It's the most wonderful time of the year, and you know what that means – lots of festive specials, fun new shows and plenty for all the family to be entertained with.


Let's face it, board games and present opening aren't always enough to keep the smaller members of the family engaged throughout the Christmas period - so it's a good thing, then, that the TV schedules have you covered.

We're talking star-studded animations like Mog's Christmas, traditional hand-drawn shows based on well-known illustrator Quentin Blake's stories, and, of course, lest we forget this year's festive special of Doctor Who that should be a hoot for all the family.

Keen to know just exactly what will be airing? Read on to find out about the best Christmas TV for kids this year.

Quentin Blake's Box of Treasures

Adrian Lester, Simon Pegg, Alison Steadman, Nina Sosanya standing together, alongside Quentin Blake drawings
Quentin Blake's Box of Treasures. BBC/Eagle Eye Drama ,Charlie Clift

This festive treat of an animation remains faithful to Blake's original illustration style, which will undoubtedly be pleasing to any adults watching along with the kids this year.

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The new slate of adventures kicks off in early December, narrated by Adrian Lester (Trigger Point) and featuring the likes of Alison Steadman (Gavin & Stacey), Simon Pegg (Mission: Impossible) and Nina Sosanya (Good Omens).

As well as providing some nostalgic animation, the new series will include different stories focusing on everything from adventure to family, sure to be much fun for the festive period.

Quentin Blake's Box of Treasures is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

The Santa Clauses season 2

Tim Allen as Santa Claus and Elizabeth Mitchell as Mrs Claus in The Santa Clauses season 2 looking at each other in tartan clothing
Tim Allen as Santa Claus and Elizabeth Mitchell as Mrs Claus in The Santa Clauses season 2. Disney/James Clark

Now, if you're making your way through your festive film list, chances are that you've watched The Santa Clause film series. Well, after the success of season 1 of the spin-off show, The Santa Clauses is back for another season - with all episodes now available to binge watch on Disney Plus.

Once again, Tim Allen reprises his role as the white-bearded Santa Claus, but this time around, he turns his attention to training his son Calvin to take over the family business of being Santa. It's sure to be just the thing to bring a heavy dose of festive spirit, as well as lots of laughs as typical Christmas chaos ensues.

The Santa Clauses season 2 is available to stream on Disney Plus.

The Famous Five

Dianna Babnicova (George), Flora Jacoby Richardson (Anne), Kit Rakusen (Dick), Elliott Rose, (Julian), Kip (Timmy the Dog) in The Famous Five looking at a diver on a beach
The Famous Five. BBC/James Pardon

This new BBC series brings one of Enid Blyton's many adventures to life, this time being led by a cast of rising talent as five daring young explorers: Siblings Julian (Elliott Rose), Dick (Kit Rakusen) and Anne (Flora Jacoby Richardson), their cousin George (Diaana Babnicova) and Timmy the Dog.

The show follows them as they encounter "treacherous, action-packed adventures, remarkable mysteries, unparalleled danger and astounding secrets", according to the synopsis. But, of course, they are set to have the most magical summer of their lives, making for a series that will be a joy to watch for all.

The Famous Five premieres on Saturday 9th December at 5:25pm on CBBC.

CBeebies Panto: Robin Hood

Queen Tumblebee the Bee (Justin Fletcher), Robin Hood (Rhys Stephenson), Marian (Maddie Moate), Sheriff (Jennie Dale) in Cbeebies Panto Robin Hood.
CBeebies Panto: Robin Hood. BBC,Kieron McCarron

It wouldn't quite be Christmas without some form of pantomime now, would it? Well, if you're unable to make it to a theatre, CBeebies has you covered this year with a version of Robin Hood.

The production sees Robin Hood and his Merry Band spring into action to protect their beloved home when the Sheriff of Nottingham constructs an evil plan to destroy Sherwood Forest and build her own mega mansion. And it wouldn't be a fun-filled panto without meeting some hilarious characters along the way, and there are plenty in this version, with the entire pantomime featuring a star-studded cast of CBeebies presenters and on-screen talent.

CBeebies Panto: Robin Hood will air on Saturday 9th December on CBeebies at 9:25am.

