Summer at the Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt Rose Garden

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum is open five days a week this summer – Wednesday through Sunday, 11:00 to 5:00 pm, with the last daily admission tickets sold at 4:00 pm.

The Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium, which is marking its 50th anniversary, is operating at full seating capacity.

The summer calendar includes the 32nd annual Shakespeare Festival, live workshops on Zoom for children; Walk and Talk architecture-garden tours; new private Mansion Living Quarters and Exhibits & Galleries tours; an evening with a renowned magician; in-person programs for summer camps; the perennially popular guided Mansion tours; outdoor yoga; classic car shows; and the opening of the Vanderbilt’s first changing exhibition, on Alva Belmont, William K. Vanderbilt II’s mother, a pioneering leader in the women’s suffrage movement.


Walk and Talk Tours

Stroll the Vanderbilt Estate, Learn About its Gardens, Architecture, and Fascinating Owner

Come for an intriguing Walk and Talk tour of the Vanderbilt Estate and gardens with knowledgeable Vanderbilt Museum educators. Learn about Warren & Wetmore’s design and the exterior architectural details of the 24-room Spanish Revival mansion – including the striking ironwork of Samuel Yellin, considered the greatest iron artisan of the early 20th century – and explore Mr. Vanderbilt’s passion for travel, marine biology, and auto racing.

These Walk and Talk Tours, created by the Vanderbilt Education Department, are available now through mid-October. Tours, limited to 10 people each, are offered on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 12:00 and 1:00 pm. Tickets may be purchased at the door: Adults $16, seniors/students $15, children under 12 $13, members free.

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 and collections. 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.


Long Island Chamber Music at the Vanderbilt

L.I. Chamber Music Celebrates Planetarium Anniversary

Long Island Chamber Music (LICM) will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium on Friday, July 23, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm in the Mansion Courtyard.

Songs of Celebration is a joyous program of song and dance music. The playbill will span multiple genres including traditional folk, baroque, and jazz from the swing era arranged for violin, viola, cello, clarinet, and French horn.

Tickets: Members $15, non-Members $20. Bring your own chair and a picnic.

Purchase Tickets

LICM is an arts organization that provides exceptional classical music concerts, community events, educational programs, and private lessons for Long Island communities.

Programming is tailored to each individual event. The organization works with its community partners, educators, students, and individual patrons to creatively select and arrange music that is thematically relevant and compelling to listeners.

LICM musicians are of the highest caliber, drawn from Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect, the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Astral Artists, and several other of the country’s most prestigious musical institutions. Visit


Carriage House Players

Shakespeare Festival: ‘As You Like It’

The Carriage House Players continue the 32nd annual Shakespeare Festival at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum with As You Like It, the classic pastoral comedy of mismatched lovers and mistaken identity. The play runs through August 1.

Sponsored by



Performances are Wednesdays and Fridays at 8 pm, Sundays at 7 pm. Tickets: $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and children. Visitors must bring their own chairs.

Evan Donnellan, executive director of the CHP, said, “The Carriage House Players are so excited to return to the Vanderbilt Museum Courtyard for our annual Shakespeare Festival! We cannot wait to entertain you.”

Titus Andronicus: August 8-29 (excluding 8/27)\

Shakespeare’s first tragedy, a tale of ambition and revenge, comes to the Vanderbilt stage with a modern spin on the classic material.

Richard III: September 5-26

This tragedy explores the history of Richard III, a misguided man who will stop at nothing to rule with absolute power.

Purchase Tickets


Rosamond and William Vanderbilt aboard the Alva, 1931
Vanderbilt Museum archives photo

‘Vanderbilt Moments in
History’: New Video Series 

Women’s Suffrage, Global Exploration, Birth of Auto Racing, Century of Family Military Service

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum has premiered the first two chapters of a new narrated video series, Moments in History, on the fascinating history of William K. Vanderbilt II (1878-1944), his family, and his estate.

Highlights include rare archival photographs and clips from a documentary of one of Mr. Vanderbilt’s around-the-world museum-collecting cruises. Moments in History was created by Killian Taylor, the Museum’s archives and records manager, and presented by Bank of America.

Bank of America is a major supporter of more than 2,000 cultural organizations across the country. Bank of America is committed to supporting local partners like the Vanderbilt Museum to ensure that neighborhoods remain strong and vibrant.

These videos are available now for viewing:

Alva Belmont: Socialite to Suffragist

Did you know Mr. Vanderbilt’s mother, Alva Vanderbilt Belmont, well-known for her fabulous grand mansions and lavish parties– also championed and helped to fund the women’s suffrage movement? Learn about her life and the struggles of this unexpected women’s rights leader and crusader.

