Christmas Music

WETA TV26 logoCategory:TV26

Visitors' & Locals' Guide to Washington, DC

This Christmas Eve, spend the day with WETA TV as we show you the very best of Washington, DC. Are your family and friends in town? Want to show them the area without driving around in the cold? Want to learn more about your city without a trip to the library? Tune into WETA TV26 and WETA HD Monday, December 24 at 8:30am for 9 ½ hours of all original WETA produced local documentaries featuring the best places to visit, behind the scenes footage, and the history of this one-of-a-kind city that we’re so lucky to call home. Use the below list to see what’s on and when to watch it!

Don't forget, we have a wide variety of holiday programming for everyone in the family:

Click here to read our blog post about holiday shows on WETA TV26 & HD including music and kids shows!

Click here to read our blog post about British Christmas specials on WETA UK!


8:30am - WETA Guide to Christmas

In this one-hour special, WETA presents an enticing list of ways Washingtonians (and those in the surrounding area) can celebrate the holiday season. What makes the holidays so much brighter in the nation’s capital? Get the inside scoop on Christmas festivities, activities, and traditions specific to the Washington area. We’ll tell you where the best neighborhood light displays are and where to explore historical locations with the most elaborate and beautiful holiday décor. With so many wonderful musical and theatrical performances paying tribute to the merry time of year, WETA narrows down the top five!

Use the WETA Guide to Christmas map to plan out your DC holiday extravaganza! 

Looking for special holiday events? Check out the WETA Community Calendar for the best events in town! 

The WETA Guide to Christmas


9:30am - WETA Guide to Unusual Attractions

Take a tour of some of Greater Washington's most unique attractions, from mysterious gargoyles at Washington National Cathedral, to a Bavarian style beer hall and medical anomalies at the National Museum of Health and Medicine. See the Washington DC area’s most unusual and fascinating attractions without having to bundle up, fight the traffic, and face the cold weather.

Loving these one-of-a-kind attractions? Check out the WETA Guide to Unusual Attractions map to schedule your next adventure! 


10:00am - WETA Guide to More Unusual Attractions

This documentary uncovers more of Greater Washington’s lesser-known landmarks and destinations. A companion piece to the previous show, Unusual Attractions, this show explores 18 local hidden wonders from Dinosaur Land to "The Awakening" and beyond! There’s no better way to see the local area with friends and family during this holiday.

Do something new! Visit  these extraordinary places using the WETA Guide to More Unusual Attractions map! 


10:30am - WETA All Access: Metro

Transporting hundreds of thousands of residents, commuters and tourists each day from 5:00am until the” last train out” the Washington, DC subway system, Metro Rail, must ensure that each and every commute runs as smoothly as possible. Learn the history of DC train system, the challenges it faces, and the reasons behind the architecture. Appreciate the complexity involved in maintaining safety aboard Metro trains and buses, and also within the stations.

So you think you’re Metro savvy? Which Red Line station has the longest single-span uninterrupted escalator in the Western Hemisphere? Test your Metro knowledge and learn some great facts about Washington's Metro with this downloadable crossword puzzle.


11:00am - WETA All Access: National Aquarium

Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the National Aquarium in Baltimore to observe a typical day in the life of the institution's staff, volunteers, and more than 16,500 creatures, from crocodiles' breakfast to shark check-ups. Don’t bother with traffic up I-95, join us here on WETA to enjoy the best of the National Aquarium in a way you’d never get a chance while visiting.


11:30am - WETA All Access: The FBI Academy

The Federal Bureau of Investigation was established in 1908 and it employees more than 30,000 employees around the globe. The FBI's mission is to protect and defend the U.S. against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats and to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States. Follow the a class of candidates from day one through graduation at the FBI training center on the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia. Go behind the scenes with the candidates as they undergo testing and rigorous training and find out what it takes to become a FBI agent for the nation's top law enforcement agency.

WETA All Access takes you even further behind the scenes with a bonus five-minute segment about the FBI's forensic science laboratory! 


