With pantos off and festive entertainment set to be in short supply this Christmas, families will be casting around for a winter family treat.
And Gibside is stepping up to the mark with the announcement of its first after-dark Ignite Trail which promises to be a magical experience for all ages.
The National Trust property, near Rowlands Gill in Gateshead, boasts expansive 18th Century gardens set in 600 acres of woodland and countryside and including a tree-lined Grand Avenue, neo-classical chapel and an orangery.
And the impressive gardens will lend themselves well to the festive treat which will combine flora and fantasy, with families being told to expect the unexpected as they follow an illuminated trail at twilight.
With lanterns and flickering flames lighting up the huge trees, it will take in the likes of fairies dancing around the branches, 'fiery fish' and woodland wildlife sculpted in willow.
And it all will be set to a backdrop of atmospheric sounds.
A spokesman said that the hour-long trail will include "moments of reflection and playful discovery" and it has been specially designed for visitors of all ages to enjoy, adding that it is the "great outdoors made magical".
The trail is being preseted by events promoter Raymond Gubbay Limited, a division of Sony Music, and created by the Culture Creative company.
It will be open on dates between December 11-30, except for December 14-17 and Christmas Day, and available time slots to book will begin at 4.10pm.
Tickets, which include parking, cost £15 for adults and £10 for children. A family ticket is available for £45 and entry is free for cares and under-fours. See here.