Best Wooden Playhouse For Older Kids (4 to 12 Years Olds)

Best wooden playhouses for 4-10 year olds
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Wood or Plastic Playhouse?

There’s a great deal of debate about whether  plastic or wooden playhouses are better and while I won’t go into detail here, if you want to know my opinion you can check out this article – Wooden Vs Plastic Playhouse – Which is Better?

In short though, we love wooden playhouses for their larger sizes, the fact they are basically miniature homes, their weather durability, longevity, and their aesthetic, which can really add a charming element to any yard.

If you are looking for a playhouse for a Toddler, I think that in most circumstances a Plastic Playhouse is a better choice.

There are so many great wooden playhouses that it was tough to narrow our selection down. So instead, we’ve broken our guide down into four main categories listed below, designed to help you find what you are looking for:

4 Types of Wooden Playhouses:

Classic Wooden Playhouses

These playhouses are usually more open to the elements and on the lighter and smaller end of the scale, they are great for 2 to 6-year-olds and usually come with fun pretend-play accessories such as mailboxes, play-kitchens, and flagpoles.

These are great if you currently have a Toddler but want to get more than 1-2 years use out of your playhouse (as with most Plastic versions).

Just be aware that if you do purchase one of these playhouses for a Toddler you will need to pay a bit more attention than you would with a plastic model due to the harder edges and occasional splinters.

KidKraft Modern Outdoor Wooden Playhouse

Best for kids who want a little more privacy

KidKraft Modern Outdoor Wooden Playhouse with Picnic Table, Mailbox and Outdoor Grill (00182),Natural
  • Timber: Pine
  • Ages: 3 years plus
  • Size: 70.0 x 48.9 x 62.2 inches
  • Weight: 143.1 pounds
  • Visibility for parents: Medium

This aesthetically pleasing playhouse by KidKraft comes with some adorable and clever features that will encourage hours of pretend play.

The style of playhouse is adorable, but arrives in a natural finish and looks even better when it’s had a fresh coat of paint!

It features an attached espresso picnic table and two benches, wooden mailbox with flag, outdoor plastic grill with removable lid and working knobs, an inner sink and faucet, a full-sized fully functional front door, a chalkboard, large service window with an attached espresso table for the grill and fabric curtains for one window.

It is just a pinch wider than our other classic wooden playhouses, but is quite a bit taller, meaning it will stay relevant for any little ones who have major growth spurts. 

The inside dimensions of the playhouse are 42.75” x 44.25”. The inside height at the highest point is 60 inches and the inside height at the lowest point is 47 inches.

That being said, as with the others, it can likely comfortably only fit 2-3 little ones and won’t suit a 6 or 7 year old who would grow out of it fairly quickly.

The manufacturer makes mention of reinforced wooden panels that prevent warping and weathering and a weather-resistant finish.

Our only small complaint about this one is that it is a little closed off, meaning you wouldn’t always be able to have eyes on your kids if they are playing out in the backyard.

What We Like:

Great for small backyards

Comes with a picnic table, mailbox, and grill.

Made from high quality materials

Meets the height requirement

Our Concerns:

Difficult assembly

Not suitable for kids over 6 or 7

Roof can detach in high winds


KidKraft Greystone Cottage Playhouse

Best Classic Wooden Playhouse for Younger Kids

KidKraft Greystone Cottage kids outdoor playhouse
  • Material: Cedar with plastic trims
  • Ages: 2-10 years
  • Size: 51.5 x 44 x 108 inches
  • Weight: 135 pounds
  • Visibility for parents: Medium
  • Manufacturers Video

We absolutely love this more spacious and sturdy classic wooden playhouse.

With well-thought-out features and a charming cottage feel, this playhouse will happily accommodate 3-5 little ones (depending on size) and will spark big imaginative and exciting pretend play, whether checking for mail, writing on the chalkboard or serving up food on the stovetop and straight out the serving window.

It features spacious bay windows with plastic decorative frames, a working doorbell, large serving window, a plastic chimney, plastic play kitchen including stovetop, sink and faucet, play accessories including a pot, pan and pegs to hang them from, a play telephone, clock and chalkboard.

There is also a full door, mailbox slot and flag. It comes already treated with a water-based stain and is very sturdy once set up.

We absolutely love all of the additional, thoughtful details on this playhouse and all the added extras.

For some reason, this playhouse has become one of the goto models for DIYers to fully customize. Take a look at this beautiful custom playhouse transformation:

Custom DIY Kidscraft playhouse
DIY Details

Yep, that’s the same playhouse – amazing what a custom paint job and some fancy accents can do!

We also love that shopping around can find you a really great price and make it an absolute no-brainer if you’re looking for something a little bigger for your little kids to play with.

What We Like:

Beautiful design

Comes with a bunch of great play accessories

Very sturdy construction

Great base structure for customization

Our Concerns:

Difficult assembly

Hard to see what younger kids are doing inside

CedarWorks Playhouse 256

Best for those who want a cool minimalist Scandinavian feel

Playhouse 256 by CedarWorks - modern playhouse for big kids
  • Material: Northern White Cedar
  • Cost: $4650
  • Ages: 2+
  • Size: 6 x 6 x 7 feet
  • Visibility for parents: Medium – Low

We love the minimalist offerings from Cedarworks.

While their playhouses are definitely at the more expensive end of the spectrum and appear quite simple, their products are high quality and well thought-out.

This model 256 is one of their most basic playhouses and features a full door, multiple small round portal windows and a large front window to let light in. It also has a climbing wall on one side for any budding rock climbers.

While there are no interior accessories, the floor space is large and so you can easily put your own furniture in and change it as your child grows. It’s large enough to fit several little ones and is big enough for your kids to grow.

One of the things we love the most about this company is the accessories you can add later. If you purchase this playhouse for a preschooler who turns out to love the climbing wall, you can add slides, swings, ladders or even bigger climbing wall later.

All of the Cedarworks products are made from northern white pine that is eco-friendly, splinter-free, chemical-free, long-lasting and durable for the outdoors.

What We Like:

Ultra modern design

Big kids and little kids love it

Spacious interior

I love the round port holes

Top quality materials – Super durable

Made in the USA

Our Concerns:

VERY expensive for such a simple playhouse

Shop At CedarWorks

Backyard Discovery Victorian Inn All Cedar Outdoor Wooden Playhouse

Best for Playing House

Backyard Discovery Victorian Inn All Cedar Outdoor Wooden Playhouse
  • Material: Cedar
  • Ages: 2-10 years
  • Size: 74 x 65 x 67 inches
  • Weight: 152 pounds
  • Visibility for parents: Medium – High

This is without a doubt, the best wooden playhouse for little ladies and gentleman who love to play house and entertain. It’s definitely suited to smaller kids, but is big enough for them to get a few years of use out of.

The fully stocked kitchen is complete with an amazing array of accessories including (all plastic) telephone, knife, cutting board, faucet and mounted sink, burner, fruit and vegetable basket.

It also includes plastic fruits (apple, corn, orange, carrot, watermelon and strawberry) that can be cut in half via Velcro, which is an adorable and thoughtful touch.

This charming Victorian-style playhouse makes for a really cute addition to any garden with other features such as large bay windows which include a serving window with a shelf, wooden front porch, English bench, Dutch half door and flower pots.

This playhouse is big enough to fit several little ones playing and has the most floor space of all of our classic playhouse, meaning it has the capacity to grow with your kids (but probably not into their teen years).

The manufacturer includes a note about the Cedar being proved to be resistant to rot and natural decay and mentions a pre-stain.

However, several reviews complain about the wood being too soft to stand up to tough winters, so if you’re in love with this playhouse, it might be worth investing in a sealant early on.

What We Like:

Great attention to details

Comes with too many play accessories to list

4-5 kids can use it at the same time

Good visibility for parents to keep an eye on younger kids

Our Concerns:

Difficult assembly

Lots of low hanging beams for taller kids to bang their heads on

No built in floor

Wood not top quality

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Swing-N-Slide Hide and Slide Play House

Best for Dr. Seuss fans

Swing-N-Slide Hide and Slide Play House
  • Material:
  • Ages: 2 – 10 years
  • Size: 60 x 30 x 80 inches
  • Weight: 195 pounds
  • Visibility for parents: Low

For any mad Dr. Seuss fans, this is absolutely the playhouse for you. We love it’s raised kooky, distorted and off-kilter look, it’s creative paint scheme and of course, the slide!

It also features a fully working door, 2 skylight windows, 2 side windows (one with working shutters), ladder step, wooden porch and an adorable chimney.

Probably most importantly, the manufacturing of this product meets or exceeds ASTM safety standards for backyard residential use.

It is very small for the price you pay, so it’s important to understand that you are certainly paying for the aesthetic of this playhouse and that it’s probably only appropriate for little kids. We think the top age range is probably 6 or 7.

The interior is also quite small and you could probably at a maximum fit two little kids inside and certainly no more than one older child.

Even though we absolutely adore the fun niche look of this playhouse, anyone with multiple or social kids can get more for their money elsewhere.

Unfortunately, a common complaint about this playhouse is that the paint is poor quality and quickly peels, requiring repainting after a couple of seasons.

What We Like:

Great cartoon look

Spacious interior

Comes with slide

Front balcony fun for hanging out

Our Concerns:

Materials not top quality

Paint peals after a couple years

Not ideal for kids over 6 or 7

Low visibility for keeping an eye on younger kids

Large Scale Wooden Playhouses

Get Supersized for social kids or growing families, these playhouses usually have full doors, working windows and are basically mini-houses.

They’re more expensive but can grow with your kids by transforming from a place for pretend play to clubhouses and a spot for sleepovers when your kids get older and are embarrassed to have their friends around you (yep it’ll happen!)

Allwood Playhouse Scout

Best Budget Large Scale Playhouse

Allwood Playhouse Scout
  • Material: Nordic Spruce (Pine Excelsia)
  • Ages: 4 years +
  • Size: 71 x 80 x 86 inches, 58 square foot playhouse dimensions
  • Weight: 775 pounds
  • Visibility for parents: Medium – Low

We absolutely love this Western style Scout playhouse. Despite it’s unique design, we feel that it is versatile for all different types of play.

It could be an old-timey saloon or even a traveler’s caravan – maybe a fortune-teller lives inside who can tell you about your future.

Featuring a full door with viewing pane, three windows with Plexiglass panes, a covered deck and a ladder leading to the raise playhouse.

There is space underneath which can be transformed into storage,

but we like the idea of adding some large wooden wagon wheels to take this adorable playhouse to the next level.

The 58 SQF inner allows a few little ones to play at once and also means it will suit your kids as they grow. It’s not quite the size of a large-scale playhouse, so it’s a nice size for little ones and bigger kids alike.

Assembly should take approximately 3-4 hours according to the manufacturer.

There are no roof shingles included, but we don’t feel that’s so important for this playhouse because it doesn’t detract from the aesthetic as much as it would with other styles.

As with other playhouses, the Scout comes in a natural finish and is ready for you to paint or stain to suit your own yard and style.

What We Like:

The structure is great for pretend play, can be a spaceship, wagon, gypsy house, ship’s galley…

Big interior can hold multiple kids

Good price to size ratio

Meets the height requirement

Our Concerns:

Space underneath is wasted

Difficult assembly

Materials and construction not as high quality as some more expensive models

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Allwood Playhouse Kids Club

Best large-scale playhouse for those who want a classic cabin aesthetic

Allwood Playhouse Kids Club
  • Material: Slow grown Nordic spruce (Pine Excelsia)
  • Ages: 3 years +
  • Size: 5’2” wall height, 6’11” ridge height, footprint 6’ wide x 8’2” deep – Terrace 84” x 29”
  • Weight: 970 pounds
  • Visibility for parents: Low

If you’re looking for a classic American cabin-style playhouse, then look no further! This simple, large-scale playhouse has all of the essential elements of a classic cabin and a lot of potential for you to make it your own. With a decent amount of floor space, this playhouse can easily fit a small group of kids as well as some basic furniture.

In fact the manufacturers state that it is big enough to fit a full-length bed inside! It features a covered wooden deck, full door, plywood floor, working windows with planter boxes and is made from 1-1/8” thick, chemical-free, solid Nordic spruce.

It is well protected for outdoor use during poor weather conditions and will arrive with a natural finish, meaning it is ready for you to decorate as you choose, whether it be a bright red standout finish, or a more neutral finish to camouflage it in your backyard.

Our one complaint is that there are no roof shingles or felt included in the kit, so if you prefer shingled roof then this is something you will have to do for yourself.

The Allwood manufacturing notes state that this playhouse is easy to assemble, but it will still take most of a day and two adults.

