Over the coming weeks, CharlotteFive writer Liz Logan will be sharing her thoughts on being pregnant in Charlotte, from where to eat, places to go out and finding a group of mom friends. Have questions or column ideas? Email Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read her previous stories about finding your supportive ‘mom tribe,’ and places to satiate your pregnancy cravings.
You’re pregnant and it’s Friday. Now what?
You used to go to the bars and swear you only wanted “one more martini” until the lights came on and you had to go home. Now you’re knocked up and that’s out of the question, so what do you do? Where does one go when parking more than five spaces from an entrance feels unbearable and you need to get all your fun in before 8 p.m. so you can go home to binge on “Gilmore Girls”?
Pregnant-friendly outings are incredibly important for your physical and mental health, and Charlotte has tons of options — you just have to know where to look.
Whether it’s your first pregnancy or your fifth, you may find yourself itching to get out of the house but unsure of the best way to go about it, with unpredictable energy levels and the occasional (or constant) nausea.
One of the best things for pregnant mamas is to keep moving and get lots of sunshine that packs you full of Vitamin D, which is incredibly important for a strong and healthy development and delivery. Some of my favorite places to get outside are Latta Plantation and Little Sugar Creek Greenway.
Latta Plantation is great because it is a natural environment with flat trails. While there are trails that are 2 and 3 miles long, there are also some that are about a quarter mile one-way. You can walk as many of these as your body can handle without getting stranded a few miles in the woods. With well-marked trails, giant rocks overlooking Mountain Island Lake and convenient parking locations, it’s hard to beat this outing for moms. If you’ve already got kids, they will love running through the woods and likely won’t get too tired on these shorter walks.
Little Sugar Creek Greenway is another favorite spot. Parking is made easy-ish in the Metropolitan Shopping Center, or you can start at Freedom Park or Park Road Shopping Center. While the trail goes all throughout the city, the portion starting at the Metropolitan gives you access to the creek with a great view of Uptown, a flat paved surface and a Cherry Berry frozen yogurt joint when you feel a need to reward yourself for getting out and doing something active.
On weekend nights, though, it’s tempting to sit inside with your feet propped up, reading a book or watching a good movie. While this really speaks to the introvert in me, there are times when I just need to get out and realize there is life outside my house after 6 p.m.
Before you know it, your new little babe will occupy all of your time, weekends or not. You’re likely to spend plenty of time together at the museums in town, showing Junior the ins and outs of the arts and science scene in Charlotte. But before that time comes, you can get to know these venues on a more adult-centric level. The third Friday of every month, Discovery Place (uptown) hosts “Science on the Rocks,” which is a fun and informative 21+ after-hours event. In these last few months before your life is wonderfully hijacked by a newborn, you and your partner/date/friend/whoever can hit up this museum sans kiddos for a night out and still be home and in bed by 10.
Don’t be scared off by your old stomping grounds, either. While sitting on a bar stool may not be as comfortable as it used to be — especially when you’re not drinking alcohol — local breweries still provide lots of entertainment that is great for date night or even for the family. NoDa Brewing continues to offer live music in its Tryon Street taproom every Friday night at 6:30 p.m. Grab yourself a nonalcoholic Lenny Boy kombucha on tap and a snack from the Tin Kitchen food truck and you can live it up like you did in the old days.
Being pregnant in Charlotte is a great experience. There is tons to do without breaking the bank and without being too overwhelmed. Try out some of these great spots the Queen City has to offer and get the most out of your quiet, pre-baby time.
Liz lives in a quiet Charlotte neighborhood with her growing family while writing about pregnancy, among other things, for Charlotte Five, and she is currently pursing an MFA in creative writing. All of this is done while her 80 pound German Shepherd, Quinn, stares at her from under her desk.