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.

May
26
Sat
Free Observatory Viewing
May 26 @ 10:00 pm – 12:00 am
Free Observatory Viewing

$3/person, at the door. Contact 231-427-1001 if you have questions.

LIMITED PREFERRED PARKING $10

Jun
18
Mon
Crescent Moon Monday with Norbert Vance, Professor of Astronomy, Eastern Michigan University
Jun 18 @ 9:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Crescent Moon Monday with Norbert Vance, Professor of Astronomy, Eastern Michigan University

Throughout the summer we will gather at sunset with special guests who will inform, inspire, and entertain us with their passion for the stars, while the Crescent Moon sinks with the sunset into the lake. This month, we feature Norbert Vance, Professor of Astronomy at EMU, who will share how the Moon got those big gray splotches, and the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission, among other amazing Moon stories!

Cost is $5.00

Info at: (231) 427-1001

Jun
21
Thu
A Celebration of Native American Seasonal Traditions
Jun 21 @ 4:00 pm – 11:00 pm
A Celebration of Native American Seasonal Traditions

COST $5
LIMITED PREFERRED PARKING $10

The Sun reaches its highest hour ~ called its Solstice ~ at dawn on June 21st, and then appears to rest for several days before beginning the long trek back south along the horizon, toward its Winter Solstice moment. These moments when the Sun appears to “stand still” have always been regarded as the most sacred in the cycle of the year, celebrated by indigenous cultures around the world for centuries. In fact, the further back in history we go, the more evident the observance of these kinds of astronomical phenomena are, informing everything from where to build the sacred sites, how to farm the land, even how to organize community. Today we will celebrate the food, ceremony, and tradition of the people native to the region where Headlands is located. Join us!

Free Observatory Viewing
Jun 21 @ 11:00 pm – Jun 22 @ 1:00 am

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

Jun
23
Sat
Free Observatory Viewing
Jun 23 @ 11:00 pm – Jun 24 @ 1:00 am

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

Jun
30
Sat
Free Observatory Viewing
Jun 30 @ 11:00 pm – Jul 1 @ 1:00 am

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

Jul
7
Sat
Free Observatory Viewing
Jul 7 @ 11:00 pm – Jul 8 @ 1:00 am

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

Jul
13
Fri
Seeing in the Dark
Jul 13 @ 9:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Seeing in the Dark

COST $5
LIMITED PREFERRED PARKING $10

Rod Cortright from the Northern Michigan Astronomy Club (NOMAC) will be our presentor and will be answer the questions: What is a dark sky park? How Emmet County came to have one? How you can find your way through the night sky during the summer seasons using both the naked eye and telescopes? What apps can be used to guide you through the starry night?

Admission is $5.00/person.

Preferred Parking Fee is $10.00/car.

Come join in the fun!

Free Observatory Viewing
Jul 13 @ 11:00 pm – Jul 14 @ 1:00 am

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

Jul
14
Sat
Free Observatory Viewing
Jul 14 @ 11:00 pm – Jul 15 @ 1:00 am

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