

Sunday, September 27

Grateful Fest IV, 12:00–6:30

The fourth annual Grateful Fest, the popular outdoor Grateful Dead tribute-band concert, will be held Sunday, September 27, from 12:00 to 6:30 p.m. on the Great Lawn, west of the Vanderbilt Mansion, overlooking Northport Bay and Long Island Sound. Proceeds from this event benefit Vanderbilt Museum education programs. (Rain date: October 4).

Thirty artists will paint to live music by Half Step, The Electrix, Reckoning and Unbroken Chain. Concert-goers bring beach chairs, blankets and picnic lunches. Tickets: adults $25 on-line, $35 at door; children 515 $10 on-line or at door; children under 5 free.

Rich Rivkin – who produces the event and the annual Woodstock Revival concert – says “Grateful Fest is where the vibe attracts the tribe! Your eyes and ears will thank your brain.”


27th Annual Outdoor Summer Shakespeare Festival – Sunday, Wednesday and Friday

July 5–26 – Twelfth Night (no performance on Sunday, July 12 and August 7)  

August 2–30 Othello(no performance on Sunday, August 7)

Presented by the Arena Players Repertory Theater on the Vanderbilt Mansion Courtyard stage. Performances on Wednesdays and Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Sundays at 7:00 p.m. Tickets: $15 per person – call 516-293-0674. Visit In case of an inclement weather forecast, call 631-854-5570 to see if performance will be given.


Arena Players Children’s Theater

Arena Players specializes in audience-participation productions that delight children and their parents. Visit for schedule and tickets.



Creative Summer Fun for Preschoolers

The Vanderbilt Education Center offers fun, creative workshops for children ages 3-5 (with an adult). Projects include paper sculptures, masks, and tee-shirts. Call 631-854-5539 for details and fees.

Traveling the World

Sail the Seas with Mr. V (grades K3) is a series of science and art workshops that explore the Museum’s collections, artifacts and habitats, followed by creative projects. Call 631-854-5539 for details and fees.


Sunday, August 16

Antique Automobile Club of America – Vanderbilt Cup Region, 11:00–4:00

Visitors pay general admission fee (adults $7, students with ID and seniors 62 and older $6, children 12 and under $3) – no additional charge for car show.

Sunday, September 13

Jaguar-MG Classic Car Show, 11:00–4:00

(Rain date: September 20)

The Jaguar Drivers Club of L.I. and the MG Car Club-Long Island Centre present their annual Concours d’ Elegance. Members free. Visitors pay general admission fee (adults $7, students with ID and seniors 62 and older $6, children 12 and under $3) – no additional charge for car show.

For updated details on all events and programs, please visit

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