Exploring a new city is an exhilarating experience, and there’s no better way to do it than on foot. Walking allows you to discover hidden treasures and experience the local vibe in a way that driving or taking public transport doesn’t. But sometimes, it can be challenging to know where to go, and that’s where a Mystery Picnic comes in.
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But First – What is a Mystery Picnic?
Mystery Picnics are a unique way to discover a new region while you solve clues and collect delicious picnic ingredients along the way. The final stop takes you to a picturesque location to enjoy your picnic.
Whether it’s a date, a group of friends, or a family outing, Mystery Picnics are the perfect way to create lasting memories. These experiences usually take around half a day, but it’s always nice to linger and soak in the atmosphere.
Our Mystery Picnic Experience
The first step to embarking on a Mystery Picnic adventure is to choose the right one for you. With a plethora of options available in many cities, it can be overwhelming to decide. Perhaps you would like to picnic in Notting Hill in London or Brooklyn in New York. You can explore Kitsilano in Vancouver or the Botanic Gardens in Christchurch – and many more places in between.
In my home city of Adelaide, for instance, there are around ten options to choose from. However, after considering the theme and timing, I decided on the “Spring Blossom City Side, Adelaide City” Mystery Picnic. Special picnics are often on offer at different times of the year.
The idea of a relaxed picnic under a beautiful wisteria arbour in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens was too alluring to resist. (Spoiler alert: that wasn’t where we ended up, but more on that later.)
The day before our picnic, I received an email with the first clue and a link to solve it. It’s a good idea to tackle this clue in advance so that you know where to start.
Unfortunately, we didn’t do this until just before we were about to begin, and we found that the starting point was a little further away than we expected. However, it wasn’t a significant issue, but we would have left a little earlier if we had known how far it was to walk from our hotel.
We decided to do the Mystery Picnic on foot since we were staying in the city centre. It turned out to be a long walking day, but we didn’t mind as we love to walk.
Walking is the best way to get the most out of the experience in the city, but it’s possible to do it by car too, as long as you’re prepared to deal with the parking situation. When deciding which picnic to do, each option will clearly state whether it is walkable or if a car will be needed.
I won’t give away all the locations we visited, but I can say that we saw plenty of spring blossoms in more than one location around the city. Unfortunately, the day was a little drizzly, but we managed to find a huge tree to picnic under at the end, which kept the rain off.
One of the great things about Mystery Picnics is that they can cater to dietary requirements and allergies. I requested a vegan picnic but noted that only one of us was vegan, so in a couple of locations, we were given different products to suit each of us.
At the various stops, we picked up food such as bread, cakes, drinks (juice), vegan cheese, crackers, dips, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, marinated mushrooms, and artichokes. There was so much food we couldn’t eat it all, and we kept the leftovers for a morning snack the next day.
We chose the all-inclusive picnic option, but you can also choose a premium option with an extra stop, a hot drink, and a special gourmet snack along the way. It’s also possible to include a bottle of red or white wine if you choose.
All in all, our Mystery Picnic took us four hours. We took our time as we walked, exploring parts of the city that we weren’t familiar with, taking small detours here and there to look at something interesting. We walked about 10 km during our picnic.
As we dined on the food we had picked up, we reminisced about our Mystery Picnic adventure. Even though we know the Adelaide city centre quite well, this allowed us to discover new parts we had not been to before.
We came across several new eateries that we can’t wait to revisit, and we explored parts of the city that we hadn’t seen in a while. We found some great street art and other points of interest. Even if you’re a local, this is an excellent way to spend an afternoon with your loved one, friends or family.
One handy tip: The instructions suggest bringing a pen and paper to solve the clues, but we had forgotten them. Nonetheless, you will need “something” to record your answers, and we found that our phones worked just fine. One of us would look at the clues while the other jotted down the responses.
If you’re stuck on a puzzle, don’t worry, as there are hints available, and if you’re completely stumped, the answer can be revealed. You won’t be left stranded in the middle of a scavenger hunt, unsure of where to go next.
More About Mystery Picnics
Mystery Picnics are available in over fifty cities worldwide, mainly in North America, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia.
If you’re thinking, “But what if I don’t want to go on a date?” you’re in luck, as Mystery Picnics are also designed for families (yes, children too!) or groups of friends. You can even extend your picnic in some locations to create an entire “Mystery Weekend.”
Mystery Picnics also make great corporate team-building experiences, with some of the world’s largest companies (like McDonald’s) utilising them for their employees.
Perhaps picnics aren’t your thing? Luckily, AmazingCo caters to a variety of tastes! There is a diverse range of experiences available, some of which are already offered, while others are coming soon. Keep an eye out for Secret Menu Tasters, Hen’s Nights, Murder Mystery Parties, and Mystery Food Walks. AmazingCo even caters to lockdowns with At-Home Dates and Sofa Sommelier experiences.
If you’re having trouble deciding which experience is best, pick up a gift card and let the recipient make the choice. A gift card is a perfect Christmas, birthday, or Valentine’s Day gift that’s sure to please.
TRAVEL PLANNING ESSENTIALS
Find flights – I always use Skyscanner as my starting point when searching for flights. One search will give many options including airlines I may not have thought of. This means I can find the best possible flights to suit my needs
Book accommodation – my go to is always Booking.com for the best places to stay. It’s not just hotels anymore, but hostels, apartments, B&Bs and more. I love that the bookings are usually cancellable, and that I can book now and pay later.
Hire a rental car – RentalCars.com is my go to here. It allows me to do just one search and it finds cars from many of the different supplies, so no checking multiple websites to compare.
Get travel insurance – you would have heard by now that saying “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel”. If we’ve learnt anything from the last couple of years it should be how essential travel insurance is. I use CoverMore for my insurance.
Pick up an eSIM – I tried an eSIM on my last trip and it was fantastic. I set it up before I went so it was ready as soon as I landed, and I still had access to my home number for emergencies. Get your own eSIM at Airalo.
Book activities, tours & attractions – I use a few different websites for this. Viator and Get Your Guide tend to be the first places I look. In Asia, Klook often has more options, and in Australia it’s Experience Oz.
Manage your money – the best way to manage your different currencies is with an account from Wise. You can hold money in many different currencies, and use them with the ATM card or from your phone.
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