The last couple of months of pregnancy can feel long and drawn out when you're anticipating the arrival of a new baby. You've been planning and purchasing and maybe even nesting since the positive test, but now what? Time is passing slowly by, waiting is so hard, and winter is coming.
While planning and getting all of your baby stuff is important, so is having a little fun and enjoying those last few months/weeks/days of being a family of two (or more if you already have a little one). With that thought in mind, here are 9 fun things you can do during the winter in and around North Central West Virginia.
1. Get in touch with your creative side!
This was one of my personal favorites when I was pregnant. I did a lot of coloring and painting to pass the time. In fact, after my due date came and went, my husband and I made a trip to paint pottery in hopes that once it was fired, we would be going back to pick it up with our baby on the outside. (She wasn't, of course.) A few local places to check out for your crafting fun needs are The WOW! Factory in Morgantown, Mountain Creative in Fairmont, and DaVinci and Dessert with locations in both Morgantown and Fairmont.
2. Adventure outdoors.
West Virginia is gorgeous during every time of year, but winter is pretty magical. Bundle up and head outside to walk the trails, go for a hike at Cooper's Rock just past Morgantown/Cheat Lake, or hit up Valley Falls out past Fairmont. Weather permitting, you'll get a gorgeous view of the mountains and wildlife during the cold. Just make sure to wear layers and exercise caution if there's been snow fall recently!
3. Get a little touristy!
There are a ton of fun and interesting places in West Virginia to explore. When I was pregnant, I felt so restless waiting around for my daughter to make her grand appearance that I distracted myself with as many car trips as I could tolerate sitting for. A few really awesome places to visit are the Tamarack in Beckley, the state capitol in Charleston (it has a ton of things you can do!), and if you enjoy a little history (and maybe some ghostly fun), Weston's Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum offers tours. Just make sure you call ahead or check the website for current tour times and dates.
And just because, you should consider checking out the Anna Jarvis Museum in Grafton to learn about the history of the founder of Mother's Day. You'll be celebrating this holiday soon enough, if you don't already!
4. Indulge in the holiday cheer.
When I was a child, I loved the time of year where homes were decorated with lights and figurines, trees and holiday scenes - it was always so gorgeous and festive. Now, it reminds me of my grandmother. You can drive through many neighborhoods to see the lights, or a few of the local renowned locations.
In Morgantown, there's the Santa House in Westover behind McCulla's Funeral Home that always has a fantastic light display and Santa makes an appearance, as well. This is a great place to take your littles for pictures with Santa and maybe a little treat! There's also the Celebration of Lights at Morris Park in Fairmont, and the Festival of Lights at Oglebay in Wheeling.
5. Feed your inner foodie.
West Virginia has plenty of little food gems scattered throughout the hills and mountains - it'd be impossible to list all of the good ones! But seriously, indulge that inner foodie and go check out a few of these places that will make eating for two a luxury for your taste buds. You've gotta eat, after all!
In Morgantown, there's Terra Cafe with their amazing paninis and desserts, all made with local ingredients, and if you want a friendly environment and amazing pizza, hit up James or Milan at Milano's Pizza (they have two locations!) You can't go wrong with Lavender Cafe, either - they have the best crab rangoon I've ever tasted, make General Tso's tofu sound like heaven, and their blueberry tea (sans bubbles for this gal) is to die for.
In Fairmont, you can grab one of Gwen's incredible daily specials at Noteworthy Sweets and hope she still has some carrot cake cupcakes still available (they're the best), or hit up Muriale's for some good local Italian food. Speaking of Italian food (and pizza), you should give Colasessano's a try, too, while you're there. I've only tried their chicken salad (yum!) and their pizza when I've dined there, but I've heard the other food is great, as well.
In the Clarksburg/Bridgeport area, Mia Margherita has amazing coal-fired pizzas (and more!), and I have it on good authority that both Raymon's and the Wonder Bar Steakhouse are excellent choices for local food joints.
I'm not as familiar with other parts of the state, but my last suggestion to fuel your foodie is C.J. Maggie's in Buckhannon or Elkins. I was so sad when they took away first the Morgantown and then the Fairmont locations. Their fried zucchini appetizer, their pizza and calzones are all so amazing. (Do you see a theme here? My husband was right when he called me a pizza zombie!)
6. Retail therapy!
Whether you love shopping for clothes, shoes and make-up, stocking your pantry (and prepping freezer meals!) for your postpartum period, or hopping on Amazon to do a little browsing in your jammies, retail therapy can be exactly the distraction you need to have some fun. I hear the mall in Bridgeport has a new Ulta store for the make-up lovers out there (the lighting in that store is absolutely dazzling!), and the University Town Center in Morgantown is building up a ton of new places to explore.
7. Pamper yourself.
A spa day can be the perfect remedy for those late pregnancy aches and pains. Go get a mani/pedi at your favorite local nail salon, try out acupuncture or acupressure at Roman's in Morgantown, or contact Mark Shepard at Zenergy Travel Massage for an in-home massage! (He travels within 20-30 minutes away from the Monongalia County Courthouse.)
If you're a fan of DIY spa days, check out our Relaxation & Spa Tips Pinterest board for home spa day ideas.
8. Go out on a date!
Whether you're a first time mom or already have littles, time with your partner is pretty important right now. Your lives are about to change! Soak up the time together as a couple before you have a newborn to care for - get dressed up, go see a movie or go bowling - the possibilities are many! - and check out one of the awesome food places listed above. Even going on a walk in nature can be turned into a lovely date for two.
If you have littles, look for something family-friendly and fun to do, like painting pottery, bowling, or checking out the local play groups or children's museums.
9. Have a cuddle-fest.
If all else fails and you really just want to stay indoors and escape the chill, spend some time cuddling in your comfy pants or pajamas. Rent a movie from Redbox, catch up on your favorite shows, drink some hot chocolate (Check out our recipe pinterest board for some yummy recipes!), read a good book and soak up the warm snuggles indoors.
What fun things do you get into over the winter? We'd love to hear from you!