Your favorite dress is out of commission. High heels are getting pretty adventurous. Wherever you go, you need to pee all the time. Needless to say, dating while pregnant is a little different.
Yet dating during pregnancy is a wonderful time to bond with your significant other, to talk about future hopes and dreams, and – if it’s your first pregnancy – to take advantage of these last precious days of total privacy and freedom before baby pandemonium arrives. (OK, it’s not that bad.)
Here are the 12 best dates you can have this winter. When the weather outside is frightful, these mostly cheap, mostly indoor activities are sure to delight. They are all pregnancy-friendly and even beneficial to your pregnancy.
12 Homemade Mocktails and Jazz
Don’t let the pregnancy alcohol ban ruin your fun. You can still have a merry ‘ol time, without the intoxication. Start by crafting your own, homemade pregnancy-safe mocktails. Here are some ideas:
- Mulled Cider, by The Food Network, requires only apple cider, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and a few slices of orange.
- The Rosemary Blueberry Smash, featured in Town and Country Magazine, calls for eight blueberries, a bit of rosemary, honey, lemon juice and sparkling mineral water.
- Care for a chocolate mocktini? Blend chocolate milk with mint-chocolate chip ice cream and garnish with a candy cane.
Pair your yummy, baby-friendly drinks with a selection of your favorite jazz tunes to create a warm and cheery date night. We recommend:
- The jazz piano duet album by Tony Bennett and Bill Charlap. (They played with Lady Gaga.)
- A sultry voice, like Diana Krall’s Quiet Nights.
- Something a little different, such as Live in Cuba by Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
11 Wii Party Laugh & Play
This year, with a baby on the way, ski slopes are off the list. Forget the toboggan. Even skating is a tad risky. However, you can still have a lot of fun in your living room (and save on ski lift tickets) with a Wii console by playing Wii sports.
Don’t underestimate how much fun and silliness an hour of virtual gaming can bring. We’ve never joined a game of Wii bowling, for example, without laughing out loud.
What’s more, laughing is good for your pregnancy. Laughing stretches the muscles in your face and body, excites your pulse and blood pressure, quickens your breath to send more oxygen to your tissues and organs. Score!
10 Kitchen S’mores and Home “Campfire”
There’s nothing like stuffing your mouth with s’mores to remind you of childhood campfire memories. A winter date with your sweetheart is the perfect time to relive that feeling. And you don’t need to trek off into the mountains or build a fire to relive this moment.
Check out this awesome skillet-top s’mores recipe that you can easily make at home. Or, simply slide those cracker-and-marshmallow sandwiches in the toaster oven for a minute or two.
Why not bring back that camping feeling by including a toasty fireside replica? Whether or not you have a wood fireplace at home, you can still gaze lazily at the dancing flames. There are many mesmerizing, high-definition virtual firesides available online – most even include crackling sounds.
9 Hot Cocoa Therapy plus Board Games
The best accompaniment with your happy s’mores treat is a cup of hot chocolate, with a dollop of whipped cream, if you desire. Here’s Martha Stewart’s go-to hot chocolate recipe, which calls for only cocoa, salt, sugar, and milk. (Of course, you can always keep it simple with instant mix.)
And I’m sure you already know that chocolate does good things for your pregnancy. Chocolate, which contains the chemical theobromine, can help regulate blood pressure. A survey by The New Scientist Magazine found that stressed pregnant women who ate more chocolate were more likely to deliver happier and livelier babies.
With a mug of hot cocoa in your hands, it’s now time to bring out the board games. We love Taboo, because it keeps our minds sharp, and because you can play with just two people. If you’re more of an action person than a words person, Guesstures is also a hoot.
8 Wintertime Visit to the Aquarium
Not many people think of it, but winter can be a great time to visit your city’s aquarium. For one, it’s less busy than in the summer. Two, it’s mostly an indoor activity, which means you can stay warm and not worry about hats and mitts and all of those annoyances.
Some aquariums have special wintertime events, like Santa swimming with the sardines. The Clearwater Marine has a Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure. See your local aquarium’s website for more seasonal attractions.
7 Ice Sculptures and City Lights
Ice sculpture festivals are amazing to see. For this activity, you do have to don boots, hats, and knitwear – but it will all be worth it.
As an example, the Hôtel de Glace in Québec City, Canada, welcomes visitors and lodgers to visit its snow vaults and beautiful collection of ice sculptures. For those living in the US, travel specialist Peter Greenberg has a list of ice sculpture events in America.
