The Long Island Maritime Museum records, restores, and displays the history and story of life on the water of Long Island. The main building of the campus occupies the former Meadow Edge estate, and other historical nautical buildings from around the island have been transplanted to its grounds. These structures include exhibits such as the Wrecks & Rescuers exhibit, based on the annals of the United States Life-Saving Service. They also contain the Edward Smith Library of local nautical history and a collection of 19th- and 20th-century boat-racing trophies.
The museum's prized possession does not reside on dry land, though. In the nearby harbor, a fully restored 1888 oyster sloop named Priscilla can still venture out into the bay for both public and private sails.
The Long Island Museum contains a permanent collection of more than 40,000 pieces from the late 1700s to the present. Visitors can explore the museum's American art, historic documents, and full-size carriages to get an idea of what life was like in the past. The museum also hosts special events designed to engage the community and invite people to the museum, and will be celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.
Connected to William K. Vanderbilt II’s 24-room mansion, the 60-foot domed planetarium seats 238 in the Sky Theater, using a Goto star projector and dozens of perimeter slide projectors to display 11,369 stars. Settle in at 8 p.m. to see Journey Through the Solar System, a visually and audibly engaging look at the history, contents, and personality flaws of our beloved solar system, as well as its most ardent explorer, NASA. A video library and laser disks supplement stationary images with moving pictures, an effect that makes the universe and time seem to fly by. Afterward, examine the meteorites and 6-foot-wide moon globe on display in the lobby.
Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum's staff of maritime experts collate the histories, folklore, and artifacts that illustrate Long Island's relationship with the sea. The museum's collection ensures an in-depth look at Long Island's history of whaling with more than 6,000 artifacts and archival objects, including the only fully equipped 19th-century whaling boat with the original furniture and scrimshaw flat-screen television. Interactive education courses for all ages teach kids about the oceanic sciences and engage them in themed arts-and-crafts events. Adult workshops range from drawing and sketching seminars to book readings and discussions. Before leaving, guests can peruse the gift shop, which brims with knickknacks and doodads for all ages, including boatswain's whistles and ships in bottles.
Helmed by the tag-team duo of a New York Times best-selling author and former creative director of New York's Lincoln Center, Pulitzer & Panetta Writing & Art Studio molds artistic minds of any age with workshops that keep the right side of the brain firing on all synapses.
The Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center throws its visitors into the shark tank. And the tropical lagoon. And the salt marsh. As executive director Bryan DeLuca noted in the New York Times, the center (formerly Atlantis Marine World) is one of the most interactive aquariums in the area, which snagged it a place on Parents magazine's list of the 10 Best Aquariums for Kids. The Atlantis-themed aquarium’s educational exhibits combine myth with science as they bring guests face to gills with creatures such as eels, jellyfish, seals, and clownfish. In addition to its indoor and outdoor exhibits right on the banks of the Peconic River, the aquarium delights guests with aquatic adventures such as snorkeling or receiving a photo op and kiss from loveable sea lion Java, who still dreams of one day being turned into a beautiful princess.