Shoppers have long been able to leave their children in temporary crèches while they continue perusing the aisles.
Now women can leave the retail-weary men in their lives in a safe place while they go off and shop to their hearts content.
Perhaps taking a leaf out of Ikea’s book which earlier this year created a Manland Father’s Day crèche in its store in Sydney, Australia, English Heritage North East England will this weekend be opening its own special male-inspired chill out area at Belsay Hall complete with football games, newspapers, magazines, DVD’s and sofas.
The Middleton Room will be transformed into a haven of peace where men and children can take refuge as the hall’s annual Festive Gift Fair returns for a two day outing on November 5-6.
Bean bags, colouring in activities and mince pies and sweets will also be on offer for those yet to catch the ‘shop-until-you-drop’ bug.
As the first in a long line of winter events, the annual gift fair at Belsay in the heart of Northumberland will give buyers a unique opportunity to find that one-of-a-kind Christmas present for friends and family.
Scores of local craft people will be exhibiting their wares with liqueur and food tastings also on offer.
Caroline Sinclair, from English Heritage, said: “We all know that a man loves to shop as much as any woman, yet the hustle and bustle of crowds can sometimes get too much, especially with small children in tow.
“English Heritage has created a special haven to help enhance the experience of Belsay’s fabulous Festive Gift Fair for all the family. The ‘dad’s crèche’ means people can take some time out with a selection of their favourite things, yet at the same time enjoy all that stunning Belsay has to offer.
“This coming weekend also sees the launch of English Heritage’s biggest ever programme of winter events giving visitors something extra to make the most of their festive days out.
“Most of our stunning properties will be open every weekend and visitors can look forward to brisk winter walks in beautiful surroundings alongside a season of festive events.”
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a stopover from Santa. And as the big day draws ever closer, visitors are being invited to take a trip back in time to meet a very traditional Victorian Father Christmas on November 26-27.
Youngsters will be kept mesmerised with heart-warming yuletide tales and poems recited by old St Nicholas.
The spectres of festive seasons past will be awakened on November 25-26 as brave visitors are invited to gather in the library for the chilling Ghost Stories for Christmas event.
The Gentleman of the house will perform a selection of terrifying tales by the glow of candlelight.
Belsay will also welcome for the first time the Caedmon Choir from the Sage Gateshead, as the property comes to life with the sound of music on December 11.
Revisit cherished childhood memories in this quintessential Northumberland setting as the choir raises the roof with an assortment of festive carols and seasonal songs, a cappella style.
Or why not wrap up warm for performances of the timeless Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol, on December 27-29?