Danada Fall Festival is still several weeks away.
But for horse lovers who want to take a closer look at Danada Equestrian Center without the massive crowd, the Wheaton facility is hosting its latest Family Day of the year on Saturday, Sept. 16.
If you goWhat: Family Day
When: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16
Where: Danada Equestrian Center, 3S507 Naperville Road, Wheaton
Info: (630) 668-6012 or dupageforest.org/danada-family-days/
Unlike the Oct. 8 fall festival, which is Danada's largest special event, Family Day attracts less than 500 people and serves as an open house for the equestrian center at 3S507 Naperville Road.
"It's a nice time for families to come out and see the herd," said Wayne Zaininger, equestrian center manager.
The free event, which runs from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, includes self-guided barn tours, horse-drawn hayrides and possibly a painting demonstration by Nick the painting horse.
"They can walk through the barns," Zaininger said. "They can see lessons taking place inside our main arena."
Local residents frequently visit the equestrian center on weekends. The designated Family Days ensure that staff members are on hand to talk to the guests and answer their questions.
"The nice thing about Family Days is that we can be a little bit more up close and personal," Zaininger said.
Children, for example, could get the opportunity to help groom a horse.
One benefit of this week's event is that it will have horse-drawn hayrides. The forest preserve district is offering 30-minute horse-drawn hayrides at Danada on Saturdays and Sundays from Sept. 16 through Oct. 1 and Oct. 21 through Nov. 5. The first rides will be available during Saturday's Family Day.
Zaininger said Nick the painting horse will be doing his art if he's in "a good state of mind" on that day. As a backup, the center will have a Fiberglas horse that children can paint themselves.
"By the end of the event, every square inch will be covered by paint," Zaininger said. "The kids have a ton of fun doing it."
Registration isn't not required, and admission and parking are free.
For information, call (630) 668-6012 or visit dupageforest.org/danada-family-days/.