From history buffs and art aficionados to couples and kids, Long Island’s museums are a fun way to explore another time, place, and point of view–all year long.

A Jazz Age mansion, horse-drawn carriages, the world’s largest taxidermized fish, WWI fighter planes, and crochet-covered trees are just a few of the fascinating things to see. Not only can you see, but you can also experience. Take sound baths, step inside giant bubbles, climb into cockpits, and play retro arcade games. Here are some of Long Island’s top museums.


Vanderbilt Museum & Reichert Planetarium


















Take a journey around the Earth and into space, compliments of the late multimillionaire William K. Vanderbilt II.

In addition to his mansion filled with luxurious antiques, fine art, and rare cars, there are thousands of animal specimens and cultural artifacts from his worldwide travels, such as the “Hall of Fishes,” a preserved polar bear, and an Egyptian mummy.  

A planetarium/observatory takes you on a digital tour of the universe under its huge dome or zooms you in on real stars via rooftop telescopes, including one that makes it safe to look at our own star–the sun. 


Long Island Museum of American Art, History & Carriages

long island museum

Before automobiles, there were horse-drawn carriages. And just like the Subarus and Lamborghinis of today, they differed in price and the types of people who drove them. See one of the world’s most impressive collections of horse-drawn vehicles at the Carriage Museum, one of several historic exhibits on the Long Island Museum’s grounds. See buggies that once cruised around Long Island’s streets and ornate carriages used by European nobility.

The grounds have a one-room schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, and the old-fashioned needlecraft of crochet, but with a twist. Colorful yarn winds around the trunks and branches of trees. 


Long Island Children’s Museum

Children's Museums

It’s not all fun and games at the Children’s Museum. You and the kids are learning at every exhibit. Children can build a log house, see themselves repeatedly in the Hall of Mirrors, watch live animals being fed, and use a rotary telephone. Visit Sand Island before the sticky Bubbles exhibit and be sure to hitch a ride on the iconic Nunley’s Carousel!


Cradle of Aviation Museum


From hot air balloons to stepping on the moon, explore how humans made the dream of flight come true with Long Island’s integral contribution. See 75 air and spacecraft, including gliders, biplanes, fighter planes, and torpedoes. Climb into a half dozen cockpits to play pilot yourself. The museum even has Charles Lindbergh’s WWI Jenny and an Apollo Lunar Module! But the fun doesn't stop there! The museum also boasts an exhibit housing over 60 playable classic arcade games, offering a nostalgic trip down memory lane, and the Pan Am Museum on the third floor, showcasing the rich history of Pan American World Airways.


Long Island Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame

Long Island Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame

This museum is dedicated to celebrating and preserving the rich musical and entertainment heritage of Long Island. Established in 2004, it has inducted over 120 artists and professionals, highlighting their contributions to the region's cultural landscape. 

Located in Stony Brook, the Hall of Fame features an exhibition area, theater, performance space, and a museum showcasing memorabilia and artifacts. If you're visiting Long Island now through the summer, check out the museum’s special exhibit dedicated to the legendary Billy Joel. This exciting display promises a deep dive into the Piano Man's incredible career, featuring rare memorabilia, records, and instruments donated from the singer’s personal collection.


Heckscher Museum of Art

Heckscher Museum of Art

Inside this 1920 building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a permanent collection of more than 2,300 works by American and European artists dating back to the 16th century. Its most famous acquisition is the 1926 “Eclipse of the Sun,” by German painter George Grosz, who was considered a “degenerate” artist by the Nazis. During your visit, you’ll want to check out the Dove/Torr Cottage and enjoy interactive art activities with the kids.


Explore Art & History on Long Island

Be sure to check out these and the other tremendous amounts of history and arts and culture Long island has to offer.