For families looking to add to their outdoor play areas, it can be intimidating to try and shop for a new home playground set, especially when shopping on a budget. Of course, the first concern is safety, but beyond that, parents want to ensure it is fun, durable, and ready to stand up to years of play. The best place to start comparison shopping is with some of the best reviewed and most popular sets available. The top three to consider right now are the Backyard Discovery Woodridge II, the Step2 Clubhouse Climber and the Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure Swing Set. Read on to learn which is right for your family and your wallet.

What material are these sets made out of?

The Woodridge II is made out of 100% solid cedar, except for the swings, bars, and slide. The Adventure swing set is built out of traditional tubular steel with powder-coated protection. Finally, the Step2 Clubhouse is made out of UV protected plastics which are lightweight yet surprisingly durable. All meet international safety standards.

Is the plastic set safe for outside?

The plastic set resists fading and is waterproof. It performs well during the warmer seasons but should be stored away from ice and snow as that can promote cracking and chipping. Fortunately, it does disassemble without too much effort for easier storage in the basement or shed.

What ages are the playsets designed to accommodate?

The Step2 is designed for ages 2 to 5, with a smaller footprint, steps, and handholds designed for little hands and feet. It is a great option for daycares and young families. Both the Woodridge and the Adventure Swing Set are targeted at ages 7 through 13, but parents can reach the higher platforms safely and without too much wear and tear on the sets.

What are the best deals on the top three playgrounds?

The Step2 starts at just $600 and some smaller sets are less expensive. The Adventure swing set can be found for around $1200, but remember to budget for installation when considering costs. The Woodridge II has an MSRP of $1800, but you can find it on sale for $1500 especially in the spring. The Woodridge offers a 5-year warranty on the wood structure, while the Adventure has only a 1-year warranty which does not cover rust.

Do the top three home playgrounds require professional installation?

The Step2 is ready to be snapped together right out of the box, though it might take two people to assemble. The Woodridge and the Adventure will be delivered with all the hardware needed to install them, but they both need to have footings poured to secure them to the ground. Parents should consider having the larger playgrounds professionally installed, for both safety and convenience.

How much will professional installation of a home playground cost?

It is possible to hire a pro for about $1000 to have a home playground professionally installed if installation is ordered with the product. It may be possible to find a local handyman that will do the job for less, however.

How many swings, bars and slides does each one have?

The Woodridge offers 2 swings, a trapeze, 10-foot slide and ladders, It also has a bench, sandbox, and upstairs play platforms. The Adventure has 3 swings, a set of monkey bars and a 9-foot wavy slide. The Step2 has a mini-slide, steps, and two tunnels sized to fit pre-schoolers.

What amount of space is required for each home playground?

The Woodridge recommends a 22-foot x 36-foot area for safe operation. The Adventure needs a slightly smaller area, but would work in a 1/3 acre yard. The Step2 needs about 20-foot wide and 10-foot deep play area to be used as intended. Remember, the kids need room to run and jump around the equipment. Consider putting down a rubber or mulch base to help lower the chance of injury.