Recommend a Swing Set
May 3, 2008 7:16 AM   Subscribe

Children's backyard play structure filter: recommendations wanted.

I am looking for a backyard playset/play structure for kids aged 7-10; let's say I have up to $2500 to spend. Requirements: wood, not plastic; slide, 2 swings, deck structure; durability and safety are key considerations. I can assemble (up to light carpentry). Backyard is pretty level already.

Mostly I'm looking for comments from people who have bought one of these things which they either like or hate, with reasons.
posted by spitbull to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have two boys, ages 5 and 7.

We bought a wood playset from SamsClub a couple years ago or longer. It has two swings, a climbing wall, a clubhouse and a deck that is uncovered, a lower deck, and monkey bars. My husband and I put it together in two days. Sams seems to have an awesome one now in-store.. It's huge. They have more on the website. I We have been very happy with the quality of our playset from Sams. It is made by Leisure Time Products. We have had zero problems with it and it was relatively simple to put together.

Two Christmases ago my parents bought our kids a trampoline. I thought I'd never have a trampoline because they are dangerous and huge. It was the been the best thing ever. My kids are on the trampoline and playset nearly every day.

With 2500 dollars, you could do both.
posted by LoriFLA at 7:42 AM on May 3, 2008

Swingsets -- the bigger the better. Put a sandbox under the deck part.

Trampolines seem to be a tremendous hit. The closed-in ones are safer unless you only allow one kid on at a time, which is next to impossible to police.
posted by unSane at 8:58 AM on May 3, 2008

Depending on what you mean by "light carpentry" and how much time you have on your hands, and, of course, how many extra cool parent points you can get with something custom, a visit to Google with the terms swingset playhouse and plans revealed a lot of cool ideas and plans available out there.

And just poking around there are places that will sell you all the specialty hardware you might want.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:06 AM on May 3, 2008

We bought ours from Backyard Adventures a few years back and have been happy with it. Durable, safe, and they come in a broad price range depending on your configuration. I think we paid under $2K including installation for a covered deck, slide, climbing wall, and three swings or trapezes.

And I agree with unSane - a sandbox under the deck thingy is a good idea.
posted by schrodycat at 2:31 PM on May 3, 2008

Thirding the trampoline. We bought one for our daughter 10 years ago. She used it long after she outgrew the swing/playset (which she gave up on when she turned 12). We'll only dismantle it this year after she heads off to college. She still uses for the occasional bounce and just to lie on to listen to her iPod or read.
posted by clarkstonian at 5:10 PM on May 3, 2008

i have a Rainbow set, have had it for 4 years. It's a real nice set. I'd buy another in a hearbeat.

The biggest piece of advice I'd offer you is go with a structure made of cedar. Pressure treated wood is NASTY stuff, full of chemicals that will eat through a nail in DAYS. Cedar resists rot without the use of chemicals, better for the environment, safer for your kids
posted by Mr_Chips at 5:14 PM on May 3, 2008

My siblings and I got an entire childhood worth of wear on Cedar Works swingset. With our age span, that was about 22 years. From their website, it looks like you can really go nuts adding turrents and swings and slides - but you don't need need all that. We had the "cheap" model - a Revelry Tower, and that held up through nine moves, including two cross-country and being beat on by Coast Guard brats of all sizes. It was lovely!

Have fun! A jungle gym is a fantastic addition to any backyard.
posted by nelleish at 6:42 AM on May 4, 2008

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