99 Unique Elf on the Shelf Hiding Ideas for Your Apartment

Over the years, Elf on the Shelf has become an increasingly popular tradition for parents to do with their kids. On the one hand, it's really fun to see how kids react to the new hiding spot or mischief of the elf each day. And on the other hand, it can be hard to find something new for the elf to do that the kids haven't seen before.

Some elves make their debut the day after Thanksgiving. Others don't show their face until December. Even so, that's still 24 days of creativity.

Here are a few Elf on the Shelf hiding ideas to get you through the holidays that are easy to pull off in an apartment.

1. The Elf drops in from the North Pole

A couple of helium balloons help your elf's arrival go off without a hitch.

Photo courtesy of Melisa Raney

2. Hot chocolate hot tub

Hot hot hot … hot chocolate!

Source: raininghotcoupons.com

3. TP tower Elf

Bathroom? Check. Toilet paper? Check.

Source: Pinterest

4. Climber Elf

Just don't look down…

Source: Pinterest

5. Elf rollercoaster


Source: Instagram

6. King Elf

The elf takes the Iron Throne.

Source: seemomclick.com

7. Bow attack!

This one is easy to pull off in an apartment. The bows won't leave marks behind so you don't have to worry about losing your deposit over elf misbehavior.

Source: Pinterest

8. Sleepover in socks!

It's a par-tay!

Source: Pinterest

9. The sick Elf

This move usually buys you a few days of not moving the elf because he's just too sick to move! [Insert evil mom laugh]

Photo courtesy of Melisa Raney

10. Sprinkle angel

We really like this one because the baking sheet keeps the elf's mess contained.

Source: Pinterest

11. Marshmallow roasting (with a flameless candle)

Who doesn't love a good campfire?

Photo courtesy of Melisa Raney

12. Damsel in distress

He's holding out for a hero.

Source: fancyshanty.com

13. Utilize your car!

If you're running low on places to hide the elf around your apartment, move him outside to your car. There are so many places to hide!

Source: acraftyfox.blogspot.com

14. Elf in a jar

Because the elf is a jar, your kids can get away with "touching" the elf without him losing his magic. It's a good way to let your kids show the elf around your home and ride to and from school.

Source: mamacheaps.com

15. Cookie time

Have your elf deliver baking supplies to make cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve! This is perfect for a day or two before Christmas.

Photo courtesy of Melisa Raney

16. Frosty the SnowElf

Add a corncob pipe and a button nose and you've got yourself a snowman regardless of the weather.

Source: Elf on the Shelf

17. Minions

Who doesn't love the yellow henchmen? Elf sure does!

Source: Pinterest

18. Orange juice with breakfast, please!

You may not have time to make fresh-squeezed orange juice in the morning, but Elf has enough time!

Source: Laughtard

19. Snowflake mania

Elf loves crafting and making unique snowflakes.

Source: Snowman Crafts

20. Sack races

It may be too cold outside for sack races, but that won't stop the Elf!

Source: Pinterest

21. Snap, Crackle and Pop Elf

Elf loves this marshmallow Rice Krispies treat as much as the next person.

Source: Lovebugs and Postcards

22. Game night

Nothing like a family game of Twister for some family bonding time.

Source: USA Today

23. Gym session

With all the sweets and treats of the holiday season, Elf is taking time for exercise.

Source: The Clickin Moms Blog

24. Inside the wreath

Elf wants some fresh air, so let him rest on the wreath.

Source: Come Together Kids

25. Spiderman traps Elf

Elf obviously does not have spidey-senses as he's been trapped by Spiderman in a web.

Source: Brighter

26. Bandit Elf

Elf was a little tight for cash around the holidays, so he's sneaking some spare change out of the piggy bank.

Source: Daddy By Day

27. Gone fishin'

Elf is very active and loves to go(ld) fish.

Source: Country Living

28. Tightrope Elf

Elf has excellent balance as he scales his way across the tightrope.

Source: Pinterest

29. Rock climbing

Elf has the ability to scale walls — whether they are painted walls or brick, he can scale them all!

Source: Pinterest

30. Yoga

Elves need to stay healthy and flexible so they can have the energy to keep doing their pranks!


31. Locked outside

Maybe the elf being locked outside isn't such a bad thing… the house is much cleaner!

Source: Smart School House

32. Potty training

At least he's leaving a mess in the toilet and not somewhere else.

Source: Pinterest

33. Growing pains

“You look quite a bit taller since the last time I saw you… wasn't that yesterday?"

