Treating a Cold and Other Common Discomforts When Pregnant


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Amanda Sheldon tried everything from nasal sprays to nightly humidifier use, but the first-time expectant mom couldn't shake the stuffiness brought on by a bad chest cold. "I couldn't sleep. I was barely functioning at work," she says.

Miserable and exhausted, Sheldon called her doctor, who recommended an over-the-counter (OTC) medication. After two days, Sheldon felt better physically, but not emotionally. "I was concerned about the medicine's effects on my baby even though my doctor reassured me it was safe."

The odds of making it nine months without some sort of ailment sidetracking you - be it a cold, back pain or tummy troubles - are pretty slim. In fact, more than 80 percent of women self-medicate while pregnant.

"Ideally, a mom-to-be will get better without medicine, but if the symptoms interfere with her ability to sleep, to function, to be alert enough to drive, then it's in the best interest of the mother, and inherently her child, for her to take a doctor-approved medication," says Michael C. Lu, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California in Los Angeles.

But not every woman checks with her doctor, as Sheldon did, before heading to the drugstore. "There's a much more relaxed attitude these days about self-medicating while pregnant. That's alarming because there's not a lot of research on how OTC drugs affect pregnancy," says D. Ashley Hill, M.D., associate director of obstetrics and gynecology at the Florida Hospital Family Practice Residency Program in Orlando.

You don't have to tough it out if you're under the weather. If nonmedicinal remedies don't work, make sure to get your doctor's OK before seeking relief. Here's a look at some common pregnancy afflictions and recommended ways to treat them.

Headaches

The baby factor: Hormonal changes can trigger headaches during the first trimester, while posture changes brought on by weight gain can set off tension headaches.

Try this first: Apply warm compresses around your sinus area or try cold compresses on the back of your neck to relieve tension headaches. Massages - from your husband or a trained prenatal massage therapist - can help. Stay well-hydrated, eat small meals throughout the day to prevent low blood sugar (a headache trigger), rest and exercise regularly (with your doctor's OK).

At the drugstore: Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, is the safest pain reliever during pregnancy.

Don't take: Aspirin (it might cause premature labor, hemorrhaging and birth defects) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (the painkiller in Advil and Motrin) and naproxen (found in Aleve).

Colds

The baby factor: Increased estrogen levels can swell your nasal membranes and cause you to produce more mucus (a condition called rhinitis of pregnancy). If you also have a sore throat, cough, sneezing or swollen glands, you probably have a cold.

Try this first: Relieve stuffiness with saline nasal sprays; ample water intake (at least 8 ounces per day); hot, steamy showers; and humidifiers. Throat lozenges and sprays also help.

At the drugstore: The decongestant pseudoephedrine works best for congestion, but don't take it during the first trimester due to a slight risk of birth defects. For coughs, try an expectorant containing dextromethorphan hydrobromide, such as Robitussin-DM.

Don't take: Medications containing guafanesin (like Robitussin Cough & Congestion) during the first trimester due to birth defect risk or products with codeine (Robitussin-AC) or alcohol (NyQuil).

Constipation and Hemorrhoids

The baby factor: Pregnancy hormones slow your intestinal tract. Straining brought on by constipation and increased blood flow as well as pressure within the rectal area veins contribute to hemorrhoids.

Try this first: To ease constipation, eat healthier (increase your water and fiber intake) and exercise regularly. Warm baths, or alternately ice packs, can alleviate hemorrhoidal swelling.

At the drugstore: Bulk-forming laxatives, such as Metamucil, can get your bowels working regularly. If they don't, consider a stool-softening laxative like Ex-Lax. When treating hemorrhoids, choose products that contain glycerin or witch hazel (try Tucks or Preparation H Cooling Gel).

Don't take: Too many antacids (they can cause constipation), or use stimulant or lubricant laxatives like castor and mineral oils (they can trigger labor).

Heartburn

The baby factor: Pregnancy hormones relax the sphincter valve separating the esophagus from the stomach, causing gastric acids to seep back up. Your growing baby also crowds your abdominal cavity, pushing acids back into your esophagus.

Try this first: Eat smaller meals; avoid greasy, spicy or high-acidic foods; and don't eat within two hours of bedtime. Sleeping on an incline (elevate your bed or use a wedge-shaped pillow) also helps.

