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
23
Sat
‘EVENINGS UNDER THE STARS’ – STRUCTURE OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM
May 23 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Beginning at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 23, our astronomy assistants will deliver a presentation about the Structure of the Solar System, followed by guided night sky observation with telescopes out on the viewing platform. Observation is weather-permitting. Cost is $5 a person.

Jun
19
Fri
‘EVENINGS UNDER THE STARS’ – IMPORTANCE OF MICHIGAN’S DARK SKIES
Jun 19 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

On Friday, June 19, Professor Sally Oey of the University of Michigan will be at the Headlands’ Waterfront Event Center on for a special presentation in another of our “Evenings Under the Stars” series. Professor Oey will be discussing about “The Importance of Michigan Dark Skies” and the effects of light pollution on humans and wildlife. The event runs from 7-9 p.m. Cost is $5 per person.

Jun
26
Fri
‘EVENINGS UNDER THE STARS’ – APOLLO AND ASTRONOMY
Jun 26 @ 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm

On Friday, June 26, Professor Norbert Vance of Eastern Michigan University, director of the EMU Sherzer Observatory, will join us at the Headlands Waterfront Event Center for a special presentation on the impact of the Apollo missions, NASA’s attempts from 1963-1972 to land humans on the moon. Professor Vance will talk about the advances and discoveries the missions made, and the program’s effects on the field of astronomy. The event runs from 9-11 p.m. Cost is $5 per person. Guided night sky observation, with telescopes out on the viewing platform, will follow Professor Vance’s presentation, weather-permitting.