The Discovery Center is Open:
Monday - Saturday 9am - 4pm
Sunday Noon - 4pm

You do not need to make a reservation to visit the Discovery Center. We are open at full capacity indoors and outdoors. 

Our scheduled Preschool Playdates Program, After School Enrichment, 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.

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

These programs do not impede with our guests’ ability to visit the center, and all exhibits are accessible. With the exception if were to be raining. 

Our Academy of Environmental Stewardship School Program utilizes the Rotunda Room daily from 12:30pm - 1:15pm. 

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


Monday, May 30th at 2:00pm

Thursday, June 9th at 2:30pm

Sunday, June 12th All Day

Saturday, June 18th at 3:00pm

Sunday, June 26th All Day

Saturday, July 2nd 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 inspire 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.


The Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation was named Non Profit of the Year at the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement and Distinction Awards, 2021.


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.

Mission Statement

To inspire people through education and outreach to preserve the Agua Hedionda Lagoon as an accessible and healthy watershed.

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 invites persons of all ages and backgrounds to ground themselves in the environment that the Agua Hedionda Lagoon provides through experiential learning.