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Allwood Playhouse Discovery

Best budget option for large-scale wooden playhouses with a country cottage aesthetic

Allwood Playhouse Discovery | 38 sqf
  • Material: Slow growth Nordic spruce (Pine Excelsia)
  • Ages: 3 years +
  • Size: Overall height 7’2”, wall height 4’6”, square footage including roof overhang 8’9” x 8’11”
  • Weight: 760 pounds
  • Visibility for parents: Medium – Low

This is the adorable country cottage to our No. 2, the Allwood Playhouse Kids club (which we have renamed the lakeside cabin).  

It features an open wooden deck, plywood floor, 3 windows with working shutters which have 3mm Plexiglass and planter boxes.

This adorable Discovery playhouse has enough floor space to easily fit a small party of kids and some basic furniture. It is slightly larger than our other cabin option, but it is not as well covered, with an open deck at the front.

Despite this, it’s still well covered for rainy days and poor weather conditions. This playhouse also comes with a natural finish, ready for you to paint in whatever style will suit your backyard best.

There are some great inspirational ideas on the Allpress website which shows all the potential of this adorable playhouse. As with all large-scale playhouses, this cottage is a great opportunity to provide your kids with a space they can grow into and have to cherish for a long time.

The Allwood manufacturing notes state that this playhouse is easy to assemble, but it will still take most of a day and two adults.

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Outdoor Living Today – Lauren’s Cottage Playhouse

Best budget option for large-scale wooden playhouses with a country cottage aesthetic

Laurens Cottage with 4 Functional Windows and Dutch Door
  • Material: Western red cedar
  • Ages: 5 years +
  • Size: 119 x 125 x 123 inches – Square footage 9ft x 9ft
  • Weight: 1750 pounds
  • Visibility for parents: Low

This is the biggest of our large-scale wooden playhouses and our most expensive in the category.  It is also likely one of the more durable as it is made of western red cedar, which is naturally insect and decay resistant.

Featuring 4 functional screened windows with flower boxes, a full Dutch door and enough room for several kids to play or hang out.

Our favorite and its easily most unique feature is its dreamy loft with ladder access and a window. The loft space is 39 inches high and 60 inches off the ground, so it is relatively high but also provides a lot of space for little ones to play.

This is pretty much every kid’s dream secret hideaway.

Lauren's Cottage Playhouse loft area

The playhouse comes in a natural finish and unpainted like most large-scale playhouses, which again, allows for you to add a personal touch and tailor your playhouse to suit your style and yard.

The roof comes with pre-attached shingles which gives a really lovely finishing touch.

Assembly for this item takes 2 days with 3-4 people depending on skill level, but the manufacturers offer technical assistance during assembly.

If you are looking for a durable and long-lasting large-scale playhouse to offer your child a private place to hang out for a long time, then look no further; this is the playhouse for you.

What We Like:

One of the most beautiful wooden playhouses on the market

Materials and workmanship are top quality

Kids love the loft

Massive interior can fit big groups of kids

Our Concerns:

VERY Expensive!

Difficult to assemble – will take multiple people several days

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Outdoor Living Today Cozy Cabin Playhouse

Best all-rounder cabin with bonus option of added extras

Outdoor Living Today Cozy Cabin with 4 Functional Windows
  • Material: Western red cedar
  • Ages: 3 years +
  • Size: 103 x 122 x 86 inches
  • 7 x 9 ft floorspace
  • Weight: 1075 pounds (shipping weight)
  • Visibility for parents: Low

We love this great all-rounder Cozy Cabin from Outdoor Living. Like most Outdoor Living products, the Cozy Cabin is made from entirely renewable resources and in this case from Western Red Cedar which is naturally strong as well as inspect and decay repellent. 

Featuring a solid door with window lookout, plywood floor, four functional aluminum windows with tempered glass, screens and locks as well as four flower or planter boxes under the windows.

We love the added safety of locks on the windows which offers a great opportunity to teach kids about safety.

The tempered glass, while strong, can be dangerous for boisterous little ones who may play rough so keep that in mind if you’re purchasing for a very small child.

With 6 ft ceilings, this playhouse is perfect to grow with your kids and can easily fit a small group of children playing inside.

As with all large-scale playhouses, the Cozy Cabin arrives in a natural finish, allowing you to personalize it with paint or stain to create your own look, or leaving it natural.

Assembly is said to take a couple of days and requires two adults, but should be easy with knock-down panels which only need to be screwed together.

