When we moved last summer, we had to leave our swing set behind! Well, we actually left it out for the trash. It was rotting and falling down, and we had to dismantle it to sell the house. Our new backyard is twice as big and has some lovely trees, but until a few weeks ago, there wasn’t much for the kids to do back there!

We received a discount on our play set in exchange for this honest review. I only promote companies and products on this site that I can fully stand behind! The opinions in this post are all mine.

We have been trying to decide which play set to buy for years… we were originally going to replace our rotting one at the old house, and then decided to wait until moving into our “forever home” before taking that step. So we’ve given this a lot of thought!

There are basically two options. One is to buy a play set from Costco, Home Depot, or any of the other big box stores. The downsides that we kept coming back to with that route is that you have to assemble the play sets yourself (no small task!) and the overall scale of those type of play sets is better suited for preschoolers, not big kids. They are also not necessarily built to last.

Our kids are 15, 12, 9, almost 7, and 4. The 12 year old still needs to get out a LOT of energy. In fact, my experience has been that energy levels actually increase when boys hit middle school! Then the younger three kids are super busy personalities and get really crazy in the house if they don’t have enough time to climb and play.

We went to The Wooden Swing in Dallas, TX, and as soon as I saw my kids climbing all over the swing sets in their showroom, I knew that this was a better option!

We decided to go with the Olympian Peak Junior from the brand Backyard Adventures.

The scale of this play set is really ideal. The whole play set can withstand an adult climbing on it. The height of the play deck is 6 feet off the ground, and the swing arm is 9 feet off the ground. That height makes these swings fun like playground swings! My 12 year old loves playing on them, and it’s fun for me to ride, too! The slide is also a generous length, and very fast. Fun for preschoolers, and big kids too.

We’ve had friends over a couple of times since getting this play set, and it will easily accommodate 6-8 kids at one time!

We’re planning to order a skateboard swing from Amazon soon – so fun!! Be aware that those skateboard swings need a clearance of at least 8 feet off the ground to be fun. Most big box store play sets have a 7 foot swing arm.

Even though the scale of this play set is a generous size, it’s still safe for young kids. We had a 2 year old friend over the other day, and she did great! The ladder has full size steps and bars to hold on to, so it’s very secure for young kids to climb.

Things to Look for When Choosing a Play Set:

  • Look for cedar or redwood. Cheaper woods just won’t hold up in the weather!
  • Look for sturdy construction. You don’t want your play set to creek and sway after only a couple years.
  • Look for a company that provides quality installation, and that can come back out if your play set ever has a problem.
  • Ask yourself, “Is this play set big enough to be fun? And worth it?”

Bottom line… if you don’t plan to use the play set for very long, I’d go with a cheaper set from a big box store. But if you have lots of kids, entertain frequently, and might be hitting the stage of grandkids by the time your youngest child outgrows the play set, I’d invest in something better!

Thinking of a play set for Christmas? If you’re in the Dallas – Fort Worth area, I highly recommend The Wooden Swing! In fact, our friends at The Wooden Swing Co. have graciously agreed to offer a special coupon just for my readers! Through November 30th, get an additional 5% off their anniversary sale prices when you mention this offer.

Have a small or oddly shaped or uneven yard? Wooden Swing Co. can design a play set just for you! Go check them out!

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