I have wanted to buy a wooden playset for our backyard for over a year now. I have asked around for recommendations on where to buy in the past, but it can be a very complicated process. You have to think about how big you want it to be – do you want a fabric roof on the deck or a wood one? Do you want a rock wall? How many swings do you need it to hold? Do you want monkey bars or a single beam to hold those swings? And finally, how big of a slide do you want? Well, thanks to Sara H., a loyal reader of CSP, here is a detailed overview of three retailers to help you find a playset to fit your needs.
Backyard Adventures – Offers four different styles of playsets – the Backyard, Adventure, Olympian and Titan Treehouses. They are all made of Cedar/Redwood and have limited lifetime warranties on the wood. The Backyard Treehouse is a new offering that accommodates smaller yards and the Titan is the largest. They offer wood and tarp roof types depending on the style, and the deck heights range from 5 to 6 feet. The deck size is 5 feet by 5 feet on all sets, but the Titan comes with two levels for 45 square feet of play. The Adventure Treehouse offers monkey bars for the beam type, room for three swings and a 10-foot slide. The Olympian has the single beam, room for four swings and a 12-foot rocket slide. Only one version of the Olympian comes with the rock wall. If you go to backyardadventures.com you can request a free brochure. Costs range from $2,963.10 to $4,676.00 and discounts are available.
Rainbow Play Systems – There are many sizes to choose from – Fiesta, Carnival, Sunshine, Rainbow, Monster and King Kong. Sara researched the mid-sized system, Sunshine Clubhouse, with Extras and with Monkey Combo. These both are made with Cedar/Redwood and have a lifetime warranty on the wood and the slides (not limited like Backyard Adventures). The roof types are tarp with deck heights of 5 feet. The Clubhouse with Monkey Combo comes with the monkey bars and room for three swings; the other version has the single beam and only two swings. They both come with a 10 foot slide and a rock wall. A trapeze and/or rope swing is included as well. Prices for these styles range from $3,599 – 3,799. Sara also found out that that the Sunray brand playsets sold at Costco are made by the same company as Rainbow Play Systems. The Sunray at Costco sells for $1699 (much cheaper) but you have to find someone to install it. You can also request a free catalog at Rainbowplaysystems.com and find the showroom in Charlotte. Check out the website because they list showroom samples on sale.
Creative Playthings – Offers three types of wood construction, Naturaline™ made of 100% pure Redwood and comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty, Special Pine™ which is #1 Grade Southern Pine with a Limited Lifetime Warranty and Basic Pine™ which is the most affordable and comes with a 10 year Limited Warranty. They all come with a rock wall and have room for three swings. Sara looked into the Cresent set which is part of the Naturaline. It has a 5 x 5 deck size and 5 foot deck height, and wood roof. It comes with single beams or monkey bars and a 10 foot slide. The Back to Back glider is included and costs range from $2,929 and 3,299. The Lexington is part of the Special Pine collection and has a 5 x 7 deck with a tarp roof. It also comes with single bean or monkey bars with a 10 foot slide. Back to back glider is also included and costs range from $2,429 to 2,729. The Williamsburg is also a Special Pine set and has a 5 x 5 deck size, 10 inch slide, and comes with single beam or monkey bars. The Back to Back glider is included and costs range from $2,229 to 2,529. Go to http://www.creativeplaythings.com/ to find a dealer as well as download coupons.
I hope this is useful for all of the moms out there looking to get your kids outside this spring. Another place to check is Craig’s list to see if anyone in the area is selling one. Or let me know, I would be happy to buy a used one if someone is looking to sell. And thanks again to Sara for all of her hard work!