These special, time-machine tours offer visitors the chance to meet the Vanderbilts' summer guests. This summer it will be 1936 in the Mansion, and featured family guests will be gold champion Sam Snead and renowned writer Dorothy Parker. Tours are synchronized with the evening performances of the Outdoor Summer Shakespeare Festival. Visitors are encouraged to take a tour, bring a picnic dinner, and stay for a Shakespeare play in the Mansion Courtyard. Guests and household staff are portrayed by Museum guide-actors.
Living History tours are given every Saturday and Sunday, beginning on Memorial Day weekend and running through Labor Day. Tours are every 45 minutes with the first tour at 12:30 p.m. The last tour each day leaves at 4:00 p.m. All visitors pay the general museum admission: $7 for adults, $6 for students and seniors (62 and older), $3 for children 12 and under. Visitors who wish to take a Living History tour in the mansion pay general admission plus $5 per person.