A Real Winter Wonderland: Christmas on Grouse Mountain

With the snow and chilly temperatures in Vancouver this week, I think it’s officially OK to start dreaming about Christmas . Over the next few weeks, we’ll be profiling some great ways to get into the holiday spirit around the city.  One of the best winter events starts this Saturday, Nov. 27: the Peak of Christmas festivities on Grouse, one of three ski mountains right outside of Vancouver.

Vancouver, of course,  often gets a lot more rain than snow during the winter months.  But for a glimpse of a true winter wonderland , you just have to head up to Grouse Mountain, which is only about 20 minutes by car or bus from downtown.   Grouse offers storybook winter landscapes – mounds of deep snow (well, usually), deep green pine trees trimmed in ice and great views of downtown Vancouver.

All of which make the Peak of Christmas on Grouse that much more memorable.  Cruise to the top of the mountain on the Skyride – the mile-long aerial tramway – and you’ll discover a whole hub of holiday fun.  For starters, there’s  the giant, 8,000-square-foot outdoor skating pond, surrounded by stands of snow-topped trees.   There’s a Santa’s workshop with not only a real live Santa but a real live reindeer, as well. Here’s a clip of the skating pond:

You can go on a mountaintop sleigh ride and enjoy the crisp air and views from atop the 1,000-meter-plus mountain.  Or you can duck inside of the chalet on top of Grouse to recharge with a hot chocolate or eggnog.   There’s even live holiday entertainment, including  including gospel and a cappella choirs, Canadian country music stars, a Dixieland jazz band and, believe it or not, Venezuelan Christmas carolers.

And, finally, for the kids, there’s a holiday favorite:  breakfast with Santa.   Join Father Christmas for a festive brunch, complete with entertainment and plenty of holiday treats  (Breakfasts are held from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. from Dec. 15-24, and tickets are selling out fast).

The Peak of Christmas runs from Nov.27-Dec. 24 on Grouse Mountain, with continuous activities and events from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.   All of the Peak of Christmas fun is complimentary with the purchase of an admission ticket, which includes the Skyride up and down the mountain ($39.95 for adults; $23.95 for youth 13-18; $13.95 for children 5-12; tots are free).

Has anyone been to Grouse’s Peak of Christmas event in past years?  What were some of the highlights?  Please share any feedback below.

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