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.

Aug
24
Sat
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 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
30
Fri
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 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
31
Sat
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 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.

Sep
21
Sat
Music Under the Harvest Moon @ The Headlands
Sep 21 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

The Equinox point of balance is strong just after sunset. We will strike up a band and dance in the harvest season, featuring live music from Shawn-Dell Stenson. Cost is $10 a person.

Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Sep 21 @ 10:00 pm – Sep 22 @ 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.

Sep
28
Sat
Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Sep 28 @ 10:00 pm – Sep 29 @ 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.

Oct
19
Sat
Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Oct 19 @ 10:00 pm – Oct 20 @ 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.

Oct
21
Mon
Cosmic Monday – Orionids Meteor Shower @ The Headlands
Oct 21 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

For our Cosmic Series, we will gather with Patrick Stonehouse who will inform and entertain us on various astronomy topics. Our friends from the Northern Michigan Astronomy Club will be on hand. Cost is $5 a person.

Free Observing Night @ The Headlands
Oct 21 @ 10:00 pm – Oct 22 @ 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.

Oct
26
Sat
11th Annual Headlands Challenge
Oct 26 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Each year we line the one-mile paved entrance to the Headlands with candles and invite you to experience the dark walk by star shine and candlelight.