Long Island Museums: A Cultural Haven for Art, History, and Music

Long Island Museums

Long Island Museum cares for significant art and history collections as well as one of the most comprehensive horse-drawn carriage collections in the world. The museum is the region’s leading cultural institution and a Smithsonian Affiliate.

The complex features seven buildings spread across both the north and south sides of Route 25A including the Art Museum, History Museum/Visitors Center, Carriage Museum, multiple storage sheds and administrative offices.


The Long Island Museum was founded in 1939 with a vision by Ward Melville. Its campus in Stony Brook resembles a New England village as the museum collected local historic buildings that were trucked on site to serve as exhibition spaces. Today the Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate that serves more than 12,000 school children each year and has a major collection of American art.

Kids love exploring science and history at this hands-on museum with 14 interactive exhibit galleries, a live theater, art spaces and daily activities. Birthday party packages and STEM programs are available along with TotSpot, a special area for toddlers.

No trip to Long Island is complete without a stop at this iconic roadside attraction. Snap a selfie in front of the 20-foot duck, built by local duck farmer Martin Maurer, which is surrounded by a mini museum. It also houses a gift shop and cafe. It’s open all year. Admission is free.


Long Island is engulfed with art galleries and museums that exhibit a wide range of artworks. From Auguste Rodin and Lichtensteins to Georgia O’Keeffe and William Sidney Mount paintings and sculptures there is sure to be something to delight every interest.

The Heckscher Museum of Art has a broad collection of art, archives and history that includes one of the largest repositories of the work of 19th century genre painter William Sidney Mount and a unique collection of historic carriages. The museum also presents major rotating exhibitions that are innovative and adventurous in scope.

The Museum of Contemporary Arts Long Island, known as MoCA LI, is the newly defined exhibition space of Patchogue Arts Council (PAC). Redefining PAC’s exhibition gallery as a museum exponentially increases opportunities for the community and artists it serves. It allows MoCA to attract expert guest curators and to borrow world-class works from established museums, galleries and private collections. It also provides access to new foundation and grant funding.


When travelers think of music-related museums, they might envision Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame or Nashville’s Country Music Museum. But Long Island has its own musical shrine — the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame.

The non-profit museum opened on November 25 at 97 Main Street in Stony Brook. It features a two-story, 8,800-square-foot building with instruments, clothing and memorabilia of more than 120 inductees.

Its first exhibit transports visitors to the area’s legendary 1960s and 1980s club scene that spawned such bands as Twisted Sister, Joan Jett, Billy Joel and Blue Oyster Cult. Replicas of clubs like My Father’s Place, The Barge, Hammerheads and the OBI are on display along with concert posters, ads and other ephemera.

Other highlights include costumes worn by Dee Snider of Twisted Sister and a bone that he posed with for the “Stay Hungry” album cover. Also on display is a 1983 XJ-S Jaguar, the car that Joan Jett drove in her early career.


Long Island museums offer educational programs aligned with NYSED learning standards for all grade levels. Educational opportunities include STEM & STEAM field trips, planetariums and aquariums. Learn about the historic sites that played a role in the American Revolution, the summer Whitehouse of President Theodore Roosevelt at Sagamore Hill or the luxurious castles of the Gold Coast where neighbors tried to outdo one another with European-caliber mansions.

Brookhaven National Laboratory-Brookhaven, NY-A virtual field trip to the Museum’s groundbreaking research institution and its role in the United States’ scientific history.

The museum preserves and interprets Hallockville Museum Farm, a recreated 1820s North Fork village with original buildings that once housed a general store, tavern, church, crafts shop and farm homes. The Museum also houses a collection of historic horse-drawn carriages and features traveling exhibitions. The Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate and is the only museum in New York dedicated to regional art and history with a Long Island connection.

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