At the drugstore: Take an antacid containing magnesium (Maalox) or calcium carbonate (Tums) with each meal. If symptoms persist, histamine H2-receptor blockers (like Tagamet or Zantac) are an option.

Don't take: H2-blockers during the first trimester or medications like Alka-Seltzer that contain aspirin or lots of sodium.

Note: Always check with your health care provider to find out what's safe and recommended for you.

Jeanette Moninger is a freelance writer who specializes in parenting, health care and women's issues.

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January 2020

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Contact Name: Kelly
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Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
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Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
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Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
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Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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Cost: 20

Where:
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5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
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Triangle Restaurant Week (January 20-26, 2020) is a week-long celebration of culinary excellence designed to incorporate the premier Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding area restaurants....

Cost: $15-$35

Where:
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Telephone: 919-673-5784
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Contact Name: Kelly
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Cost: $70/month

Where:
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Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
Website »

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Take a walk in the woods to discover the animals and plants that call our park home and help to collect wildlife data for our Natural Resources Inventory Database and other citizen science...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
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4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
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Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

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Cost: For all ages; FREE. Registration is required for all family members,& children

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

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Cost: 20

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
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Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

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Cost: $15-$35

Where:
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Sponsor: Triangle Blvd
Telephone: 919-673-5784
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
St. David's School Performing Arts Center
3400 White Oak Road
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Cost: Ticket prices start at $15

Where:
PlayMakers' Repertory Company
120 Country Club Rd
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
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Telephone: 919-962-7529

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Cost: $11

Where:
Downtown
500 S Salisbury St
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Sponsor: Let's Roam
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: Kelly
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Cost: Free

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Jim Graham Building
1025 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Cost: $70/month

Where:
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2080 E Williams St
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Apex/Holly Springs, NC  27539
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Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
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More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
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Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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Cost: 20

Where:
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5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
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Cost: $75-$216

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Spanish Alive
156 E. Chatham St
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Cost: Free

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Harris Lake County Park
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Cost: $225

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Cost: $15-$35

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Cost: FREE

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Telephone: 919-977-1976
Contact Name: Kathy MacDonald
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Cost: Ticket prices start at $15

Where:
PlayMakers' Repertory Company
120 Country Club Rd
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View map »


Telephone: 919-962-7529

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Forget tourist-filled museums, make your own memories with a photo scavenger hunt tour in Raleigh! On a Let’s Roam scavenger hunt, you and your team will work together to wander throughout...

Cost: $11

Where:
500 S Salisbury St
raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Let's Roam
Website »

More information

Join us for the Kids Exchange Spring/Summer Consignment Sale in February!   This FREE ADMISSION event is the largest kids consignment sale in the nation and is held at the NC State Fairgrounds...

Cost: Free

Where:
Jim Graham Building
1025 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »

More information

Join us for the Kids Exchange Spring/Summer Consignment Sale in July! This FREE ADMISSION event is the largest kids consignment sale in the nation and is held at the NC State Fairgrounds at...

Cost: 0 – $10

Where:
Jim Graham Building
1025 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Amongst the ancient oak trees is the heart of Raleigh. We'll help you see the forest for the trees and all its magic splendor. Tourist, local, or new to town, this is a lively small group activity...

Cost: $11

Where:
Downtown
500 S Salisbury St
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Let's Roam
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: Kelly
Website »

More information

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Cost: $70/month

Where:
Hope Community Building
2080 E Williams St
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Apex/Holly Springs, NC  27539
View map »


Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
Website »

More information

Chip, chip, hooray! The first Zambrero in the Southeast is opening on January 24 with zingy, zesty activities! Bodacious Burritos and Bowls: $5 burritos and bowls all day Delicious Drawing: A...

Cost: Free

Where:
1 Glenwood Ave
#105
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: (919) 863-2561
Website »

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Just in time to keep up with those home improvement resolutions for 2020, the Downtown Raleigh Home Show returns to downtown’s Raleigh Convention Center January 24-26, 2020  with a jam-packed...

