If you’re of a similar age to me, you remember the Cabbage Patch Kids craze of the 1980s. People were rioting at the Toys R Us to get a hold of them and there was a thriving reseller market, long before all of you discovered buying and selling things on Amazon or eBay. So it was quite a surprise to see signs around northern Georgia advertising “BabyLand General Hospital” with the familiar Cabbage Patch Kids face.
Doing little to no research before our trip, we had no idea that Cleveland, Georgia, was the Cabbage Patch Kids’ home. Xavier Roberts started making the hand-stitched “Little People” dolls in the late 70s but worldwide fame didn’t come until Coleco mass-produced the dolls in 1982.
I admit that I asked for one for Christmas and my parents, being awesome, managed to get one for me. I quickly learned that the joy from getting a hard to come by a doll that you don’t want to take out of the box was fleeting and I’d rather play with my Star Wars toys or my Intellivision.
While I had an only moderate interest to check out BabyLand, Sharon wanted to check it out [Note From Sharon: My Cabbage Patch Kid’s name was Libby Leena and I got her after being on a months-long wait list at Toys R Us]. We had no idea what to expect.
Upon driving up to the location, we were impressed with what you can buy/build from the money you make selling dolls to kids. We were glad to see that masks were required, which was not the norm for this part of Georgia.
Upon entering, you enter the “Museum” part of the hospital. There was a wall with a signed picture of every celebrity from the 80s from Jack Nicholson, Henry Winkler, Olympics-era Bruce Jenner, Whoopi Goldberg and a very young Fred Savage.
This led to a display of early era Little People dolls in display cabinets along the walls.
From there, you were led to the “nursery.” Here they had many displays of dolls, all of which were for sale if you found the one you wanted to adopt.
The next room is the major part of BabyLand – the store! Around the room, there are displays of young dolls still growing in the Cabbage Patch.
Then there’s the Magic Crystal Tree where the kids are born.
We did learn that if you adopt one of the dolls from BabyLand Hospital, you get to take the Oath of Adoption. We saw (from a distance) two kids doing this and it was heartwarming.
Besides that, was it a little weird? Yep. Why did I not realize that adopting kids that grew from a cabbage patch was an odd concept when I was younger? I don’t know. It’s still undeniable that those faces are cute and it’s no wonder why they’ve endured so many years.
If you want to visit Babyland General® Hospital, the address is 300 N.O.K. Drive. Cleveland, Georgia 30528
Visiting Hours: Monday – Saturday 9-5 EST • Sunday 10-5 EST
Open: New Year’s Eve • July 4th • Day After Thanksgiving
Closed Major Holidays
* Please call ahead to confirm visiting hours *
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary