In order to become familiar with the concept of an “outdoor playhouse”, we will need to make some sort of an introduction and, only then, you will be able to understand what an outdoor playhouse really is and what outdoor playhouse to buy in the end.

As time goes on, it becomes harder and harder to make children entertained in the long run. A while ago, all it took was a set of different toys and you would have a guarantee that your child will have plenty of fun for hours to come but, modern children are much more “needy”. Which, actually, isn’t bad at all – remember, different times ask for different kinds of entertainment as well.

People who were born in the 1950s and the 1960s (for example) didn’t have the pleasure to grow up with computers and they barely even had proper television whereas, nowadays, none of us can imagine a proper life without these commodities.

Regardless of all these technical innovations, children always used to play outside “by default”. That was the case….well, almost since Stone Age. No matter if we talk about sports or other games, outdoor games promote a healthy lifestyle from an early age and, depending on the game, they can also be very important when it comes to stimulating the general creativity of your child as well.

That’s where the outdoor playhouse kicks in. Not only that this is the best way for your child to spend some quality time outside, it’s also a very creative way to spend that time as well. Your child will be able to run his/her own house and develop a sense of “ownership” from very early age already. And the best thing about the outdoor playhouse is that this product is not age-restricted, it’s just as suitable for toddlers as it is suitable for older children, in general. So, the playhouse is definitely the way to go!

If you are looking for a proper guide that will, hopefully, supply enough info to make you fully prepared to buy the best playhouse for your child, you are definitely in the right place. There are many different choices for an outdoor playhouse to choose from and even more types that should be considered so, a new buyer will very likely be confused. If you don’t know what kind of playhouse you are looking for, the situation becomes even trickier. But with the info that we are going to provide here, you should definitely be one step closer to buying the outdoor playhouse of your child’s dreams.

One tiny note before we begin too – all of these 10 outdoor playhouses are great choices but, all of them have their own upsides and downsides too. So, an outdoor playhouse that is perfect for one child may not be that good for another. We didn’t exactly rank these 10 outdoor playhouses but, we did focus on providing enough description for each product so that you can understand both the good sides and the bad sides which will certainly be useful when bringing the final decision. At the same time, we also listed the category of each product so, you will also get to know what type of playhouse you are looking at.

Let’s get rolling!

Best Wooden Outdoor Playhouse

Scenic Heights All Cedar Playhouse (Backyard Discovery)


outdoor playhouse
The first outdoor playhouse on our list is Scenic Heights All Cedar Playhouse designed by Backyard Discovery.  As you can see, this outdoor playhouse is tagged as “the best wooden outdoor playhouse” and, as you can guess, it really is one of the best wooden models that you can buy.

Let’s talk about this outdoor playhouse in a bit more details now – The whole construction is very basic but, don’t let that get to you. This outdoor playhouse is both stable and compact at the same time. It’s made from pure cedar which guarantees enough durability to withstand both the prolonged pressure that comes from just using the outdoor playhouse (in a longer timeframe, though) and the pressure that comes from various harsh weather conditions that happen almost on a daily basis. One of the main concerns that should always be addressed when buying a particular outdoor playhouse is definitely the safety. Luckily, as we noted, thanks to a pure cedar structure, this outdoor playhouse is able to provide maximum safety for your child even during the most extreme weather conditions. This outdoor playhouse is very resistant to natural decay and it’s completely rot-resistant as well. That means that your child will be able to have countless hours of pure fun without having to worry that his/her new outdoor playhouse will start “crumbling” due to factors that none of us can really control.

The best thing about this playhouse and the thing that really sells it is the fact that the whole construction is really tight which gives the child an additional sense of safety and comfort. This model is very easily assembled and it doesn’t consume a lot of space either. On top of that, the design is very straightforward and your child will very quickly feel this outdoor playhouse as his/her new home to play with.

To sum things up, this is certainly one of the best choices if you are looking for a good outdoor playhouse that is made by using the wooden materials and it’s equally a great choice if you are looking for an outdoor playhouse that is designed for children of any age. It’s just as good for both toddlers and older children, in general.  Lastly, it’s also a very cost-effective product where you can get quite a lot but for a very minimal cost. We can hardly recommend it enough so, if you’re interested in buying it after reading these lines, you know what you need to do!

