I don’t often pay attention to the ads that run across my Facebook feed. Photos of my friends and their families? Yes! Travel pictures and content from my fellow writers? Also yes! Political rants? Sadly, yes. But ads? Rarely. However, one seemed to appear regularly, and got me to click. It was for a mystery picnic, a scavenger hunt of sorts that led to picnic ingredients and, according to the ad, a pretty place to eat it. I was intrigued.

As you know, I’ve been fascinated with pandemic-appropriate activities, almost to an obsession. Close to forty travel-themed date nights, a myriad of hikes, scenic drives, and more… all of these have been part of my Covid experience, and yours here on The Royal Tour. So a mystery picnic seemed right up my alley.

While AmazingCo, the Australian company behind the mystery picnic concept, started these in their home country before the pandemic, their popularity increased drastically as social distancing became the norm. I reached out and asked them about the concept, and their answer won me over.

“Our mission is to give everyone the opportunity to discover the world around them in interesting and unexpected ways, while building genuine connections that enrich their lives. It’s always been about creating opportunities for quality time with the people we love in our communities.

“In a time when digital addiction is leading to a lack of human connection, we embrace the best of technology to make your real-world experiences even better. We’ve made it easy to discover something new about a place you love. Learn something new about an old friend. Or explore a new destination entirely. More than ever before, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of spending quality time with loved ones and supporting our communities.”

I mean, wow, right? That’s a mission I can get behind. Add to it a seemingly fun afternoon of solving clues to locate yummy food, and I happily booked my experience. AmazingCo has experiences like this in a bunch of cities, and here in Los Angeles, in several different neighborhoods. I chose Pasadena, one of my personal favorites.

Pasadena City Hall… just stunning!

I got my first clue a couple of days prior to my booked experience; the Thanksgiving holiday was between, so that accounted for an earlier link than the promised 24 hours. It included some information about the mystery picnic itself (like a suggested place to park) as well as some fun facts about Pasadena. In fact, as I solved each clue, the “guide” not only led me to my next stop, but also contained information about the places around me. While it could be more in-depth for my own personal taste, it was a lovely touch.

The old Pasadena train station

All in all, there were five clues leading to my five stops – three for food items, one for a photo op at a beautiful place, and one to eat my picnic. The clues ranged from incredibly easy to slightly more challenging, although all had hints if needed, and a “reveal” button to make sure I got the answer right. So even if one’s knowledge base of golden age Hollywood stars is a bit incomplete (see below), you can still get the answer and backfill if needed.

A clue

My food items took about ten minutes at each stop to prepare (while AmazingCo works around dietary restrictions, the orders are already placed for you). Combined with a walking route of just under two miles, it was about two hours from start to picnic, although I cheated a bit and ate the first food item at the next stop, the photo op. (I am being deliberately vague here, as anyone choosing to book the Pasadena mystery picnic might end up at the same places, and I don’t want to spoil anything.)

Some awesome hummus, one of my picnic items

A mystery picnic starts at $45 per person, though there is also a “premium” version for a bit more. My guess is that I got $25 or so of food per person (probably a bit more including tax and tip, which are already taken care of), and a few hours of fun. So while not cheap, it is certainly not a bad deal. And for me, all three food locations were new, which is a ton of fun. (And all the food items were delicious!)

All in all, I enjoyed my experience thoroughly, and would consider doing it again in a different neighborhood here in LA, or as a way to experience a new city on a trip. But even more than my own personal enjoyment, I am thrilled that a company is out there creating experiences like this. So if you’re looking for a cute day in the sun, solving some clues and eating a nice picnic lunch, this might be something fun for you!

Thank you to AmazingCo for hosting my experience!

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