Programs & Events
Mary Stewart Adams, Dark Sky Park Program Director
Welcome to the Headlands International Dark Sky Park! The grounds, trails, and viewing areas at Headlands are open 24 hours a day, every day, at no charge. Visitors are welcomed to stay out through the night for dark-sky viewing opportunities, but camping is not permitted. Units like tents and campers are not allowed in the park. The Headlands is not intended as an overnight sleeping destination but instead is designed as a place to stay awake and view the stars! You may bring blankets, sleeping bags, chairs, food, beverages, etc. When packing, keep in mind that temperatures are typically 10 degrees lower than expected due to our proximity to the lakeshore.
To protect the darkness of the park, please use red-filtered flashlights during your visit to the Headlands. Learn more here.
2018 Emmet Dark Sky Program and Observatory Brochure
Our programs take place rain or shine, and no reservations are required unless otherwise noted.
|2018 Headlands Programming & Observatory Fee Schedule|
|Parking – When necessary for crowd control/safety (by Event Center Only)||$10/spot|
|Scheduled Program fees vary based on event as some cover cost of supplies distributed
(*See program schedule for details)
|Unscheduled/private event programming||$10/person, $150 minimum|
|Observatory fee – scheduled days only||$3/person (children under 5 are free)|
|Observatory fee – unscheduled days only (extra fee to open & staff for private tour)||$250 base fee plus $3/person|
|REDUCED FEES FOR SCHOOL PROGRAMMING. APPLIES TO ALL K-12. PLEASE CALL FOR MORE INFORMATION|
Rent Emmet County’s Waterfront Event Center and Observatory at the Headlands. While the grounds, trails, viewing areas and restrooms are Headlands are always open and freely accessible, the Waterfront Event Center and the Observatory are open to the public during scheduled programming only. The Waterfront Event Center is available for private rental.
To stay up-to-date on news and events at the Headlands International Dark Sky Park, register for email blasts by contacting email@example.com or 231-427-1001.
At the City Park Grill (please note this is a location change from what is listed on our 2018 program brochure)
The public is invited to the annual awards ceremony, celebrating local businesses and individuals that are practicing conscientious outdoor lighting and making a difference in community. This year’s program “Let there be light ~ but when, where, and how much?” will be co-presented by Tom Bailey, Executive Director of the Little Traverse Conservancy, and Mary Stewart Adams, Program Director for Headlands International Dark Sky Park.
Cost to attend is the price of one’s own lunch, usually around $15.00
Reservations requested at 231-427-1001.
Help us count the lucky stars over Michigan at our annual Statewide Astronomy Night (SWAN) event, held in partnership with Michigan State University, and groups around the state. This evening event takes place under the Lyrid Meteor Shower and the waxing Crescent Moon.
Cost to attend: Free
Limited preferred parking available: $10
We’re not just a pretty dark sky park, we are a wonderful daytime resource as well, and we host to a beautiful section of the Sunset Coast Birding Trail that wends its way through our area, following black-throated green warblers, the northern Padilla, bald eagles, osprey, and more. Join us for this afternoon walk in the woods, sighting the birds.
You’re invited to help us celebrate our 7th anniversary of being named the world’s 9th International Dark Sky Park in 2011. What’s more, in 2017, we were recognized with the Pure Award from the Governor’s Pure Michigan Tourism Campaign, and the International Dark Sky Association bestowed upon us the first-ever-awarded International Dark Sky Place of the Year!
At this event we are gathering our favorite hobbyists, professionals, and enthusiasts to talk about all the latest and greatest in the research and technology of the night. Come learn about which are the best gizmos and gadgets for navigating, learning about, and photographing the night sky.
Cost is $10.00.
Limited preferred parking available: $10
Info at :(231) 427-1001