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Seven celebrate month of museums

St. Petersburg's downtown museums join forces throughout November to focus attention on the city's growing wealth of cultural, scientific and historical opportunities available to the public.

This year, with the addition of The Pier Aquarium and the Tampa Bay Holocaust Center, the number of participating museums is seven. The others are the Salvador Dali Museum, Great Explorations, Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg Museum of History and the Florida International Museum.

The biggest happening of the month, if not the year, is the opening of Titanic: The Exhibition on Nov. 15. More than 50 events and exhibits take place at the other museums, including Sewing Comfort Out of Grief: The Oklahoma City Children's Memorial Art Quilts and other shows at the Museum of Fine Arts.

Connecting the museums is a trolley service that runs every 30 minutes daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is 50 cents.

Event and exhibit highlights for the coming week include:

Great Explorations, the Hands-On Museum, 1120 Fourth St. S, 821-8992:

Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. -- Maze Mania and Airplane Engineering Contest.

Sunday, noon-5 p.m. -- Airplane Engineering Contest.

Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive NE, 896-2667:

Saturday, 1:30-3:30 p.m. -- Family treasure hunt and film.

Sunday, 3 p.m. -- A Stitch in Time, interactive presentation with Nan Colton.

Wednesday, 3 p.m. -- Adirondack Camps, film.

Thursday, 10:30 a.m. -- Brown bag luncheon and lecture.

Salvador Dali Museum, 1000 Third St. S, 823-3767:

Thursday, 6-8 p.m. -- Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, children's film.

St. Petersburg Museum of History, 335 Second Ave. NE, 894-1052:

Monday -- Clyde Butcher's Everglades, exhibit of the artist's photographs, continuing into January.

The Pier Aquarium, 800 Second Ave. NE, 895-7437:

Saturday, noon-2 p.m. _ Spa Beach Splash, children's activities.

The Tampa Bay Holocaust Center, under construction downtown, is participating at its current location, 5001 Duhme Road, Madeira Beach (392-4678), where On the Edge of the Abyss, an exhibit of the work of Ella Liebermann-Shiber, continues through the month.

Check this page each week for new exhibits and activity highlights. Call specific museums for admission costs, hours and updated information, or the Florida International Museum at 821-1448.