With the days getting warmer, it makes sense that the kids are ready to get out of the house and soak up the sunshine. But how do you keep everyone entertained at the same time? A playground set is an excellent investment for large and small yards, and it has enough activities for a whole group of kids to play on and experience.
Since there are so many playground sets available in a huge range of sizes, it can take time to research them all and compile a list for comparison. This is where we come in. We’ve done the research for you and picked out 10 high-quality playground sets. You can use the reviews to compare them, and let our short buying guide help you find the perfect set that draws all of the neighborhood kids to your house.
Choosing a playground set can be an exciting time for your kid, and you can have them make a list of things they want to have on it so they get the most use out of it possible.
1. Backyard Discovery Scenic Heights All Cedar Playhouse
This compact but fun playground set has a three-foot high deck for your kids to play on, and there is a small structure set back in the deck that has spring-loaded doors. The sunburst windows allow for a lot of sunshine to get in, and your kids will spend hours inventing games with the play kitchen. It has two boxes where they can store their toys between uses, and there are mounted sinks so they can pretend they’re a chef. The safety railings run up the length of the stairs to give your child something to grip on to.
The five-foot grow board allows you to track your child’s growth year in and year out, and there is a wood cot with a comfortable and colorful white and green cushion where they can relax. There are multiple entrances and exits into this playground set, and the cedar wood resists damage. It meets and exceeds standards set by the ASTM for safety and reliability.
- Has a very safe and solid construction
- Cedar wood has a sealant to keep moisture out
- Safety railings go up both sides of the stairs
- Tricky to assemble
- Instructions are very vague
- Can have mildew in wet environments
2. Simplay3 Young Explorers Adventure Climber
Anyone who has younger kids that need to burn off energy should check out this playground set by Simplay. It is the winner of the Parents’ Choice Award for 2019, and it has a load of useful features that are nice for younger kids. The slide is extra-wide, and there are easy grip railings on the side to ensure everyone stays safe when they play. The ladder that your child uses to get to the slide has handles on the side to make climbing easy, and it leads to a wide platform that has two tiers.
There is a secret hideaway fort that will jumpstart your kids’ imaginations in this playground set, and inside the fort they’ll find Jeep-style doors and wheels. There are portals they can crawl through to get to the fort too. The plastic construction resists mold, and it has a UV-resistant coating to ensure it lasts. The edges of this play center are rounded, and this reduces the chances of an injury if your child falls while playing.
- Very bright and vibrant colors
- Rounded edges are safe
- Features a very stable and sturdy design
- Not suited for children over four
- Has a large gap on one side with no railing
- Can be too lightweight to leave sitting out in strong winds
3. Skrootz Swing Set Wooden Playground Slide
If you’re after a slightly larger playground set, take a look at Skrootz’s setup. This is a wooden and plastic set that comes packed with fun activities for your kids to enjoy. The solid wooden construction has a fun ladder that leads up to a platform. Once your kid gets on the platform, they can take an exhilarating slide down, and there is a small area on the side of the platform to sit and eat their afternoon snack.
This playground set features two swings and a small monkey bar swing to keep your kids entertained, and it attaches directly to the main platform for additional sturdiness. You can set up a small sandbox under the main body of the playset for more fun, and the e-book will help you put it together. There are two small shades on the platform to keep the sun away and keep your kids cool.
- Treated wood seals moisture out
- Sturdy brackets make the whole structure stable
- Has two swings along with a slide
- Sun shades are very thin
- Comes in several smaller pieces
- Swing chains are prone to rust
4. Bieay Climber and Swing Set
This playground set features a 3-in-1 playing area to keep your younger kids entertained, and you can have it both inside and outside without a problem. Your kid will enjoy playing on a fun wave slide, fly on a swing, and enjoy the basketball hoops. There are easy-to-climb steps that your child will use to get up to the top of the slide before riding the gentle wave down.There are no sharp corners or wedges to cut your kid’s skin, and the bright coloring is very welcoming. The swing can safely support up to 66 pounds without a problem.
The edges of this playground set feature rounded corners so they won’t hurt if you bump them. The bottom of the set is very wide, and this helps lend a higher degree of stability when your child plays. It comes made out of non-toxic HDPE material that is safe for kids and pets, and it’s easy to assemble. You get big parts and step-by-step instructions in each order.