12:00pm - WETA All Access: Union Station

Union Station can be considered the heart and hub of Washington, DC. For many travelers, business people and tourists, Union Station is the first glance at the nation’s capitol. Through the years, Union Station has welcomed royalty, rock stars, and millions of every day travelers. Before the retail shops and restaurants lining the halls, there was a private entrance and designated areas for guests and travelers - from presidents to celebrities.


12:30pm - WETA All Access: Washington National Cathedral

Located at the top of Mount St. Alban in Northwest DC, Washington National Cathedral is the sixth largest cathedral in the world and the second largest in the United States. The Cathedral was completed in 1990, 83 years to the day after it was begun. Explore the story of this grand, gothic church, its intriguing architectural and artistic flourishes, and the daily rituals — from morning chapel to evensong — that make Washington National Cathedral a very special place for visitor and worshiper alike. 

WETA All Access: Washington National Cathedral


1:00pm - WETA Guide to Great Views

Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia are known for their beautiful landscapes and imagery. In this local documentary, see the views and vistas that make Washington one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Find out where the best 360-degree views are, which natural vistas are located nearby, and where to go for great sunset spots.

Utilize this map to visit all the best spots while your family and friends are in town! 

Also, download beautiful, high-quality images for your computer and tablet here! 

The WETA Guide to Great Views


1:30pm - WETA Guide to Memorials

Take an inspiring tour of the many military, war, and presidential memorials of Greater Washington. Visit sculptures, statues and buildings located nearby that memorialize individuals, events, and Americans' service to their country. Also be sure to see the newer memorials in our WETA Around Town videos below: Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial and the The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial.

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial

The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial


2:00pm - WETA Guide to Neighborhood Eats

It’s the holiday season so taking out-of-towners to the best restaurants in the area might be a tough one, so tune-in for a one-hour visit to dozens of hotspot eateries and landmark restaurants throughout the area. Among the places you'll get to see are DC's Eastern Market, Arlington's Lost Dog Cafe, Rockville's Cuban Corner, and Vienna's Sunflower Vegetarian restaurant.

See a full list of the features in this local documentary here, or you can download this pocket-guide so you can visit them when you’re on the go!

WETA Guide | Neighborhood Eats


3:00pm - WETA Guide to Fine Dining

As Neighborhood Eats gave you the best small local foods, explore the crème de la crème of Washington area establishments for the fancier moments in town. Sample their offerings and their atmosphere in this hour-long production, The WETA Guide to Fine Dining. This show offers a lively, mouth-watering tour as the area's top chefs showcase some of their astonishing creations and explain their philosophies on food.

Check out the full list of restaurants here! 


4:00pm - Washington in the ‘60s

We’ve shown you the sights to see and the food to eat, now join WETA as we examine the people and events of the dramatic decade that changed our city, Washington, DC forever. This one-hour documentary looks at the political, social, and cultural events that shaped the history of the Washington area. Two time Emmy winning documentary, Washington in the ‘60s is a one of a kind narrated by Connie Chung.

Go to the WETA website here for loads of extras including photos, music, bonus clips and of course, a place for you the viewer to share your memories from this decade.

Washington in the 60s


5:00pm - Washington in the ‘70s

Stay locked in to WETA for a flash back to Washington in the 1970s, a decade that began under a cloud of war, riots, and division and ended with a feeling of promise, calm, and relative harmony. This local documentary charts the District's rise from the ashes of the 1968 riots to its emergence as a world-class city, featuring first-hand accounts from those who shaped the events of the time.

We know you’ll want the soundtrack to this show so head over to to see the list of songs used in this film along with featured events and an invitation to share your memories from this momentous time in history. 

Washington in the '70s


WETA TV26 logoCategory:TV26

Holiday TV Shows All Month Long | December Holiday Programming

There’s something magical about December in DC: Monuments towering in the grey, snow-flecked sky; holiday lights lining the busy streets; and a frozen glaze over the Potomac River. What’s more, WETA TV26 and WETA HD are delivering musical, traditional, and local holiday shows straight to your home all month long! The hustle and bustle of the season may still haunt you like the Ghost of Christmas Past but WETA hopes to bring your tidings of comfort and joy this holiday season.

