swing sets

The Best Outdoor Playsets to Keep Kids (and Parents) Happy for Hours

Because happy kids = happy parents.
By Kat de Naoum
April 12, 2021
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As the weather starts to pick up and the days get longer, the kids (and you) will want to spend more time outside—especially after being cooped up indoors for, like, forever. There's nothing better than being able to usher the kids outside to get their much-needed fun, family-friendly exercise, and Vitamin D, but finding enjoyable activities for them to do can prove to be a chore-and-a-half, and may you soon find yourself running out of ideas. Although kids love playing outside, they do, unfortunately, tend to get easily bored, so one way to ensure this doesn't happen is to provide them with a fully comprehensive outdoor playset that will offer them a multitude of things to do, like climb, swing, and slide, and even play house. Getting one of the best outdoor playsets is a great way to keep the little ones busy and active while you finally get to sit down and relax in the sunshine.

What are the best outdoor playsets for kids?

The best outdoor playset for your needs highly depends on the amount of outdoor space you have, the age of your children, and how much you're willing to spend. From simple swing sets, to extensive large playground units, our list of the top outdoor playsets, with prices ranging from $150–$3000, has something for every need, style and budget, ensuring that you'll find one that's right for you and your kids. We've even found a couple of toddler-friendly versions for the younger ones to keep themselves occupied. The top outdoor playset contenders are:

swing sets
Credit: Amazon

Best Outdoor Playset: Sportspower Rosemead Metal Swing and Slide Set

To buy: $430.44; amazon.com.

With a wavy slide and four swings—two regular, one two-person glider, and one round flying saucer—this metal swing set from Sportspower will keep your kids and their friends occupied for hours, with six children able to play on it at once. Made from a heavy-duty steel that is weather-resistant and durable, this playset will last for years of fun. “We have four small children, so everyone can swing at once on here,” one shopper wrote in the reviews, adding, “We like the plastic covering the chains, to protect the kids from getting their fingers pinched.”

swing sets
Credit: Wayfair

Best Wooden Swing Set: Gorilla Playsets Free Standing Swing Set

To buy: $899 (originally $1,396); wayfair.com.

If you already have slides and a playhouse and want a good swing set to add to the outdoor play collection, this classic free standing swing set is a great option. Currently on sale with 36 percent off the starting price, this wooden set has two belt swings and a trapeze-ring swing for hours of swinging satisfaction. One pleased shopper wrote, “This swing set is well made and was easy to assemble... Will support older kids as well as adults who like to swing. Highly recommend to anyone looking for a simple swing set.”

swing sets
Credit: The Home Depot

Best Kids Swing Set with Slide: Lifetime Double Slide Deluxe

If your kids love a good slide, the two nine-foot wavy versions on this Lifetime swing and slide set, as well as all of its other super-fun features, is sure to delight them. It’s also big enough to accommodate adults who like to have a bit of fun, too. This outdoor playset is weather-resistant and has three belt swings, a trapeze swing, ladders and monkey bars, a 3D rock climbing wall, and a roofed clubhouse. One happy parent commented, “It accommodates so many kids and there are so many options,” and another wrote, “Great quality swing set with lots of stuff for the kids to do.”

swing sets
Credit: Wayfair

Best Climbing Play Structure: Gym Dandy Easy Outdoor Space Dome Climber

To buy: $219.99; wayfair.com.

For little Spiderman wannabes who love climbing all over the furniture, and perhaps even the walls, it’s time to bring in something that can help them live out their fantasies without giving you a heart attack. This multi-colored climbing dome from Gym Dandy is suitable for kids from ages 3–12, is rust and UV resistant, and, although it can handle all types of weather, can be brought inside too. One buyer explained, “It’s sturdy and the kids love it. If you have a small backyard this is a nice alternative to a play structure.”

swing sets
Credit: Amazon

Best Playhouse Swing Set: KidKraft Lewiston Retreat Cedar Wood Swing Set

To buy: $2,210.05; amazon.com.

Playing house just got a major upgrade. With two belt swings, one trapeze swing, a ladder, a rockwall, a wavy slide, and a tube slide, this KidKraft outdoor playset also provides your children with their own little duplex wooden cabin. On the lower “floor” of the clubhouse there is a wooden door, a kitchenette with stove and sink, and the upstairs has a protective roof canopy with a chimney. It also comes with many accessories like a phone, binoculars, and mailbox. For parents worried about setting up this complex looking structure, one buyer explained, “The instructions were very well written and easy to follow,” and another added, “Very satisfied with [the] quality of the construction; easy to read directions.” 

swing sets
Credit: Amazon

Best Budget Swing Set: SUPERDEAL Saucer Swing Set

To buy: $149.99; amazon.com.

To provide your kids with outdoor fun on a budget, at under $150, this saucer swing set is just the ticket. The set includes a heavy-duty and UV-resistant swing frame, and a two-person saucer swing that is irresistible even to adults (“It’s like a tire swing for adults who don’t have trees around to have a tire,” raved one happy buyer). This is also a great option for anyone with a smaller yard as its base is under 87 inches wide. One of the many five-star reviewers described this as the “best investment for our sanity,” and another wrote, “My 10 and 8-year-old are having a blast, and it's sturdy enough for an adult to sit on.”

swing sets
Credit: Wayfair

Best Backyard Playground Set for Smaller Kids: Step2 Clubhouse Climber

To buy: $828.67; wayfair.com.

Your littler ones will adore monkeying around on this Step2 outdoor playset. This climber and slide set is made from a high-quality, durable and hard-wearing weather-resistant plastic that can take a good beating and won’t fade or rust. With its small ladder for little legs, crawl-through tunnel, playhouse with hidden activities, and hide-out area (for important playing privacy), this thing will see plenty of action even on hot summer days as it’s heat-resistant too.

swing sets
Credit: Amazon

Best Outdoor Playset for Toddlers: LAZY BUDDY 5 in 1 Toddler Slide and Swing Set

To buy: $230.99; amazon.com

Life isn’t really fair for toddlers who want to play with the big kids’ toys, and this 5-in-1 toddler slide and swing set will give them a safe and size-appropriate alternative to the larger playsets that they so badly want to get their little mitts on. This bright playset is made from high-quality, sturdy, and non-toxic materials, and features a slide, two basketball hoops, a soccer goal, a swing with protector, and climbing holds. It even comes with two mini basketballs and a pump, so you might just get to read a few pages of that book after all.