Programs & Events
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 lake shore.
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. In the past, professional star-gazers and astronomers have been available onsite to enhance your viewing experience during scheduled observing nights. However, due to the constraints in maintaining sanitized equipment and social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Headlands staff will not be bringing telescopes out onto the viewing platform until further notice. Visitors are welcome to bring their own telescopes and/or binoculars. Park staff maintains the number of people in the park by limiting parking only to the 67 parking spaces near the event center. On clear and warm nights, please expect to wait at the entrance for the next available parking.
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 [email protected] and be sure to follow our Facebook page for more news and photos.
Dark Sky Park Program Coordinator
‘EVENINGS UNDER THE STARS’ KICKOFF – BESSER PLANETARIUM’S WINCKOWSKI 7:00 pm
‘EVENINGS UNDER THE STARS’ KICKOFF – BESSER PLANETARIUM’S WINCKOWSKI
Apr 17 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
The Headlands will kick off its “Evenings Under the Stars” series of programs on Friday, April 17! Alpena’s Besser Planaterium Director Johnathan Winckowski will give a presentation in celebration of Statewide Astronomy Night. The event[...]
‘EVENINGS UNDER THE STARS’ – LYRIDS METEOR SHOWER 8:00 pm
‘EVENINGS UNDER THE STARS’ – LYRIDS METEOR SHOWER
Apr 22 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Beginning at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22, our astronomy assistants will deliver a presentation and then help guests in viewing the Lyrids Meteor Shower through binoculars. Binoculars will not be provided and guests will[...]