It may be raining in Vancouver, but it’s a winter wonderland a thousand or so metres above the city on Grouse Mountain.
The ski mountain was blanketed with 18 centimetres of snow overnight and has received 140 centimetres of snowfall so far this season – all of which makes perfect conditions for Santa’s sleigh and his not-so-tiny reindeer.
Grouse’s annual holiday celebration, the Peak of Christmas, opens on Nov. 24 and extends to Dec. 24. And, yes, the reindeer are back.
For the holidays, Grouse is transformed into a little piece of the North Pole. Ascend to the top on the 1.6-kilometre-long Skyride tram and you’ll find Santa’s workshop, an 8,000-square-foot outdoor skating pond and even Christmas choirs – all set against an alpine backdrop with amazing views of Vancouver and the North Shore mountains. It’s as close as Vancouver gets to a true white Christmas.
Mountaintop sleigh-rides offer a glimpse of the wintry forest, while special ranger talks let visitors get to know Dancer and Vixen, Grouse’s visiting reindeer. For the kids, Santa will be on hand and hard at work. He’ll be taking requests in his workshop and also stopping in for Grouse’s Breakfast with Santa, on Dec. 9 and 15-24, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
One of the highlights of Peak of Christmas every year is the outdoor ice skating pond, which must offer some of the most visually stunning skating in Vancouver. Skate across 8,000 square feet of natural ice while the city lights of Vancouver twinkle far below. On Dec. 1, 8 and 15, skating world champion Karen Magnussen will also be on hand for performances and autographs.
Grouse also offers special Christmas lunches, antler-making workshops, campy holiday-themed plays and more.
The Peak of Christmas runs from Nov. 24-Dec. 24 and is in included in the price of an Alpine Experience Ticket ($39.95 for adults, $35.95 for seniors, $23.95 for youth 13-18, $13.95 for children 5-12).
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