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Raised & Multi-Level Playhouses

With an added element of privacy and even a treehouse feel, these playhouses allow your child to survey their domain from up high. Perfect for kids who may need multiple play spaces or anyone who loves to climb, run, crawl and jump (safely) as a part of their play (parents included!).

Outdoor Living Today Sunflower Playhouse & Sandbox – 6×9 ft

Top Pick

Sunflower playhouse with slide and sandbox
  • Material: Western Red Cedar
  • Ages: 3 years +
  • Size: 117 x 86 x 88.5 inches, 6×6 floor space not including the deck
  • Weight: 1045lb
  • Visibility for parents: Low

This awesome playhouse makes my Top Pick because it checks all the boxes. First, It is classically beautiful, so it will be a welcome addition to your backyard decor.

Second – it is incredibly versatile and can be used for many years. It has a sandbox for Toddlers to play while slightly older kids enjoy the slide, all the while you feisty 13-year-old locks himself inside with his friends.

It is great for imaginary play, active play or just hanging out on the balcony with a cool cup of lemonade.


One very important thing to keep in mind here is that the slide pictured above is NOT included when you buy this playhouse. The manufacturer states on their website this is because the shipping of such a large cumbersome object would incur astronomical costs.

They recommend that you find a local dealer to purchase from, which they will help you with.

If you have a large Walmart nearby you can probably pick one up for around $200 and save yourself the shipping costs.

Featuring a full Dutch door with love heart cut out, cedar porch deck, 3 functional aluminum windows with screens, 2 flower boxes and designer shingled gable detail, this sweet playhouse will inspire endless imaginary fun for your little ones.

It’s western red cedar material is naturally resistant to decay and insects and is made entirely from renewable resources, making this our best playhouse for the environmentally conscious.

It can happily fit many little ones, capped at a maximum occupancy of 10. The Sunflower playhouse also comes with a plywood floor which you can carpet or lay rubber matting on top of depending on what you prefer. 

While this playhouse doesn’t come painted, you can really add to its charm without having to do too much – just a painted trim will really elevate the aesthetic of this playhouse.

If this Sunflower’s price tag is a bit too hefty for you, you may want to consider it little brother, the little Cedar Playhouse. The Little Cedar Playhouse is only 6×6 feet do you lose a full 3 feet of interior play space – but it is about $1100 bucks cheaper.

The Playhouse is shipped in prefabricated ‘knock-down’ panels which only need to be screwed together. Assembly of the actual playhouse should not take more than a day.

Notes on Installation:

Installing this playhouse is no easy chore. You will need to sink the posts into the ground – just like you would with a full-sized house. So, once it is installed – you can’t move it out of the way for your backyard movie night – it is not going anywhere.

Once you have the posts installed in the ground, the rest of the assembly should go pretty fast. The Playhouse is shipped in ‘knock-down’ panels which only need to be screwed together. Most parents will have it assembled in one day.

Backyard Discovery Scenic Heights All Cedar Playhouse

Best Raised Playhouse On a Budget

Backyard Discovery 1605336 Scenic Heights All Cedar Playhouse
  • Material: Cedar
  • Ages: 2 – 8 years
  • Size: 77 x 77 x 91 inches
  • Weight: 256 pounds
  • Visibility for parents: Medium – High

The Scenic Heights is one of the most popular playhouses/forts on the market, with thousands of happy customers, it really is an amazing value for the price.

Without a doubt, this is one of the most well-thought out raised playhouses which offers a lot for kids within a relatively compact space. The Scenic Heights is like a smaller version of the Sunflower Playhouse (pictured above) but at less than 1/3rd the price.

The manufacturer says the Scenic Heights is suitable for kids 2-10 years old, but after reading dozens of reviews and watching a bunch of videos about this playhouse, I would say that it’s not suitable for kids above 8 or younger than 3 (without constant supervision).

Featuring a raised 3-foot playhouse and deck with spring-loaded saloon doors and sunburst windows as well as a plastic play kitchen with mounted sink, two boxes for toy storage, a wooden bench/cot with included cushion and a 5’ growth board for tracking years of fun.

There is also a set of stairs and a ladder for two alternate access options that kids love! Run up the stairs and climb down the ladder or vice versa. The actual playhouse can fit 2-3 little ones, but many more can be playing together on this structure happily.

We suggest utilizing the space under the playhouse to add an additional play area – it’s a great spot for a sandpit! You can also put some toy storage, or even create a second clubhouse space.