No ice in your city? Not to worry. A walk downtown to see the festive city lights is just as fun. Many cities have special winter light displays, such as the Wonders of Winter in Waterloo, ON. For folks closer to Houston, TX, the Magical Winter Lights, which takes viewers from Asia to Africa to Dinosaur Land, is a definite must-see.
Whatever sights your city offers, a simple outdoor stroll while holding hands can be a sweet wintertime activity.
6 Classical Music Concert
This activity involves not only your significant other but your baby too. That’s because babies can hear music in the womb during the last stages of pregnancy. So why not go on a date the whole family can enjoy?
Bachtrack can help you find classical music concerts in your city. Simply search by city or country.
Listening to music benefits you as a pregnant mom. A study by Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan found that listening to music reduces stress, anxiety and depression in pregnant mothers. Through music, moms can also bond with their child. That’s why many mothers feel inclined to sing to their babies in the womb.
5 Comedy Night is Good for the Body
Turn date night into an Adam Sandler film-binge. Watching a funny show or a lighthearted film impacts our body in many positive ways. According to psychologist Birgit Wolz, laughter helps us forget our problems and enhances our sense of well-being. Studies have shown that laughter boosts our immune system and reduces blood pressure.
In fact, a study by the University of Maryland found that laughing while watching a funny movie causes our blood vessels to dilate by 22%. In effect, laughing reduces our blood pressure to the same extent as exercise, according to Dr. Michael Miller of the University of Maryland Center for Preventive Cardiology.
That seems more than enough reason to go see a comedy improv on date night, or at least find the best pickings on Netflix’s comedy page. Among Complex Magazine’s trending comedies on Netflix are Trainspotting (featuring Ewan McGregor,) Tiny Furniture (by Lena Dunham of HBO’s Girls,) and In Bruges (featuring Colin Farrell.)
4 Rooibos Chai + Baby Names Chat
With your teas in hand, gather all of your baby naming resources (books, lists, laptop with websites) and settle down with your favorite throw blankets. You can take turns reading names out loud from the baby names book until you find ones that you both love. Or, make it a game; find the worst names you would never choose, find the names that remind you of hairy trolls or describe what kind of a person comes to mind for every odd and wacky name.
3 Pizza Making Party
Collaborative projects help people to bond. What could be better than a collaborative project that you can eat at the end?
Buy a basic pizza crust (or make your own dough,) and then add sauce, cheese, and all your favorite ingredients. Although health professionals recommend staying away from deli meats while pregnant, these meats are considered safe when heated to 165ºF. But you can always choose other meats like chicken breast, shrimp, or even go vegetarian.
Try adding leafy greens like spinach, which contains manganese, iron, vitamin A, C and K. Choose red bell peppers, which contain twice as much vitamin C as green peppers. Vitamin C aids the growth and repair of tissues and helps our bodies absorb iron. You can also try adding fish, such as tuna or smoked salmon. Fish contains omega 3 fatty acids, which is good for heart and brain health. Make it a healthful and fun pizza crafting date.
2 Write a Letter to Your Future Self
Pregnancy is full of expectations. You imagine what life will be like when your child enters the world. Together, with your significant other, take this time to write a letter to your future selves, and set a future date to open the letters together. Another date planned!
In your letter, write out your feelings and expectations. Record your thoughts now, since you may not remember these feelings after the birth. Write down when you think nursing duties will fill your life. Write freely, whatever comes to your mind. If you need some ideas, consider these questions:
1. What are you thankful for right now?
2. What are your hopes and dreams?
3. What do you expect life will be like one year from now, and what words of advice or encouragement do you have for your future self?
4. What do you want to say to your future child?
Sitting down to write together can be a good time of bonding and reflection. You can even read your letters to each other. If you love writing, here are some ideas on writing pregnancy journals, so you can keep on reflecting beyond your date night.
1 Sharing Childhood Photos
It is fun to imagine what your future baby will look like. He or she might look a lot like you did when you were a baby. Dig out old childhood photos of you and your significant other. It will be a joy to revisit past memories, to coo over how cute you looked, and to tell each other childhood stories.
As you share childhood experiences, you can also talk about how you would want to parent your children in the future. This is a very significant conversation to have, and a quiet winter evening may be the best time to do just that. Author Richard Greenberg has a very good list of questions that parents-to-be should ask one another.
This list gives you excellent ideas on the best dates this winter. May you enjoy sweet times with your significant other.