The Belle of Louisville | Courtesy WLKY

By Heidi Potter | WLKY

Though some kids have already gone back to school, Jefferson County Public Schools students have one more week to enjoy their freedom. In these last few days of summer, here are some local bucket list experiences that are mostly all outdoors or in nature so that you’ll be sure to get some fresh air before the kids are sitting in a classroom for hours on end.

1. Head to a ‘seasonal restaurant’

Dairy Kastle | Photo by Rachel Firkins

A seasonal restaurant would be considered anything that is only open “for the season,” such as ice cream shops. Some that come to mind are Dairy Kastle, Dairy Del and Polly’s Freeze, where you can get a great chili dog and any frozen treat you can think of.

Also seasonal are many of the shaved ice places that incorporate delicious flavors with melt in your mouth shaved ice for a perfect summer treat. Unfortunately, Big Mike’s Shaved Ice has already closed for the season, as Big Mike had to return to college.

2. Take a hike

Last year, we profiled six great local hikes to try in Louisville that were all highly recommended by local hikers. Those included Iroquois Park, Jefferson Memorial Forest — Red Trail, Jefferson Memorial Forest — Waverly Park, Parklands of Floyds Fork — Turkey Run Park, Bernheim Forest Elm Lick Trail and Charlestown State Park.

3. Paddle, paddle, paddle

You don’t have to go very far to hit the water in a canoe or kayak. Recently, we profiled some quick and easy spots to paddle. Best yet, you can rent canoes or kayaks at many of these places so that you don’t have to worry about lugging your gear all over town. Those included rentals at Harrods Creek, the Ohio River, Tom Wallace Lake, Parklands of Floyds Fork and Blue River.

4. Head down under

No, not Australia! Head underground to a cave in our area. Mammoth Cave, which is a wonderful day trip, is about two hours away. Historical tours there last anywhere from one to three hours. Or, head to Indiana to Squire Boone Caverns. Be sure to take the tour down into the cave and then get to experience the village around it, complete with the original mill that was on the property.

5. Ride on the river

Whether it be the Belle of Louisville or the new Scream Machine Jet Boat Tours, riding on the river can be relaxing (the former) or exhilarating (the latter). Belle of Louisville has daily cruises, many with sunset options to enjoy the lovely dusk time on the river. The Scream Machine Jet Boat Tours also has daily and nighttime cruises.