Watch Now       

The Alva: A Ship for the Seven Seas

Did you know that Mr. Vanderbilt, a well-known yachtsman, and scientific explorer, spent much of his life at sea? The Alva was his largest and grandest yacht– a marvel in its time.

During World War II, President Roosevelt requested the Alva be commissioned to support the United States Navy.

Watch Now

More Moments in History, coming soon:

  • Eagle’s Nest: The Making of a Summer Estate, 1910-1936
  • Vanderbilt Family Military Salute: Perspectives (two parts)
  • The Vanderbilt Cup: Long Island’s World-Renowned Road Race
  • Flying Lanes: South America by Air, 1937


Enjoy Sunset Yoga on Vanderbilt Great Lawn

Pop Up Prana Yoga will offer its next Sunset Yoga events on Friday, July 16, and Friday, August 13. Open to practitioners of all levels. All props and mats will be provided upon request.

Check-in begins at 6:30 pm to prepare for the 7:00 session. One hour with a 10-minute meditation. Class ends at 8:00. Rain dates will be determined as the event approaches. Note: tickets are non-refundable.

“Kick off your weekend with a beautiful view on the Great Lawn overlooking Northport Harbor,” said Jenn Eagen of Pop Up Prana Yoga. “All props and mats will be provided upon request. This is an open-level yoga practice. If you are new to the practice, feel free to join us! If you are an advanced yogi and seek growth, no worries. You will have an opportunity to shine and improvise your own variations throughout the session.”



Virtual Museum Workshops for Children

Live, Zoom-based workshops include a virtual tour of the Vanderbilt collections, interactive sessions with a museum educator, creative projects, and a complimentary admission pass to the Museum for a future visit. Creative projects will be featured on social media.

Fee: $15; Members are Free. Advance registration is required to participate. Please call 631-854-5539 to reserve a space.

July 13 / July 15

Trivia & a Craft:  Oceans & Recycled Plastic Art

August 3 / August 5

Big Cats & Mini Animal Diorama

August 10 / August 12

Trivia & A Craft:  African Savanna & Warthog Mask

Important information: Project materials (not including glue) can be picked up the week before the workshop date.


Museum Summer Camp Programs: In-Person!

The Vanderbilt Museum Education Department is offering intriguing in-person activities for young children – ages K-4 and grades 2 and up – for visiting summer camp programs. Fee for the 45-minute programs: $6 per person. Limit is up to 20 people per session, which run 10-11 am. Face masks are required for all children under 12 and for anyone who is not vaccinated.

Dates are flexible. Space is limited and advance registration is required. Call or write to reserve a space: 631-854-5539 or

Beth Laxer-Limmer, associate director of education, said, “The Vanderbilt Museum is looking forward to welcoming back visiting camps this summer. We are offering three in-person programs that introduce the world of William Vanderbilt and his passion for traveling and collecting.”

Animal Expedition

Kindergarten-Grade 4

Tour the natural history dioramas with a museum educator and learn about the animals in the collection, their habitats, and examine preserved specimens.

Beneath the Waves

Kindergarten-Grade 4

Explore the Hall of Fishes marine museum with a museum educator, discover interesting facts about marine animals, and examine preserved specimens.

Estate & Collections Tour

Grades 2 and up

Join a museum educator for a tour of the natural history galleries, learn about the Vanderbilt family, and William’s global expeditions to collect for his personal museum.


Take a Time Machine Tour of a Gold Coast Mansion

Public Guided Tours of the Vanderbilt Mansion Living Quarters

A public guided tour of the Vanderbilt Mansion living quarters is a trip back in time. Visitors explore the privileged life of one of America’s most influential families and learn about Long Island’s Gold Coast from the Jazz Age through the Second World War.

Tours offered Wednesday through Sunday during public hours. Maximum of 12 guests per group. Tickets available only at the door. General admission: adults $10; seniors (62 plus) and students with ID $9; children 12 and under $7; children 2 and under are free. Members free. Add $6 per person for a guided tour.

Guides tell stories about William K. Vanderbilt II, how he developed his Eagle’s Nest estate, and William and Rosamond’s famous guests, who included the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Charles Lindbergh, and the Tiffanys.

The mansion has been kept exactly as it was when the Vanderbilts lived here. The rooms display personal effects — a teapot and cup on a side table next to Rosamond’s bed, books and papers on William’s desk, and open suitcases with clothes in the guest rooms. The impression this creates is that the family is living there but has stepped out for the afternoon. Visitors to the mansion are surrounded by rare fine and decorative art and furnishings, some of it centuries old. It is a time-machine stroll through a storied era of elite, privileged lives on Long Island’s North Shore.


