As part of its monthly "Sundays at the Zoo" series, the National Zoo features an animal ornament-making workshop. The zoo provides clay, paper and other materials at three different working areas, where instructors will be on hand to help out. There'll also be Christmas films, including, "White Wilderness," "Babes in Toyland" and "Tiny Tree."

The following events are free unless otherwise noted.

NATIONAL ZOO -- Open daily; gates open from 8 to 6; animal buildings, 9 to 4:30. Elephant training demonstrations, 2; Sea lion training demonstrations, 11:30. Panda Hsing- Hsing is fed outdoors at 11, weather permitting; Panda Ling-Ling stays inside the Panda House, which is closed in the hopes she is pregnant. Family learning centers Zoolab and Birdlab open Friday through Sunday, noon to 3; Herplab open Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 3. Sunday, 1:30 to 3:30, make holiday ornaments and see Christmas films, Education Building. 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW (Rock Creek Park), on the Metro Red Line. 673-4717.

OXON HILL FARM -- Open daily, 8:30 to 5, Oxon Hill Road (take Beltway exit 3A, turn right on Oxon Hill Road). Saturday, 2, holiday hayride (reservations necessary); Sunday, 1:30 to 3:30, Santa, ornament-making demonstration, cider, wagon rides. 839-1177.

NATIONAL AQUARIUM -- Open daily, 9 to 5, Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW. Sunday, 1 to 3:30, create your own animal holiday ornament and watch a Christmas film. The sharks are fed Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 2; weekday features are a touch-tank, mini- theater and a thousand types of marine life. Adults $1; children 50 cents. 377-2825.

CAPITAL CHILDREN'S MUSEUM -- Daily, 10 to 5, 800 Third St. NE. Friday, 10:15; Saturday and Sunday, 1 and 2:30, "Pinocchio." A puppet production of the traditional story. Saturday and Sunday, museum hours, make a Christmas card. Admission $2; puppet show an additional $2.50. 543-8600.

DISCOVERY THEATER -- Tuesday-Friday, 10 and 11:30 a.m.; Saturday, 1 and 3, Discovery Theater, Arts and Industries Building, 900 Jefferson Dr. SW. Classic Stories, Enduring Tales: "Peter and the Wolf," shadow puppetry meets Prokofiev music; recommended for children in grades K-4. Adults $3; 12 and under, $2.50; group rates available. For more information and reservations, call 357-1500.

BALTIMORE AQUARIUM -- Friday, 7 to 9, Pier 3, 501 East Pratt St., Baltimore, Storytelling festival: "Tales of the Deep." Local masters spin tales of the mysteries of the sea. Advance registration required. 301/576-3830.

KENNEDY CENTER -- Friday 7:30; Saturday, 10:30 and 12:30; Sunday, 2; Theater Lab, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, "A Christmas Gift From Tomie de Paola," a commisioned play by children's author de Paola based on international folklore. Recommended for children nine through 13. Call 254-3600.

SESAME STREET LIVE -- Friday, 7:30; Saturday, 11 and 3; Sunday, 1 and 4:30, Patriot Center, George Mason University, 4400 University Dr., Fairfax, Va. A 90- minute stage show featuring Bert, Ernie and the rest of the gang who search for Big Bird who's run away from home. Tickets are $8.50 and up; available at TicketCenters or by calling 432-0200.

CHILDREN'S HOLIDAY PROGRAM -- Friday, 7:30 to 8:30, Deerfield Run Elementary School, Montpelier Drive and Rte. 197, South Laurel (off Baltimore- Washington Parkway), "Free to Be You and Me." A program of vignettes and music. 776- 2805.

CHILDREN'S RADIO THEATER -- Saturday, 8 a.m., WPFW 89.3 FM. Rebroadcasts from the Kennedy Center, Part 2: "It's a Dog's Life, Sidney" and "The Yankee and the Georgian Witch." Listeners can participate in a call-in following each program by calling 783-3104.

SATURDAY MORNNG AT THE NATIONAL -- Saturday, 9:30 and 11, Helen Hayes Gallery, National Theater. The Touchstone Theater performs "Comic Book Kid," a story set in a dream world where the Kid learns about true heroism. Reservations recommended. Call 783-3372, 24 hours a day.

