The Peak of Christmas at North Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain is where you’ll find sleigh rides, skating, gingerbread houses, Santa Claus, reindeer and more.
Last season the festivities ran from November 25th, 2021, until January 3rd, 2022.
Other places you’ll find amazing Christmas-themed holiday lights include the Festival of Lights at VanDusen Gardens and the Vancouver Christmas Market. There’s also Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge, Christmas Glow, Surrey Holiday Lights, Chilliwack Country Christmas Village and various other attractions.
To learn about the above and other Lower Mainland Christmas attractions, see our article about Best Vancouver Christmas Activities. To learn about the Christmas-themed things to see and do at Grouse, continue reading.
Grouse Mountain at Christmas
The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain offers some of the best Christmas-time activities in the Lower Mainland.
In addition to great skiing, during the month of December Grouse Mountain is usually where you’ll find sleigh rides, outdoor ice skating, gingerbread house displays and holiday season movies in their Theatre in the Sky. There are also opportunities to visit Santa Claus (at least in years without global pandemics), and a variety of other special Christmas activities and events.
Peak of Christmas Dates
The event didn’t happen normally during the 2020/21 season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Santa wasn’t on-site for visits at all, but there were holiday illuminations, the Light Walk, Sliding Zone, and outdoor ice skating activities.
The Peak of Christmas event returned in 2021/22, and with Santa Claus once again! The event ran daily from November 25th, 2021, until January 3rd, 2022.
2022/23 Peak of Christmas dates and details are to be confirmed.
Christmas Cost of Admission
There are usually both expensive and less expensive ways of experiencing the Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain.
In the 2021/22 season, Peak of Christmas activities were included in the cost of the tram ride up the hill, which cost around $34 for children, $54 for seniors, $61 for adults (ages 17-64) and $161 for a family. This was the more expensive way of enjoying the Peak of Christmas.
Most years Grouse Mountain offers its special Family Ticket, which costs about $100 ($109 for the 2021/2022 season) and allows two adults and two children or youth access to the mountain for one day during the Peak of Christmas season. This makes it cheaper than at other times of the year. Family Annual Local’s Passes are also available which allow families to return as often as they like all year.
All Peak of Christmas activities are included at no additional charge with the purchase of a ski ticket. This is typically the “more-value-for-your-money” way to enjoy Grouse Mountain’s festive Christmas activities, as it includes skiing (assuming you like to ski).
If you aren’t into skiing, all of the aforementioned activities — except for skiing — are also included when you make advanced reservations for dinner at the Observatory restaurant most years (although not in 2020 or 2021). The restaurant isn’t cheap, but it’s very nice and dinner isn’t a whole lot more than the cost of the tram ride which is included with the meal reservation. What’s more, you can also enjoy fine cuisine from one of Vancouver’s most scenic and famous dining spots!
Peak of Christmas Activities
There is so much to see and do at the Peak of Christmas event up at Grouse Mountain.
At the attraction there is Santa’s Workshop and Elf Headquarters, where up until Christmas Eve, children can visit Santa Claus, take photos with him and write him letters. Other activities include the Sliding Zone, where you can slip down a hill on a crazy carpet, and the Light Walk, where you can wander along illuminated trails through the forest. There’s also the Skating Pond, where people can rent skates and glide around on 8,000 square feet of ice.
Breakfast with Santa is another activity available, though at an extra cost. In 2021, folks could enjoy the breakfast buffet and magic show on November 27 and 28, or on December 4, 5, 11, 12, or another day between December 18 and 24.
Throughout the Christmas season most years, there is also the Gingerbread Village featuring a collection of fancy cookie houses and other creations, and Christmas movies in the Theatre in the Sky. Prior to Christmas Day, there is also usually live entertainment at set times.
Of course, during the Peak of Christmas event and throughout the entire winter season, there are also wonderful skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing opportunities up at the resort. For details about those activities see our article about Grouse Mountain in Winter.
Peak of Christmas Entertainment
A good time to typically visit Grouse Mountain during the Peak of Christmas season is on weekends leading up to Christmas, as well as on Christmas Eve. On those days there are sometimes live choir performances in the chalet.
VOC Gospel Choir
Checo Tohomaso and the VOC Sweet Soul Gospel Choir perform most years in the Grouse Mountain Chalet between 1:00 and 3:00 pm every Sunday in December. This is an exceptional group that you won’t want to miss! Their performances are highly recommended (and free with general admission to the mountain).
In 2019 the choir performed in the afternoons of the Sundays of December 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd as well as on the Tuesday of December 24th. In 2020/21 there weren’t any live music performances because of COVID-19. Hopefully the performances happen again in future years.
To give you an idea of what to expect in future years (like in ones when there isn’t a global pandemic), groups that performed in 2019 are listed below.
- Saturday, November 30, 2019 – Seymour Dance School at 1:00 pm
- Sunday, December 1, 2019 – VOC Sweet Gospel Choir 1:00 pm
- Friday, December 6, 2019 – Seymour Dance School at 6:00 pm
- Saturday, December 7, 2019 – Rob Eller from 1:00 until 5:00 pm
- Sunday, December 8, 2019 – VOC Sweet Gospel Choir 1:00 pm
- Saturday, December 14, 2019 – A Tout Choeur at 1:00 pm
- Sunday, December 15, 2019 – VOC Sweet Gospel Choir at 1:00 pm
- Saturday, December 21, 2019
- Four Calling Birds Quartet – from 10:00 am until 12:00 pm
- David Capper – from 1:00 until 5:00 pm
- Sunday, December 22, 2019
- VOC Sweet Gospel Choir – at 1:00 pm
- Four Calling Birds Quartet – at 4:00 pm
- Monday, December 23, 2019 – Vicky Sjohall from 1:00 until 5:00 pm
- Tuesday, December 24, 2019 – VOC Sweet Gospel Choir at 1:00 pm
What to Take to the Peak of Christmas
When heading up to enjoy the Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain don’t forget to take your camera, ice skates, snowshoes, skis and/or snowboard, all depending on what you want to do. Equipment for all activities is also usually available for rent at the top. And finally, don’t forget your winter boots and warm clothing.
Light Walk Video
The Light Walk is one of the main attractions at the Peak of Christmas. It’s a trail through the forest that’s open for visitors to explore during the Peak of Christmas season which goes from late November until early January. The trail of lights then usually continues until at least the end of February.
Below is a video showing what the Light Walk is like. As you’ll see, the Light Walk is a trail that goes through the forest and around a frozen lake. The route starts and finishes with a tunnel of lights.
You don’t normally have to wear snowshoes to go through the Light Walk, except after fresh snowfall, but lots of people do. From dusk until around 9 pm the trail is lit up with Christmas lights and illuminations.
For more details about the Peak of Christmas events, see the Grouse Mountain website.
For more ideas on places to see Christmas lights in the Lower Mainland, check out any of the following: