Admission toLILAC is free. Because space is limited, reservations are sometimes required for special events.
LILAC is open to the public each year from May to October (weather permitting) for exhibits, tours, and other activities. A calendar of last year's activities may be viewed here.
Events & Exhibits We welcome inquiries from organizations that would like to partner with us to offer educational and cultural activities on board.
Photographers who are interested in exhibiting on board are encouraged to discuss ideas with our photo curator, David Hodgson May 2013
Friday, May 17, 1:30 to 3:30 PM LILAC is one of many stops on a special tour of the Historic Ships of New York for the National Maritime Historical Society's 50th anniversary. The tour of LILAC is free and open to the public. To attend the entire tour of historic ships by ferry, reservations are required.
May 17 to June 15
Artist in the Air and on the Ground in WWII: Photos of Sy Weinstein This exhibit returns after a brief viewing last fall. Brooklyn-born Sy Weinstein was an art student drafted into the U.S. Army Air Corps and assigned to run the photographic lab supporting the 485th Bombardment Group in Italy. Sy and the air crews engaged in aerial reconnaissance to plan bombing missions and documented crashes for forensic purposes. After a transfer to the 2nd Photographic Technical Unit, which he served in France and Germany, Sy was called in when Dachau was liberated to record the horrors there. When off duty, he took pictures of the countryside and the European townsfolk that he met. Some images are graphic and may be disturbing to some visitors.
Fleet Week Without the Fleet New York's Fleet Week is May 22 to May 29. Due to the federal budget sequester, no visiting ships are expected this year. Programming at LILAC will go on.
Thursday, May 23, 6:00 to 8:00 PM Legacy of an Airman Photographer: The Story of Sy Weinstein, a presentation by Gerry Weinstein, founder of the Lilac Preservation Project, will discuss the current exhibit of photographs, Artist in the Air and on the Ground in WWII. He will tell of Sy's war experiences as well as his efforts to preserve his father's story and photos.
Saturday, May 25, 12:00 noon to 6:00 PM War of 1812 family program provides a full afternoon of activities to accompany a tour of the ship and viewing the current exhibit.
1:00 and 3:00 PM, historian Kathleen Hulser shares her family-friendly presentation, Cutter vs. Smuggler, examining the role of smuggling in the War of 1812. With media artist Steve Bull, explore a new smart phone app featuring an augmented reality chase scene with a smuggler's boat pursued by a revenue cutter on the Hudson River A hands-on game will add a learning challenge for children.
At 2:00 and 4:00 PM, David Hanna, author of Knights of the Sea: The True Story of the Boxer and the Enterprise and the War of 1812, will give a reading, and sign copies of his book. Hanna is a history teacher at nearby Stuyvesant High School and tells the little-known story of the only major sea battle of the war witnessed by landsmen.
Sunday, May 26, 12:00 noon to 7:00 PM Launch of Radio Lilac! a monthly artisans' marketplace showcasing locally made goods, accompanied by funky DJ-selected music. This first marketplace will include a cash bar with beer, wine and soft drinks to celebrate LILAC's 80th birthday.
Tuesday, May 28, 6:00 to 8:00 PM A Short History of Buoys and Buoy Tending in the U.S., a presentation by Commander Timothy Dring, USNR (Retired), a historian with the U.S. Life Saving Service Heritage Association. Although LILAC is a lighthouse tender, she and her crews spent most of their time maintaining buoys, and her modern counterparts are called buoy tenders. This talk will explain the vital function of caring for these aids to navigation.