Have you been to Cleveland lately? No, not Cleveland, Ohio (home of the World renowned Cleveland Clinic), but Cleveland, Georgia (home of the World renowned Babyland General)...
For the last three decades, Xavier Roberts has had Babyland General in Cleveland, GA. Late in 2009, it moved to a new location just outside of town... toward Helen. The new facility is pretty impressive. But, for anyone that visited before their move, you'll feel right at home. The Magical Cabbage Patch is almost unchanged. And much of the decor carried over... but the new facility is MUCH larger. And it is still free.
Previously, when there was a "new birth", if there were thirty or forty guests... it was VERY crowded. In fact, the whole facility was often crowed. In the new facility that isn't a problem. In fact, we witnessed a "birth" while we were there with the kids and it was quite nice. Everyone could see and it was even easier to photograph. There is a large space in front of the Cabbage Patch... it even has a few benches scattered about.
Even the store has much improved with the move. Previously is was restricted to one small room... now it is spread out in areas on either side of the Cabbage Patch. There is more room for the displays and there is a little more diversity in the products offered...
Which leads me to the one weakness of the new location... There doesn't seem to be as much space devoted to displaying Cabbage Patch Kids. In the old location there seemed to be a few more displays with the larger kids. There are still the Nursery Rooms like in the downtown location, but the classroom and playground aren't there. It could be that in preparation for the move there were lots of adoptions... leading to a shortage of kids for the classroom and playground. There certainly is room for those areas in the new Babyland General.
In short, if you were there a few years ago, there is a reason to go back. Everything is completely different.
If you haven't been there, Babyland General is outside Cleveland, GA. It is about 60 - 90 minutes north of Gwinnett County off US129.
Take I-85 north to I-985 north. Exit at the Jesse Jewel Parkway and turn left towards US129. Turn right onto US129/Limestone Parkway and then right again on Cleveland Hwy (still US129). After going through downtown Cleveland, turn right on GA75 towards Helen, GA. In slightly over a mile, turn left on Hulsey Rd. (there is a sign for Babyland General here). And Babyland General will be on your right as you turn right on NOK Dr. It is the giant building on the hill...
Here is a link to the set on Babyland General on my Flickr. There are a couple dozen pictures of the new facility.
It is a great free activity for those in and around Gwinnett County, GA. Cleveland isn't far, and there are lots of things to see and do in North Georgia. the "Bavarian Village" of Helen, GA is only a few minutes away, as well as Anna Ruby Falls state park. During the summer, tubing on the Chattahoochee River is a favorite activity. Also, just a little further north on US19/129 is Neel's Gap on Blood Mountain. Here the Appalachian Trail crosses the road. There is a nice day hiking area just off of US19/129.