Programs & Events

Dark Sky Park Program Coordinator
Call 231.427.1001

Welcome to the Headlands International Dark Sky Park! The grounds, trails, and viewing areas at Headlands are open 24 hours a day, every day. Visitors are welcome 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.

Our programs take place rain or shine, and no reservations are required unless otherwise noted.

Please save some time during your visit to stop by our “Out of This World” Gift Shop!

The Observatory is limited to park staff and researchers. Visuals when the Observatory is open are projected onto the big screen monitors on the main level. Professional star-gazers and astronomers are available on site to enhance your viewing experience during scheduled observing nights.

While the grounds, trails, viewing areas and restrooms at Headlands are always open and freely accessible, the Waterfront Event Center is only open to the public during scheduled programming and gift shop hours. The Waterfront Event Center at the Headlands 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
abur@emmetcounty.org and be sure to follow our Facebook page for more news and photos.

Dec
13
Thu
HEADLANDS’ VOLUNTEERS TO BE RECOGNIZED DURING GEMINID METEOR SHOWER
Dec 13 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
HEADLANDS’ VOLUNTEERS TO BE RECOGNIZED DURING GEMINID METEOR SHOWER

Emmet County Parks & Recreation officials will be taking time during our Geminid Meteor Shower event Thursday, Dec. 13, to recognize our volunteers for their dedication and hard work this past year. Please join us to thank them for all their contributions in the continued success of the Headlands International Dark Sky Park.

The night kicks off with a presentation at 7 p.m. by Rod Cortright from Northern Michigan Astronomy Club (NOMAC) on the 3200 Phaethon “Rock Comet” that is the parent body of the Geminids meteor shower which approaches Earth in mid-December. Weather-permitting, telescopes will be brought out on the viewing platform for stargazing from 8-10 p.m. Astronomers will be on hand to guide visitors as they turn their eyes to the skies.

Admission is $10 per person with free refreshments provided from 7-10 p.m.

Dec
21
Fri
Winter Solstice
Dec 21 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

COST $10
Celebrate the Solstice by bringing light and rhythm into the dark stillness of the season. Listen as musicians entertain, learn about the solstice night sky, and craft a hand rolled beeswax candle.

Dec
30
Sun
Free Observatory Viewing
Dec 30 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Free Observatory Viewing

Real-time remote observatory telescope viewing from main level big screen monitors. Professional star gazers and astronomers on site to enhance your viewing experience. If you wish, bring your own binoculars or telescope to see more.

$10.00 per night preferred parking fee.

Questions? Call 231-427.1001

Feb
9
Sat
Cosmic Saturday – Astrophotography Workshop
Feb 9 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Mar
6
Wed
Astronomy on Tap Adult Trivia at Biere De Mac
Mar 6 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Mar
9
Sat
Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Mar 9 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

All observing dates are weather-permitting. (Check our Facebook page for the any updates about our observing nights.) Real-time remote observatory telescope viewing from the main level big screen monitors. The Headlands staff will have some telescopes available on the outside viewing platform if conditions allow. Professional star gazers and astronomers will be on site to enhance your viewing experience with guidance and to answer questions. If you wish, bring your own binoculars or telescopes to see more. Call (231) 427-1001 with any questions.

Mar
27
Wed
Painting at the Park @ The Headlands
Mar 27 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Apr
12
Fri
Cosmic Friday – Statewide Astronomy Night @ The Headlands
Apr 12 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Celebrate Statewide Astronomy Night at the Headlands Waterfront Event Center from 8-10 p.m. on Friday, April 12. There is no charge to attend.

Come and explore the night sky with the park’s telescopes and guidance from the Petoskey High School Astronomy Club and the Northern Michigan Astronomy Club. Outdoor observing will be available weather-permitting.

Headlands staff and members of the astronomy clubs have planned kid-friendly celestial crafts and short, informative presentations. Educational, hands-on workshops and demonstrations will be offered to engage the whole family.

Telescopes will be set up both inside and outside for guests to use and get a better understanding at how the equipment works. The astronomy club members will answer questions and assist as needed. The Headlands’ own astronomer, Will Niedbala, is scheduled to be on site to provide additional guidance.

Light refreshments will be available and the center’s “Out of This World” gift shop will also be open during the event.

Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Apr 12 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

All observing dates are weather-permitting. (Check our Facebook page for the any updates about our observing nights.) Real-time remote observatory telescope viewing from the main level big screen monitors. The Headlands staff will have some telescopes available on the outside viewing platform if conditions allow. Professional star gazers and astronomers will be on site to enhance your viewing experience with guidance and to answer questions. If you wish, bring your own binoculars or telescopes to see more. Call (231) 427-1001 with any questions.

Apr
22
Mon
Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Apr 22 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

All observing dates are weather-permitting. (Check our Facebook page for the any updates about our observing nights.) Real-time remote observatory telescope viewing from the main level big screen monitors. The Headlands staff will have some telescopes available on the outside viewing platform if conditions allow. Professional star gazers and astronomers will be on site to enhance your viewing experience with guidance and to answer questions. If you wish, bring your own binoculars or telescopes to see more. Call (231) 427-1001 with any questions.