As the end of the year and the holidays approach, here’s a run-down of most (but not quite all—there are a lot) of holiday specials WTTW is airing, most in the evenings of the next couple weeks.
See schedule for airtimes
This new special was one of WTTW’s Head of Programming and Pledge’s highlights for this month, but there are plenty of other holiday specials from your other favorite PBS KIDS shows. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day both have a full line-up of specials through the whole daytime.
Monday, December 16 at 9:00 pm and Tuesday, December 24 at 7:00 pm
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s Christmas concert and performance is a holiday tradition, and this year the featured guest is the winning Kristin Chenoweth.
Sunday, December 22 beginning at 1:00 pm
Need some last-minute baking help, or simply want to watch some masters create delectable treats while engaging in some delightful banter? We’ve got four hours in a row of Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood demonstrating some holiday classics, followed by a holiday special from America’s Test Kitchen.
Sunday, December 22 at 6:00 pm
A few years, The Joffrey Ballet reimagined that old chestnut The Nutcracker with a stellar team that included choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and children’s book author Brian Selznick. Go behind the scenes as they reconceive the ballet to take place during Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair and see the incredible amount of work and creativity that goes into a new ballet—and don’t miss extra features (or stream the documentary if you miss it) on the accompanying website!
Sunday, December 22 at 9:00 pm
This is another December highlight, featuring the likes of William Shatner, authors, rabbis, and others as they reminisce about their own Hanukkah traditions and explores its evolution into the holiday it is today.
Monday, December 23 at 9:00 pm
It’s another holiday tradition, but from closer to home: the Wheaton College Christmas concert, filmed at the school just west of Chicago.
Monday, December 23 at 10:00 pm and Tuesday, December 24 at 8:00 pm
Another school’s holiday concert follows immediately on Wheaton’s, with Belmont University’s School of Music joining forces with the Nashville Children’s Choir under the hosting of CeCe Winans and Michael W. Smith.
Tuesday, December 24 at 9:00 pm
There are some outstanding school Christmas concerts out there, including this one from the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota, which takes place at Minneapolis’s Orchestra Hall.
Wednesday, December 25 at 7:00 pm
In this December highlight, the historian Lucy Worsley dons period costume to explore the foods and traditions of the Tudor period, and how they have influenced our own holiday rituals.
Wednesday, December 25 at 8:00 pm and Tuesday, December 31 at 8:30 pm
Another December highlight is another great tradition: the return of the midwives and nuns of Nonnatus House with a new Christmas special (and eventually a new season, later in the year!).
Wednesday, December 25 at 9:30 pm
Our last December highlight takes an irreverent look at the Jewish songwriters behind some of the most popular Christmas songs.
Tuesday, December 31 at 7:00 pm
It might be a bit unorthodox, but the well-crafted music of Stephen Sondheim certainly makes for an enjoyable New Year’s Eve, especially when played by the New York Philharmonic in Lincoln Center.