Grouse Mountain's annual month of Christmas festivities launch this week. The Peak of Christmas presents a sleigh full of special holiday activities designed for families and kids.

The Peak of Christmas, which runs daily Nov. 27 through Dec. 24, converts Grouse Mountain into a mainstay of Vancouver's holiday traditions. The event features daily activities that include Santa's Workshop, ranger interpretive presentations on reindeer, outdoor ice skating, and classic Christmas movies shown in high definition. Mountaintop sleigh rides are available, once the snowpack is adequate on the plateau. Peak of Christmas activities are included in general admission, winter passes, or lift tickets.

Specialty events are part of the festivities, too. Free musical performances, featuring jazz musicians, choirs, a cappella groups, soloists, carolers, and holiday music vary throughout the months with weekday performances on stage 6 to 8 p.m. and weekend shows 1 to 3 p.m. The SOS Children's Village Parade of Trees begins Dec. 2. Decorated trees are on daily display in the Spirit Gallery.

The 8,000-square-foot outdoor ice rink dazzles audiences with an ice show and star skater wannabees with lessons. The Karen Magnussen Foundation Ice Show is scheduled for Dec. 18. Ice skaters can sign up for lessons with champions taking place in two sessions each day December 4, 11, and 18.

Two holiday dining opportunities round out the festivities. A breakfast buffet with Santa runs daily Dec. 15-24. Tickets cost $16-40, depending on age. Tots four years old and younger can eat free. The Observatory, Grouse's fine dining restaurant, serves up a special three course Christmas lunch for $49 starting Dec. 1. Reservations are required for both holiday meals.

More information. Or call 604-980-9311.