The National Christmas Tree Lighting

Tickets to this event are sparse but no need to fret because WETA Presents The National Christmas Tree Lighting December 7!  Celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, well-known entertainers and the United States Military Band will perform and the President will deliver a holiday message of peace to all. Watch the statuesque National Christmas Tree, along with 56 smaller trees (representing the 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia) as they are magically lit and illuminate the White House. Check out this interactive Christmas Tree Lighting timeline!

Watch The National Christmas Tree Lighting on Friday, December 7 at 9:00pm on WETA TV26 and WETA HD.

National Christmas Tree Lighting 2012


Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: King Singers

Through the years, audiences have been enchanted by the melodious sounds of the 

Mormon Tabernacle choir and this year, we invite you to join us for Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle: King Singers. The King’s Singers is a vocal group highly sought-after worldwide and they’re right here on WETA for you to enjoy this holiday season. The program features holiday songs from the past and present as dancers accompany the harmonious and inspirational singing for a perfect Christmas experience.

Watch Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: King Singers on Sunday, December 16 at 7:00pm on WETA TV26 and WETA HD.   


Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Jane Seymour & Nathan Gunn

British actress Jane Seymour and Opera singer Nathan Gunn join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City for this holiday event. Listen to the season’s most-loved songs at this annual concert, attracting thousands to Temple Square each December. As usual, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir showcases a perfect pairing of classical holiday songs and modern Christmas tunes.

Watch Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Jane Seymour & Nathan Gunn on Monday, December 17 at 10:00pm on WETA TV26 and WETA HD.

Christmas With The Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Jane Seymour And Nathan Gunn


WETA Guide to Christmas

Let WETA TV be your guide to Christmas in DC! In the one-hour special, the WETA Guide to Christmas, WETA TV presents an enticing list of ideas of how Washingtonians and visitors can celebrate the holiday season well before Santa slides down the chimney. What makes the

 holidays so much brighter in the nation’s capital? Get the inside scoop on Christmas festivities, activities, and traditions specific to the Washington area. Let us do the investigating, so you can enjoy every moment. We’ll tell you where the best neighborhood light displays are that will bring out the child in anyone. Explore historic locations and iconic destinations with the most elaborate and beautiful holiday décor.  And what would the holiday season be without taking some time to help those in need? We’ll highlight organizations, people, and volunteer opportunities tailored toward this time of giving right in your own backyard.

Watch WETA Guide to Christmas on WETA TV26 and WETA HD at the following dates and times below:

Tuesday, December 18 at 5:00pm

Wednesday, December 19 at 8:00pm

Thursday, December 20 at 2:00pm

Sunday, December 23 at 1:30pm

Monday, December 24 at 8:30am

The WETA Guide to Christmas


Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Natalie Cole

Multi-faceted singer Natalie Cole has tackled R&B, jazz, and pop, and now she takes the stage with the Mormon Tabernacle choir where she will headline the event, Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Natalie Cole. Natalie Cole’s signature vocal style fused with the sounds of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir-who annually perform for over 85,000 audience members-will surely put you in the Christmas spirit.

Watch Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Natalie Cole on Monday, December 24 at 9:00pm on WETA TV26 and WETA HD.                          

Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Natalie Cole


Christmas at Luther: Tidings of Comfort and Joy

Straight from the state of Iowa, the highly talented choirs of Luther College bring you an 

unforgettable holiday concert with 500 choir members, complete with a symphony orchestra. Thousands line up each year to be part of the audience privileged enough to be exposed to the musical and vocal talents of Luther College’s world-renowned musicians. Give yourself the gift of sweet music this year, as the Luther College choir celebrates another year performing their traditional Christmas concert.

Watch Christmas at Luther: Tidings of Comfort and Joy on Monday, December 24 at 10:00pm on WETA TV26 and WETA HD.


Christmas on Christmas! 

Only on WETA, enjoy children’s Christmas programs and musical performances featuring world-renowned choirs, orchestras and singers alike all day long on December 25, Christmas Day.  Sustain that warm, jolly feeling with WETA’s Christmas programming.

Tuesday, December 25 from 7:30am to 6:00pm on WETA TV26 and WETA HD.


7:00am             Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas

8:00am             Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas!

