The Charleston Museum may not have a magical golden tablet, but its inhabitants just might come to life at night anyway.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see the skeleton of the right whale drinking from the water fountain? Or how about the mummy having a tea party with the Charleston silver?

If you've ever had any questions about the night life at the Charleston Museum, here is your chance to find out.

On Friday, the museum is opening its doors so that families can enjoy Nighttime at the Museum.

The idea is based on the popular movie "Night at the Museum," which made its box-office debut in 2006. The main character, a down-on-his-luck inventor-turned-night security guard, is played by comedian Ben Stiller.

The comedy features a T-rex skeleton that fetches and drinks out of a water fountain, a golden tablet that brings the museum to life and the two feuding miniatures, Roman general Octavius and cowboy Jedidiah.

"Night at the Museum" was so successful that it was followed by a sequel, "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," starring Stiller, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson and Robin Williams. The film is in theaters.

For the Nighttime at the Museum event, the Charleston Museum will be open from 6:30 to 9 p.m., and organizers suggest bringing a flashlight. Employees will stand guard around the museum to make sure "nothing gets in or out" (as warned in "Night at the Museum") and to tell a few stories about the exhibits.

Later, they will host a Children's Scavenger Hunt, with the winner receiving four tickets to "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" at a local theater.

For children, the museum offers a colonial Charleston playhouse to dress up in early American clothing, play checkers or listen to classical music. Around the mini-Charleston beach, the children can track down birds by learning about their tracks and their calls, light up the Morris Island lighthouse, or ransack the treasure chests and barrels in the Port City. The museum also is setting up tables where children can create a paper waistcoat, Native American vest and animal masks.

Tickets to Nighttime at the Museum should be bought in advance. They can be ordered online through the museum's Web site, www.charlestonmuseum.org, or by calling 722-2996, ext. 264.

A light supper is included, with tickets costing $20 for adults and $10 for children. Museum members get a 50 percent discount. Children under 3 are free.