Cleveland, Georgia's Best-Kept Secret
Come one, come all.
Situated on 650 acres in the mountains of North Georgia is a mansion filled with dolls. Not just any dolls, though. They have big faces and wide eyes and curly, yarn-like hair. They're Cabbage Patch Kids. The place is BabyLand General Hospital, and it is Cleveland, Georgia's most popular—and surreal—attraction.
It's the unusual creation of entrepreneur Xavier Roberts, who began designing, sewing, and selling these dolls in 1978. A few years later, Coleco acquired the rights to the dolls and the brand expanded, offering objects of future nostalgia to kids across the country. Roberts was behind the first iteration of the doll hospital, which was an old clinic converted into a toyshop and performative space. The performance? Dolls being born. The new facility, which has been in operation since 2009, is a museum, showroom, and shop (they call it an "adoption center") that continues the tradition. There, you can witness Cabbage Patch "births"—from cabbages, of course—and adopt a doll of your own. For a detailed description of the tour you'll experience at BabyLand General, head over to Atlas Obscura, which sums up just how unique the entire experience is. It's been called bizarre, a delight, and fun for the whole family—you'll have to plan a visit to Cleveland to see for yourself.
BabyLand General is a popular destination for families with young kids as well as fans of Cabbage Patch dolls in search of a dose of 1980s nostalgia. Admission is free, and the facility's hours are Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. If you can't make it to Cleveland, Georgia, you can shop the dolls online. If you do plan a visit, be sure to stop by the charming nearby towns of Dahlonega and Helen, too.
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Have you ever visited Babyland General Hospital? Fans of the Cabbage Patch brand should plan a trip to Cleveland, pronto.