Pros:

  • This is an ideal choice for the outdoor playhouse when it comes to children of any age.
  • You are getting a great outdoor playhouse for a very reachable price.
  • This outdoor playhouse is designed from pure cedar and that gives it both the long-term stability and the long-term safety as well.

Cons:

  • Even though the fairly simplistic design can be seen as a huge advantage, your child can quickly ask for another more “fancy-looking” outdoor playhouse.
  • There is a certain risk that your child may end up outgrowing this outdoor playhouse at some point.

Best Combo Outdoor Playhouse

Big Backyard Brightside Wooden Swing Set (KidCraft)


outdoor playhouse
Before we get into more details about our next outdoor playhouse, I have to say that the term “combo” is maybe a bit too broad but, in this guide, we will refer to this category as a (sub)group that includes more than just a regular outdoor playhouse.

This particular outdoor playhouse from KidCraft is, indeed, not your everyday outdoor playhouse but, it certainly combines everything that children (should) like.

Along with a (fairly) basic outdoor playhouse, this Big Backyard Brightside Wooden Swing Set also includes a high-wave rail slide, a ladder that is used to get in and out of the playhouse, monkey bars and a pair of swings. Now, to be fair, you can buy all of these extra additions as separate products but, it’s much better to use this occasion and get all of them packed into one single (yet functional) product instead.

Another great thing about this particular playhouse is that the design is very child-friendly. The construction is basic but it’s also very colorful as well. Each section uses different colors and, even though the product would’ve been even better with a bigger variety of colors, it’s still a great way to keep the diversity flowing. On top of that, the structure of this outdoor playhouse is very stable and it can hold up to 9 children at a time! The maximum supported weight is 110 lbs per child so, you can bet that this outdoor playhouse will last quite a while.

Without a doubt, if you are looking for an playhouse that is more than just a regular playhouse and a product that combines multiple different functionalities, this is a very good model that should be seriously considered. The price may be a bit overwhelming but, I can guarantee, you really do get what you pay for – and that is what really matters at the end of the day.

Pros:

  • This outdoor playhouse is a great solution if you want an all-around model that combines the regular outdoor playhouse with other (trendy) functionalities.
  • This outdoor playhouse is an ideal choice for both the older children and young toddlers as well.
  • The construction is very stable and it can hold up to 9 different children (with the average weight being 110 lbs for each child).

Cons:

  • The price can be very overwhelming even for the average buyer who is looking to buy a top-quality outdoor playhouse.
  • If we speak of the toddlers, there is a high risk that they might outgrow this outdoor playhouse within a year or two already.

Best Unconventional Outdoor Playhouse

Clubhouse Climber Outdoor Playhouse (Step2)

outdoor playhouseAs the market for outdoor playhouses grows every day, many manufacturers are looking forward to producing original and somewhat “unconventional” models of these particular products. What catches the interest of one particular child is, very often, not the playhouse that looks “familiar” but a playhouse that is different and a playhouse that has the same (or superior) quality as the more traditional outdoor playhouses.

This particular product from Step2 is a great example of that. It looks more like some sort of a construction that you would rather see in children TV shows like “Teletubbies” than your own backyard. But, the reality says otherwise, and, for a very reachable price, you can really have this playhouse as a part of your home.

Even though the pictures don’t imply that this outdoor playhouse is very solid and it supports a maximum weight of (roughly) 200 pounds which should be perfect for any child whose age ranges between 1 and 6. This Clubhouse Climber Playhouse has some very nicely designed climbing and sliding sections, a bridge, a lookout tunnel and even a steering wheel that lets your child take the role of a captain. Yarrr indeed!

And the best thing is that not only that this particular outdoor playhouse is all about creativity, it stimulates your child to be creative as well. He/she can use this outdoor playhouse to play various games such as hide and seek and he/she can also enjoy sliding down the trope(s). When the outdoor playhouse can be used by multiple different children at once, it just gets even more exciting!

