Summer Gala Celebrates William K. Vanderbilt II, A Force of Nature

Gala Honors ‘William K. Vanderbilt II: A Force of Nature’

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s 2023 Gala will honor William K. Vanderbilt II, his passion for the oceans and the natural world, and his contributions to the people of Long Island. The event, set for Saturday, July 15, from 6:00 to 10:00 pm, includes cocktails, dinner, and dancing.

William K. Vanderbilt II: A Force of Nature will feature cocktails at 6:00 pm in the Mansion Courtyard, and dinner and dancing to live music beginning at 7:30 in the Celebration Tent.

Tickets $250 | Cocktail Attire | RSVP by July 7, 2023

The evening is a tribute to the man who generously shared his passion for the oceans and the natural world with the people of Long Island.

As the Museum honors his legacy and promotes citizen science, it will continue to incorporate contemporary issues in marine life, animal welfare, and ecology into its STEM and natural-history education programs. This modern direction complements and expands on the current use of his natural-history collection.

Vanderbilt was perhaps proudest to be able to share the specimens he collected during his ocean-going global travels. He strongly desired to educate others about the wonders of nature and fascinating, far-away cultures. In so doing, Vanderbilt assumed the role of public educator. Using his personal experiences and his vast collections, he created the first museum on Long Island.

Contributions to this year’s fundraiser enable the Museum to continue its ongoing education efforts and to support its K-12 and lifelong learning programs, lectures, and workshops.


CLICK HERE to purchase tickets!


To complement the celebration, guests at the gala will experience the role art serves in societal discussions about conservation. Guests are invited to view the Museum’s first outdoor exhibition, Wrought Taxonomies, installed on the estate grounds. Wendy Klemperer, a nationally renowned artist, is exhibiting large-scale sculptures that depict her lifelong fascination with animals and nature.


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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‘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

Wrought Taxonomies: 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.

Shakespeare Festival: Next, ‘Macbeth’

The Vanderbilt Museum’s thirty-fourth annual Summer Shakespeare Festival is presenting  Two Gentlemen of Verona, performed by the Carriage House Players, through Friday, June 30.  All performances are given on the Mansion Courtyard stage. Next: Macbeth will open on Friday, July 7.

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


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The Two Gentlemen of Verona

June 4-30

Wed and Fri at 8:00 pm, Sun at 7:00 pm


July 7 – August 6

Wed and Fri at 8:00 pm, Sun at 7:00 pm

Love’s Labor’s Lost

August 11- Sept 8

Wed and Fri at 8:00 pm, Sun at 7:00 pm

Mustang & Shelby Club Plans July 9 Car Show

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 held Sunday, July 9, by the Mustang & Shelby Club of Long Island.

Sept 10 – Jaguar Drivers of Long Island (rain date: Sept 18)

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.

Pop Up Prana Yoga: Three Upcoming Events

Jennifer Eagen of Pop Up Prana Yoga has scheduled three of her popular programs during July at the Vanderbilt Museum. July 14: Sunset Yoga; July  16: Planetarium Restorative Yoga; and July 30: Sunset Meditation. Early registration is suggested.

Friday, July 14: Sunset Yoga Flow

7:00 – 8:00 pm | Adults $30, children $15

Location: Vanderbilt Mansion lawn overlooking Northport Bay. Check-in begins at 6:30.

“Kick off your weekend with a beautiful view,” Eagen said. “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’re an advanced yogi and seek growth, no worries.” All will be given an opportunity to shine and improvise their own variations throughout the session.




Sunday, July 16: Planetarium Restorative Yoga

5:30 – 6:30 pm | $37

Location: Beneath the expansive digital sky of the Vanderbilt Reichert Planetarium.

“Maximize your relaxation,” Eagen said. “You can expect 60 self-indulgent minutes of stillness, empowerment, and soothing guided meditation.”




Sunday, July 30: Sunset Meditation at the Planetarium

6:00 – 7:00 pm | $25

This new 45-minute sunset meditation will explore the transitional beauty of sunset through twilight, she said. Participants will be guided through a profound and memorable meditative state, to reduce overall anxiety and stress




Three Museums and Cafe Celebrate Harry Potter’s Birthday

If you solemnly swear you are up to no good, three museums and a cafe in the Town of Huntington invite wizards and muggles to celebrate Harry Potter’s July 31 birthday week!