Cost: Tickets are $12 for adults and free for children under 12. Advance $9 tickets

Where:
Raleigh Convention Center
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Marketplace Events
Telephone: 904-608-3823
Contact Name: Liz Morgan

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

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Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 sq. ft of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three distinct programming areas and an on-ice...

Cost: 20

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
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Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

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Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring  honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
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Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Triangle Restaurant Week (January 20-26, 2020) is a week-long celebration of culinary excellence designed to incorporate the premier Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding area restaurants....

Cost: $15-$35

Where:
Participating Restaurants
, NC


Sponsor: Triangle Blvd
Telephone: 919-673-5784
Website »

More information

Take a hike after dark and enjoy the sights and sounds of a quiet night along the American Tobacco Trail. We will walk to the Beaver Creek bridge and back (about one mile total). Free for ages 4...

Cost: Free

Where:
American Tobacco Trail
1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Rd.
Apex, NC  27502
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Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park and the American Tobacco Trail
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

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Hounded by Death, the character of Everybody desperately seeks out everyone and everything they know in hope of finding something meaningful to take to the grave. These 90 minutes of theatrical...

Cost: Ticket prices start at $15

Where:
PlayMakers' Repertory Company
120 Country Club Rd
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
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Telephone: 919-962-7529

More information

Rumpelstiltskin-A Tale of Gold Book by Ellie FaggionMusic and Lyrics written by Brian Shrager and Ellie FaggionProduced by special arrangement with the author.Directed by Beth Wilson...

Cost: varies

Where:
Spiritual Twist Productions
1250 Aversboro Road
Garner, NC  27529
View map »


Sponsor: Spiritual Twist Productions
Telephone: 919-977-1976
Contact Name: Kathy MacDonald
Website »

More information

David Burney, lead singer for the acclaimed Johnny Cash tribute band Johnny Folsom 4, brings his one-man show to The ArtsCenter for three shows, January 24-26, 2020.  In “Hello, I’m...

Cost: $15 to $20

Where:
The ArtsCenter
300-G East Main St.
300-G East Main Street.
Carrboro, NC  27510
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Sponsor: The ArtsCenter
Telephone: 919-929-2787
Contact Name: Patrick Phelps-Mckeown
Website »

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Forget tourist-filled museums, make your own memories with a photo scavenger hunt tour in Raleigh! On a Let’s Roam scavenger hunt, you and your team will work together to wander throughout...

Cost: $11

Where:
500 S Salisbury St
raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Let's Roam
Website »

More information

Amongst the ancient oak trees is the heart of Raleigh. We'll help you see the forest for the trees and all its magic splendor. Tourist, local, or new to town, this is a lively small group activity...

Cost: $11

Where:
Downtown
500 S Salisbury St
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Let's Roam
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: Kelly
Website »

More information

Join the Museum and the Raleigh Astronomy Club to help you see the big picture — of the Universe! From comet crafts to solar observing, lectures to rocket launches, space enthusiasts of all ages...

Cost: Free

Where:
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
11 W. Jones St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Join us for the Kids Exchange Spring/Summer Consignment Sale in July! This FREE ADMISSION event is the largest kids consignment sale in the nation and is held at the NC State Fairgrounds at...

Cost: 0 – $10

Where:
Jim Graham Building
1025 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Website »

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Join us for the Kids Exchange Spring/Summer Consignment Sale in February!   This FREE ADMISSION event is the largest kids consignment sale in the nation and is held at the NC State Fairgrounds...

Cost: Free

Where:
Jim Graham Building
1025 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »

More information

Family Wildlife Series: Tricky Tracks Saturday, January 25 10-11 a.m. Come dressed for the weather so you can roam the park learning the fine art of “tracking”.   Make a cast of an animal...

Cost: Free

Where:
Blue Jay Point County Park
3200 Pleasant Union Church Road
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Telephone: 919-870-4330
Website »

More information

Kindermusik is a research-based early childhood curriculum that includes 45-minute classroom lessons with materials and resources that encourages parental involvement . Research has linked...

Cost: $70/month

Where:
Hope Community Building
2080 E Williams St
Hope Community Building, Fuquay Varina Room
Apex/Holly Springs, NC  27539
View map »


Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
Website »

More information

RALEIGH (Jan. 16, 2020) – The North Carolina Association for Public Charter Schools will host its first school fair during National School Choice Week on Saturday, Jan. 25. The fair will take...