While I definitely don’t recommend this outdoor playhouse for an older child, you will hardly find a better one for this price range if you want a model that is primarily aimed at toddlers. At the same time, you will hardly find a better unconventional outdoor playhouse. If you already determined your budget and if you are looking for an outdoor playhouse that will make your child entertained in a very creative way, this one is worth every penny.

Pros:

  • This is a “best buy” outdoor playhouse in the unconventional category.
  • This model is nothing like an ordinary outdoor playhouse but, it combines various different elements perfectly.
  • The product is creative and it stimulates creativity as well.

Cons:

  • Some children may still prefer a more ordinary outdoor playhouse.
  • The product is not aimed towards children who are 7+ years old.

Best “activity center” Outdoor Playhouse

Neighborhood Fun Center (Step2)

Yet another outdoor playhouse from Step2 and, unlike the previous one, this outdoor playhouse comes in the form of an activity center. “What is an activity center?”, you may ask. Well, an activity center is a set of connected games that stimulate one or more connected activities.

In this particular case, we have an outdoor playhouse that acts as a “children’s bar” and it makes your child become a bar owner on his/her own. There is an integrated picnic table that just thirsts for creativity when it comes to all the different options (for both food and drink) that your child can use. On top of that, this outdoor playhouse also has an activity wall that is equipped with a hook, a loop ball target and a ring toss that are all designed to improve the eye-hand coordination of your child as well. The playhouse also has a small slide to satisfy that ever-lasting children’s need for this universal feature.

Lastly, this outdoor playhouse is also equipped with two different entrances – one is a classic Dutch door and the other one is a portal that can be crawled through. So, this outdoor playhouse stimulates the creative abilities of your child at the very entrance already.

If you want a classic outdoor playhouse, this will definitely not be the right product for you. But, if you want an all-around activity center that will be stationed in your backyard and that will keep your child active for hours (both mentally and physically), look no further!

Pros:

  • If you are looking for an activity center outdoor playhouse, this one is (very likely) your best bet.
  • This outdoor playhouse is quite cheap and affordable.
  • It doesn’t take a lot of space and yet, it stimulates your child’s creativity quite a bit as well.

Cons:

  • This outdoor playhouse comes with a relatively high learning curve that might pull some children away from the product (even the young toddlers).
  • There is always a risk that the child will simply not like an activity center-oriented outdoor playhouse and that he/she may prefer the basic one instead.

Best Sports Outdoor Playhouse

The Toddler’s Sports Multiplex (Hammacher Schlemmer)

outdoor playhouseThis one is quite self-explanatory, really. In some cases, an outdoor playhouse is designed to stimulate children to perform one of the best exercises known to a human being – sports. So, kinda like classic activity centers, this outdoor playhouse is designed to make your child active in several different kinds of sports. From football and basketball to playing horse – this outdoor playhouse has it all!

So, as we noted, there are numerous different ways to have fun with this outdoor playhouse and, the best thing is, your child can easily switch from one activity to another.

This outdoor playhouse comes equipped with a 58-inch high basketball hoop that allows your child to play some basic basketball, practice some free throws and even play a game of horse. Right underneath the basic structure, we have a soccer cage and, with a proper ball, your child will surely enjoy playing a good game of soccer.

Lastly, we should also add that the sides are able to provide a solid climbing wall on one side and a slide on the other. So, not only that your child is able to play some very basic sports with this outdoor playhouse, this model also provides some standard functionalities that every good outdoor playhouse absolutely needs to have.

If you are looking for an unconventional playhouse and, in particular, an outdoor playhouse that allows your child to play different sports at the same time, this product from Hammacher Schlemmer absolutely gets our recommendation. You always have an option to buy additional sports equipment if you want your child to exercise that way but, it’s certainly a better solution (and a more effective one) to get an outdoor playhouse that is already equipped with everything that your child needs in order to play the 2 most popular sports on the planet – soccer and basketball.

Now, if your child wants to play tennis, you will definitely need to buy him/her a proper racquet but, that’s another topic (and it requires a different guide).  If that is not the case, however, you should certainly consider this solution. You can’t go wrong.

