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 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. 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 scox@emmetcounty.org and be sure to follow our Facebook page for more news and photos.

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Free Observing Night 10:00 pm
Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Aug 2 @ 10:00 pm – Aug 3 @ 12:00 am
All observing dates are weather-permitting. (Check our Facebook page for the any updates about our observing nights.) The Headlands staff will have some telescopes available on the outside viewing platform if conditions allow. Professional star[...]
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Free Observing Night 10:00 pm
Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Aug 3 @ 10:00 pm – Aug 4 @ 12:00 am
All observing dates are weather-permitting. (Check our Facebook page for the any updates about our observing nights.) The Headlands staff will have some telescopes available on the outside viewing platform if conditions allow. Professional star[...]
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Junior Sky Rangers Program 7:00 pm
Junior Sky Rangers Program @ The Headlands
Aug 6 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Headlands staff will hold a Junior Sky Rangers program for 10-13 year-olds each Tuesday evening for six weeks (July 2-August 6). Each week, we will explore a new topic of astronomy and do a hands-on[...]
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Free Observing Night 10:00 pm
Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Aug 9 @ 10:00 pm – Aug 10 @ 12:00 am
All observing dates are weather-permitting. (Check our Facebook page for the any updates about our observing nights.) The Headlands staff will have some telescopes available on the outside viewing platform if conditions allow. Professional star[...]
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Free Observing Night 10:00 pm
Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Aug 10 @ 10:00 pm – Aug 11 @ 12:00 am
All observing dates are weather-permitting. (Check our Facebook page for the any updates about our observing nights.) The Headlands staff will have some telescopes available on the outside viewing platform if conditions allow. Professional star[...]
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Perseids Meteor Shower – Lights Out Challenge 7:00 pm
Perseids Meteor Shower – Lights Out Challenge @ The Headlands
Aug 12 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Lights out for the Perseid Meteor Shower! Once again, Emmet County’s International Dark Sky Park at the Headlands challenges the communities around Northern Michigan to a friendly competition to see who can achieve greatest darkness[...]
Free Observing Night 10:00 pm
Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Aug 12 @ 10:00 pm – Aug 13 @ 12:00 am
All observing dates are weather-permitting. (Check our Facebook page for the any updates about our observing nights.) The Headlands staff will have some telescopes available on the outside viewing platform if conditions allow. Professional star[...]
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Cosmic Tuesday: Dr. Megan Donohue (Perseids Meteor Shower) 8:00 pm
Cosmic Tuesday: Dr. Megan Donohue (Perseids Meteor Shower) @ The Headlands
Aug 13 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Join us as we host guest speaker Dr. Megan Donahue for another edition of our Cosmic Tuesday series titled “Supermassive Black Holes and Galaxies at the Edge of Time”. Dr. Donahue will talk about astronomical[...]
Free Observing Night 10:00 pm
Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Aug 13 @ 10:00 pm – Aug 14 @ 12:00 am
All observing dates are weather-permitting. (Check our Facebook page for the any updates about our observing nights.) The Headlands staff will have some telescopes available on the outside viewing platform if conditions allow. Professional star[...]
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Music Under the Stars 8:00 pm
Music Under the Stars @ The Headlands
Aug 15 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Join us at the Waterfront Event Center Amphitheater for an evening of music as the sun sets into the lake, featuring live music from the Acoustic Tribute and $10 a person fee
Free Observing Night 10:00 pm
Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Aug 15 @ 10:00 pm – Aug 16 @ 12:00 am
All observing dates are weather-permitting. (Check our Facebook page for the any updates about our observing nights.) The Headlands staff will have some telescopes available on the outside viewing platform if conditions allow. Professional star[...]
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Free Observing Night 10:00 pm
Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Aug 16 @ 10:00 pm – Aug 17 @ 12:00 am
All observing dates are weather-permitting. (Check our Facebook page for the any updates about our observing nights.) The Headlands staff will have some telescopes available on the outside viewing platform if conditions allow. Professional star[...]
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Free Observing Night 10:00 pm
Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Aug 17 @ 10:00 pm – Aug 18 @ 12:00 am
All observing dates are weather-permitting. (Check our Facebook page for the any updates about our observing nights.) The Headlands staff will have some telescopes available on the outside viewing platform if conditions allow. Professional star[...]
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Free Observing Night 10:00 pm
Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Aug 23 @ 10:00 pm – Aug 24 @ 12:00 am
All observing dates are weather-permitting. (Check our Facebook page for the any updates about our observing nights.) The Headlands staff will have some telescopes available on the outside viewing platform if conditions allow. Professional star[...]
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Free Observing Night 10:00 pm
Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Aug 24 @ 10:00 pm – Aug 25 @ 12:00 am
All observing dates are weather-permitting. (Check our Facebook page for the any updates about our observing nights.) The Headlands staff will have some telescopes available on the outside viewing platform if conditions allow. Professional star[...]
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Free Observing Night 10:00 pm
Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Aug 30 @ 10:00 pm – Aug 31 @ 12:00 am
All observing dates are weather-permitting. (Check our Facebook page for the any updates about our observing nights.) The Headlands staff will have some telescopes available on the outside viewing platform if conditions allow. Professional star[...]
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Free Observing Night 10:00 pm
Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Aug 31 @ 10:00 pm – Sep 1 @ 12:00 am
All observing dates are weather-permitting. (Check our Facebook page for the any updates about our observing nights.) The Headlands staff will have some telescopes available on the outside viewing platform if conditions allow. Professional star[...]