9:00am             Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Brian Stokes Mitchell & Edward Herman

10:00am          Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: David Archuleta & Michael York

11:00am          Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Natalie Cole

12:00pm          Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Jane Seymour & Nathan Gunn

1:00pm            Christmas at St. Olaf  

2:00pm            Christmas at Belmont

3:00pm            Christmas at Luther: Tidings of Comfort & Joy

4:00pm            WETA Guide to Christmas

5:00pm            Lidia Celebrates: Holiday Tables & Traditions

WETA TV26 logoCategory:TV26

DC, MD, VA Events: WETA Around Town November 30 – December 2

Looking for something to do this weekend in DC, Maryland, and Virginia? Check out our selection of festive events right in your own backyard!


Holidays in Historic Downtown Frederick

Naturally the holidays are an historic time, so it makes sense to celebrate them in an historic place.  Visit Downtown Frederick for your new local holiday traditions. 

Start the weekend off at the Scents & Sweets Competition & Auction with a chance to 

vote on your favorite floral arrangements and gingerbread creations, all locally made.  Place bids on themed wreaths, trees, and stockings submitted by Frederick-based artists, businesses, and community groups.  If nothing else, it’s a great opportunity to sample sweets from local bakeries with a cup of hot chocolate or cider in hand.

Need even more holiday cheer in your weekend? Downtown Frederick has also organized a Festival of Lights at the City Hall Courtyard and a Candlelight House Tour of private homes in the historic district.

Scents & Sweets Competition & Auction: Thursday, 5:30pm

Festival of Lights: Friday, 7pm

Candlelight House Tour: Saturday, 5-9pm; Sunday, 12pm-4pm

Cultural Arts Center

15 W. Patrick Street, Frederick, Maryland

Cost: Free for Scents & Sweets; and Festival of Lights;

$20 in advance/$25 weekend of Candlelight House Tour

Click here for more information!


Merry Christmas in another language!

Get a taste of Spanish holiday music with ¡FELIZ NAVIDAD!, a medley of carols from various Hispanic cultures performed by Voce Chamber Singers.  Listen to songs from Argentina, the Caribbean, Spain, Meso-America, and the Southwestern United States.  For that extra feel-good factor, local elementary school children will be accompanying the carols on various percussion instruments.   

Friday, 7:30pm

St. John Neumann Church

11900 Lawyers Road, Reston, Virginia

Saturday, 7:30pm

St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church

432 Van Buren Street, Herndon, Virginia

Cost: Adult $23, Senior (65+) $18, Youth (24 + Under) $8

Click here for more information!


Select films opening Friday:

Killing Them Softly (R)

Three dumb guys who think they’re smart rob a Mob protected card game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse. Brad Pitt plays the enforcer hired to track them down and restore order.  KILLING THEM SOFTLY also features Richard Jenkins (THE VISITOR), James Gandolfini (“The Sopranos”), Ray Liotta (NARC), Scoot McNairy (MONSTERS), Ben Mendelsohn (ANIMAL KINGDOM), and Vincent Curatola (“The Sopranos”).

Killing Them Softly (Official Trailer)


The Collection        (R)

From the writing-directing team Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton (SAW IV, V and VI) comes THE COLLECTION.  This suspense horror film stars Josh Stewart (THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, THE COLLECTOR), Emma Fitzpatrick (THE SOCIAL NETWORK) and Christopher McDonald (“Boardwalk Empire,” REQUIEM FOR A DREAM).  The film centers on a traumatized man forced to help rescue a beautiful woman who has become the latest obsession of a crazed killer who “collects” humans in a booby-trapped house of horrors.

THE COLLECTION | Official Trailer


The Waiting Room (NR)

This documentary was filmed in 24 hours at Highland Hospital in Oakland, CA, where uninsured patients needing medical attention come to the ER of the nearly-overwhelmed hospital and wait to be seen.  241 patients in 24 hours.  The film shows, with unusually candid access, the inner workings of an ER close to the breaking point.  Winner of both the Audience and Jury Prizes for Best Documentary at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Directed by Peter Nicks.

Watch the trailer here!


Last Chance!

From The National Geographic Image Collection: Photographs of Social Life in Washington DC, 1900-1960 at Carroll Square Gallery closes Friday at 6pm.

WETA Around Town | Photographs of Social Life