Two New Private Tours: Mansion Living Quarters, Exhibits & Galleries

The Museum is offering private, guided Mansion Living Quarters Tours as well as private Exhibits & Galleries Tours.

Mansion Living Quarters Tours show visitors how the Vanderbilts lived with the furnishings and fine art they collected around the world, and how they entertained famous guests. Included are the Library, Organ Room, Northport Porch, bedrooms and guest rooms, and staff quarters.

Exhibits & Galleries Tours include the Hall of Fishes marine museum, the Habitat and Stoll Wing animal dioramas, and the Memorial Wing collections galleries. Guides will talk about how William Vanderbilt amassed the largest collection of pre-atomic-era marine specimens in the world. Visitors will learn fascinating facts about his thousands of specimens and artifacts.

Tickets for Mansion Living Quarters Tours and the Exhibits & Galleries Tours can be reserved for up to eight people. Tickets are $150 total for an eight-person group. Member group price is $125.

For details and tickets, contact:

Killian Taylor, archives and records manager, said, “With its grand architecture and storied history, Eagle’s Nest is one of the unique and fascinating historic places on Long Island. Here visitors can see the Vanderbilt family’s grand Spanish Revival home, carefully preserved to its elegant 1930s appearance, and Mr. Vanderbilt’s sprawling natural history museum with creatures and artifacts from all over the world.

“Whether you are looking to experience the glamour of the Jazz Age or be swept away with scientific exploration, there is always something new and wonderful to discover at the Vanderbilt Museum.”


Magician Alex Boyce:
‘Courtyard Conjuring’

Acclaimed magician Alexander Boyce returns to the Vanderbilt on Thursday, August 12, at 7:00 pm with an exclusive interactive performance of wonder, mystery, and astonishment. He will be joined by the jazz duo MYSA in the beautiful Vanderbilt Mansion Courtyard.

Purchase Tickets

Boyce – called “sophisticated” by The New York Times – gives an exclusive interactive performance of wonder, mystery, and astonishment. He will be joined by jazz duo MYSA in the beautiful Vanderbilt Mansion Courtyard. The Spanish Revival mansion provides an elegant backdrop for an evening of impossible magic that is unforgettable.

Boyce replaces the old tropes of magic like tuxedos and showgirls with sleight of hand, charm, and comedy. Adult-smart and family-friendly, Courtyard Conjuring is recommended for adults and children 10 and older. Tickets and more available at

When it comes to magic, Alexander Boyce is a contradiction. A recent New York University graduate, he is experienced yet young, old-school but hip, mischievous yet authentic. From appearances at The Magic Castle in Hollywood to the long-running hit Speakeasy Magick at The McKittrick Hotel in New York City, Boyce leaves audiences with astonished smiles. Recently, he has been the magic consultant at Lincoln Center and was one of the first American magicians invited to entertain in Cuba since the revolution.


‘Alva Belmont: Socialite to Suffragist’

Alva Belmont, the mother of William K. Vanderbilt II, was a pioneer in the movement to secure voting rights for women. In late July, the Museum will open its first changing exhibition on her and her work, in the Lancaster Room.

Belmont, along with suffragist leader Alice Paul, created the National Woman’s Party in 1913 to fight for women’s suffrage: the right of women by law to vote in national or local elections. An unexpected advocate and the party’s primary benefactor, Belmont was elected its president in 1921.

Belmont’s involvement and financial support helped lead to the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on August 26, 1920. The amendment put women on an equal basis with men. She died in Paris in 1933.


JoyRide: Dave Matthews
Music in the Courtyard

JoyRide: A Dave Matthews Celebration will perform Saturday, July 17, at 6:00 pm in the Vanderbilt Mansion courtyard. Seven musicians recreate the experience of a live Dave Matthews Band show, complete with violin and horns.

Purchase Tickets

Also …


September 17: Alex Torres and His Latin Orchestra (Details TBA.)


July 24: CEED – the Center for Environmental Education & Discovery – will offer an Animal Diversity program for children, at 4:30 and 6:00 pm

Purchase 4:30 Tickets

Purchase 6:00 Tickets

September 11: CEED Nature Walk, morning (rain date 9/12)

November 13: CEED will offer an Owl Prowl for families

Purchase Tickets

November 20: CEED Owl Prowl for adults only

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Sundays, 12:00 – 4:00 on the dates listed below. Visitors pay only general Museum admission (adults $10, students/seniors [62-plus] $9, children 12 and under $7)

Sept 12: Jaguar Drivers Club of Long Island, (rain date: Sept 19)

October 10: Cadillac-LaSalle Club of the Long Island Region

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