Pros:

  • This is a great outdoor playhouse that acts like a classic activity center but, instead of the basic activities, this outdoor playhouse allows your child to exercise while playing several different sports.
  • This outdoor playhouse is suitable for children of any age.
  • The product itself is very easily assembled.

Cons:

  • The price is not that reachable so, if you have a (somewhat) limited budget, you may be in a problem.
  • Even though this is a great sports outdoor playhouse you will, eventually, want to buy a more standard outdoor playhouse nonetheless.

Outdoor Playhouse With The Best Design

Jumbo Princess Palace Playhouse (ECR4Kids)

When we talk about an outdoor playhouse as a product, some buyers want to buy a more traditional model that comes with only the most basic commodities and, other than durability, these buyers don’t have any other additional needs. But, we also have buyers that want an original outdoor playhouse that provides sufficient entertainment for your child and, an outdoor playhouse that also looks great and/or that brings some sweet innovations to the table as well.

Hands down, this particular model from ECR4Kids completely nails it when it comes to the “best design” category. Not only that this particular kids ‘playhouse looks like a true wondrous castle that we all saw in various different Disney cartoons (and many different fairytales, in general), it’s really well-made and, if I would have to recommend just one single outdoor playhouse in the middle of the night, this one would (very likely) be one of my first choices.

What makes the design of this outdoor playhouse so great? Well, first off, the whole structure looks beautiful and the choice of colors will almost certainly make (almost) every child fall in love with it on the very first sight. Next, it’s incredibly tough and it provides amazing durability even in the harshest weather conditions. Also, this outdoor playhouse has been certified for minimal chemical emissions into indoor air and it has plastic edges added up for an additional sense of safety as well.

When it comes to the concept of this outdoor playhouse, your child has various options here and Jumbo Princess Palace Playhouse is all about creativity. This outdoor playhouse comes with its own windows, a very large door and there are some nice goodies that can make the whole experience even better. There is an imaginative clock, a beautiful castle decor placed all over this outdoor playhouse and, my personal favorite – a doorbell that plays various different sounds every time the doors are open. The only thing I am (kind of) disappointed in is the fact that this feature requires batteries but, they are not bundled with the product by default.

If you want your child to feel like he/she is a part of a magnificent fairytale and, if you want to buy an outdoor playhouse that is absolutely unlike any other on the market, this one is a very hot pick. The price isn’t too high and, at the same time, this outdoor playhouse can be used by multiple different children at the same time. So, basically, you have all the qualities that make one outdoor playhouse great right there. Don’t miss out on it!

Pros:

  • If you decide to buy this particular outdoor playhouse, you will get a model with a completely unique design and a model that will transform a regular outdoor playhouse into a Wonderland castle.
  • This outdoor playhouse is very durable and it can withstand even the harshest weather conditions.
  • It comes for a very reasonable price and it’s able to hold more than one child at the time.

Cons:

  • Even though the colors are stunning, the fact that purple is so dominant raises the question whether this outdoor playhouse is that suitable for male children.
  • One of the greatest features of this outdoor playhouse (the musical doorbell) requires batteries but, they don’t come up with the product by default so, you will have to buy them on your own.

Best Expensive Outdoor Playhouse

Skyfort II All Cedar Wood Swing Set (Backyard Discovery)

outdoor playhouseIn its nature, this outdoor playhouse is very similar to the first entry on our list (Scenic Heights All Cedar Playhouse) and even the design patterns are very similar but, what makes the biggest difference between these two models is not only the fact that this one is bigger and more “advanced”….it’s also the price. If you want a great wooden outdoor playhouse that’s affordable, you can certainly go with the first one and you won’t make a mistake. But, if you want an “expanded” version of it and if you don’t care about the cost, you may want to go with this one.

Just like Scenic Heights All Cedar Playhouse, this one is also entirely made from cedar and a huge accent was put on its stability and durability. But, on top of that, the focus was also placed on creating an outdoor playhouse that….well, does cost a lot, but it also gives you exactly what you pay for – a multifunctional outdoor playhouse that can be used in many different ways.

