17 answers

Looking to Buy a Great Swing Set for Our 3-Year-old

Hello, everyone. My in-laws have generously offered to purchase a swing set for our daughter who will be 3 on the 27th of this month, and we would like some recommendations on ones that are good quality, safe, and reasonably priced. We are thinking about one of those nice wooden sets, and would prefer to have it installed, as I have been reading reviews on several of the build-it-yourself sets and am finding that they seem to take a ridiculous amount of time and effort to install (neither my husband or myself are the handiest of folks). We'd like to stay within a budget of about $2,000.00 including delivery and installation. Thanks in advance for your help!

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Look into Sauders (an Amish market) in Seneca Falls....they deliver and install and we (and my parents at their cottage) have a great wooden set and LOVE IT! We also looked into BEARS playgrounds but went with Sauders which was more affordable- both are family run/owned businesses which is nice.
Good luck!
- J. D.

We used Eastern Jungle Gym on Route 9A in Elmsford. They were fine. The guy who set it up did a great job.

More Answers

We bought a wooden set from BJ's almost 3 years ago for under $1000. My husband put it up himself and yes, it took HOURS. We've had NO problems with it, except the slide needs to be adjusted this season due to the mulch/ground settling and my boys using their dump trucks to relocate a whole lot of the ground material :)
Yes, we've had a wasp (or bee) nest in the playhouse roof, but my husband sprayed it at sunset and removed it the next day. (We've also had them in our grill, on our deck, our shed and our fence. They're all over)
That all said, I've heard wonderful things about "Rainbow Playsets" but we couldn't afford one. I don't know their price range currently.

I've had metal sets in the past - they rust over time. My brother and sil are happy with theirs.

ALL sets need to be anchored properly, according to their mfr recommendations.

1 mom found this helpful

We are looking to buy one as well. I have decided to go with a metal swing set.

All of our neighbors have the ubiquitous wooden play set. Up close and personal, they are really not worth the money in my opinion. I have one neighbor that built it themselves (cheapest), one that paid to have it put in (moderate) and one that has a cheap one and and very expensive one next to it. The cheap & moderate ones are just that, cheap & moderate. The really expensive one is good.

Now with all 3 noted above I have seen splintering wood, wasps nests (they like wood), shakiness, and the swings squeak horribly. If you do not maintain these annually you will run into problems.

We have a step 2 plastic climber that weathers very well, easy to clean, and requires zero maintainence. We will probably add the metal swing set next to it this summer. Good luck with your decision.

A.

1 mom found this helpful

Wood Kingdon in Farmingdale-I think it is on Rt. 110 or on one of those side streets off 110 has a great selection, wide price range and good quality. They do deliver and install and I believe they have a season maintenance program where they come in the spring and tighten all the nuts & bolts for the begining of the season. We got a tremendous swing set with a tree house attached a few years back, also purchased by my inlaws and my kids love it. Good luck.

We did a lot of research on this a few years back and the safest sets were made by Rainbow Direct. They has a showroom (outdoors) out on Route 46 in Parsippany. I do not know the cost of the least expensive model, but they were pricier than other company. However we looked at it as an investment in our childrens fun and knew it would last us for years and years without ever needing to be replaced.

I look at wooden sets around my neighborhood and after a couple summers you can see just how poorly they hold up (my neighbor has one from Toy's R Us that I honestly don't know how they let their kids play on it.

Good Luck!

Check out Sam's Club. They have sets called Play-a-rounds which are made by Cedar Works. It doesn't include installation, but most of the pieces are pre-assembled.

http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&i...

http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&i...

http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&i...

Costco has a great and affordable set. Look into whether they have an installation option.

Hi J.,
I had a Rainbow set. We bought it in 2002, when my first son was 2yrs old. My sister in law had done a lot of research and found that these were the best and were guaranteed. My kids loved playing on it, but if I had it to do over again I wouldn't have bought it. I found that being guaranteed against splinters and bug infestation didn't mean that it won't happen. After my first carpenter bee attack on my swing set I called the company. They said that I had to take a picture of the hole that the bee had made and send it to them. Then, they replaced the part for free, but charged about $75.00 to have it replaced and I believe to have it shipped. Since it was the piece that was going across the top I didn't think that we could do it, so I paid. The NEXT time the carpenter bees made holes in the wood going down the slide. I can't remember the exact price, but I believe it went up to what I thought was more than the price of the wood piece so I asked if I could just come pick it up. Luckily, there is a place near me, so we drove out there and picked it up. My husband replaced it pretty easily. When we were moving my husband went to take it down, and in the screw holes he found more bug infestation inside the pieces of wood that we couldn't see from the outside. We just got rid of it. The house we moved to had a metal swing set that they were leaving and although it doesn't have a fort or a large slide, they have parks for that and the kids play on this one just fine. If I had it to do over again, I would stay away from the wood and do my own research on the metal and plastic ones. You just have to decide which one work best for you. I hope that you and your daughter have lots of fun on whichever one you choose.
Good Luck,
S.

