Just off the beaten path lives the extraordinary town of Wilson, Arkansas. Steeped in agriculture, history, and strong community life, this town bursts with holiday spirit during December. Each of the tutor-styled buildings shines with bright lights that adorn the beautiful town square. Wilson looks and feels like it’s out of a storybook, but this story isn’t your typical sleepy small-town tale. Wilson has a robust event schedule that rivals many larger communities. Wilson has something for everyone with six-course, wine-paired dinners and art exhibits, to holiday concerts and craft classes. As if that’s not reason enough, here are seven reasons to visit Wilson, Arkansas, this holiday season:
- Nestled in the Town Square, The Wilson Café and Tavern offers southern classics with a twist and extraordinary service wrapped in a distinctive atmosphere. This December, they are offering a custom Mixology 101 class – Christmas Cocktails, where a limited number of guests surround the bar and receive an educational demonstration of creating fun holiday concoctions at home. In addition, the Tavern offers its weekly Friday wine tastings, including an exploration of mulled wine. Additionally, we can’t forget about special Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day menus. The Café is a definite must-visit while in Wilson this holiday season.
- Jingle bells are not the only things ringing in Wilson this month. The Wilson Music Series hosts a holiday concert on Friday, December 3, at the Historic Wilson Theater. American Idol contestant Ashton Brooke Gill brings a plethora of holiday favorites and original music to the stage.
- The Grange at Wilson Gardens, the agricultural epicenter of the community, creates that hometown, warm feeling perfect during the holiday season. With an expansive marketplace offering baked goods, plants, flowers, and a wide assortment of gifts, The Grange is a must-stop destination for anyone visiting Wilson.
- The Wilson Wine Dinner Experience under the direction of Culinary Director Chef Shawn Davis crafts curated, multi-course dinners with wine pairing creating a memorable experience. This December, the Café will host two holiday experiences. As a twist on the norm, on December 11 the Café, in collaboration with Old Dominick Distillery in Memphis, will convert the Wine Dinner to a special Whiskey Dinner Experience. Then, on New Year’s Eve, Wilson Café will put on a masquerade themed Wine Dinner with a party to follow.
- Looking for something more hands-on? Several of the businesses throughout town offer an assortment of craft classes including holiday wreath design, gingerbread house decorating, and Christmas cookie decorating. Spend some good quality time with your family and friends participating in these creative classes.
- No visit to Wilson would be complete without visiting the Hampson Archeological Museum. Ideal for the whole family, the museum exhibits a nationally renowned collection from the Nodena site. This was a 15-acre palisaded village that once thrived on the Mississippi River in what is now Mississippi County. Hampson Archeological Museum interprets the lifestyles of this farming-based civilization that lived there from A.D. 1400 to 1650.
- And, of course, the best reason for visiting Wilson (in this girl’s opinion) is the shopping! White’s Mercantile and The Wilson Pharmacy are wonderful shops for gifts, clothing, and home décor! Tom Beckbe and the Wilson Outdoor Center offer select options for outdoor and athletic adventures. Plus, don’t forget the Grange Marketplace – a short walk from the square, but oh, so worth it!
The activities don’t stop after Christmas. This unique little town is planning a New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball – a four-course meal with wine pairing, live music entertainment, and so much more. It sounds like Wilson may be the ideal place to ring in the new year!
Wilson, Arkansas is in northeastern Arkansas, along Interstate 55. Only 45 minutes from downtown Memphis and Jonesboro, this historic town is ideal for a day or overnight trip. Visit wilsonarkansas.com to learn more.
By Cyndi Detty