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.
During our 2013 season, the ship is open 3:00 to 6:00 PM Thursdays and 1:00 to 7:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays.
When you visit, remember that you will be entering a ship undergoing restoration. Wear comfortable shoes that you could wear to climb a ladder and watch out for low overheads and for trip hazards.
Events & Exhibits
A calendar of last year's activities may be viewed here.
We welcome inquiries from organizations that would like to partner with us to offer educational and cultural activities on board. 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 July 7
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 PM 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 **RAIN OR SHINE** 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 PM 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 PM 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 music from DJ Sonny Ray. 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 PM to 8:00 PM**RAIN OR SHINE** 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 will be held below-decks in our Petty Officers' Quarters. 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.
Saturday, June 8, 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM Tour and reception for New York-area alumnae of St. Catherine University. The ship will close to the public at 4:00 PM for this private event.
Friday, June 21, 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM and Saturday, June 22, 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM Special festival hours to tour LILAC and the exhibit.
Sunday, June 23, 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM Family activities at LILAC include fishing from the pier with educators from Hudson River Park, exploring touch tanks of estuarine life with staff of The River Project on deck, and knot tying in the Ward Room with sailor and artist Frank Hanavan.
Saturday, June 29, 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM **CANCELED DUE TO RAIN** Radio Lilac!returns with local vendors selling their wares accompanied by music and a cash bar. (If you are interested in being a vendor at this event, see more info here.) Those under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
July 11 to August 26 Dead in August on the LILAC Site95, a non-profit organization that presents exhibitions for emerging and established artists in temporary urban locations is organizing a multi-artist multi-media installation that will feature work by Peter Brock, Maureen Cavanaugh, Fortmakers, Myeongsoo Kim, Jordan Rathus, Colette Robbins, Chad Stayrook, Molly Surno, Naama Tsabar, and Byron Westbrook.
Thursday, July 11, 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM **SPECIAL HOURS** Opening celebration for Site95's Dead in August. A cash bar helps us to cover costs. Those under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Thursday, July 18, 2103, 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM Performances and film screening by Site95 artists. A cash bar helps us to cover costs. Those under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Saturday, July 20, City of Water Day, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM **SPECIAL HOURS** City of Water Day is a celebration of New York's waterfronts sponsored by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. The tug PEGASUS and fireboat JOHN J. HARVEY will be offering free boat tours with the fireboat loading at LILAC. The ship is open for tours and viewing the exhibit, Dead in August. Hudson River Park educators will be offering lessons in fishing from the pier from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and The River Projectwill be pulling up traps and inviting visitors to see estuarine life up close in touch tanks on LILAC's buoy deck in the afternoon.
Sunday, July 21, 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM Our monthly marketplace, Radio Lilac!returns with local vendors selling their creations, accompanied by music and a cash bar. (If you are interested in being a vendor at this event, see more info here.) Those under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Saturday, July 27, 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM (LILAC stays open until 7:00 PM) Children's activitiesfrom 1:00 to 3:00 will be followed by a tour of the exhibit led by Site95 artists and curator Meaghan Kent.
Saturday, August 24, 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM **CANCELLED** Our monthly marketplace, Radio Lilac!returns with local vendors selling their creations, accompanied by music and a cash bar. (If you are interested in being a vendor at this event, see more info here.) Those under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
September 1 to October 31 Industrial Waters The paintings, drawings and prints of Industrial Waters offers three perspectives on the waterfront, from leisurely views of waves on the shore to our most marvelous ships to praise of the Machine Age and the manmade products shipped to us over the waves, all by artists who also work for the preservation of historic ships. Join us for work by Arsenio Martinez (Pier 66 Maritime), David Sheldon (Save Our Seaport), and Paul Stipkovich (SS United States Conservancy), curated by Alexandra Hall in association with Artists Activists.Closing party is October 24th.
Monday, September 23, 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM (presentation begins at 6:30) **DATE CHANGE** The Propeller Club of New York/New Jersey presents writer Theodore Scull speaking on The Many Lives of a Steamboat-Style US-Flag Coastal Passenger Ship - From Pilgrim Belle to Colonial Explorer, Victorian Empress, Spirit of '98 and now S.S. Legacy.Refreshments will be served and the Propeller Club is asking $10 per person to cover the costs of food and drink.
Saturday, September 28, 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM Our monthly marketplace, Radio Lilac!returns with local vendors selling their creations, accompanied by music and a cash bar. (If you are interested in being a vendor at this event, see more info here.) Those under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Saturday, October 12, 1:00 to 7:00 PM Sunday, October 13, 1:00 to 7:00 PM openhousenewyork returns with a menu of sites all over the city. LILAC welcomes visitors with a whole weekend of family fun including seeing and touching live Hudson River creatures on Saturday with The River Project and learning the sailor's art of knot-tying with Frank Hanavan on Sunday. Tuesday, October 15, 6:00 to 8:00 PM (presentation begins at 6:30) Philip F. Napoli, director of the Veterans Oral History Project at Brooklyn College, speaks about Bringing It All Back Home, a new book drawing on in-depth oral history interviews he conducted with more than two hundred military veterans between 2004 and 2010. He will be joined by several of those featured in the book to to discuss New Yorkers’ experiences both in Vietnam and as veterans after the war. LILAC's long-time volunteer, Jimmy Bacolo, will be among those sharing memories of coming home from Vietnam.
Thursday, October 24, 6:00 to 10:00 PM Closing party for our exhibit, Industrial Waters. Cash bar. Those under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Saturday, October 26, 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM **CANCELLED** Our monthly marketplace, Radio Lilac!returns with local vendors selling their creations, accompanied by music and a cash bar. (If you are interested in being a vendor at this event, see more info here.) Those under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.