I don't know about you, but fall is - hands down - my favorite time of year. But perhaps being pregnant has you feeling limited on what you can do to enjoy this time safely, responsibly, and of course while still having fun. Here are NINE different ways to have a blast this autumn season as you count down the final days to baby season:
*Note: Listed businesses and places are specific to the area I serve, Springfield, Ohio; but the general ideas are good for everyone! I encourage you to get out there to explore and support the local businesses in your neck of the woods!
1. Fall into Mother Nature's Embrace
With the vibrant colors of the leaves, the bright blue skies, and of course, the chilly and breezy weather that makes your scarf collection leap for joy, what better thing to do than surround yourself with the perfection that is the autumn outdoors? Check out all these gorgeous nearby parks that offer the beauty of the season and the added opportunity to be active (if your doctor or midwife agree that it's safe for you)... and BONUS: maybe all that walking will jump-start your labor!
• Buck Creek State Park - Springfield
• Clifton Gorge - Yellow Springs
• Fern Cliff Cemetery and Arboretum - Springfield
• Glen Helen - Yellow Springs
• John Bryan State Park - Yellow Springs
• Snyder Park - Springfield
2. Jump into the Festivities
Whether your estimated due date is closer to Halloween or Thanksgiving, there's something festive for you to enjoy! If you're a sucker for fall decor and the freshest produce, check out Peifer Orchards to select your very best stuff (and grab a delicious homegrown-homemade apple cider slushie on the way out!); or if you'd like carving jack o'lanterns, go out and pick a pumpkin for your pumpkin at Young's Jersey Dairy (and treat yourself to the tastiest local ice cream while you indulge in their other fall events!) If you love Halloween, go Meet the Spirits of the State Theatre in downtown Springfield, or take your older kiddos Trick-or-Treating at Upper Valley Mall. Once Thanksgiving comes and goes, you can look forward to the annual Holiday in the City!
3. Expand Your Culture
I was born and raised in Springfield, and let me tell you: it's got a lot of rich history and culture. The annual Culture Fest, which does a fabulous job of celebrating the city's racial and cultural diversity, has already passed this year; but there are still other great places to go to learn about and appreciate this place more deeply. Enjoy a fine night out listening to the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (which will put on a special Halloween -themed concert!), or meet some local artists at one of Un Mundo Cafe's monthly art shows or at the Springfield Museum of Art. You can also tour the history of Springfield at the Heritage Center Museum (it's FREE!), and pop into Champion City Guide and Supply for some awesome Springfield souvenirs and keepsakes.
4. Veg Out for a Movie Marathon
I love almost any genre of movie, so I'm happy to simply rent whatever is out or binge on Netflix... but if you're a self-proclaimed movie snob like my husband, you're probably stoked about Oscar season! All the prestige pictures start releasing in October through the beginning of the next year, so now is the perfect time to catch some of the very best and most acclaimed films of the year. Springfield's two local Chakeres theaters are close to home and have great matinees; or you can get cozy with something indie at the Little Art Theatre in downtown Yellow Springs.
5. Venture Out for Family Fun
If you've got older kids to keep occupied while you wait for your newest addition, there are fun fall activities for them to enjoy with you too! You can keep the family outing sweet and simple at Second Street Market in Dayton; or Springfield's favorite family-owned donut shop, Schuler's Bakery. Or perhaps take a trip up to the Ohio Caverns for an all-day adventure; or one of the many events at Young's Jersey Dairy (see #2 above). Go big with an extravagant trip to the past at the Ohio Renaissance Festival where the 16th century fun is never-ending; or if you find yourself itching to get out of the house on a rainy day, keep their minds busy at the Boonshoft Museum at the Upper Valley Mall.
6. Plan a Date Night
... Or if you'd rather have some alone time with your hunny, plan a date night! Springfield has a number of gems for you to share a fun and romantic evening with the one you love.
• If you'd like something casual, but still local and delicious, check out downtown Springfield's Bada Bing Pizzeria, voted for one of the top best pizzas in Ohio; Sip&Dipity for some social artworking (and wine drinking for your non-pregnant partner); or the Hickory Inn for a great meal in a homey log cabin restaurant.
• If you're looking for fine dining somewhere more upscale, enjoy a gourmet meal with live music at family-owned Cecil and Lime; or experience the freshest flavors of autumn at family/locally-owned Seasons Bistro and Grille in the heart of the city.
7. Pamper Yourself
Pregnancy can be hard, and the last couple months are no joke! Give yourself a treat and do something luxurious for yourself. Soak in the melodious glory of beautiful classical music by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (see #3 above); or soak your [probably swollen and tired] digits for a relaxing mani-pedi at Mallia Salon and Day Spa. Give yourself a great new 'do before you're due at the Wildflower Salon in Yellow Springs, and sink into a peaceful massage with Rita Chapman at Alternative Healing Arts (she is the BEST!). And right after your massage? An adjustment at AHA or Associated Chiropractics will set you straight - and possibly help with aligning you for an optimal fetal position ideal for birth!
8. Practice Some Retail Therapy
And while you're already out splurging on yourself, pick up some great fall fashions that you can look forward to looking fabulous in post-baby at Wildflower Boutique in Yellow Springs, or some one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry, bags, and clothing in downtown Springfield's Fair Trade Winds. The Children's Place at the Upper Valley Mall will allow you to snag your last-minute baby items and clothing; or if you'd rather make something for baby by hand, pop into Springfield's in Yellow Springs. OIf refurbishing some old furniture is your thing, Eye on the Treasure is where you'll find some treasures, indeed. The Children's Place at the Upper Valley Mall will allow you to snag your last-minute baby items and clothing; or if you'd rather make something for baby by hand, pop into Springfield's Jo-Ann Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, or Pat Catans for all your crafts and fabrics.
9. Get in a Last-Minute Babymoon
Need more than an evening out with your partner (see #6)? Head out for a day or two at one of the several gorgeous bed & breakfasts [mostly] in the Springfield area. Unwind, rest, and enjoy some your last few days with your special someone before welcoming your new little bundle!
Ohio Barn Bed & Breakfast - Fairborn
Emma's Bed & Breakfast - Springfield
Charleston Farm Bed, Breakfast, and Alpacas - South Charleston
The Murray House Bed & Breakfast - Springfield
Simon Kenton Inn - Springfield
Did I leave anything off the list? What have you done or will you be doing this season?
Share in the comments below!