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(North Vancouver) The most wonderful time of year has finally arrived as Grouse Mountain’s annual Peak of Christmas festivities launch this Friday, November 28th including the highly-anticipated return of Santa Claus to Vancouver’s North Pole.

Once stepping aboard the Red Skyride, guests soar 3,700 metres above the city as they are transported to a snowy winter wonderland at the Peak of Vancouver. An ideal fun-filled way to embrace the holiday spirit, families are welcomed to see how elves have transformed Grouse Mountain’s magical mountaintop during a variety of elf-themed activities in the Peak Chalet.

At Santa’s Workshop, the beloved big man has been hard at work making his list (and checking it twice!) as he awaits believers young and old to share their special Christmas wishes and take a photo. Returning for their annual pre-Christmas vacation are Santa’s magical reindeer Dancer and Vixen who will make their home next to the candy cane-striped North Pole before their around-the-world tour on Christmas Eve.

As the gathering place during the Peak of Christmas, the Peak Chalet will feature a Gingerbread Village in support of the British Columbia SOS Children’s Village, a long-time Grouse Mountain charitable partner that provides care for children in need. Guests are encouraged to vote for their favourite Gingerbread Village creation to select a grand prize winner while contributing much-needed funds to this very deserving charity.

For those seeking an outdoor holiday experience unlike any other, a glide around Grouse Mountain’s 8,000-square foot outdoor ice skating pond surrounded by trees adorned with glimmering lights, a magical sleigh ride through the forest or Sunday afternoon fireside carols in the chalet courtesy of the VOC Sweet Gospel Choir are sure to put visitors of all ages in the Christmas spirit.

Once again this season, the Peak of Christmas will support the Karen Magnussen Foundation’s skater development program by hosting a series of complimentary skate lessons culminating in the highly-anticipated annual Ice Show on Saturday, December 20th featuring captivating performances from some of BC’s finest skaters. As in past years, proceeds from skate rentals will be donated to the Karen Magnussen Foundation and have contributed thousands of dollars to support British Columbia’s young and talented competitive skaters.

As part of ongoing year-round efforts to provide access to deserving lower mainland youth, Grouse Mountain has pledged to donate $5.00 towards bringing additional underprivileged children to experience the Peak of Christmas for every ‘Elfie Selfie’ posted on Instagram or Twitter. By simply posting a photo dressed as an elf using the hashtag #grouselfie, members of the community can help contribute to creating a magical and memorable holiday season for a deserving young person.

“We are thrilled to welcome visitors of all ages to celebrate the spirit of the holiday season during our Peak of Christmas celebration,” said Grouse Mountain general manager Michael Cameron. “From our magical activities such as ice skating and sleigh rides to a visit with Santa Claus and much more, we are proud to be known as Vancouver’s North Pole while giving back to our local community.”

Since no holiday experience is complete without a meal alongside friends and family, guests are encouraged to place a reservation for the Breakfast With Santa program which runs from Sunday, December 14th through Wednesday, December 24th. Back for another season, The Observatory’s popular Christmas Lunch also returns on weekdays throughout December.

With their 88th winter season well underway at Grouse Mountain, guests are reminded that all festive Peak of Christmas activities are complimentary with a season’s pass, a Skyride admission ticket or at a special family rate of $79.95.

For more information and a detailed daily schedule for all Peak of Christmas activities, please click here.