Along with the basic clubhouse, you’re also getting a swing set, a monkey bar, a slide, a picnic table (that can host up to 4 different children at the time) and even a sandbox that you can find right beneath the backyard fort. To make the product even more unique, Backyard Discovery also expanded upon the regular clubhouse with the addition of a roomy front porch, a crow’s nest and even a tiny balcony as well.

One thing you have to note is that, other than being expensive, this playhouse also consumes a lot of space in your backyard so, make sure you plan ahead and make sure to consider all of your options carefully before making the final purchase. If you have enough money and if you want a quality outdoor playhouse, Skyfort II All Cedar Wood Swing Set is certainly the right choice for you. This outdoor playhouse is also one of the most popular outdoor playhouses on Amazon so, in case you decide to go for it, you will also join a vast army of parents (and their children) who are using this product with a huge satisfaction rate.

Pros:

  • This is one of the most popular outdoor playhouses on Amazon and it has one of the best user feedbacks as well.
  • This outdoor playhouse combines many different functionalities and it’s able to keep the children active for hours on end.
  • The structure provides a great durability, stability and it’s weather-resistant as well.

Cons:

  • This outdoor playhouse is quite expensive and it’s not meant to be bought by people with smaller budgets.
  • It also takes up a lot of space in your backyard so, unless you have a big backyard yourself, this will be an issue.

Best Cheap Outdoor Playhouse

Children’s Wood Playhouse (Merax)

Don’t worry, we recommended our ideal model from the “expensive” category but, we also have one really good recommendation coming from the “cheap” section as well. We are well aware that many of our readers can’t afford (or they are not willing to afford) an expensive outdoor playhouse but, don’t worry, even the “low-tier” outdoor playhouses have some outstanding offers as well.

This outdoor playhouse from Merax is a great example. Even though it’s, by far, the most basic outdoor playhouse on our list and, even though it lacks some features that make the more advanced models so great, this is still a very good choice for an outdoor playhouse. Not only that it completely resembles the actual house (and that is something that an outdoor playhouse should do – give your child a home of his/her own), this outdoor playhouse doesn’t use any toxic materials in its production and it consumes minimum space in your backyard as well.

All the components of this outdoor playhouse are already built into the basic construction. This outdoor playhouse looks very “Swedish” and it has a door, several windows, a roof and a wooden floor – all of them being (pre)assembled already (as we noted). The whole structure is very environmental-friendly and it was built by using both SGS and ROHS directives. The model is also coated with full waterproof paint.

The conclusion is very clear for this one – if you are unable to buy a high-end outdoor playhouse (and if you are struggling with the mid-end ones as well), look no further, this is the best outdoor playhouse that you can get for this money. It has a great mix of cost and value and it will surely be able to entertain your child for quite some time. But, you should be aware that the time will (probably) come when you will have to buy another playhouse. Even though this model compensates the lack of the more advanced features very well, it cannot replace some of those more expensive models. But, as a starting point, it does its job perfectly.

Pros:

  • This is the best cheap outdoor playhouse that you can find.
  • This outdoor playhouse consumes minimal space in your backyard and it’s very environmental-friendly.
  • All the parts are already built into the final product.

Cons:

  • This outdoor playhouse lacks some advanced functionalities that all more expensive outdoor playhouses have.
  • At some point, your child will probably ask for another outdoor playhouse (a more expensive one that covers at least some of those modern features).

Best Residential-Only Outdoor Playhouse

Play Set Wooden House (Cedar Summit)

outdoor playhouseSome outdoor playhouses are designed to be used in, virtually, any open space but, we also have some outdoor playhouses that should only be used in residential areas. Nope, this is not a niche subgroup, in fact, a typical outdoor playhouse IS used in residential areas but, in some rare cases, people are using these products in non-residential areas as well.

This outdoor playhouse from Cedar Summit is quite gigantic (as you may see from the picture) and it’s not made to be used anywhere else but your own backyard. The biggest upside of this playhouse is that it’s able to hold up to 10 children at a time and, because it’s so big, there won’t be any issues with a potential lack of room inside the playhouse.

