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The Best Backyard Playsets
With spring coming in full force, it is time to start planning our backyard shenanigans. We haven’t quite decided on what kind of a yard to create, other than the fact that it will need to be kid-friendly. That, of course, means that I have been searching high and low to figure out what the best backyard playset is.
Since I have already done all of the research, I thought that I might as well share the outside playsets that I love. I will break down all of the options for you today. There is something for everyone! Whether you are shopping for toddler playsets, simple swing playsets, or extravagant wooden playsets, I’ve got you covered.
Swing sets and playsets can transform your yard, taking it from boring(bad for us!) to engaging in an instant. Of course, the best part is that your kiddos will be much more interested in going outdoors. Playsets are the magical key to summer fun that we have been searching for!
Compare the Top Results To Find The Best Outdoor Playsets for Your Yard
There are so many different options for kids backyard playsets. You really need to take a step back and make some decisions before you start browsing.
In order to choose the best backyard playset for your family, you will need to consider what kind of space you have. What is your budget, and how durable do you need the playset to be? Knowing what will work for your family is the first step to narrowing down the best playsets for your yard.
I spent hours of browsing to find the best playground playsets in every category. I read reviews, checked dimensions, and even asked some questions from the manufacturers in order to find the most superior playsets on the market.
You can compare my choices for the best playsets depending on your needs. I will review each set individually and tell you why I love it!
Wooden Outdoor Playsets
Of all of the backyard playsets, outdoor wood playsets are generally considered the most appealing. They are extremely durable, lasting for years, even decades when they are maintained properly. The elaborate design options elevate the imagination, taking these structures from being “just kids playsets” to pirate ships and castles.
These yard playsets are a great option for basically any budget, ranging from a couple hundred dollars, into the thousands.
There are big backyard playsets that have multiple slides and tons of swings. Climbing playsets that have ropes, rock holds, monkey bars and fireman poles are also a popular option for outdoor playsets.
Wooden materials are going to last longer than most vinyl playsets and metal playsets simply because they are easier to maintain. They hold up against the wear and tear of the elements very well when they are sealed and stained properly.
Regardless of where you live, wood is usually going to give you the most bang for your buck over time. It is definitely my first choice material when searching for the best playsets for backyard shenanigans! Take a look at the best options for your situation below.
Big Backyard Playsets Made of Wood
These are my favorite playsets for a big backyard. If you have space, there are some seriously cool playsets out there.
Gorilla Playsets Treasure Trove Swing Set
This large playset is the envy of the neighborhood, as one mom put it. If you are looking for the biggest and best playground that money can buy, you have found it. This playset includes a tunnel slide, wave slide, swings galore, and two sandbox areas. Wait, there’s more! It also features a wooden bridge to cross between the towers, tic-tac-toe, “pirate ship play”, and every climbing option you can think of, including a safety ladder for the little ones. There are vinyl canopies over the three towers, yes, three towers, that will give your kiddos, and every kid in the neighborhood if you allow, protection from the sun.
Gorilla Playsets are made of very high-quality cedar that is factory stained and sealed. This means that it is resistant to rot, decay, and insect damage from the moment it reaches your door. Don’t believe it? This company features a 10-year warranty on wood pieces and a 1-year warranty on all of the accessories. Click here to see the latest pricing.
Cedar Summit Play Set Wooden House Deck
When I was little, we played “house” constantly. This gorgeous playset would have been a dream! It has a two-story clubhouse, complete with flower boxes and faux stone on the front. Of course, the Cedar Summit Playhouse isn’t just for little girls.
Take a look at that incredible twist ‘n ride slide, the extra wide ladder, and rock wall. Throw in a couple swings and you have an all-around best playset winner. Imagine the hours that could be spent in a playset with tons of shade and plenty of opportunity for creativity.
The Cedar Summit Wooden House Deck Playset comes with a 5-year warranty on wooden components and calls for a safety zone of 29’ 2” x 26’ 0”. Click here for more information.
Small Outdoor Playsets made of Wood
There are also some nice options for a small yard. In order to create a safe playing environment, the manufacturer’s have included “safe zone” dimensions so that you know exactly how much room each playset will need around it, as well as how much space the actual playset will take. Don’t worry, just because these are small playsets doesn’t mean they can’t be the best kids outdoor playsets on the market. These mini playsets are jam-packed with features that any kid will adore.
