Programs & Events

The Headlands is open 24 hours a day, every day, at no charge. There is no camping allowed. Programs take place rain or shine! Visitors are welcomed to stay out through the night for dark-sky viewing opportunities (camping units like tents and campers are not permitted; the Headlands is not intended as an overnight sleeping destination but a place to stay awake and view the stars!). You may bring blankets, sleeping bags, chairs, food, beverages, etc. Plan accordingly and dress for temperatures 10 degrees below what you expect.

Please use red-filtered flashlights only during your visit to the Headlands. Learn more here

2017 PROGRAM BROCHURE

Of special note for 2017 …

  • Construction of the Waterfront Event Center and observatory continues through June 2017. Since Headlands remains open during construction, this portion of the property is closed
    to public access, and parking is limited to the entrance. The viewing area is one mile from the parking area and guests must be prepared to walk this one mile in and out. CONSTRUCTION UPDATES
  •  Programs take place rain or shine and no reservations are required unless otherwise noted.
  • NEW IN 2017: Several programs in 2017 require a ticket, as indicated by the $ sign. Fees will vary. Admission into the park is free.
  •  Register for email blasts about programs by contacting  darksky@emmetcounty.org or (231) 348-1713.

 

Jul
1
Sat
Nature’s Fireworks with the Sky Giants Saturn and Jupiter @ Waterfront Event Center
Jul 1 @ 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Nature's Fireworks with the Sky Giants Saturn and Jupiter @ Waterfront Event Center

It’s a weekend full of fireworks across the land, and up in the sky the giant planets are also putting on a show: The Roman gods Saturn and Jupiter were known to the Ancient Greeks as Cronus and Zeus, a father and son with a dynamic fate that lends itself to celebrating a summer weekend of fireworks. Tonight, visitors can peek through the Roger McCormick 20″ PlaneWave Telescope in the Observatory Tower out into the planetary system to get optimal views of the Saturn giant and his Olympian son Jupiter. These two come together in conjunction only every 20 years (the next will be in 2020), creating a triangle form that precesses through the sky throughout history. Tonight we’ll prepare for the coming conjunction by learning about the connections between Saturn and Jupiter in mythology, their influence on the world of astronomy, and more!

 

Jul
28
Fri
Making Wishes on the Lucky Stars of the Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower @ Waterfront Event Center
Jul 28 @ 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Making Wishes on the Lucky Stars of the Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower @ Waterfront Event Center

The waxing crescent Moon sets a romantic stage for this beautiful Summer shower of falling stars; come early for the program, then stay late for making wishes! The Moon will set at midnight, leaving in its wake the greater part of the Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower activity, which usually peaks around 2 a.m. Don’t be fooled, the Delta Aquarid Meteors can be sparse, but they leave a persistent train and they move slowly, because of their sideways angle of approach through Earth’s atmosphere. 

Aug
11
Fri
Perseid Meteor Shower and Lights Out Challenge @ Waterfront Event Center
Aug 11 @ 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm

9 to 11 p.m. Waterfront Event Center for Perseid Meteor Shower program

Look for annual Lights Out Challenge information coming soon!

 

Aug
21
Mon
The Great American Solar Eclipse @ Waterfront Event Center
Aug 21 @ 2:00 pm

If you aren’t able to get into the path of totality for the biggest celestial event of the year, you can view part of it through the solar telescope at Headlands but PLEASE NOTE: Only a partial eclipse will be visible from Headlands.

Sep
23
Sat
Autumn Equinox in Northern Michigan @ Waterfront Event Center
Sep 23 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The balance has been struck and at tonight’s program we will follow Sun and Moon across the western horizon into the story and wonder of the growing dark

Oct
6
Fri
Harvest Moon at Headlands @ Waterfront Event Center
Oct 6 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

It’s the season of Harvest Moon – a time to dance and celebrate the bounty of Earth and the shining stars! Entertainment TBA. There will be a charge for this program. 

Oct
21
Sat
9th Annual Headlands Challenge @ Meet at the Park entrance
Oct 21 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
The Orionid Meteor Shower peaks overnight October 21, when Earth travels through the trail of cosmic mystery left in the wake of Halley's Comet. The Meteor Shower is named for the region of the sky in front of which it appears, which is the Orion region fo teh sky, also associated by the Ancient Egyptians with Osiris, pictured here (for costume inspiration!).

The Orionid Meteor Shower peaks overnight October 21, when Earth travels through the trail of cosmic mystery left in the wake of Halley’s Comet. The Meteor Shower is named for the region of the sky in front of which it appears, which is the Orion region of the sky, also associated by the Ancient Egyptians with Osiris, pictured here (for costume inspiration!).

Not only do we dare you to walk a candlelit mile through the starry woods for our 9th annual Headlands Challenge, this year we dare you to “walk like an Egyptian”, in honor of the constellation Orion, his association with the Ancient Egyptian god Osiris, and the peak of his Meteor Shower this weekend. Guests are encouraged to commit to the theme!

Nov
17
Fri
Leonid Meteor Shower @ Waterfront Event Center
Nov 17 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
On its path through our planetary system, Comet Temple-Tuttle leaves its trail of stars in the region of the Lion

On its path through our planetary system, Comet Temple-Tuttle leaves its trail of stars in the region of the Lion

The Lion shakes out his starry mane overnight Friday the 17th to Saturday the 18th, so we will gather early for our program and then guests can stay late under the dark phase of the Moon to count the Lion’s falling stars.

Dec
21
Thu
Winter Solstice at the Waterfront Event Center
Dec 21 @ 4:00 pm
Winter Solstice at the Waterfront Event Center

We will gather in the sacred dark that accompanies the natural quiet of the season, for the song and ceremony of Earth and stars. Program will include live entertainment and supplies.