Source: Pinterest

34. Elf plays with the copy machine

Now you have proof of what the elf was up to!

Source: Simple As That

35. Cleaning out the couch

This time, the elf decided to help us out by doing some deep cleaning. Or, maybe he just did it for the couch change — finders, keepers!

Source: Pinterest

36. Elf's travels

Clearly, this elf didn't read about Gulliver, or else he might have seen this coming.

Source: Motley News

37. Hot air balloon ride

Up, up and away!

Source: Pinterest

38. Indoor camping

There's nothing like the great indoors — no bugs, great temperature and indoor plumbing is just down the hall!

Source: The Creek Line House

39. Secret agent elf

Santa gave his elf a secret mission and this elf intends to complete it.

Source: Pinterest

40. Feeding ducks

Let elf enjoy a relaxing afternoon at the pond with his new ducky friends!

Source: Frugal Coupon Living

41. DJ elf

This elf likes to party — but he does it quietly, so he doesn't wake anyone up!

Source: Pinterest

42. A Christmas Story

Unlike Ralphie, this elf actually likes the pajamas Aunt Clara sent.

Source: Pinterest

43. Toilet prank

Jim Halpert would be proud of the work this elf is doing around the house.

Source: Lovebugs and Postcards

44. Snowball fight

Elf and the other toys like to have fun together — even if it makes a little bit of a mess!

Source: Pinterest

45. Darth Vader uses the force

“Elf… I am your father."

Source: Nerdy Mamma

46. Mechanic

Elves are really good at fixing things — especially motors that never ran in the first place.

Source: Pinterest

47. Bath time

Rub-a-dub-dub, there's an elf in the tub.

Source: Pinterest

48. A quick round of pool

Don't be fooled — this little guy can take on even the best pool players.

Source: Jessie Daye

49. The Greatest Showman

Step right up! Come see this elf in action as he clowns around and shows off his talented animals.

Source: Pinterest

50. Massage

After all of the holiday shenanigans, this Elf on the Shelf has been hiding a lot and needs a little bit of rest and relaxation.

Source: Pinterest

51. A day on the golf course

Let's see if our elf friend can get a hole in one!

Source: Pinterest

52. Drive in movie

Elf rolls up to the big screen with his crew of faithful friends. Screening today is a beloved Christmas classic!

Source: City Chic Living

53. Car wash

These elves decided to make sure everyone has clean cars for the holidays (and they're probably making a little extra cash in the process).

Source: The Keeper of the Cheerios

54. Replaced toilet paper

This mischievous elf took the toilet paper and replaced it with something a little less comfortable.

Source: The Pragmatic Parent

55. Reporting to Santa

Our elf lost track of time and had to let Santa know there would be a delay in his daily report. Now we have proof he's been communicating with good Saint Nick!

Source: Lil Boo Blue

56. Family photo prank

The Elf on the Shelf loves the family he spies on, but that won't stop him from pulling a prank and drawing funny things on photos.

Source: Mandy with Multiples

57. Elf goes to the moon

With a little bit of Santa's magic, this elf is taking a trip far, far away from the north pole.

Source: Pinterest

58. People's Sexiest Elf Alive award

When there's no other competition at your house for the "Sexiest Elf Alive" contest, your Elf on the Shelf is going to take advantage of the situation and award himself the honor.

Source: Mommy Evolution

59. Hula dancing

Even your elf wants a little break from the cold weather. He's taking a little vacation and learning how to dance in Hawaii!

Source: That's Country Living

60. Date with Barbie

Elves can fall in love, too! Plus, who can resist Barbie and a nice, sugary snack?

Source: Elf on the Shelf Ideas

61. Gymnastics

This year's summer Olympics inspired this elf and he's trying his hand at the uneven bars.

Source: Sarah Scoop

62. Jurassic adventure

Even though this elf always has a smile on his face, we know he's a little scared of the T-Rex chasing down his Jeep!

Source: Pinterest

63. Selfie time

Some elves like to take selfies — more formally known in the elf world as "elfies."

Source: Learning LiftOff

64. Wheel of Fortune

This elf has the chance to make some serious cash on a time-tested favorite TV show.

Source: Mommy Evolution

65. Surfing

This Elf on the Shelf is catching a wave with his favorite girl, Barbie — it looks like things are getting serious since their first date sipping syrup!

Source: Pinterest

66. Broken leg

Elves can get hurt, too! If kids have a messy room and you've told them to clean it time and time again, your elf can reinforce the message by letting the kiddos know that their room is dangerous for him!