Big Backyard Magnolia Wooden Play Set
Despite it’s name, this “Big Backyard” Play Set is a great contender as far as small wooden playsets go. With the actual size of 11’-1” x 13’-7” and the safety zone measuring in at 26’-5” x 25’-7”, it is one of the smallest sets and the one with the most features. Made by Big Backyard Playsets, the Magnolia Wooden Play Set comes with a 5-year limited warranty on the wood components, and a one-year warranty for all accessories.
The cedar playset has a strong “clubhouse” feel. It features a chalk-wall, upper-level window boxes, a play phone, and diner-esque sandbox area, making creative play a cinch. This playset also boasts a climbing wall, wavy slide, two traditional swings, and a trapeze swing. Just take a look at those cute little valances, the stools, and that gorgeous shiplap roof! Imagine the fun that could come from this compact playset. Click here to see more reviews.
Backyard Discovery Prestige All Cedar Wood Playset Swing Set
This Backyard Discovery Playset has a lot of features for its small size. It includes a wavy slide, swings, and plenty of climbing fun. Not only that, but out of all of the wooden swing playsets that I have seen for tiny yards, this is the only one that features a picnic table.
If you have spent any amount of time with little kids, you know that they eat. All. The. Time. Having a built-in picnic table is a great way to keep them outside enjoying the sunshine throughout the day, and I have personally found it way easier to keep my house clean during the summer when I don’t need to drag my kids inside to eat. Learn more about the specs and details of this swing set.
Vinyl Playsets, AKA Toddler Outdoor Playsets
There is only one instance that I would seriously consider buying something other than wood: if you have a toddler.
Let’s be honest, kids outdoor playsets are meant to be used endlessly. Which means that the last thing that you want to do is buy something that your kiddo might not be ready to navigate on their own.
In this case, I would recommend outdoor plastic playsets, leaving the swing and slide playsets for when the kids are a bit older.
There are some really great outside playsets for toddlers. These outdoor plastic playsets are great because they will help your little one practice their large motor skills at a level that is safe and stress-free for you. They are designed for growing minds, and you will find that your toddler will have no shortage of great ways to transform these vinyl playsets into a different world of their imagination.
Toddler backyard playsets are typically made of vinyl, which is a very durable material that will last for several years. After spending some time in the sun, you will notice that the bright colors will begin to fade. Eventually, the material will start to crack, but this typically takes years.
By the time your playset is showing too much wear and tear, your kids will probably be ready for an upgrade anyway. Here are the best backyard playsets for toddlers.
Little Tikes Junior Activity Gym
The Junior Activity Gym is the small toddler playset from our memories. Its compact cube design is perfect for tight spaces, but all of those portholes and tunnels can make for some pretty great peek-a-boo fun. The walls around the platform prevent tumbles, and the small slide is just right for the tiny ones.
Surprisingly, for such a small playset it can handle three kids at a time. This is what I would use for an indoor toddler playset, and my first choice if you are looking for something that will be used by a baby. Learn more about the Junior Activity Gym now!
Little Tikes Rock Climber & Slide
I have two rambunctious boys, and they came out that way. Which means that regardless of if an item is meant to be climbed on, it gets its fair share of climbing anyways. That is why I knew I had to include this set!
The Little Tikes Rock Climber & Slide playset is all about being a jungle gym and gives every climbing option a toddler playground can have. It has two climbing walls with climbing holes, three crawl through tunnels, and includes a telescope and steering wheel to go along with its whimsical castle feel.
There is also an easy captains ladder that leads up to the adjustable slide. This playset for climbing is the perfect option for babies and older toddlers that just can’t themselves. Read more about this jungle gym on Amazon.
Step2 Naturally Playful Playhouse Climber & Swing Set Extension
This adorable Step2 Playset is like a mini-version of the real-deal, which is perfect for those toddlers that can’t wait to be big kids(I’m not the only one with those, right?!). It has two traditional belt-swings that are just the right height for little ones to get some practice on.
This toddler playground was designed to be climbed on, with options on three of the four sides, including a simple ladder, and more advanced climbing holes and handholds. The fourth side of the playset is where you will find the creative play area, including a mail slot, window, and doorway into the “clubhouse”. So cute!
Over the playhouse is a roomy deck with railing and the entrance to the five and a half foot slide. This is the perfect all-around playground, especially if you need space for more than one child to play. You can find the latest prices and more information here.
