Programs & Events

Dark Sky Park Program Director
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 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.

Please save time to visit our “Out of This World” Gift Shop!

2018 Headlands Observatory
Observatory viewing on main level big screen monitors.
Professional star gazers and astronomers available on site to enhance your viewing experience.

Rent Emmet County’s Waterfront Event Center and Observatory at the Headlands. While the grounds, trails, viewing areas and restrooms at Headlands are always open and freely accessible, the Waterfront Event Center and the Observatory are open to the public during scheduled programming and gift shop hours.  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 darksky@emmetcounty.org or 231-427-1001.

Sep
22
Sat
Free Observatory Viewing ($10 Preferred Parking Fee)
Sep 22 @ 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Free Observatory Viewing ($10 Preferred Parking Fee)

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

Sep
23
Sun
Free Observatory Viewing
Sep 23 @ 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

Oct
20
Sat
Orionid Meteor Shower
Oct 20 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Orionid Meteor Shower

COST $5
Wish on falling stars tonight as the Orionid Meteor Shower gets most active.

Oct
21
Sun
Free Observatory Viewing
Oct 21 @ 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

Oct
27
Sat
FRIGHT NIGHT
Oct 27 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
FRIGHT NIGHT

Heritage Village will be decorated and ghouls, goblins and ghosts will be giving out treats. Doughnuts & Cider served at the Pavilion throughout the evening. Visitors should use the West Entrance.

The whole evening is FREE and open to the public!

Wear your spookiest Halloween costume!

Please call 231.427.1001 with questions.

10th Annual Headlands Challenge
Oct 27 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
10th Annual Headlands Challenge

Each year, we line the 1-mile paved entrance path to the Headlands with candles and other spooky creations and invite you to experience the dark walk by star shine and candlelight. The gift shop will be open and astronomers will be out on the viewing platform with telescopes.

Refreshments provided!

The whole evening is FREE and Open to the public!

Wear your spookiest Halloween Costume!

Please call 231.427.1001 with questions

Nov
3
Sat
Autumn Nature Hike
Nov 3 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Autumn Nature Hike

In autumn, the Headlands provides breathless views of nature in transition. Enjoy a self-guided hike through any of our trails through the woods by day to take it all in! We’ll have two new geocaches along the trails, for this weekend only! Stop by the Waterfront Event Center to get a trailhead map.

Explore our nearly 600 acres of pristine old growth forest and 4- miles of trails!

Admission is FREE

Nov
17
Sat
Holiday Craft Show
Nov 17 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Holiday Craft Show

Emmet County Parks and Recreation invite you to their 12th Annual Christmas Holiday Crafts, Art & Gift Show which will benefit Brother Dan’s Food Pantry.  Saturday, November 17, 2018, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Community Building at the Emmet County Fairgrounds (Use Eppler Road entrance). ENTRY: $2.00 or a non-perishable food item.  Please call 231.340.1191 with any questions.

Leonid Lantern Walk
Nov 17 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Leonid Lantern Walk

The stars keep falling through the different regions of the sky in this season of Meteor Showers. This night features Leo the Lion! Join us for a lantern walk through our trails, followed by a presentation from NOMAC inside the Waterfront Event Center. We will be providing warm cider, hot cocoa, deli sandwiches and cookies!

The telescopes will be out on the viewing platform for stargazing as the meteor shower gets most active!

Admission:  $10/person

Dec
8
Sat
Free Observatory Viewing
Dec 8 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 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.

Questions? Call 231-427.1001