Cost: Free

Where:
Raleigh Convention Center
500 S. Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: NC Association of Public Charter Schools
Telephone: 336-669-9996
Contact Name: Rhonda Dillingham
Website »

More information

Join the statewide kickoff to Black History Month at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. Named a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society since 2015, the 19th...

Cost: 0

Where:
North Carolina Museum of History
5 East Edenton Street
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Just in time to keep up with those home improvement resolutions for 2020, the Downtown Raleigh Home Show returns to downtown’s Raleigh Convention Center January 24-26, 2020  with a jam-packed...

Cost: Tickets are $12 for adults and free for children under 12. Advance $9 tickets

Where:
Raleigh Convention Center
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Marketplace Events
Telephone: 904-608-3823
Contact Name: Liz Morgan

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 sq. ft of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three distinct programming areas and an on-ice...

Cost: 20

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring  honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Spanish Alive is providing Family Spanish classes starting in January! Join us to learn Spanish as an entire family in an immersive, fun environment. Our teachers are trained Spanish educators and...

Cost: $75-$216

Where:
Spanish Alive
156 E. Chatham St
Cary, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Rumpelstiltskin-A Tale of Gold Book by Ellie FaggionMusic and Lyrics written by Brian Shrager and Ellie FaggionProduced by special arrangement with the author.Directed by Beth Wilson...

Cost: varies

Where:
Spiritual Twist Productions
1250 Aversboro Road
Garner, NC  27529
View map »


Sponsor: Spiritual Twist Productions
Telephone: 919-977-1976
Contact Name: Kathy MacDonald
Website »

More information

Winter days find many animals curled up in their dens. They sleep warmly, awakening in spring ready to enjoy the renewed Earth. Discover how animals deal with cold weather and which ones hibernate...

Cost: For all ages; FREE. Registration is required for all family members,& childre

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Triangle Restaurant Week (January 20-26, 2020) is a week-long celebration of culinary excellence designed to incorporate the premier Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding area restaurants....

Cost: $15-$35

Where:
Participating Restaurants
, NC


Sponsor: Triangle Blvd
Telephone: 919-673-5784
Website »

More information

Join us in Arendelle for Frozen-inspired STEAM activities for the whole family! Included in the ticket cost is dinner and dessert for the whole family, make your own sock Olaf and Frozen bouncy...

Cost: $35 per family

Where:
Kidzu Children's Museum
201 S. Estes Dr.
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
View map »


Sponsor: Kidzu Children's Museum
Telephone: 919-933-1455
Website »

More information

AML Wrestling presents our 5th Anniversary Celebration! WHEN: Saturday, January 25th, 2020WHERE: Winston-Salem Fairgrounds in theHome & Garden Building 408 27th Street NW/Gate #9 Winston-Salem, NC...

Cost: $5

Where:
Winston-Salem Fairgrounds
408 27th Street NW/Gate #9
Winston-Salem, NC  27105
View map »


Sponsor: AML Wrestling
Telephone: 336-831-0646
Contact Name: Tracy Myers
Website »

More information

Hounded by Death, the character of Everybody desperately seeks out everyone and everything they know in hope of finding something meaningful to take to the grave. These 90 minutes of theatrical...

Cost: Ticket prices start at $15

Where:
PlayMakers' Repertory Company
120 Country Club Rd
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
View map »


Telephone: 919-962-7529

More information

David Burney, lead singer for the acclaimed Johnny Cash tribute band Johnny Folsom 4, brings his one-man show to The ArtsCenter for three shows, January 24-26, 2020.  In “Hello, I’m...

Cost: $15 to $20

Where:
The ArtsCenter
300-G East Main St.
300-G East Main Street.
Carrboro, NC  27510
View map »


Sponsor: The ArtsCenter
Telephone: 919-929-2787
Contact Name: Patrick Phelps-Mckeown
Website »

More information

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Education Guide

The 2019-20 Education Guide offers 718 education resources in the Triangle, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools and academic resources.

The Triangle Go-To Guide

Our Triangle Go-To Guide connects you to family fun resources across the Triangle. In our 2019-20 issue, explore 1,028 resources for family fun.