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

Of special note for 2016 …

  • Construction on our waterfront program and observatory facility is well underway at the site of the former Beach House. Since Headlands remains open during construction, this portion of the property is closed to public access. Abide by the signage within the park to ensure the safety of all of our guests and to allow us to complete the project in a timely manner. All events listed on this brochure will take place at Headlands shoreline viewing, the Guest House, or at the Heritage Village, which is directly across the street from Headlands entrance. CONSTRUCTION UPDATES
  •  Programs take place rain or shine and no reservations are required unless otherwise noted.
  •  Register for email blasts about programs by contacting or (231) 348-1713.


New in 2016: Starlight Trivia on Friday nights! @ Shoreline Dark Sky Viewing Area
Sep 2 @ 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Friday night trivia tests your knowledge of the stars

Friday night trivia tests your knowledge of the stars ~ photo by Aliana Lee

Fridays throughout the summer, starting July 1 (and unless there is a formal program scheduled) join us at the shoreline viewing area with your favorite team of family and friends for Starlight Trivia, designed to test and delight your knowledge of the stars! In the event of inclement weather, Starlight Trivia will take place at the Heritage Village Pavilion, across the street from Headlands main entrance. There are prizes to win, star names to learn, and plenty of fun to be had!

Remaining Starlight Trivia dates are July 29; and Aug. 5, 19, 26, and trivia will conclude with one last hoorah on Sept. 2.

Harvest Festival Dance with the Jill Jack Band! @ Festival Tent near the Headlands entrance
Sep 17 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Harvest Festival Dance with the Jill Jack Band! @ Festival Tent near the Headlands entrance

Harvest Moon is the Full Moon closest to Equinox each year, and at Headlands we think this is a great reason to dance the night away! Join us Saturday night, September 17 at the Headlands under our festival tent to celebrate the season with live music featuring the Jill Jack Band!  Jill and her players will set the mood with their performance beginning at 7:30 pm, followed by sunset at 7:47 pm and Harvest Moon rising at 8:30 pm. Program is free and no reservations are necessary, but come early to get your spot on the dance floor!

8th annual Headlands Challenge @ Park Entrance
Oct 29 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Our annual Headlands Challenge will bring you through the dark from the park entrance to the dark sky viewing area, along a dimly lighted path! Do you dare??!! M

One of our most popular events of the year takes place on the eve of the second New Moon this month, a rare phenomenon known as “black Moon,” which stirs up the perfect mood of spooky fun and drama! Take the one-mile, candlelit walk through the Headlands, designed to celebrate the courage it takes to be in the dark.

‘Friday Night (No) Lights’ for the Leonids @ Shoreline viewing area at Headlands
Nov 18 @ 10:00 pm – 11:45 pm

We know it’s football season, but it’s also the peak of the lion’s meteor shower, and you’re invited to join us for a beautiful night under starry skies.

Snowshoe Hike Through the 12 Days of Christmas @ Meet at Park Entrance
Dec 29 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
The last New Moon of 2016 occurs during the sacred season of dark and quiet that bridges the old year to the new, allowing for unique contemplation of where we’ve been, and where we’re going! You’re invited to contemplate this passage of time in the old growth forest of Headlands, and to participate in engaging storytelling of the night sky that arcs overhead every year at this time. The stars of the season have lent themselves to many cultural tales and traditions, some of which will be shared both indoors and out.
“Winter stargazing can be deeply satisfying, because the cool air makes the night crisp and clear,” said Mary Stewart Adams, Program Director for the Headlands International Dark Sky Park.
Limited number of snowshoes available by reservation, but it is best to bring your own! 231-348-1713. Program happens rain, snow, or shine!