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Inviting all children ages 3 to 5 to join us every week for nature themed lessons and activities!


Each day will include environmental education and literacy, a craft made from recycled materials, outdoor play and more! 


Each lesson is reserved for three groups of 10 children and has a minimum of 5 children to operate. 

If you have any questions about Preschool Playdates or registration please contact Miss Emily at:

Our Schedule: ​


Preschool Playdates will be held Monday - Friday from 9:00am - 1:00pm. You can choose to register for the entire week, four days, three days, two days or one day a week. Payments are processed monthly, on the first Tuesday of each month. 

Preschool Playdates is held weekly throughout the entire year, except for holidays (see below).

Preschool Playdate registration:​ FULL. Please email to be added to our waitlist. 

*Looking to drop in, email with the date you are interested


  • Weekly (5 days): $175

  • Four days: $140

  • Three days: $105

  • Two days : $75

  • One day: $45

*Payments are processed monthly, on the first Tuesday of each month. 

Member Discount:

Annual Sustainer Circle Member Levels will receive a discount on preschool playdates.

  • Bronze Members will receive 2 days free 

  • Silver Members will receive 3 days free

  • Gold Members will receive 4 days free

  • Platinum Members will receive 5 days free

Refer a Playmate: 

If you refer a new playmate, a child who has never attended our Preschool Playdates Program, you and your new playmate will receive a one time 15% off code to use on your playdate! In order to receive the 15% off code, you and your new playmate must  email

Monthly Themes: ​​

  • June- Senses in Nature

  • July- Coastal Caretakers

  • August- Earth Explorers

  • September- California Adventure

  • October- Long, Long Ago

  • November- Thankful for Fall

  • December- Winter Wonderland

  • January- Deep Blue Sea

  • February- Habitat Happenings

  • March- And Then It's Spring

  • April- Planet Protectors

  • May- Space Exploration

  • June- Sweet Summer

Please have your child bring:

  • Snack

  • Lunch

  • Reusable Water Bottle

  • An extra pair of clothes in case we get dirty! 

  • Weather appropriate clothing, closed toed shoes, and come wearing sunscreen - we will be outside!

  • Lots of energy!

Holidays: ​

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day- January 16th

  • Presidents' Day- February 20th

  • Memorial Day- May 29th

  • Independence Day- July 3rd and 4th

  • Labor Day- September 10th

  • Veterans Day- November 10th

  • Fall Break- November 20th-November 24th

  • Winter Break- December 21st - January 1st

Meet the Teachers:

Emily Bonds, Director of Education 

Emily grew up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and her love for the great outdoors developed at a young age. The warm weather and ocean drew Emily to Southern California, where she attended Chapman University. She received her B.A. in Integrated Education Studies with an emphasis in Leadership Studies and a Minor in Environmental Science. She also studied abroad in Turks and Caicos Island, where she studied marine science and tourism. Her passion for outdoor education and marine science drew her to the AHLF Discovery Center for their Academy of Environmental Stewardship. Emily is excited to be teaching and learning at the AHLF Discovery Center!

Lissa Schroeder

Lissa has lived in Southern California her whole life and grew up in a small town called Elfin Forest. Her love for the outdoors began when she was at a very young age, as she was always outside caring for her family’s horses, goats, chickens and more. Growing up near hundreds of acres of open space, Lissa quickly realized the importance of conserving and protecting our natural lands. She graduated from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in Environmental Management and Protection and a Minor in Indigenous Studies in Natural Resources and the Environment. Lissa has worked with several nonprofit organizations where she focused on land conservation management and created science based educational programs. Her passion for education led her to the Discovery Center, where she is excited to educate children about the importance of protecting our natural resources and inspire them to love being outdoors and in nature!

Jo Niedeck

Ms. Jo believes in the importance of connecting children with nature. A native of the East Coast, she has a Bachelors of Science in integrated natural sciences and a Masters of Science in education. She taught middle school science in a public school for a dozen years and raised four daughters before moving to Eugene Oregon. There she worked as the education programs coordinator with the non-profit Nearby Nature. While at Nearby Nature she became increasingly convinced of the importance of early childhood interactions with nature and initiated Greenstart play days for preschoolers. Her move to California was motivated by a wish to be close to family.  She loves learning and has completed courses in early childhood education, permaculture, Master Gardeners training and California Naturalist training. Committed to environmentally conscious living, she grows food and native plants in her small garden, keeps red wiggler worms to compost food scraps and commutes by bike. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, reading, hiking, and spending time with family.  She is delighted to be working outside in nature with children at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon programs!

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