One of the best things to do on a nice summer day is take the kids to the park. Owatonna offers many great park playgrounds to enjoy.

My kids are long past those days, although Gainey Park will always hold a special place in my heart as the location where my son learned how to navigate the monkey bars. One year during a Knights of Columbus picnic I attended as a representative of Owatonna Special Olympics, Aaron was determined to conquer the monkey bars. The problem was he could get about halfway then stall and holler for me to come help him. I hustled down the hill from the pavilion each time to rescue him.

I asked KRFO sales executive and play-by-play man Brad Fischer about some of his memories of Owatonna's parks and he reflected on the rocket slide at the Fairgrounds Park and the retired jet fighter that kids could crawl on at Gainey. Safety concerns have left our parks without these unique items. But an easy trip home after playing at the park is much better than a sprint to the hospital.

Brad also recalls that Morehouse Park used to have a pool with a seal or two in it. He remembers using wax paper on the curly slide at Mineral Springs Park as a way to speed up the trip down through the turns. Brad says he took his daughter Lydia to the Lincoln and St. Mary's School playgrounds quite a bit.

KRFO sales executive Rich Will has experienced the Owatonna parks with his kids and now his grandchildren. Mineral Springs Park is one of his favorites with the mix of playground equipment for big and little kids. He also enjoys taking the kids to walk the trails and disc golf course of Mineral Springs.

Manthey Park has a couple of nice rock walls on its playground. The Dartt's Park playground gives kids the chance to pass the time when the nearby baseball game loses their attention. At least their parents can still keep tabs on the game from the playground's location.

View the full list of Owatonna's parks by clicking here and find out about all the features you will find when you go exploring a new park this summer.