So established is Circle K that even brand-new vehicles recognize what its red-and-white logo stands for—fuel, snacks, and everything else a car might need to keep powering down the road with its driver. Circle K's story starts back in 1951, when Fred Hervey bought three Kay's Food Stores in El Paso, Texas. Under his guidance, these three little shops grew into the more than 3,000 convenience stores that crouch on our nation's street corners today.
After rolling up to a Circle K, drivers can pump their faithful roadsters full of high-octane fuel and send them skipping through a car wash to experience the cleansing touch of Blue Coral Beyond Green and Rain-X products. Then it's time to step inside the air-conditioned shop for a peek at the provisions. Rows of sodas hibernate behind glass doors, and snacks, candy, and their ATM guardians stand boldly out in the open. Some Circle Ks also offer the Take Away Café, which presents an appetizing lineup of healthy road fare including Ball Park hot dogs. Drivers can gear up for a long drive with Premium Coffees or enjoy a cold Polar Pop, whose specially formulated cup keeps drinks colder thanks to the family of tiny snowmen trapped in its foam walls.
At TG Farms Pumpkin Patch, autumn’s shifting breezes not only herald a fresh crop of gourds, but also the start of the farm’s annual festivities. From morning until nightfall, families traipse through the patch in search of a pumpkin that will transform into their dream jack-o’-lantern or a car for their children to take to college, and navigate the twists and turns of a massive corn maze. On a calm pond, ducks await generous handfuls of feed, and a petting zoo lets wee ones commune with calves and goats. Back under a roof, the gift shop hosts decorative gourds, straw bales, and other fall decor.
Although autumn is the season when activity reaches a fever pitch, TG Farms is open to outdoor enthusiasts year-round. In spring, visitors learn how crops grow in the fields and flowers bloom in greenhouses. When the sun strengthens into summer, farmers peddle homegrown tomatoes and juicy watermelon. And in winter, when the last leaves have frozen over, families can pick out a fresh-cut Christmas tree or collect a jar of fresh snowman tears.
With more than 9,000 square feet of unique booths and vendors, Showplace Market gifts vacant rooms and bodies with a virtually unlimited array of apparel, accessories, and furnishings. More than 80 businesses sit under Showplace Market's one roof, with prices ranging from $4.50 for a candle tin to $2,500 and up for handmade furniture pieces. Lovingly adopt orphaned home accessories at Rescue Furnishings, or teach fashion to style-devoid children thanks to Peek-A-Bootique. Meanwhile, fabric-seekers can hunt through women's accessories and gifts at Flaunt Fashion, and then immediately immortalize the experience by creating a scrapbook with scrapbooking materials from Among Friends. Feel free to take respite from the retail at Showplace Market's Book Nook or cafe, replete with cozy corners, plush furniture, java, holdable mugs, and snacks.
Learn To Brew was created by a professional brewer in an effort to provide patrons with a one-stop-shop for supplies, hands-on classes, and how-to videos for crafting beer and wine. In addition to taps and kegerators for homes or businesses, staff members stock ingredients such as hops, malts, and yeasts. In their classes, they cover everything from balancing acids for wine to fermenting honey for mead.
K.C. Lynn's is owned by Moore native Ken Spence, who fills cacao- and caffeine-fueled tummy tanks with handcrafted candies and fresh-roasted coffee drinks. Step up to the chocolate case to ogle hand-rolled truffles made with quality imported chocolate and available in flavors such as raspberry, turtle caramel, and peanut butter ($2). Or send a sweet tooth swooning by locking lips around white-chocolate pumpkin-pie bonbons ($1), hand-dipped chocolate strawberries ($1.50), or crunchy vanilla-macadamia-nut brittle ($1 per oz.). Those morally opposed to chewing can melt under the indulgent influence of a cup of hot cocoa ($2.75) or mellow over a smooth percolated potation such as a latte ($3.25) or white mocha ($3.50) prepared using small batches of freshly roasted coffee beans. Guests already overstimulated from debates about how the dinosaurs went extinct, or those who just don't like coffee, can opt to cool tempers with a refreshing iced tea ($1.50) or a fresh-fruit smoothie made with low-fat, probiotic-rich yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, and bananas ($3.75).