- 3-in-1 functionality
- Base is very wide and stable
- Uses safe and non-toxic materials
- Whole thing is plastic
- Won’t withstand strong UV rays
- Not good for children over four years old
5. FITNESS REALITY KIDS Sports Series Metal Swing Set
This playground set gives your kids eight fun stations where they can play several different activities all day long. It can effectively keep up to nine kids busy at the same time, and it has a metal frame that resists bending, wear, tear, corrosion, and rust. This means that this playground set will last for years after you buy it, and kids up to eight years old can safely play on it. They can use the net on the side of the set to kick a soccer ball or toss a few hoops. There is also a two-person glider.
The flying saucer makes for a fun swing for anyone that sits on it, and this playground set also features a swing and monkey bars with a weight capacity of 80 pounds. The detached trampoline has a hand railing that your child can hold onto as they bounce around. You’ll get the set, an air pump, basketball, and a soccer ball in every order. You get a two-year warranty on the frame and a six month warranty on everything else.
- Meets or exceeds ATSM safety standards
- Has a two-year frame warranty and a six-month component warranty
- Keeps up to nine kids busy at once
- Frame uses thinner steel
- Slide is a less durable plastic
- Assembly can take hours with two people
6. Allwood Playhouse Scout
This larger playground set takes up 58 square feet of space, and the entire thing sits off the ground on stilts. This is excellent if you live in wet areas where moisture could seep up into the wood and cause molding, cracking, or warping. You get ready-made elements that you have to connect when you get it, and it comes with two larger windows that let the sunlight in. The front of the playset has a covered porch area that provides relief from the sun.
You get cute shutters and a door with a window when you order this playground set, and it has tongue and groove wood for the floor and ceiling. You do have to supply your own furnishings when you purchase this set, but it makes a stunning little playhouse. It has a five-year manufacturer’s warranty attached, and it takes roughly four hours to set up from start to finish. It also comes unpainted so you can add any colors you like.
- Easy to set up
- Sets up off the ground on stilts
- Plexiglass windows let light in
- Doesn’t come sealed or painted
- Doesn’t include any furnishings when you buy it
- Warranty has limits
7. Costzon Toddler Climber and Swing Set
If you want a playground set that offers 4-in-1 activities, look no further. Your child will enjoy a fun swing, smooth slide, a ring toss with a whimsical elephant nose, and a short basketball hoop. It’s made of non-toxic HDPE material, and the slide can safely support up to 110 pounds. The slide has a very gentle slope with stairs that are easy to climb, and there are no cracks or sharp areas that can catch your kid’s skin. The swing has a secure locking mechanism to prevent your kid from slipping out.
The basketball hoop on this playground set is an American style, and it’s easy to remove and put back on as you see fit. The elephant nose gives you added fun, and it makes a great ring toss game. This playset comes with an easy assembly process with simple instructions. There are no complicated tools needed, and you get everything you need right in the box.
- Has a fun ring toss game on the side
- Slide has no rough edges or cracks
- Very bright and colorful design
- Entire thing is plastic
- Slide has a flimsy attachment point
- Expensive for how sturdy it feels
8. Suncast Vista Outdoor Play Set
The final entry on our list of the best playground sets comes from Suncast. This is a simple and chic set that comes packed with fun and engaging activities to keep your kids outside and busy for hours at a time. There is a dual tiered platform that leads to a lookout point, slide, and a rock wall. Your child can scale the rock wall to get to the slide, or they can use the sturdy steps. Underneath the platform is a shaded area that is perfect for a sandbox, and the entire set looks like a small house.
Attached to the side of this playground set is a study swingset with a monkey bar and two swings. The swingset has a wide base that is very sturdy and will stay in place even when your kids fly high. The sealed wood construction is very durable and locks moisture out. Everything connects with durable brackets and metal screws to keep your kids safe as they play.
- Looks like a small house
- Treated wood seals out moisture
- Has several fun activity stations
- Need additionally tools to put it together
- Has a slightly more narrow base
- Climbing wall is plastic and fades in the sun
Playground Set Buying Guide
Before you start shopping for a new playground set for your home, measure the yard and see how much space you can dedicate to it. You don’t want to accidentally buy something too big and not have enough room to set it when you put it up. Once you have an idea in mind, you’ll have a direction to go in when you shop.
Hitting as many buying criteria as possible when you start shopping helps to ensure that your kids will be thrilled with their new set up and ready to use it day in and day out.