DISCOVER THE GALLERY -- Saturday, 10 to 11:30, National Gallery of Art, Fourth and Constitution Avenue NW, "A Christmas Story." A program for families with children six to 12. See the film "Adoration of the Magi," based on an Italian painting by two Renaissance monks; a tour of Christmas paintings follows. Free, but advance registration required. 842-6249

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN ART -- Saturday, 10 to noon, Auditorium, 318 A St. NE. Photographer Constance Stuart Larrabee talks about photography and leads children eight years and older through the exhibit "Go Well, My Child," which combines her photos and the writings of Alan Paton. Bring your own photos for discussion. Pre-registration necessary. 287-3490, ext. 32.

PUPPET SHOW -- Saturday, 10 and 11, Ramsay Nature Center, 5700 Sanger Ave., Alexandria. Children eight and under can meet and talk with marionettes; Reservations necessary. 838-4829.

BRUNCH WITH SANTA -- Saturday, 10:30 to 1, Funshine Preschool, Arlington Church of the Brethren, 300 N. Montague St., Arlington. Children's songs, puppet show, Santa and bake sale. Adults $2; children $1; entire family $6. For reservations call 534- 2773.

OLD POST OFFICE -- Saturday, noon to 1, Pavilion, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Andrea the balloon sculptor; noon to 4, have your picture taken with Santa, $4. 289-4224.

ROUND HOUSE THEATER -- Saturday, 1 and 2:30, Round House Theater, 12210 Bushey Dr., Silver Spring (north on Connecticut, left on Randolph; make second left onto Bushey), "Talking Tales." Modern troubadour Jon Spelman offers riddles, games and tall tales; for kids five to 12. $3 per person. Advance purchase recommended. 468-4234.

CHILDREN'S PLANETARIUM -- Saturday and Sunday, 1 and 4, Rock Creek Nature Center, 5200 Glover Rd. NW. First show for children four to seven (must be accompanied by an adult); second show, "Comets: Omens or Dirty Snowballs?," for ages seven and up. No latecomers are admitted. 426-6829.

VISIT WITH SANTA -- Saturday, 1 to 4, Gulf Branch Nature Center, 3608 N. Military Rd., Arlington. See an antique train, warm yourself by a fire and meet with Santa about your Christmas list. 558-2340.

ADVENTURE THEATER -- Saturday and Sunday, 1:30 and 3:30, Adventure Theater, Glen Echo Park, Glen Echo. "Heidi," follow the adventures of a little orphan girl from her home in the Alps to the big city. $4, group rates available. 320-5331 weekdays and performance days from 10 to 2.

FAMILY FILMS -- Saturday, 1:30, Twinbrook Library, Veirs Mill Road and Meadow Hall Drive, Rockville. Two films for kids, "Riki- Tiki-Tavi" and "The Velveteen Rabbit." 279- 1980.

TOP OF THE WORLD -- Saturday, 2, World Trade Center, 27th Floor, East Pratt Street, Inner Harbor, Baltimore. Storyteller Fellisco Keeling; Sunday, 2, see a puppet production of "Creatures Great and Small." Adults $1; children five to 15, 75 cents; includes admission to observation deck for view of the city. 301/837-4515.

CHRISTMAS KIDDIE DISCO -- Saturday, 3 to 4, Foxtrappe, 1601 R St. NW, free food, dance contest, door prize, Santa. $5; proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald House. 445-2177.

CHILDREN'S PLAY -- Saturday, 7:30; Sunday, 2, Robinson Secondary School, 5035 Sideburn Rd., Fairfax, Va. "Don't Count Your Chickens Until They Cry Wolf," a performance by the Assembly Children's Theater. 323-8341.

WINTER WONDERLAND -- Sunday, 1 to 2:30 (for children three to six); 3:30 to 5 (for kids four to 10), Casey Community Center, 810 South Fredrick Ave., Gaithersburg. Children can meet Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph and have their pictures taken with Santa and his sleigh. $2 per child; non-county residents $3 plus a can of food. Tickets necessary. 840-1862.

BLUE SKY PUPPETS -- Sunday, 2, Rock Creek Nature Center, 5200 Glover Rd. NW, "Lights Out on the Bunny Brothers." A 45- minute presentation featuring singalong, music, puppet show and other entertainment relying on audience participation. 426-6829.

HANUKKAH HAPPENING -- Sunday, 2 to 4, George Mason Junior/Senior High School, (Rte. 7 and I-66), Falls Church, Va. Singer and storyteller Barry Louis Polisar; games and music. Adults $2; children $3.50. 323- 0880.

TINY TOTS CONCERT -- Sunday, 2, Annandale High School, 4700 Medford Dr., Annandale. A 45-minute concert for children; seasonal songs and an introduction to band instruments. 75 cents per person. 941-6622.