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.
CHRISTMAS EVENT CANCELLED
The Peak of Christmas didn’t happen as a formal event in the 2020/21 season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The extra holiday-themed activities were scheduled to run from November 20th to January 3rd.
Santa wasn’t on site for visits this past season because of COVID-19. There were, however, the Light Walk, holiday illuminations and outdoor ice skating. Also, beginning in early December, the Sliding Zone was open every day between 11 am and 7 pm.
To learn about all of the Lower Mainland’s top Christmas events see our article about Best Christmas Activities. For information about what to expect at Grouse Mountain over the holiday season, at least in a typical year, see below.
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 with Santa Claus (at least in years without global pandemics), and a variety of other special Christmas activities and events.
(Note: In the 2020/21 season, because of COVID-19, the event did not formally take place. The Light Walk happened though, as did the ice skating.)
Peak of Christmas Dates in 2020/21
Most years the Peak of Christmas goes from the end of November until the beginning of January. This past year the planned dates were November 20th to January 3rd, 2021. Because of the coronavirus and government measures to control its spread, however, the Peak of Christmas was cancelled. The year before it started on Friday, November 22nd, and finished on Sunday, January 5th, 2020.
Dates and details regarding the 2021/22 season are to be determined.
Christmas Cost of Admission
There are usually both expensive and less expensive ways of experiencing the Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain.
Peak of Christmas activities are included in the cost of the tram ride up the hill, which typically costs around $30 for children, $50 for seniors, $60 for adults (ages 17-64) and $160 for a family. This is the more expensive way of enjoying the Peak of Christmas.
Most years Grouse Mountain offers its special Family Ticket, which costs about $100 or so 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 the skiing (assuming you like to ski).
If you aren’t into skiing, all of the aforementioned activities, except for the skiing, are also included when you make advanced reservations for dinner at the Observatory restaurant most years (although not in 2020). The restaurant isn’t inexpensive, 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 enjoy fine cuisine from one of Vancouver’s most scenic and famous restaurants.
Peak of Christmas Activities
There is usually so much to see and do at the Peak of Christmas event up at Grouse Mountain.
At the attraction, in previous years, there has been Santa’s Workshop and the Elf Headquarters where, up until Christmas Eve, children could visit Santa Claus and write him letters.
Throughout the Christmas season most years, there is also the Gingerbread Village featuring a collection of fancy cookie houses and other creations, craft activities for kids in the Elf Station, and Christmas movies in the Theatre in the Sky. Prior to Christmas Day, there is also usually live entertainment at set times.
Other activities that usually continue even after most of the other Peak of Christmas activities finish in early January most years 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 folk can rent skates and glide around on 8,000 square feet of ice.
(Note: As mentioned above, in 2020/21 the Light Walk, Sliding Zone and ice skating are happening, but other activities are not.)
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
Typically, a good time to 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 will happen again in 2021/22.
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: