pancakes from the Elf on the Shelf holiday menu at IHOP

IHOP's Elf On The Shelf Holiday Menu Is Here & Flapjacks Have Never Been So Festive

If part of celebrating the holiday season means pulling the old Elf on the Shelf out of storage, then you're going to love this news from everyone's favorite breakfast chain. To help get customers in the mood, IHOP's Elf on the Shelf holiday menu is filled with all kinds of seasonally-inspired treats — and that's not all the restaurant has planned.

Each location will also have its very own elf, with patrons encouraged to discover where said elf is hiding on a daily basis (and of course, to be on the lookout for Elf shenanigans along the way). The Elf on the Shelf promotion, running now through Jan. 1, also means a selection of festive new holiday treats, and I even saved the best part for last: kids 12 and under will eat free! To officially kick things off, "Welcome Back" breakfast events will be held Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 for Scout Elf Return Week, when each family’s Scout Elf returns for the holidays.

While parents tend to have strong feelings about the Elf on the Shelf, and I must admit, we are not a mischievous elf celebrating family, you can't deny The Elf on the Shelf origin story is a sweet one, as per the Huffington Post. Based on her own family's childhood tradition, Carol Aebersold was inspired to write the story of her family's Scout Elf with her grown daughter, Chanda Bell. In the story, Scout Elves from the North Pole visit homes to help Santa know if kids are being naughty or nice, and a key part of the tradition is moving the elf around each day. Together with Aebersold's other daughter, Christa Pitts, they self-published The Elf on the Shelf book in 2005 after failing to find a publisher. The charming tale took off and the rest, as they say, is history! You gotta love a good mom and daughters success story, right?

Chanda Bell tells USA Today, “We hope that just as families enjoy celebrating The Elf on the Shelf tradition in their homes, they’ll equally experience the magic of the elves and their culinary talent at IHOP restaurants across the country this season."


So, a few more specifics about what you can expect from IHOP's festive new Elf on the Shelf menu: through Jan. 1, from 4 to 10 p.m., kids 12 and under receive a free entrée from the kids menu with purchase of an adult entrée when dining in at participating locations. On the menu, you'll find Jolly Cakes (four green pancakes topped with sweet cream cheese icing, whipped topping and shimmery elf sprinkles that resemble elf-sized ornaments); Oh What Funnel Cakes (two funnel cakes, lightly dusted with powdered sugar and topped with glazed strawberries, whipped topping and elf sprinkles); Holiday Ham and Sausage Omelette (an omelette loaded with diced ham, sausage, fire roasted peppers, onions, hash browns and cheese, then topped with more ham, sausage, cheddar cheese and cheese sauce, served with three pancakes or a choice of side); Merry Marshmallow Hot Chocolate (hot chocolate flavored with toasted marshmallow syrup and topped with whipped topping and elf sprinkles) and finally, Little Elves Combo (choice of one Jolly Cake topped with cream cheese icing, whipped topping and sprinkles or one Oh What Funnel Cake topped with powdered sugar, whipped topping and sprinkles with one scrambled egg, one bacon strip and one pork sausage link). Hungry yet?

RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images/Denver Post/Getty Images

I love that IHOP is getting all jolly and inviting families to take part in the magic of the holiday season while enjoying a yummy "breakfast for dinner" experience at the same time. If Elf on the Shelf is part of your family's yearly holiday tradition, you won't want to miss out on this special menu!