The beautiful, lazy beach life doesn’t last long in the Hamptons. Those lobster rolls and pies must be burned off by (fill in your resort sport here). Sandy toes will be scrubbed. And plans for nights in, grilling and playing board games are going to be disrupted by a benefit or two.
“I collect these invitations — there are so many,” said venture capitalist and East Hamptonite Alan Patricof, noting recent mail from the Choral Society of the Hamptons, South Fork Natural History Museum and Guild Hall.
The five towns on the tip of Long Island are home to more than 1,000 nonprofits, according to All for the East End, which supports them through a fund at the Long Island Community Foundation. Not all of them host a benefit: Karen Testa of Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons said she’s too busy taking care of 200 patients with hard shells — but many charities use the summer for their biggest fundraising events.
Add in New York-based nonprofits and politicians seeking to tap wallets, and those trucks filled with chairs, linens and refrigerated canapes need to get rolling.
“These parties punctuate the season,” said Dianne Benson, president of the LongHouse Reserve, the sculpture garden and home of textile artist Jack Lenor Larsen. “Sure, people like to stay home, but they don’t always like to stay home.”
Here are 29 events to lure you out of the hammock and into the Hamptons traffic:
July 1: Nothing says you’ve arrived like an invitation to the Southampton Fresh Air Home’s American Picnic on Meadow Lane. The event, capped by Grucci fireworks, supports a residential camp with specialized activities for physically challenged youth.
July 4: Pianofest classes up Independence Day, with a $20 concert benefiting its musician residencies. The performers are young winners of international competitions who come to practice in a house full of Steinways — beach breaks allowed.
July 8: Clams for Clams at the Stony Brook Marine Sciences Center may be the best-named benefit in the Hamptons. The raw bar is located steps away from clam spawner sanctuaries. Higher-level donors end the night with a sunset cruise.
July 9: Thomas Halsey landed in Southampton in 1640 and built a house guests can visit during a benefit for the Southampton Historical Museum. The Halsey House Gala is a “neighborly lawn party,” according to the invitation. “Neckties and high heels are not encouraged!”
July 9: The Parrish Art Museum’s Midsummer Party features dinner on the patio, a captivating part of the Herzog & de Meuron-designed structure that’s so much homier than a tent. As for nature: “One year we had a supermoon, one year we had fog,” said Terrie Sultan, the museum’s director. “We always have nice breezes that keep the bugs away.”
July 9: Sag Harbor snags Alec Baldwin, Richard Kind, and Jason Alexander to support its Bay Street Theater, which this season has a big focus on comedy acts.
July 15: Goldman Sachs Chief Strategy Officer Stephen Scherr offers up his home for a reception for the New York Stem Cell Foundation, whose board he recently joined. E-mail email@example.com for details.
July 16: See wildlife dioramas at the South Fork Natural History Museum’s benefit, then watch Hamptons humans in their cocktail habitat. Ann Liguori and LibreMax Capital’s Greg Lippmann are event chairs and Tracy Anderson and Katie Lee host.
July 16: Russell and Danny Simmons are the forces behind the Art for Life benefit for the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. The theme is Back to the Future, and Aussie Alex Waislitz, chairman of Thorney Opportunities Ltd., is among the honorees.
July 22: You may see Martha Stewart checking out the merchandise at East Hampton Historical Society’s Antiques Show preview, offering cocktails and first dibs on beach-house necessities like a rattan cocktail caddy.
July 23: LongHouse Reserve’s Serious Moonlight, named after a line in David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance,” will feature a tribute to the late pop icon by Nona Hendryx — but alas, there won’t be a repeat of the synchronized-swimming performance in the lap pool (two members of the Brooklyn Peaches, which performed the past two years, are pregnant). Alice Waters is consulting on the menu.
July 23: Children’s Museum of the East End holds a Family Fair. The event enables children who live in the Hamptons to access educational programs year-round. The thoughtful party organizers provide sunscreen and bug repellent, and even healthy snacks like fresh fruit, in case you don’t want to wait in line for ice cream from Joe & Liza’s.
July 30: The Bruce High Quality Foundation is one group of artists tasked with making a spectacle at the Watermill Center’s benefit, supporting all-around visionary Robert Wilson’s compound in Water Mill. This year’s theme: House of Madness.
July 30: The Cooper Oven Dinner series at Amber Waves Farm features Christopher Miller of Hometown Bar-B-Que in Brooklyn preparing local tuna and black bass alongside wood-roasted zucchini flowers and smashed potatoes. The farm uses the proceeds to bring children to the fields and train new farmers.
July 31: Hoping to gain better access to tables at Nick & Toni’s? No guarantees, but it couldn’t hurt to attend the Hayground School’s Chefs Dinner honoring the restaurant’s co-owner, Toni Ross, and Claudia Fleming of North Fork Table & Inn. The $1,200 ticket supports Jeff’s Kitchen, a cooking classroom at the school named for Ross’s late husband; the couple were founding parents of the school.
Aug. 6: The tents are air conditioned for Southampton Hospital’s dinner dance, an amenity that last year made it easy for one of the East End’s busiest builders, Kenneth Wright, to arrive by bicycle. Later in the evening, an ice cream truck pulls up next to the valet parking stand.
Aug. 6: As she did last year, Gwyneth Paltrow will host the party portion of the Paddle and Party for Pink. The festivities will be held under a giant tent at Fairview on Mecox Bay, because the backyards of donors like Gary Cohn and Richard Perry aren’t big enough for this crowd.
Aug. 6: A hot ticket as Trombone Shorty headlines the Montauk Playhouse benefit to finish building an aquatic and cultural center within the historic building.
Aug. 6: The Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival supports its 33rd season of concerts with dinner and some music at the Atlantic Golf Club.
Aug. 7: Through Farms and Fields supports the Peconic Land Trust. Dinner is al fresco at Quail Hill Farm.
Aug. 12: Guild Hall’s benefit “is relaxed, we’re very informal,” said Marty Cohen, chairman of the visual and performing arts center in East Hampton. The volunteer job has changed his outlook on life out east. “I feel I have a community here that I don’t have in the city,” Cohen said. “I go to a party and I see the local car dealer, the local florist.”
Aug. 13: East Hampton Library’s Authors Night features book signings under a tent. Paltrow will be back with her book “It’s All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook.”
Aug. 20: Not the most important question of the election season: Will Bill Clinton make it out to the artists and writers softball game? This daytime gathering puts notables at bat to support local charities including the Retreat, serving victims of domestic violence, and East End Hospice.
Aug. 20: Tails and tongues wag at the Bow Wow Meow Ball for the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons.
Aug. 20: Lionel Richie plays at Ronald Perelman’s estate to benefit the Apollo Theater.
Aug. 27: Mike Milken presides at a Prostate Cancer Foundation benefit during the Hamptons leg of the Charles Evans PCF Pro-Am tennis tournament.
Aug. 28-Sept. 4: Personal and corporate tables, creatively decorated, are the prime social spots during the Hampton Classic, an equestrian show. Maybe you’ll get an invite from that posh real estate broker you met at a cocktail party earlier in the summer.
Sept. 1: The Southampton Arts Center’s SummerFest features tastings from local restaurants. The center’s eclectic program during the season includes outdoor yoga and a presentation of Internet cat videos.