If you’re looking for something extra on your weekend day trips from Atlanta, then you might want to pay Babyland General Hospital a visit. Birthplace to everyone’s favorite dolls from the 80’s otherwise known as the Cabbage Patch Kids, Babyland is novelty hospital, showroom, and store that will ring your geek bell if you were a fan of the craze. I was born in 1980 and grew up with these dolls, so you can imagine my geek flag was flying pretty high.
About Babyland General Hospital
You don’t have to be a kid to appreciate the geekdom behind Babyland General Hospital. But, if you are, you’ll love it just the same. Babyland is in Cleveland, GA about an hour and a half from Atlanta. Its picturesque southern home sits on 650 acres among the North Georgia Mountains. Voted as the Travel Channel’s Top Ten Toylands, Babyland General Hospital is a showroom of vintage Cabbage Patch Kids (with hefty price tags), a birthplace for new dolls and a store.
And the coolest part is that admission is free!
About the Babyland General Hospital Showroom
As soon as you walk in you’re met by a Babyland nurse, dressed in full nursing attire all old school like. This is the showroom where you will find dozens of rare Cabbage Patch Kids with price tags stretching up to $30,000. Whether you’re a fan or just along for the ride, it’s cool seeing the transitions the dolls have gone through.
Beyond the Showroom
There are several nursery rooms beyond the showroom where you can see little newborns and toddlers. As in, Cabbage Patch newbs not humans. The rooms all smell like brand new Cabbage Patch Kids so you really are kind of surrounded by the geekery here.
Cabbage Patch Kids Born at Babyland
At Babyland you can also experience the birthing of a Cabbage Patch Kid complete with Mother Cabbage and her magical branches of the Magical Crystal Tree (super 80’s feels right there). Between the Cabbage PatchÂ KidsÂ heads and the crystals, I can’t decide whether the tree is magical or creepy or both.
The Magical Crystal Tree is the only place in the world where you can witness the birthing of a hand-sculpted Cabbage Patch Kid by their licensedÂ Patch Doctors and Nurses. I’m not entirely sure how the babies are made, I think it involves Bunnybees.
About the Cabbage Patch Doll Craze
If you’re a product of the 80’s I don’t even need to explain this. For those of you who aren’t so lucky (it’s the best decade) allow me to fill you in.
The Cabbage Patch Kids craze was real. In 1983 it was such a craze that it caused riots in stores over the holidays. Can you picture it? Parents fighting in isles… over dolls. Shoppers camped in parking lots, mobbed store fronts and stormed displays. It was total customer anarchy. According toÂ Timeline,Â stores sold out by October hitting over 2 million dolls sold. By Thanksgiving, the panic was real.Â The dolls â€” along with a growing line of secondary merchandise like clothing and lunch boxes â€” generated $2 billion of Colecoâ€™s $4.5 billion in 1984.
Can we say show me the money?
Day Trips from Atlanta – Logistics for Visiting Babyland
If this is on your list for day trips from Atlanta then you’ll need some practical advice before you go. First, it’s about an hour and a half from the city. I recommend leaving at about 10 am to avoid Atlanta traffic. You’ll likely want to get lunch by the time you arrive. Depending on your taste, there’s quite a bit to choose from in the nearby alpine town of Helen, GA. You’ll have to pay $5 to park but it’s worth the parking. Here is a good Trip Advisor list of the best places to eat.
Hours and Contact Info:
Monday â€“ Saturday 9-5 EST â€¢ Sunday 10-5 EST
Closed Major Holidays â€“ Call ahead to confirm visiting hours â€“
Open: New Yearâ€™s EveÂ â€¢ July 4thÂ â€¢ Day After Thanksgiving
300 N.O.K. Drive â€¢ Cleveland, Georgia 30528
Give yourself about an hour to enjoy Babyland General Hospital. There are also really nice places to visit in the area like Anna Ruby Falls and UNICOI State Park.Â Make sure all information you get online for Anna Ruby Falls is from the US Forest Service.Â Â I haveÂ made the mistake multiple times of looking at the park hours on other sites like Explore Georgia (which should be updated because it’s Georga’s Visitor’s Bureau.
There are other really great day trips from Atlanta, you can find some of them here. Have fun at Babyland General Hospital and leave me a comment below to tell me all about your trip!