Play Set Wooden House has two floors – the classic clubhouse (which is the lower floor, basically) and an upper deck that can be reached by using the “side-by-side” access ladder. This outdoor playhouse also comes with a twist-and-ride slide (this type of slides is rarely seen in other outdoor playhouses), a set of swings and 4 windows (the upper ones are also decorated with flowers as well).

There is also a rock wall that makes the whole playhouse look even better. Lastly, this model is made from pure cedar and it’s able to provide a long-lasting quality that we all want and need.

The price of this product definitely makes it “out of range” for some people but the quality that you get is totally worth it. If you want an outdoor playhouse that is big, compact and with a great capacity, you should certainly add this one to your list of considerations as well.

Pros:

  • This is a big, and sturdy outdoor playhouse that can entertain up to 10 children at a time.
  • The design is really well done and it makes this model really unique.
  • Play Set Wooden House also comes with a “twist-and-ride” slide that is much more satisfying than the regular slides and it’s rarely found as a regular part of any other outdoor playhouse in general.

Cons:

  • Just like many other outdoor playhouses of the same price range, it consumes too much space in one’s backyard.
  • This outdoor playhouse is designed to be used only in residential areas.

Best DIY Outdoor Playhouse

Victorian DIY Playhouse Kit (Little Cottage Company)

outdoor playhouseAnd the last entry on our list comes from the DIY category. Whereas a regular outdoor playhouse is made to resemble an actual house and to give your child a unique home to play with, a DIY playhouse is designed to entertain children in a different way.

The challenge that comes with this one doesn’t come from the fact that the child is able to do so many things when playing around in his favorite playhouse. Rather than that, this type of outdoor playhouses allows him/her to build a new home from scratch! Isn’t that great?

Victorian DIY Playhouse Kit easily wins this category as, not only that the product comes with a great mix of both price and value, it’s also directly inspired by the Victorian era. How cool is that? The final product looks amazing and, as soon as your child sees the picture of it, it will be very easy to get attached to this model.

This outdoor playhouse comes with all the necessary pieces that need to be assembled and the whole process has been simplified in such a great way that (almost) any child will be able to do it after some time. The instructions are well-written and understandable and, at the same time, you are also able to add some components of your own (such as the paint). And, even when the playhouse is assembled, I can almost guarantee that the child will still hang around inside his/her new Victorian home for quite some time.

So, if you wish to buy a house that your child will be able to assemble on his/her own, this model from Little Cottage Company gets my vote, no doubt about that. You will have to spend some decent money, yes, but you will get a quality playhouse and an playhouse that will turn your child into a builder from an early age already. And, who knows, maybe that becomes his/her passion and (later) his/her profession as well…you never know!

Pros:

  • This is a beautifully crafted DIY playhouse inspired by the Victorian era. The model looks amazing even on the picture already.
  • It’s able to stimulate some different creative skills of your child and it’s also able to turn him/her into a tiny builder in no time.
  • Everything that is needed to assemble this product is already provided by the manufacturer and you can even add some components of your own.

Cons:

  • This outdoor playhouse has a very high learning curve and some children are better off with a classic outdoor playhouse instead.
  • The DIY model isn’t for everyone and there is always a risk that the child will not be satisfied with that kind of product.

Conclusion

To sum things up, these were the 10 best choices for an outdoor playhouse in 2018 and, I truly hope that you have a much better understanding of the topic at this point. As you can see, all of these 10 models are different from one another and none of them is perfect.

To make sure that you don’t make a mistake, talk to your child, try to understand his/her needs, determine how much you are willing to pay and, also, don’t hesitate to investigate the issue further if needed.

Once you choose the actual product, always try to look for as many information as you can because the right info is the key to a successful purchase. The user feedback is also just as important. Do take note, however, even the best playhouse out there could end up getting negative reviews. For some people, it just doesn’t work (sadly). But, look at all of those comments, it will help a lot when forming a picture in your head. Only then you will be able to buy a quality playhouse that will serve your child well in years to come.

Have a nice day and good luck with your purchase!