I’m so thankful for the invitation to celebrate Family Fun Day at the new Sheetz location in Hickory, NC. The offer was extended through the North Carolina Blogger Network and I was compensated for my travel. My opinions and observations are my own.

We are Sheetz fans. No denying it. In fact, there’s plenty of evidence supporting how often we include a visit to fill up (tanks and tummies) as a part of our road trip adventures.

So, when I found out about the Grand Opening weeklong celebration for the new location in Hickory, I was definitely interested in being a part of the fun.

We often travel west on Interstate 40 (the mountains are always calling), and it’s important to have good stops along the way for bathroom breaks, fuel-ups and coffee (the kid would insert either French fries or sliderz here).

These Sheetz people are my kind of people. A week-long party to highlight a new location?! And with special engagements each day? Some smart cookies in that group, if you ask me. They know how to make a good time last.

So, today was Family Fun Day, with an open invitation for families to stop by and enjoy different activities for the kids.

Twist the Balloon Man

The kid wasn’t going to get a balloon at first. We had a chat during lunch, and he decided to change his mind. So glad that he did. Twist the Balloon Man blew his mind by creating a replica of the planet Mars complete with its two orbiting moons.

Face Painting

He wasn’t interested in the face painting opportunity – even when I reminded him that they would probably be more than happy to design a mini solar system across his face. But he still took time to sit with the ladies and chat for a bit.

Photo / Video Booth

Want to talk about family time? How about getting the kid, his mom and his Oma in the Social Box for some marketing fun? In a mini-interview, the kid totally shocked me by saying his favorite M•T•O® item was the fries (not the sliderz – WHAT?!).

There were also coupons available for free kids items from Sheetz’s famous M•T•O® (Made To Order) menu. The kid enjoyed apple slices and chicken tenders on the house. As a mom worried about her kid’s overall health, I thankful that Sheetz offers healthy options to balance out his French fry consumption.

The new Hickory location is accessible via Exit 126 on I40. If you’re heading westbound, it’s easy to see, high on the hill. If you’re traveling eastbound, it’s hard to see until you’re already on the exit ramp because of all the trees. This Sheetz offers some really neat features (that aren’t necessarily available at all locations).

Soft Serve Ice Cream

Customizable ice cream? What kid wouldn’t be smitten with the experience?! We found out today that currently less than 50 Sheetz locations have a soft serve station. The kid was delighted the new Hickory location was one of them!

Freshly Ground Coffee

Sheetz continues to move forward providing an awesome customer experience – and at the Hickory location, they’ve implemented coffee grinders so that java-junkies (like me) can have the freshest possible cup of Sheetz Bros. Coffeez®.

Expanded Restrooms

Sheetz prides itself in well-kept, extremely clean restrooms. But what you’ve seen before is probably a bit smaller than this. The new Hickory location is sporting an expanded restroom space to accommodate 24/7 traffic in need of a potty break.

Are You A Local? Or Just Traveling Through?

Don’t miss out on the week’s worth of fun still ahead:

COMMUNITY CONNECT DAY (Tuesday, March 29): Come out to support the community as Sheetz hosts an M•T•O® sandwich fundraiser to benefit local schools. Members of the Sheetz family will be on site for a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 am, and Sheetz will make a donation to the Special Olympics.

EAT SHMART (Wednesday, March 30): Introduces Hickory to healthy MTO options for any meal of the day; focusing on tasty, customizable, healthy breakfast demonstrations throughout the morning.  Enjoy eat shmart samples, MTGo! offerings and $2 off salads throughout the day.

GET A KICK IN THE BEANZ (Thursday, March 31): Fuel up all day with Sheetz Bros. Coffeez®. Indulge in free specialty beverage samples from Sheetz baristas, free self-serve coffee and $1 off ANY full-service SBC Specialty Drinks throughout the day.

SHEETZ THANKS LOCAL HEROS (Friday, April 1): Sheetz thanks local first responders with free M•T•O® sandwiches all day from 12:00 am (Friday morning) to 12:00 am (Saturday). Simply show up in uniform or with a service ID.  And there’s something for everyone with free fryz for all guests with every M•T•O® purchase.

For Your Information

Two additional weeklong store opening celebrations are slated to follow, starting April 11 at 1819 Fairgrove Church Road, Conover, NC 28613 and in early June at 2387 Springs Road NE Hickory, NC 28601.

Don’t miss out on the fun! Sheetz is one of America’s fastest growing family-owned convenience store chains. I can certainly believe that as I see more and more as we road trip. Open 24/7, 365 days a year, Sheetz’s menu of fresh, made-to-order food rivals any quick serve restaurant, using only the highest quality ingredients. Orders are prepared exactly the way you want it, when you want it.

And all menu items are completely customizable using the easy-to-use in-store touchscreens or online ordering. Did you know you could order ahead online?! Just found that out today. And you can save your personal options. A total WIN – and I can’t wait to test it out!

Being a part of this festive grand opening event was a great experience for me and the kid, but that’s really no surprise. What I really appreciate about Sheetz is having a consistently positive “pit-stop” experience while I’m in transit from one adventure to the next.