Programs & Events

The grounds, trails, and viewing areas at Headlands are 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

A special celebratory note for 2017 …

  • Construction of the Waterfront Event Center and Observatory at Headlands was completed in June 2017. While the grounds, trails, viewing areas and restrooms are Headlands are always open and freely accessible, the Waterfront Event Center and Observatory are open to the public during scheduled programming only. The Waterfront Event Center is available for private rental (click on the “ABOUT” tab on this website for more information); the Observatory is not available for private rental.
  •  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.

 

Aug
21
Mon
The Great American Solar Eclipse @ Waterfront Event Center
Aug 21 @ 12:30 pm – 3:45 pm

Our Coast Guard friend Joe Komjathy’s shot of the Moon through our Takahashi Telescope, just a few short weeks before it overtakes the Sun at eclipse on Monday, August 21st.

If you aren’t able to get into the path of totality for the biggest celestial event of the year, you can view partiality through the solar telescope at Headlands but PLEASE NOTE: Only 78% of the Sun will appear to be eclipsed from our location.

We will have our Observatory open with the Lunt Solar Telescope streaming live eclipse action onto the large screens in our Event Center program space, and solar filter telescopes set up outside for safe viewing. In addition, we will have a limited number of eclipse glasses for sale. We expect to be busy, so plan your visit with the following in mind:

The entire process from first contact of Moon with Sun until its end is about two hours and 40 minutes.

The Moon will begin to eclipse the Sun at 12:59 pm, edt.

Maximum eclipse, during which 78% of Sun appears blocked by Moon, will happen at 2:29 pm.

The eclipse will end at 3:39 pm.

The best plan is to consider the event like an open house, and to decide which thing you most want to see, first contact, maximum eclipse, or the “dying moments”. Then, you can come for that experience, and stay for all or part of the rest.

At Headlands we will also have live video stream from the path of totality, and eclipse-related crafts. Our Program Director, Mary Stewart Adams, will do occasional Facebook live video from Oregon where she will be at the leading edge of the path of totality.

We expect to be busy, so arrive early for parking near the Waterfront Event Center, or be prepared to take a beautiful walk through the woods from the parking at the entrance. Remember, this eclipse will occur during broad daylight, so a woods walk is a pleasant way to journey!

Bring snacks and beverages.

If you would like more information about this, or any of our events, please call 231-348-1713, or email darksky@emmetcounty.org

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 time to dance by the light of the silvery Moon! And this year, because October’s the closest Full Moon to Autumn Equinox, it gets the honor of being Harvest Moon, so we’ll strike up the band and have a great time with Dr. Good Hart’s Home Remedy,  a group of local musicians that are tuned in to helping us all celebrate the bounty of the Earth and the shining stars! Program happens rain or shine, whether we’re outside under the open sky or inside the Headlands Waterfront Event Center. We’ll give guidance to what’s in the sky overhead as well. Event is $10/person, at the entrance. For more information, please give us a call at 231-348-1713.

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.