With the dark nights closing in, the routine this time of year can feel a bit monotonous. So we’ve come up with 15 pleasurable ways to spend an evening.

Depending on your own personal preferences some of these activities might be your idea of absolute pleasure or excruciating pain. Still, hopefully, this list will inspire you to do something different and fun that will break up the routine.

15. Spending Time with your Family
Whether it’s seeing my mum, catching up with my brothers, sister, or my nephews it’s always great to spend time with the family. With life being so busy an unexpected catch up is always welcome. So why don’t you text or call your family and see what they’re up to tonight?

14. Getting on the Consoles
Dust off and switch on your Xbox, PS3 or even the Wii and rediscover an old game. Spend the night shooting zombies, being a manager of your own football team and playing online with people from across the world. You never know, you might even make a few new online friends.

13. Ordering A Takeaway
Treat yourself to some delicious food from your local take away. Best of all – don’t stress about the calorie intake, just enjoy.

12. Cinemas or A Night in Watching Films
Venture out of the house to the Cinemas for the latest flick. Alternatively pop in your favourite DVD’s at home for a cosy night in.

11. Hitting The Gym
We all know the gym is good for you, but many of us don’t go often enough. Burning off that excess energy at the gym has two main benefits. First, exercise releases endorphins that make you feel amazing. Second, you’re guaranteed to sleep well.

If you make it a regular thing, you only add to the benefits. Think: loosing weight, tighter body, more muscle mass and more stamina.

Plus there’s an opportunity to see that fitty that frequents the gym. You never know, you may even get talking to him and he may end up becoming your workout buddy.

10. Reading A Good Book
Reading a good book is like being transported into a whole different world; your imagination is ignited and you become totally absorbed.

9. A Romantic Meal Out, or A Meal Out with Friends
If you’re in a relationship, take the time out to have a romantic meal for two out at your favourite restaurant. If you’re single, drag one or three of your friends along to try a new restaurant.

8. Ten-pin Bowling, Laser Quest or Both
Find your local bowling, laser quest or both and book a night out of competitive gaming for you and your mates. Choose your team carefully, though – as the losing team is buying the drinks!

7. Taking A Dance Class
My friend and I took up Salsa Dancing a few winters ago and we were useless at it. I honestly haven’t laughed that much in ages; we both came out with bellyache from laughing so much at each other.

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So take a dance class, even if you’ve got two left feet like me. You can also find some same-sex dance classes that cater for gay people.

6. Meditation
Meditation may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of a pleasurable evening but bare with me here. Imagine low lighting, a scented candle (or three) and a guided meditation CD that makes you feel completely relaxed and slightly giddy from the visualisation.

I think relaxation can be pleasurable in itself, especially with the amount of stress we all have in our lives. I’ve spent many evenings doing mediation because I finish feeling absolutely blissful and if that feeling of bliss isn’t pleasurable, then I don’t know what is.

5. Having Sex
Spend an evening having sex! But rather than the usual quickie, make a night of it and take it slow.

Light some candles, sprinkle some rose petals and get the baby oil out. Give your partner a naked massage using the oil and resist the urge to step things up a gear.

Take the time to get to know every part of his body and let the tension slowly build, until climax.

4. A Few Social Drinks
Find out all the latest gossip by having a good chinwag with friends over a few social drinks. Just make sure that you know your limit if it’s a work night.

3. Visit the Roller Ring or go Ice-Skating
Visiting your local roller ring or ice skating may bring back memories of falling on the floor or on to solid ice, but you’ll enjoy it once your there. They usually have flashing disco lights and great music for you to skate to!

2. The Theatre
Book tickets and go and see a production at a theatre. It gives you something to look forward to and there are some absolutely fantastic shows on.

1. Being Creative
There’s nothing better than creating something. Whether you’re into making music, creating collages, painting, writing, do whatever takes your fancy. Even if you don’t think you’re that good at it, just do it for the love of it.