Choosing a Good Playscape/swingset

Updated on March 12, 2009
A.C. asks from Sterling Heights, MI
14 answers

Last year my daughter loved playing on the playscape that came with our old house(even though it was designed for older kids) . Since then we have moved and want to buy a playscape for our new house. (My daughter is now 3 and son is 1). I have two questions.

1) To what age do most kids play on playscapes? Everyone keeps telling me I have to buy the $3,000 Rainbow System playscapes because they will last forever. Do kids really play on them "forever", like to age 10? How old were your kids when they stopped playing on theirs?

2) If the answer to my first question is "yes", then do I really need to spend $3,000 to get one that will last? I don't want to spend that much if I don't need to, but I would rather spend more and have it last, then spend less and have to buy a new one, especially since $1,000 is still a lot of money and I hear they are A LOT of work to put together.

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N.B.

answers from Detroit on

We a got a great deal on a rainbow one from costco. Every year they come out with a bigger and better one. This years is realy awsome and I think it was $1200-$1400. Costco usually gives out a coupon too. the only difference between the one at costco and rainbow store is they use 4x4 instead of 6x6 wood. they use the same redwood and it will last and is made by rainbow for costco.

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P.R.

answers from Detroit on

do your research on arsenic in the wood ones...

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K.M.

answers from Detroit on

ok A. this is what I think. 1st I have 4 kids and sometimes they play on it aometimes they don't. I do have a 4,000.00 dollar rainbow. My kids are 8,6,4,and 17 months. Yes they all play with it. Actually the 8 and 6 year old like toplay fort with the house looking part of it. We bought it because it holds adult weight. I love swinging. When the kids get older and don't use it we are going to get the glider and use it for that and have it for our grand kids. If your planning on staying the house for a long time I would do it. You can swing with your kids and play with them on it. Its fun!!! But the choice is your I know my husband wasn't happy with us spending that on it.

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C.M.

answers from Detroit on

There is a great Rainbow playscape at Costco for $1200. I would look at that one.

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A.U.

answers from Detroit on

We have the Sunray playscape from Costco. Its very nice and very sturdy, made out of Cedar. Also Sunray is a company owned by Rainbow, so same quality - just not the "rainbow" price. Here's the link of the exact one we have..
http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11257173...=
It shows $1699.99 here, but that is if you have it shipped to your house. To pick up in the store, I think it was more like $1300 or $1400.

One warning is that it takes a WHOLE weekend to put together! But worth it in the end :)

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A.S.

answers from Detroit on

I think it's crazy to spend that much money. My sis-in-law bought a rainbow set for $7,000. Her kids are too busy to play with it half the time. They look nice...but in the end the kids do not care about how "nice" they look in the backyard. Simplify! I bought one last fall off of craigslist. The previous owner purchased a kit from Lowe's and built it. He used treated wood so it will hold up. We bought it from him for $150 (he spent probably $1000 brand new). My husband plans to powerwash and stain it in the spring...otherwise, my son and all the neighbors seem to love it!). You should know that I am very picky about how my house looks...so the set isn't junk. My husband and I love hanging out in the backyard in the summers...and I wouldn't be able to stand looking at a junky playset. It was just a matter of patience to find the right one at the right price...

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M.H.

answers from Detroit on

Costco carry's a great looking playscape. Know I don't think they play on the much pass 7-8. depending on size.

My dd is 18 now but very small at those ages & she loved going to the park to play on them.

Good luck making your decision...

M.

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V.H.

answers from Detroit on

Try going to the toy soldier/doll hospital place in I think Royal Oak on 14 mile- we got our wooden set there for around $1200 and it is as solid as the rainbow ones. They have lots of add-ons and offer delivery and set up for not much more. They normally advertise in Metro Parent with deals and the Sunday papers as now is the time to get a preseason bargain....good luck!

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S.S.

answers from Detroit on

It's true that the Rainbow playscape is amazing quality. We have one that is about 6-7 years old that needs a little paint and will be like new. We are going to sell it though. Our son is almost 11. From age 3-10 he and his friends loved to climb up in the fort and fly down the slide. He used the swing alot (an only child). The ball that hangs down with the monkey bar on it was almost never used though. The sand box underneath got a lot of use too.

Hope that helps!

Too all of you who wanted a price and picture of our playscape, I will get it when the weather breaks! :)

S.
[email protected]____.com

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A.M.

answers from Detroit on

Look at Home Depot. We have the Brookview II playset and it is really well made, and is about $1000. Just read the reviews-they were pretty accurate when I was researching for ours. I didn't want to buy a flimsy one just to save money, and this playset is very sturdy and well made and a good price.

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A.P.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi A., my name is A. and I sell Rainbow Playsystems and if you are looking for a playset that will last a very long time, than you are going to want to go with a playset that is designed to last. Most playsets that you see at Toys R Us and Sams, even Home Depot, they are built with treated lumber and treated lumber does not last a long time. Rainbow playsets are built with all redwood and cedar, so they are made to be outside for many years.

As for the age a child stops playing on a playset is going to be the age they grow out of it. I have a playset in my store and I see several 10,11, and 12 year olds playing on it just like the younger ones, so I would recomend you buy a playset that is built for a little older than you child is now, so your child can grow into it.

The expense of playsets is quite high, but I want to let you know that the resale value of a Rainbow playset is also high. I have looked on ebay and a few other websites and I have found 5-10 year old playsets selling for about half of what they sell for new.

So, please do the research and I think you will find that if you put a little more money into the playset, you will be much happier 5 plus years down the road.

Sincerely,
A.

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C.S.

answers from Detroit on

We bought a Rainbow playset when we found out we were having a third boy. It was one of the best purchases we've made. My oldest boy is 10-1/2 and still, when his friends come over in the summer, they hang out on it. My youngest is 4 and he is just beginning to explore it fully. So I figure we have atleast another 5-6 years with it. You can put a baby swing in one of the swing spots and that will last you a couple of years until your children are old enough for the big swings. Yes, they are pricy but I can't tell you how many times my husband and I have been thankful for that playset. I do recommend, however, if you buy one, to pay the extra to get it installed. It is VERY complicated. Good luck!

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F.W.

answers from Detroit on

My kids played up to around age 11. MY 14 year old still uses it for pull-ups, arm strengthening, etc. They used it less as they got older, but they still use it. I got one of thsoe cedar ones, and yes it has lasted 9 years without one problem with it. Do I think it was worth it? If you can find a safe one for cheaper, I say go for it. IFyou takeyour kids to parks all of the time, then don't invest in it, but if your backyard is the only source of entertainment, I think it was worth it for us.

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D.H.

answers from Detroit on

If you don't mind being patient, I would definitely recommend checking garage sales, craigs list, and ebay for a used Rainbow or Cedar Works set. We purchased a used Rainbow set at a garage sale two years ago, and while it did take my husband a little time to clean it up and put it together, it was much cheaper than buying new. My parents also found a Rainbow set at a garage sale, and it's a big hit with all the grandkids. Whatever kind of set you buy, I would recommend checking the weight limits. We liked the Rainbow and Cedar Works sets because most of their sets can support 250-300 lbs, so adults can play on it with the kids, too.

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