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.

Jul
25
Thu
Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Jul 25 @ 10:00 pm – Jul 26 @ 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 gazers and astronomers will be on site to enhance your viewing experience with guidance and to answer questions. If you wish, bring your own binoculars or telescopes to see more. Call (231) 427-1001 with any questions.

Jul
26
Fri
NOMAC Annual Star Party @ The Headlands
Jul 26 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

For the second evening of the annual Star Party, live music will fill the air at the Headlands. From 8-9 p.m., The Lavender Lions will entertain people from the Event Center’s patio, followed by The Marsupials from 9-10 p.m. Expect limited parking and be prepared to park outside the Headlands entrance and make the one mile walk to the Event Center. After the performances by The Lavender Lions and The Marsupials, the Headlands staff astronomers, along with NOMAC astronomers, will bring out the telescopes (weather-permitting) for visitors to get a closer look at the stars and planets.

Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Jul 26 @ 10:00 pm – Jul 27 @ 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 gazers and astronomers will be on site to enhance your viewing experience with guidance and to answer questions. If you wish, bring your own binoculars or telescopes to see more. Call (231) 427-1001 with any questions.

Jul
27
Sat
NOMAC Annual Star Party @ The Headlands
Jul 27 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

For the third and final evening of the annual Star Party, the Headlands’ staff welcomes special guest presenter Dr. Nicolle Zellner, Professor of Physics at Albion College. Beginning at 8 p.m., Dr. Zellner will display meteorite samples for visitors to view and present an overview of the legacy of the Apollo program, discussing what scientists and academics have learned, and continue to learn, from its rocks. Members of the Northern Michigan Astronomy Club (NOMAC) will also be hosting a telescope clinic in the early evening hours.

Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Jul 27 @ 10:00 pm – Jul 28 @ 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 gazers and astronomers will be on site to enhance your viewing experience with guidance and to answer questions. If you wish, bring your own binoculars or telescopes to see more. Call (231) 427-1001 with any questions.

Jul
30
Tue
Junior Sky Rangers Program @ The Headlands
Jul 30 @ 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 activity. Pre-registration is required. Cost of is $20 for all six weeks.

Aug
2
Fri
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 gazers and astronomers will be on site to enhance your viewing experience with guidance and to answer questions. If you wish, bring your own binoculars or telescopes to see more. Call (231) 427-1001 with any questions.

Aug
3
Sat
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 gazers and astronomers will be on site to enhance your viewing experience with guidance and to answer questions. If you wish, bring your own binoculars or telescopes to see more. Call (231) 427-1001 with any questions.

Aug
6
Tue
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 activity. Pre-registration is required. Cost of is $20 for all six weeks.

Aug
9
Fri
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 gazers and astronomers will be on site to enhance your viewing experience with guidance and to answer questions. If you wish, bring your own binoculars or telescopes to see more. Call (231) 427-1001 with any questions.