Vanderbilt Museum
180 Little Neck Road
Centerport, NY 11721-0605
(631) 854-5555 • 854-5538 Planetarium • 854-5539 Groups/Schools

The stately mansion, Eagle's Nest, was the summer home of William Kissam Vanderbilt II, whose family fortune was created by his grandfather, "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt, shipping and railroad tycoon. A remnant of Long Island's famous Gold Coast, the mansion is part of a 43-acre complex that now includes a museum and planetarium.

Eagle's Nest is a beautiful Spanish Revival structure. The interior is decorated with Vanderbilt's original furniture, paintings, books, and other personal effects. Throughout the house visitors will find exquisite examples of the finest furnishings from around the world.

The first floor of the Hall of Fishes, a two story structure located northwest of the mansion, displays a large collection of mounted animals and marine specimens. The second floor contains hundreds of marine vertebrates and invertebrates. Many of the displayed marine forms are the only such specimens in existence, collected, identified, and named by Vanderbilt and his staff.

The Habitat Wing displays dioramas of animals in their natural habitats, and is dominated by a huge whale shark suspended from the ceiling. The Memorial Wing, built to commemorate the life of Vanderbilt's son, contains various trophies and mementos of his exploits. The Moth and Butterfly Room contains a collection of rare and beautifully colored moths, butterflies, and beetles, some of them unusually large.

There is also a diorama depicting the growth of railroading in America.

The Planetarium, erected in 1971, is among the dozen best equipped in the country, featuring the largest public-use telescope in the New York City area (available on clear evenings when shows are scheduled). The Sky Theatre has a 60-foot diameter, 238-seat dome "sky" onto which a customized GOTO projection instrument reproduces the sun, moon, stars, and the imaginary coordinate lines used to map the heavens. This amazing system can create the heavens as they would appear from any point on Earth, at any time up to thousands of years into the past or into the future. Hundreds of special projectors and effects supplement this device and combine with a four channel sound system to create fantastic educational and esthetic visual and audio effects.

A full schedule of shows is offered throughout the year, and those interested should call for a calendar. Youngsters under six are invited to special presentations on Saturday mornings. Adult education courses are available in astronomy, meteorology, and navigation in all except the summer months. Courses include both theoretical and practical sessions.

Throughout the year families can enjoy special presentations such as concerts, lectures, etc. A calendar is available upon request. The Vanderbilt Museum has expanded greatly over recent years and continues to do so. There is an obvious commitment to provide an unequaled educational resource for its communities.

The Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium offer great educational opportunities for School Groups. A wide variety of Historic House and Natural History Programs, for grades K through 12, cover subjects like animals and their traits; endangered species and ecology; the Gold Coast era; different cultures from around the world; and many others. Planetarium Programs, for grades Pre-K through 12, explore the heavens in many of its aspects, including meteorology, astronomy, and the mysteries of outer space. Special workshops for educators are available in spring and fall.

Hours: The Mansion, Museum, Natural History Exhibits, and Grounds are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am - 5pm and Sunday from 12 - 5pm during the summer. Hours change seasonally so call before visiting, or visit the Museum's official website, linked above..
General (Daytime)

Adults $7.00
Seniors (62+) $6.00
Students $6.00
Children under 12 $3.00
Add a Mansion Tour or Planetarium Show for
Adults $5.00
Seniors (62+) $4.00
Students $4.00
Children under 12 $3.00
Evening Admission - Planetarium/Observatory
Adults $9.00
Seniors (62+) $8.00
Students $8.00
Children under 12 $7.00
Groups of 20 or more:
Call for Group Rates.
Group Reservations: At least 4 weeks in advance.
Lunch: Picnic areas available.
Handicapped Access: Planetarium is accessible, mansion is not.
Directions: From the LIE Exit 51, the Northern State Parkway Exit 42N, or the Southern State Parkway Exit 39N: Drive north on Deer Park Ave., bear left at fork (traffic light), onto Park Ave. At 3rd light, turn right onto Broadway, continue for 4-5 miles to Rt. 25A. Cross 25A (to left of Shell gas station) to Little Neck Road. Museum is 1.5 miles on the right. About 90 minutes from the George Washington Bridge.

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.