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget

Bunty (Imelda Staunton), Mac (Lynn Ferguson), Rocky (Zachary Levi), Molly (Bella Ramsey), Ginger (Thandiwe Newton), Fowler (David Bradley), and Babs (Jane Horrocks) in Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget.
Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget. Netflix

After the original movie came out a staggering 23 years ago, there's a fair chance that many kids may not be aware of how long many of us have had to wait for this sequel.

Well, this movie sees the newly freed chickens enjoying life on an island of their own until Ginger (Thandiwe Newton) and Rocky's (Zachary Levi) daughter, Molly (Bella Ramsey), runs away and finds herself trapped in Mrs Tweedy's (Miranda Richardson) high-security nugget factory.

The stop-motion animation is once again set to provide many laughs, but with a new cast that includes Romesh Ranganathan, Nick Mohammed and David Bradley, as well as returning Jane Horrocks, Lynn Ferguson and Imelda Staunton.

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget is available to stream on Netflix from 15th December.

Mog's Christmas

Mog's Christmas key art, showing a family looking at Mog the cat
Mog's Christmas. Channel 4

Channel 4 is bringing us a family animation this Christmas that is set to warm the hearts of all the family and keep any little ones entertained on Christmas Eve. The adaptation of Judith Kerr’s much-loved classic children’s book sees Mr and Mrs Thomas and their children Debbie and Nicky busy making preparations for Christmas.

Feeling left out, their pet cat Mog finds themselves on the roof of the house, but has a magical night in the snow. Yet the real question is, will Mog return to the house in time for Christmas Day? The cast for this one-off special is a starry one that includes Adjoa Andoh, Claire Foy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Miriam Margolyes, Maggie Steed and Zawe Ashton, plus more.

Mog's Christmas will air on Channel 4 at 7:45pm on Christmas Eve.

The Heist Before Christmas

James Nesbitt as The Bank Robber, Timothy Spall as Santa Claus, Bamber Todd as Mikey and Joshua McLees as Sean in The Heist Before Christmas in a forest
The Heist Before Christmas. Sky

An unlikely Christmas tale, this new Sky movie stars James Nesbitt and Timothy Spall as two versions of Santa – but one of them is no more than a bank robber in disguise. The new film follows 12-year-old Mikey (Bamber Todd) as he becomes increasingly disillusioned with Christmas but crosses paths - along with his brother Sean (Joshua McLees) - with the two Santa Clauses who may just change his mind.

The Heist Before Christmas will premiere on Sky Max and NOW at 8pm on Christmas Eve.

Tabby McTat

Two animated cats lying next to each other under a Christmas tree in Tabby McTat, with kittens asleep around them.
Tabby McTat.

For that time of day where you're either nursing a full stomach or preparing for a later Christmas dinner, Tabby McTat will keep the children entertained on the big day. The new animation tells the story of the warm and wonderful friendship between musical cat Tabby (Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísú) and a talented busker called Fred (Rob Brydon). Narrated by Jodie Whittaker, this adaptation is based on the massively popular picture book of the same name written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

Tabby McTat will air on BBC One and iPlayer at 2:35pm on Christmas Day.

Doctor Who

Millie Gibson as Ruby and Ncuti Gatwa and The Doctor looking at one another in the Doctor Who Christmas special.
Doctor Who Christmas Special 2023. Lara Cornell/BBC Studios/Bad Wolf

While the tail end of this year has been a rather exciting time for Doctor Who fans young and old, there's still one more 2023 treat in store for Whovians. The festive special, entitled The Church on Ruby Road, remains under wraps for now, but will properly introduce Ncuti Gatwa's Fifteenth Doctor and his new companion, Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson).

We're set to explore more of Ruby's backstory in the appropriately named Christmas special, which will also star Davina McCall as herself, It's a Sin's Michelle Greenidge as Ruby’s mum Carla, EastEnders' Angela Wynter as Ruby’s grandmother Cherry and Anita Dobson as Mrs Flood.

Doctor Who Holiday Special: The Church on Ruby Road will air on BBC One (in the UK) at 5:55pm on Christmas Day. The special will land on Disney Plus internationally.

Looking for something to watch? Visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.


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