Step2 Clubhouse Climber
The Clubhouse Climber has plenty of space for everyone. With two slides and a bridge between platforms, there is lots of space for climbing, crawling, and energetic fun.
Of course, with a playset that looks like this one, they haven’t forgotten to include the all-time favorite ship steering wheel, and other creative touches such as pretend gauges in the wall and a porthole in the look-out area.
I love that this Step2 Playset is so roomy that my kids and their friends could run and play without collisions. I also love that it offers shade, which is something that is lacking in the toddler playset world if you ask me. Find out more about this playset on Amazon.
Heavy Duty Metal Outdoor Playsets
Although these are not my first choice, there are also non-wood playsets that could make a great addition to any backyard play space. These include steel playsets and aluminum playsets.
Steel playsets aren’t nearly as common as wood playsets are because outdoor playground playsets that are made of quality metal are typically seen commercially(like in a restaurant playroom, or at a park). They are extremely low-maintenance, durable, and typically much more expensive.
Metal playsets often lack the “fort” feeling that you get from the best outdoor wooden playsets. There are a few great exceptions(which I have included here!). If you ask me, this lack of a proper “hideout” makes creative play more difficult, ultimately making them a lesser choice as far as a residential playsets option goes.
However, the pros cannot be ignored. If low maintenance and durability are screaming your name, take a look at the few affordable metal playsets that are on the market. I have to be honest-these are tempting!
Backyard Discovery Castle Grey Metal Swing Set and Outdoor Playground
The Castle Grey Metal Playground is a really great option for a durable and expansive playset. Unlike most metal playsets, it features a fort area underneath the main platform.
It also includes a steering wheel and tic-tac-toe to help keep little minds active! There is a rock wall, and a metal climbing pole, as well as stairs up to the top, where the kids can ride down on the slide.
There are two traditional swings, but my favorite thing about this set is the web swing that is included. Those are so much fun! Click here to see the Backyard Discovery Castle on Amazon.
Lifetime Big Stuff Adventure Playset, Freestanding
This set is for the climber in your life. It features a super cool cargo net, ship wheel, and binoculars(aargh, we be pirates t’day!).
There are two traditional belt swings, a trapeze bar, and a propeller swing that is pretty unique, you will have to take a look at the video in the sales page if you don’t know what it is.
My favorite part of this playset is the extra tall climbing wall. It extends all the way to the roof and features a curve that makes it accessible from either side of the wall. You just don’t get that kind of height and versatility on most residential playground rock walls.
This Adventure Playset is made of high-density polyethylene and powder coated steel that is incredibly durable and will last for decades. The metal playground is freestanding, so no worrying about cement or anchoring of any kind, and it comes with a 5-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
It is also a great contender for a small backyard, with the dimensions of the playset coming in at 13′ 11″ x 15′ 9″. Click here to find the latest price on the Big Stuff Adventure Playset.
Metal Swing ‘N’ Slide Playsets
There are metal backyard playsets that are great if you are looking for cheap backyard playsets that will last a few years or if you are tight on space. These metal playsets are an extremely affordable outdoor playsets option if you are needing something as soon as possible, and it will be used by older kids that would be too big for backyard playsets for toddlers.
Fair warning: these sets like to tip over when kids are swinging high. I would recommend buying swingset anchors if the set doesn’t come with them.
Flexible Flyer “Triple Fun” Swing Set
If you are looking for an affordable playset option, the Flexible Flyer “triple Fun” Swing could do the trick. It is very simple compared to the other options, including three traditional swings, a teeter-totter, and a small slide, but the price can’t be beaten. Coming in at about $200, this swing set could be the quick fix for your summer boredom dilemma! Buy the Flexible Flyer on Amazon.
The Skroutz Fun Metal Swing Set
This swing set is a bit spendier, but it has more to offer. Claiming that up to eight kids can play at five different activities at a time, this is the best metal swing set I came across for under $1,000. It includes basically every kind of swing you can imagine, with a slide on the side.
If you have older kids and don’t want to spend a ton of money on a playset, this is a really great option. Learn more about this swing set.
The Best Playsets
There ya have it. Hours and hours of reading playset reviews, scouring forums, and skimming listings to find the best playsets for any situation. Out of all of my research, these are the top rated playsets on the market, and ultimately the best contenders. I hope that I have helped you find the best backyard playset for your yard!
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