How big are the kids that are going to be using your playground set? Do you want something they can grow up with, or are you more concerned with finding something your younger kids can enjoy? The different age ranges will have different activities on them to keep everyone happy and entertained. For example:
- Five and Below
- Plastic equipment with rounded corners and no gaps that could pinch
- Any platforms should be four feet tall or less for safety
- Mobile parts, playhouses, and themes can help encourage their imaginations
- Swings should have straps or buckles, front supports, and high backs to keep your kid safe
- Stairs and ladders should be slightly wider, have solid railings, and be five steps or less
- Slides should have a gentle slope to them, and they should be less than five feet tall
- 5 to 9
- Platforms can safely reach up to seven feet tall
- Slides can be between seven and nine feet long with a more steep slope
- Swings should have U-shaped seats with no back or front support
- Rock walls and vertical, horizontal, and arch climbers are welcome
- 9 and Up
- Sliding poles and steep slides over nine feet long
- Tire swings and monkey bars
- Horizontal bars encourage strength building and physical fitness
- Climbing pieces are welcome
- Chain and rope climbers set at angles provide a challenge
Most playsets have a suggested age range on them that will tell you if it’s suitable for your kid(s) or not. You can buy it a little bigger and give them something to grow into as well.
Once you decide on an age range for your playground set, you should pick out a material. Not only does this help to narrow down your choices straight away, but you can compare the different materials to see which one will work best with your environment. This way, you’ll have a general idea on how long your playground set will last. The three biggest materials are:
- Wood – Wood is a cost-effective and durable option, especially when it has a sealant on it and is pressure-treated. It works best in areas that have a dry climate because it can develop mildew and rot away. You may have to apply a new layer of stain once a year.
- Plastic – Popular for smaller kid playsets, plastic is one of the most durable choices you have. It can survive both indoors and out in various weather conditions, but it’s the least sustainable because it’s not possible to recycle it.
- Metal – Many commercial-grade playgrounds use metal for their material because it can last a long time. Galvanized steel is popular because it resists rusting or corroding, but it does get hot to the touch in the summer months.
The different playset materials all have pros and cons associated with them, and picking out a type right away will help you filter out many options to make your choice easier.
If you plan to place your playset outside, it should have a UV-resistant coating on it. If it doesn’t the sun’s rays will eventually discolor and weaken it. This is especially true with plastic. Whatever you choose should also be water resistant, and it should have a coating that makes it difficult for mold or mildew to grow and flourish. Special sealants are one way to go, but you want to make sure you don’t have to re-apply them every few years.
Playground sets can quickly get expensive, and you don’t want to blow your budget because you weren’t prepared for the cost. Before you start shopping, set a budget and stick to it. The more elaborate playsets will cost over $1,000. This cost doesn’t include an assembly either as you usually have to set them up yourself after they ship to you. Smaller plastic playsets can run around $100 and up.
Your location is very important when you’re considering a new playground set. For example, if you have a fence and your set has swings, you have to make sure that you put it far enough away that the swings clear the fence when your kids play on it. Consider where the sun hits your yard. Ideally, you’ll put your set in a more shaded area to preserve it and extend the set’s lifespan. If you don’t have a shaded spot, consider putting it in the area that gets the least direct sunlight.
Making sure you have enough room for your new playground set can be tricky, but it’s better to set it too far away from objects than put it together and find out it’s too close.
All playground sets have a weight restriction that outlines how heavy a kid can be before the structure can’t safety support them. The weight restriction usually goes up as you start picking out playground sets suited for older kids, but it can vary wildly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Smaller playsets may only support 30 to 40 pounds, but larger ones can support over 100 pounds per kid without a problem.
Since you have to set up this playground set yourself, the installation process is very important. Ideally, you’ll get larger pieces, clear instructions, and clearly labeled bags. However, this may not be the case. You have to be able to follow both text and visual instructions. Double-check what the reviews say about the installation process. Chances are, someone will be truthful about how easy or complicated it is. If you need special tools, make a note of it.
Since this can be an expensive purchase, it should have some type of warranty attached to it. Generally, the warranty will be much longer on the structure or frame itself than it will be on the components. You want at least a two-year warranty on the more expensive models if not more. Check and see what the warranty will and won’t cover, and see if you’d have to cover shipping costs.
Picking out a durable playset is one way to ensure it lasts for years, even when you live in harsh environments with a lot of different weather conditions.
The best playground sets give your kids a place to explore, play, and let their imaginations run wild. Our top eight reviews allow you to compare several high-quality options side by side, and our short guide outlines the important components you need to keep in mind when you shop.