My birthday is coming up in three weeks, and I’m hoping for some relaxation, time with my family, and a chance to decompress from the stressful things that have been taking up all my headspace lately. I’m still not sure how we will celebrate, but here are some ideas for celebrating yourself while pregnant. It might not be possible to fly to Vegas with your girlfriends or have a crazy night out on the town, but there are so many affordable and fun ways to take a break from your everyday life and embrace some fun for a day or two.

1. Rent an Air BnB in your hometown. This was my original plan for celebrating my birthday this year. I thought it would be so much fun to rent a cute little house in my favorite Austin neighborhood, and spend the weekend doing touristy things with Mr. Cotton Candy in my own city. The plan was to book a house for two nights, and have my mom take care of Little Cotton Candy the first night, then go pick him up and have him join us for the second night. We would eat at a fancy-ish seafood place, stroll around South Congress, maybe even catch some live music. Then spend the next day taking Little CC to places he would like to go, like the local ice cream shop or playground.

I think this idea works great whether you live in a city, small town, or suburb—you just might have to travel a little farther depending on your locale and what neighborhood you want to check out.

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Getting ice cream at one of our favorite local shops (Little CC is so tiny!)


2. Do a dessert crawl.
Can’t have five glasses of wine or beer? That’s okay—you can try a whole bunch of desserts at your favorite spots in the city. I like this idea because you can either do it with just your partner, or you can get a whole group of friends together for the crawl if you prefer celebrating in larger groups. This idea is probably out for me because I’m trying to watch my sugar intake, but I think it would be so much fun for other mamas-to-be!

I think this idea would work great in so many different cities and towns. If I were planning it, I’d want to hit up a range of places—on my short list would be a donut place, an ice cream place, and some type of bakery. Maybe cap the night off with a great cup of coffee at your favorite local coffee shop.

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Deep Eddy Pool in Austin, Texas

3. Have a pool day. Being pregnant in the summer, there is no better feeling than the weightlessness and cool that hits you when you get into the swimming pool. I’ve been taking Little Cotton Candy to the pool for over a month, and we’re both loving it. I’d love to pack up some picnic things and spend the whole day at one of Austin’s best swimming spots, such as Barton Springs or Deep Eddy. Afterward, we could get cleaned up and go out for a casual family dinner at one of our favorite burger or taco places. The bonus would be that after a full day of swimming, Little CC would most likely pass out early, and Mr. Cotton Candy and I could watch a movie or a couple TV shows together, which we rarely do these days.

Hit up your favorite pool or lake, and soak up the rays with your family and friends.

4. Take a cooking or crafting class with your partner or friends. Always a nerd at heart, I love taking classes. I think spending a couple hours cooking or crafting on my birthday would be so much fun. We have a regional grocery store, Central Market, that does great cooking classes. We took one this past holiday season that paired beer with each course, and it was a lot of fun. I’d just have to be sure and not choose an alcohol-pairing course, because I’d be bummed to miss out on that part of it.

Google cooking and crafting classes in your city or town to see if you have anything going on that you could sign up for. Get your friends involved too, especially if your partner isn’t as into the idea. (Mr. Cotton Candy would love attending a cooking class with me, but I don’t know about the crafting!)

5. Go for a scenic hike at sunset (with dessert?). Luckily, I live in a city with so much beautiful nature surrounding me. Austin is full of great hiking spots, such as Mount Bonnell, a gorgeous scenic locale that is just a quick hike up (not too much for this slow preggo). I’d love to leave Little Cotton Candy with a babysitter so that Mr. CC and I can recreate one of our first dates, where we got dessert and hiked up to the top of Mount Bonnell at sunset. It was magical. And the drive out to this part of Austin isn’t too shabby, either.

If you live close to nature, going for a hike at sunset is one of the best ways to enjoy it. You could take a picnic dinner, and even have a glass of wine, if your doctor has told you it’s okay.

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Mamas-to-be, how are you celebrating your birthday this year? Any more creative ideas for me?