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The Best Playground Sets for Your Backyard

If your home has a backyard and you have kids, an outdoor playground set can be a great addition to your backyard. They’re a great way to ensure your kids always have something to play on or with, right in the convenience of your backyard where you can keep an eye on them at all times. They’re fun and useful to have on hand for playdates, too. A playground set might be an especially worthwhile addition to your backyard if there isn’t a public park within a reasonable distance of your home. While you might think your backyard options are limited to a simple swing set or small slide, there is a whole slew of different features, sizes, and accessories you can choose from for your backyard playground set. Here are some models we recommend.

What to Consider in Backyard Playground Sets

Here are a few things to think about before buying a backyard playground set:

  • Features: Big, intricate playground sets with numerous features aren’t the only option for public parks. There are several different components and accessories you can find in playground sets for your backyard. Some features you can look for include towers, bridges, ladders, sandboxes, slides, swings, jungle gyms, monkey bars, and more. There are plenty of models that contain a combination of several or even all of these components in one. Sports accessories like basketball hoops or soccer nets can be options as well. Consider how much space you have in your yard and which features you think your kids might like, and pick a playset accordingly.
  • Base Material: There are three main foundational materials that most backyard playground sets will be made from: metal, wood, or plastic. Metal sets will be the sturdiest, low maintenance, and support a lot of weight, though it isn’t flexible and will conduct heat in hotter months. Look for stronger metals like steel, ideally ones that naturally have an anti-rust or anti-corrosion coating. Plastic will never rust or splinter, is easy to clean, and tends to be the most affordable of the materials but is the most prone to breaking, discoloration and fading, and becoming misshapen. Wood will look great in just about any setting, tends to be the most eco-friendly, is flexible yet strong, and easy to fix if it breaks, though it’s the most high maintenance of the three materials, might warp due to rain and moisture, and risks attracting insects like wasps or termites. Weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each of the three base materials, and decide which is best for you.
  • Price: If you want to buy a backyard playground set, be aware that they tend to run a little on the pricey side. However, that doesn’t mean you have to pay an arm and a leg to purchase one, especially plastic models or smaller ones designed for toddlers. They can come in quite a range of prices. The cost will be largely dependent on the size, material, and number of accessories and components with which a playground set comes equipped. You may find it useful to have a price range or budget in mind before you buy.

Best Wooden Model: Big Backyard KidKraft Playset

This is an exemplary and classic wooden backyard playground set with several bonus features. This set includes two belt swings, a small climbing rock wall, a wave slide with a high rail, a play deck with a protective canopy with a vinyl chalk wall, and a sandbox (sand sold separately). This playset can support up to seven children at once, with a maximum weight of 110 pounds each, for a total weight bearing capacity of 770 pounds, great for when your child wants to have friends over. The wooden body is made entirely of premium cedar lumber with green and yellow accents. All the wood comes pre-cut, pre-drilled, and pre-stained. The stain applied to the wood is specifically designed to be child-safe. Assembly is required, and the package comes with detailed, step-by-step directions to make it easier for you.

Best Wooden Model

KidKraft Andorra Wooden Outdoor Swing Set / Playset with 2 Swings, Slide, Rock Wall and Chalk Wall

A classic cedar wood playground with six extra features and a weight bearing capacity of 770 pounds.

Best Swing Set: XDP Recreation Swing Set

The swings are one of the most recognizable pieces of equipment on the playground, ones that have withstood the test of time and are almost universally beloved by kids. If you want to add a swing set to your backyard for your children, this ASTM and CPSIA compliant model is an optimal choice. The galvanized steel frame is strong enough to support up to seven kids at once, with a total weight capacity of 700 pounds (100 per seat). The foam frame leg guards around each base add safety and cushioning to the set while also increasing its stability. There are five total play stations, a see-saw, a disc swing, a classic belt swing, a swing seat, and a small wave slide on the side. The chains on each swing have a PVC cover to help protect your children’s fingers from getting pinched as well as reinforce them.

Best Swing Set

XDP Recreation Free N' Swing Swing Set, Gray, 91"D x 168"W x 74"H

A strong, galvanized steel swing set with five play stations.

Most Accessories: FITNESS REALITY KIDS Eight Station Swing Set

This backyard playground set has a whole range of different accessories. This model has eight total activity stations that can support up to nine children (between the ages of 3 and 8 years old) at a time. The stations include a 36-inch trampoline, a flying saucer swing, basketball hoop and backboard, soccer net attached to the side, a two-kid glider, classic swing, a set of ring-style monkey bars, and a plastic wave slide. A basketball, soccer ball, and air pump come included with your purchase. Each station supports up to 80 pounds each, except for the glider, which can support 160 pounds (80 pounds per seat). The powder-coated tubular steel construction is strong and sturdy and is ASTM safety tested and approved, so you know your children can play in the yard in safety.

Most Accessories

FITNESS REALITY KIDS ‘The Ultimate’ 8 Station Sports Series Metal Swing Set, Blue, One Size

A large, strong backyard playground set with eight different stations to hold and support nine different kids at once.

Best for Toddlers: LAZY BUDDY Five-in-One Toddler Slide and Swing Set

If you have an active toddler at home and want to give them a fun, safe spot to play in your backyard, this colorful, plastic playset is a perfect choice. The high-quality HDPE plastic is tasteless and nontoxic with a durable matte finish. This five-in-one set is comprised of a slide, swing, two adjustable basketball hoops (one with a backboard and corner table), and a soccer goal to give your child the option to play multiple games and play possibilities. The base of the soccer goal can also double as a ring toss station. The gentle design, buffer zone, and nonslip steps of the slide make it as safe as possible for your child, as does the strong hook rope on the swing, U-shaped swing base plates, and removable T-shaped swing handle. For even more optimal safety purposes, ensure that this playset is installed on flat ground. It can support up to 110 pounds, with a maximum capacity of 66 pounds for the swing. Two balls, a manual needle pump, and an instruction manual all come included with your purchase. Note that because of the size of this backyard playground set, it will be delivered in two separate packages.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and How-To Geek and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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