The Town of Huntington Historic Partnership created the event to connect the magic of the Harry Potter series with local history. Several local museums and a café are participating.

Huntington Town Historian Robert Hughes said, “Huntington’s museums are always looking for new ways to get people—especially young people—to visit their wonderful collections. What better way than to tap into the enthusiasm for all things Harry Potter?  This will be a fun, educational way to celebrate everyone’s favorite wizard’s birthday.”

Nomi Dayan, Executive Director of The Whaling Museum & Education Center of Cold Spring Harbor, said, “To stay relevant today, museums need to interpret their collections through a creative lens. Highlighting connections to the world of Harry Potter gives our local community a fun entry point to connect with our diverse collections.”

Event schedule:

Walt Whitman Birthplace

July 24-30

Find Quidditch brooms, the Mirror of Erised, earn Walt Whit’s Beans, and try a sorting hat. Bring in a Potter-themed poem for display!

Children 15 and under free with adult admission

246 Old Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station, NY 11746

Whaling Museum of Cold Spring Harbor

July 25-August 5

See the largest cauldron in Huntington! Search for Potter-themed haunted items and potion bottles. Decorate an owl mask.

Free with admission. Closed Mondays.

279 Main Street, Cold Spring Harbor NY 11724

Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum & Reichert Planetarium

August 1-4

Visit for a special scavenger hunt called “Mr. Vanderbilt’s Fantastic Creatures & How to  Find Them!”

Free with admission

180 Little Neck Road, Centerport, NY 11721

Sweetie Pies

July 25-August 5

Enjoy a Butter Beer Latte (decaf available) at  Sweetie Pies in Cold Spring Harbor from

181 Main St, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724


Members of the THHP members include the Huntington Historical Society, Huntington Town Historian, Preservation Long Island, Walt Whitman Birthplace, Whaling Museum & Education Center of Cold Spring Harbor, Greenlawn-Centerport Historical Association, and Northport Historical Society, and Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum.

Summer Science Fun for Children, Grades K-5

2023 Summer Science Fun. Dates: July 10-14 or August 14-18. $200/$180 members. Jr Astronomer Workshop, Grades 3-5. Junior Explorer Workshop, Grades K-3. Click here for more information.Fascinating, fun summer learning for grades K-5! Vanderbilt Museum science educators will offer Junior Explorer and Astronomer workshops for children in two, week-long sessions in July and August. Sail the seas, dive the oceans, make unique art. Advance registration is required.

Summer Science Fun

July 10-14 or August 14-18

9 am – 12 pm

$200 non-members | $180 members

Interested in membership? Learn more here.

Become a Member


Space is limited and spots fill quickly! Advance registration is required.

For more information and to register, please contact

Junior Explorer Workshop Grades K-3

Explore the world at the Vanderbilt Museum!

Join us for a week of creative science and history workshops. We’ll sail the seas, dive the deepest oceans, soar among the tallest trees, and make unique art inspired by nature and the collections.

Registration is open for children entering Kindergarten through  3rd grade.

Register JULY Jr Explorer Workshop Register AUGUST Jr Explorer Workshop


Junior Astronomer Workshop Grades 3-5

The Reichert Planetarium presents an exciting program for young astronomers!

Junior Astronomers have the opportunity to learn about multiple astronomy topics including our solar system, how to use a telescope, and how to identify constellations they can see from their own backyard. This program focuses on hands-on learning with STEAM activities and crafts supplemented by immersive live and pre-recorded fulldome presentations in our Planetarium theater.

Registration is open for children entering 3rd through 5th grade.


Register JULY Jr Astronomer Workshop Register AUGUST Jr Astronomer Workshop


The July and August sessions of each workshop will feature the same activities.

For this reason, we recommend against registering a child for the same workshop twice.

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, these tours will be offered on Thursday, July 20, and 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.

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.”

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 . Audiences take 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.

Paved with Love: A Gift That Lasts Forever

Looking for a fresh, unique, everlasting gift for a loved one?

Purchase and engrave a brick that will become a permanent part of the Vanderbilt Museum.

Your donation will help the Vanderbilt to bring outstanding science, history, and art education to more than 25,000 students annually.

Your brick will be installed and displayed installed in your favorite brick walkway around the Vanderbilt Mansion and Terrace, or on the 43-acre grounds of the beautiful waterfront Estate.

Purchase a Brick


For more information, email: madison@

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