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Originally published Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Kids' activities, Rainier tales and a Seattle visit from Ken Burns

Washington's dreary spring has made it tough to enjoy the outdoors, but Olympic National Park and parks nationwide are celebrating National...

Seattle Times Travel staff

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Washington's dreary spring has made it tough to enjoy the outdoors, but Olympic National Park and parks nationwide are celebrating National Parks Week through next Sunday with special events.

Many events are youth-oriented. Children can learn nautical skills at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, participate in military drills at Civil War sites or, closer to home, join in Olympic National Park's Junior Ranger Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 25. At the park's visitor center in Port Angeles, there will be ranger-guided walks and games, microscopic views of insects and plants, an art table and more. Get details at www.nps.gov/olym or phone 360-565-3130.

Tales of Rainier

Mount Rainier National Park has launched its first Paradise Spring Storytelling Series. Professional storytellers or park rangers will talk of Mount Rainier's natural and human history on the next three Saturdays, from the first recorded climb in 1870 to the summit to wildlife. All the talks are free, aimed at children of all ages, and begin at 1.30 p.m. (repeated at 2.30 p.m. if full) on April 25, May 2 and May 9 in the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise on the south side of Mount Rainier. www.nps.gov/mora or 360-569-2211, ext. 3314.

Ken Burns on parks

In Seattle, PBS documentary filmmaker Ken Burns will celebrate national parks at Benaroya Hall on Monday. Burns and fellow filmmaker Dayton Duncan will preview and share the stories behind their 12-hour documentary series "The National Parks: America's Best Idea." The 7 p.m. event, hosted by KCTS, includes some unseen footage from the documentary, which included Mount Rainier and Olympic national parks. Free tickets through www.brownpapertickets.org

Kristin Jackson: kjackson@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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