Source: DIY Cuteness

67. Pool of sharks

The Elf on the Shelf is finding him in a bit of a scary situation — he's in a sink full of sharks!

Source: Pinterest

68. Walking the dogs

Talk about doing the most— this helper friend decided to stay out of mischief and help out by taking the dogs for a much-needed walk. Note: If you have a real pet, you can use them to help out with this one.

Source: Pinterest

69. Playing cards

Elf is having a good time playing a round of cards with his friends.

Source: Essex Live

70. Shaving

Apparently this elf can grow facial hair… but he wants to keep his face smooth and soft, so he's doing what anyone else with facial hair must do.

Source: A Small Snippet

71. Sledding down the banister

Grab a shoe and help your elf sled down the banister! Or if you want to get a little more creative, you can make an elf-sized sled from candy canes and construction paper.

Source: Inner Child Fun

72. Baking cookies

Use some cereal (like Fruit Loops or Cheerios) and frosting to showcase your elf's baking skills.

Source: I Heart Arts n Crafts

73. Spidey-elf

This elf is playing superhero for a day! He's got his Spiderman mask on and is hanging by his web (actually, just a piece of thread).

Source: M. Sullivan Photography

74. Christmas treehouse

Your elf has his own treehouse! Build one out of craft foam sheets or popsicle sticks and hang it in your Christmas tree.

Source: Pinterest

75. Roomba around the house

If you have a Roomba or other automatic vacuum that moves around the house, you might find that your elf has turned it into their automobile to get from room to room (while cleaning up the floor a bit).

Source: The Sleepless Mom

76. Ping pong

Challenge the elf to a ping-pong match and see who wins!

Source: Pinterest

77. Marshmallow golf

Because using a normal golf ball would be silly!

Source: Giggles Galore

78. Zen garden

Even elves need a little break from the stress of the holidays.

Source: Pinterest

79. Wrapping paper swing

Playground fun is for elves, too!

Source: Frugal Coupon Lady

80. Elf-sized ball pit

This ball pit is far more delicious than the human-sized ones — it's made of gumballs!

Source: Pinterest

81. Balloon bubble bath

Rub-a-dub-dub, there's an elf in the tub!

Source: Secrets of a Super Mom

82. Minecraft elf disguised as Santa

Santa, is that you? What happened to your head?!

Source: A Little Moore

83. Magic elf slime

As always, our elf friend is making more messes—but this one is a fun one!

Source: Little Bins for Little Hands

84. Stuck in the washing machine

Somehow, our elf got stuck with all of the clothes in the washing machine! How did that happen?

Source: Josh Wood TX

85. Kissing booth

These kisses are kid-approved and tasty!

Source: Living Locurto

86. Beach vacation

Don't forget the sunscreen!

Source: Biscuits 'n Crazy

87. Pool floaty

Just a relaxing day at the pool.

Source: Pinterest

88. Shrinking machine

It looks like elf stole a magic shrinking machine from the North Pole!

Source: Pinterest

89. Melted snowman

Oh no! Elf didn't realize the snowman would melt in the house!

Source: Pinterest

90. Space elf

These elves tried to join one of Elon Musk's space missions!

Source: Pinterest

91. Zoom meeting

Along with lots of other people, these elves are working remotely!

Source: Pinterest

92. Elf hacks tech devices

This elf has some mad tech-hacking skills!

Source: Bow and Rattle

93. Frozen

Elsa got a hold of our elf this time! Now is this a bad thing… or did it keep him out of other trouble?

Source: Pinterest

94. Movie night with elf

Watch your favorite Christmas movie with your elf and enjoy some sweet treats.

Source: Mom Wife Busy Life

95. Real life Candy Crush

Play your favorite game with elf — but in real life!

Source: Pinterest

96. Playing the drums

Don't worry — he won't play them loud enough to wake the kids!

Source: Prudent Penny Pincher

97. Stranger Things invasion

Stranger Things has escaped the big screen and come to haunt the elf!

Source: Madison Cypher

98. Portrait painter elf

Elves enjoy learning new skills, like painting portraits!

Source: Woman's Day

99. Make a rainbow

This elf is using Skittles to make a magic rainbow!

Source: Paging Fun Mums!

Get in this spirit with these Elf on the Shelf hiding ideas

Moving the elf is a beloved family tradition that children love. These Elf on the Shelf hiding ideas can help you keep the magic alive for your children during the holiday season.