Sierra Club's Family Archaeology Program in Dixie National Forest, Utah
What you give: Your clan can live out an Indiana Jones-style fantasy while helping to restore a national forest. You'll work with a U.S. Forest Service archaeologist and crew on a real historic excavation and survey to look for Paleo-Indian stone tools and other thousands-of-years-old artifacts. Most of the exploring is done in parts of the wilderness that are off-limits to the public, so count on this being a "once-in-a-lifetime" trip. Kids have to be at least 8 years old to participate.
What you get: Your evenings and free time allow for swimming at the nearby lake, fishing, mountain biking, or hiking to see spectacular waterfalls. The club also has special events planned, including arts and crafts, campfire sing-alongs, stargazing with telescopes, and checking out the volcanic-lava tube caves.
Rates: $495 for adults and $395 for kids for a trip taking place July 10 to 16. The price includes all meals and snacks and equipment for work projects (sierraclub.org/outings/national/brochure/11221a.aspx).
Originally published in the April 2011 issue of Parents magazine.