If you go for wooden please talk with the salesman about durability and splinters. I have several friends who had wonderful wooden swingsets that after a few years (3-4) were not durable at all and had to be taken down due to tons of slivers in kids hands, feet and even tush from summertime bathing suit season. These were expensive sets, not cheap ones. And I know that making sure it is cemented in correctly is important too, a friend of mine's was not and fell over during a party, luckily no kids were hurt.

I HIGHLY recommend a Cedarworks swingset. The set is made from cedar....no splinters, no pressure treated wood chemicals, and it never needs to be stained. It just naturally ages to a silver. Go on their website, cedarworks.com, and there is a great interactive design your own set tool. I suggest you start within your budget with a tower and some swings, and every year add on to your set. After you purchase something from them, they email you a 20% sale every December to buy whatever you want.

All our neighbors have rainbow sets and some home depot sets....the neighborhood tends to come over and play on ours the most!

Feel free to email me if you have any questions or want to see a picture of our set... ____@____.com

Good luck!

Jen Costco sells some nice ones,

very affordable and depending on your membership, American express offers you 5 percent on your groceries and gas if you spend over 6 thousand a year, so look into that,
BEFORE purchasing, with the first 2 grand down , i am sure you will have no problem spending the addtl 4 LOL,

M

We used Eastern Jungle Gym on Route 9A in Elmsford. They were fine. The guy who set it up did a great job.

Hi J.,

I would definitely recommend that you look into the Rainbow Play Systems sets (1-800-724-6269). In 2005 we purchased ours which was a Carnival Clubhouse Model 102. It's nothing extravagant compared to some of the models they have, but my kids still love it!!! Back then, it cost us $2,630 and the installation charge was $99. Most fence companies sell these playsets if you wanted to take a look. I'm sure there are some less expensive models than we chose, but I definitely think it's worth looking at.
Good Luck!
L. B.

We bought a set at Costco and it was money well spent. It's made by Rainbow and it's usually around $1300. My husband put ours together over a weekend but I have a friend in Westchester NY who bought the same set and found a man on the internet who does installation of these sets every season. She said he was great and charged about $400.

I don't know where you live, but on Long Island there are a couple of places that I would look. One is Creative Playthings which is located on the LIE service road in Jericho. The other is Wood Kingdom in Famingdale, off of Rt.110. We have been to birthday parties at Wood Kingdom, which also has a showroom. YOu can see all they have to offer and can choose something they have or put together your own swingset. Creative Playthings has the same options. Ours if from Creative Playthings, and our kids are always on it, but I would have gone to both places just to give myself more options. Good luck!

We have loved our Cedar Works set and found the company to stand behind their products wonderfully. I'm not totally sure about prices since my kids are now teenagers so it has been awhile. Check their website and/or give them a call. They have MANY options and some will probably be more costly, but hopefully they have something that you will like in your price range. We purchased our set when our older daughter (now 16) turned 3, shortly after we moved into our curent home and now our set is still standing and sturdy and they even swing on it occasionally and visiting friends and relatives do also. I think it cost us around $1500 (in 1994), but I'm not totally sure any more. At some point we had a problem with the "rungs" on the ladders and Cedar Works replaced them all (plus some other parts that were connected to them) at no cost. All we had to do was email them photos of the problem and they were able to look us up in their computer and determined that their guarantee was good. (I don't remember if it is a lifetime guarantee or something like ten or twenty years, but it is a good one!) The problem was a defect that they had since corrected via a change in the design/materials. Our neighbors were so impressed with the service we got that they subsequently got a Cedar Works set in their backyard also. My husband installed our set, but our neighbors obtained the services of a local installer through Cedar Works. I believe that they were satisfied and felt that the installation price was very fair.

Good luck!

Look into Sauders (an Amish market) in Seneca Falls....they deliver and install and we (and my parents at their cottage) have a great wooden set and LOVE IT! We also looked into BEARS playgrounds but went with Sauders which was more affordable- both are family run/owned businesses which is nice.
Good luck!
- J. D.

Hi J.! We had the cambridge model from samsclub and just bought the woodbridge at our new house. The cambridge and woodbridge look very similar but the cambridge is last years model and you can only have it delivered. It's about $1600 to delivery it and $1200 to pick up except you may have to hire someone to put it together if you and your husband/friends cannot do it. It does take a while and if you don't take all the pieces out and organize it first, almost impossible :o) My 3 year old girl LOVES it! Definitely follow the advice though....We like it because it is more like a clubhouse and a swingset...

http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&i...

I will tell you that we had a horrible storm one day and about 4 pieces of wood broke. I called Leisure Time and they sent me new pieces at no charge.

S.

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