If you want to surprise your family, tell them you’re taking them to a real, spring-fed waterfall in Death Valley. While you’ll have to drive along an unpaved road 2.5 miles to reach the trailhead, then walk 1 mile to the waterfall, it’s a lush oasis where wildlife thrives and kids can even swim in the clear water. Even if you don’t swim, be prepared to cross several streams that might get your shoes soggy. Also note — there are two falls, and though harder to reach, the upper falls are more impressive. West of Panamint Springs. Free.