When we moved back to Georgia, I started researching places we could travel around the area. I discovered that the Cabbage Patch Babyland General Hospital was located up in Cleveland, GA. Yup. A Cabbage Patch (as in the doll) hospital. Intriguing, right? And, not only are new “babies” are actually “born” there every single day, but you can adopt one right then and there! Basically, my inner child (no, not the kid I’m currently growing) got really, really excited about visiting this place.
Like many girls, I grew up with a Cabbage Patch kid. I don’t
remember the exact Christmas when I received her (or maybe it was my
birthday), but I distinctly remember being over the moon that she shared
my name. My mom, it turns out, went to dozens of stores looking for that
doll, because she wanted one that shared my name. While she couldn’t
find any Jessica CP kids, she did find one with the name “Lynn” in it.
And that’s how I came to own Ramona Lynn:
I told my mom about visiting Babyland, and she was excited to check it out with me, so when she came out to visit over the summer, I picked her up in Atlanta and we drove straight up there (2 hours away from the ATL airport, in case you’re wondering).
Y’all, this place is legit. I was recently up there again last weekend with my husband (we were visiting Helen, GA, and he wanted to visit the hospital, too), and he remarked on how cool it was that they went all out to make it a special place for kids. The building looks like an old Southern hospital would look, and they try to make it special inside with “licensed” nurses and doctors, and tons of play opportunities for the kids. Not to mention, the live births.
Before I get to the births, let me give you a little tour of the place. When you first walk in, you’re greeted with dozens of old CP kids. They’re vintage and behind glass, but it’s cool to see the history of these dolls.
There’s also the opportunity to take your picture inside your own CP kids box. She’s my favorite doll, but I’m a little biased.
|This was actually taken a few months ago. It’s crazy how much she’s already grown! Also, she was sick the day we were there, poor little red nose!|
After the lobby area, you head to the nursery with hundreds of itty bitty baby dolls all looking for a home. These kids are cute, but fair warning: they’re expensive. These are their premium dolls, if you will, and they come with a hefty price tag.
Make your way past the nursery and you’ve entered Babyland. There’s a play area for kids, tons of stuffed animals and toys, two party rooms (oh, how I wish we lived closer so I could have her birthday party there some day), too many CP kids—in boxes and out of boxes—to count, and the magical crystal tree with tons of little dolls nestled underneath (all of which are for sale).
Julia had an absolute blast visiting this time. She found a little doll stroller right away and started pushing it everywhere. Then she played in the little play area, and then she just wandered around looking at all the dolls and babies.
Several times throughout the day they’ll make announcements over the loudspeaker regarding Mother Cabbage and how close she is to having a baby. When I heard that she was “8 leaves dilated,” I grabbed my husband and daughter, and we took a seat in front of the magic tree. (Oh yes, my friends, this is really happening.)
Instead of literally spelling out for you what happens next, I took a handy little video. It’s about seven minutes long…fair warning, but you do get to see it happen like you were there yourself!
Pretty neat, right? The first time we were there, it was a male doctor, and I have to admit that he was a lot funnier than this lady was. The babies that are born there are super expensive (I don’t remember the exact price, but I want to say it’s in the $200 range). If you want something a tad bit cheaper than that, they have some kids that are out of the box (so you can’t get them in the stores), that you can adopt and name yourself for around $50. The first time we visited, I got Julia one of those dolls. I’m pretty positive she’s the prettiest kid on the block, and after careful consideration, we named her Gracie Lou Freebush. (Julia’s middle name is Grace, so that name just came naturally.)
Since she doesn’t need another big doll in her life, this time around we bought her something a little smaller: a baby doll that she can take home from the hospital after her little sister is born!
I’d love to go back again, but I don’t know how many Cabbage Patch dolls a little girl needs. Maybe we’ll head back there after this next baby is older and before we leave Georgia again, so she can get a bigger CP kid.
Crazy cool place, right?! So, tell me: did you have a Cabbage Patch kid growing up? Tell me about her (or him) in the comments below!