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Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation Building

The Discovery Center is Open: Monday - Saturday 9am - 4pm Sunday 12pm - 4pm
You do not need to make a reservation to visit the Discovery Center

Extended hours just for you!
Members are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner and enjoy the sunset over the lagoon while playing games at

Mayor Matt Hall Hill on Wednesdays for member-only hours from 4-7pm! 
Not a member? Click here to learn about Membership

Our scheduled Preschool Playdates Program, Academy of Environmental Stewardship Field Trips and Kids Camps occur in our outdoor Educational Nature Nodes. These programs are paid programming and require advanced registration.


The Rotunda Room (which includes Reptile City, The Column of Life Exhibit and our DC Aquariums) is occupied Monday-Friday 12:30 - 1:10pm for the Academy of Environmental Stewardship Group presentation.  If inclement weather were to present itself, these programs move indoors, and thus the Discovery Center would be closed or only partially open. 

Please visit the LEARN Tab to view these programs’ details and rates.

Please call (760) 804-1969 to learn if there are any limitations day of.

The Discovery Center will be closed on the following days:

December 3rd at 2:00pm

December 7th at 3:00pm ( Tecolote Thursday canceled)

December 10th - Great Room will be closed all day

December 30th at 3:00pm 

December 25th - all day

January 1st 2024 - all day

If you have any questions send us an email:


Thanks to everyone who has supported us, will continue to support us, and our members, as they “Make it Happen! “ If you are able, please consider an investment or membership to the Lagoon Foundation. We want to remain your nature resource through this entire ongoing “new normal”  and beyond
~ The Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation Team


Our mission is to energize people through education and outreach to preserve the Agua Hedionda Lagoon as an accessible and healthy watershed.

This 400-acre lagoon is home to a wide array of flora and fauna and invites us to appreciate our water resources through such uses as a YMCA day camp, recreational boating, a mussel and oyster aquaculture facility, a white-sea bass hatchery, a desalination plant,  and a power generating plant. It connects us to a greater world in so many ways.


Come join the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation in our work to preserve and protect this valuable resource.

Mission Statement

To energize our community through education and outreach to preserve the Agua Hedionda Lagoon

as an accessible and healthy watershed.


To be Stewards of the Watershed as we inspire future generations so we all have access to a healthy lagoon.  A safe space in nature…for all.


We are a 501C(3) non-profit formed in 1990 by passionate Carlsbad citizens who strive to promote the Agua Hedionda Lagoon in its global context. We are not affiliated with or obligated to any government, religious, or for-profit organization. Our initiatives, including our educational programs and events, are supported by ordinary citizens, grants, supporters and members; donations are tax deductible.


The Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation operates the Discovery Center (DC). The DC is an extraordinary collection of hands-on exhibits, gardens, and live animal ambassadors allowing visitors to “taste nature.” We are open to the public, but we primarily serve families with school-aged children who care about the environment, the watershed, and the local community, and we are stroller friendly. These families come to Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation for active ways to involve their kids in fun, hands-on, educational experiences that give them a sense of accomplishment. Most guests spend between half an hour to two hours exploring our offerings. We have a suggested $10 donation per group; members are complimentary. See our Exhibit page and Meet the Animal Ambassadors page for details about what you can experience at your Discovery Center.


By providing direct access to nature (in the form of gardens, wildlife, aqua culture, and water-based recreation), we uniquely offer fun, interactive experiences with diverse bodies that rely on the lagoon. We do this differently from others by offering learning experiences that focus on the hands-on doing (not just viewing) of how people and wildlife depend on active watershed management.

Suggested $10 donation per group

Sign up for a Family Membership or higher at our Discovery Center and entry into the Discovery Center is included annually and many other benefits!




The Discovery Center is a 3,800 sq. foot nature center filled with hands-on exhibits, gardens and panoramic views . We can accommodate up to 200 of your guests comfortably for an event. If you are planning a wedding or celebration, stop by to visit and see if we are the right venue for you.  Our location is covered by natural beauty which makes our venue even more unique and memorable.

Nature All Around Me
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