Programs & Events
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. In the past, professional star-gazers and astronomers have been available onsite to enhance your viewing experience during scheduled observing nights. However, due to the constraints in maintaining sanitized equipment and social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Headlands staff will not be bringing telescopes out onto the viewing platform until further notice. Visitors are welcome to bring their own telescopes and/or binoculars. Park staff maintains the number of people in the park by limiting parking only to the 67 parking spaces near the event center. On clear and warm nights, please expect to wait at the entrance for the next available parking.
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 [email protected] and be sure to follow our Facebook page for more news and photos.
Dark Sky Park Program Coordinator
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.
Join us for an evening of sour care with our local yoga studio, Nourish. Connect to your soul through music and meditative movement topped off with a fulfilling meal.
The event includes one hour of Restorative movement to live music by Nathan Towne, followed by a four-course dinner. Limit of 20 people.
What is a dark sky park and how can you find your way through the night sky during the summer season using both the naked eye and telescopes? Join us to learn more!
Jupiter at Opposition
Monday, June 10 beginning at 8pm
Presentation by: Will Niedbala, Headlands astronomer
Please join us for our Cosmic Series as we gather with special guests to inform us about the annual opposition of the solar system’s largest planet, Jupiter.
At midnight on Tuesday evening, the planet will be directly opposite the Sun in the sky, making it the brightest it appears all year.
Learn more about this opposition prior to seeing Jupiter in the sky beginning at about 9:30 p.m. that night.
Observing hours from 10pm-12am outdoors, provided the skies remain clear.
$5 admission fee and a $10 parking fee
Join us for the longest day of the year for some evening geocaching!