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.

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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.


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.




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,

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.

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