The Scenic Heights is engineered to meet or exceed ASTM standards and the cedar wood has been lab tested in order to claim it’s rot resistant status.

As you can imagine, playhouses like these can be more difficult to piece together with so many items needing assembly, so we recommend that you lay all the pieces out first to get your bearings before launching into the assembly procedure.

It should take 2 parents a day or two to put together.

What We Like:

Brilliant design – maximum fun in minimal space

Great for both active and imaginary play

Can serve large groups of kids

Has a growth board to track your child’s height etched into support post

Our Concerns:

Materials and workmanship not as high quality as some of the more expensive playhouses

Difficult assembly

You may need to paint or reseal after one season

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KidKraft Cozy Escape Playhouse

Best for Really Adventurous Little Ones

Cozy Escape Playhouse
  • Material: Cedar wood, plastic
  • Ages: 3 – 7
  • Size: 125 x 84 x 108 inches, Upper deck 57.5 x 56 inches, Ground to upper deck 47 inches, Deck to peak 59.9 inches
  • Weight: approx.400 pounds (not from the manufacturer)
  • Visibility for parents: Medium – High

What an amazing playhouse for little ones with an adventurous spirit! It’s smaller than it appears in pictures and so is very much suited for thrill-seeking 3-5 year olds who want to climb, play and most importantly, slide!

Despite the manufacturer listing the upper age limit at 10, due to the size, we think it’s more realistically around 6 or 7 max unless they’re playing with younger siblings.

The Cozy Escape Playhouse features an open downstairs kitchen with mounted sink, facet, stovetop with 3 cooking accessories including pans, 2 entrances, bench and service window.

You can get up top via either a ladder in front of the playhouse or a rock wall in the rear and once on the second level, you’ll find a deck with planters for flowers or herbs and four windows.

Of course, the main attraction is the totally awesome tube slide which will thrill kids endlessly. 

We love this playhouse for it’s excellent mix of pretend play accessories and really fun elements which encourage active play.

The upper and lower play spaces offer two distinct areas for kids to play and will inspire endless imaginative stories to be acted out.

It’s important to note that there is a maximum weight limit of 110lb per child and a total weight of 1210 lbs.

What We Like:

Great for small spaces

Kids love the tube slide

Multiple play spaces can entertain 3-4 kids at once

Easier than you would think to assemble

Great for both active and imaginary play

Our Concerns:

Smaller than it looks in the pictures

Not suitable for kids over 6 or 7

Materials and workmanship lower quality then some of the more expensive models

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CedarWorks Playhouse 471

Best Design and Workmanship

CedarWorks Playhouse 471
  • Material: Northern White Cedar
  • Ages: 4 years +
  • Size: 14 x 7 x 15 feet
  • Weight: Not listed
  • Visibility for parents: Medium

Here we have another Scandinavian inspired playhouse from CedarWorks. We love their minimalist, intuitive design and the fact you have the option of lots of additional accessories to go with their playhouses.

There is no doubt that you are paying for the quality material and design, but if you have the money and love the style, then read on.

This model 471 is jam packed with adorable accessories which your kids will absolutely love. Featuring two levels, a full door with viewing portal, climbing ramp (which cleverly will suit bigger or smaller kids), multiple open windows or crawling portals, a fireman’s pole, bucket on rope and pulley, flag and front panel shingle detailing.

It is large enough for lots of little ones to all enjoy playtime together and is suitable for little or big kids (though little ones will require supervision due to the height).

All of the CedarWorks products are made from Northern White Pine, which is eco-friendly, splinter-free, chemical-free, long-lasting and durable for the outdoors.

It’s also worth mentioning that you can build your own playhouse with CedarWorks and completely customize it for your child.

As for installation, here is what the manufacturer says:

Give us a call and we’ll be happy to provide the name and contact information of a playset assembly service provider near you. (U.S. only excluding Alaska). If you prefer to assemble your set yourself, CedarWorks products are designed so that the average homeowner with common tools can complete assembly on their own.

Hummm, I’ve done my fair share of construction and would venture to guess this playhouse would take a team of 3 several days to put together. The panels are all prefabricated – the sheer height of this behemoth would make fabrication a chore. So, take that into consideration when ordering.

What We Like:

Best materials and workmanship available – will last a very long time

Super-cool modern design – like a sculpture in your backyard

Supports both active and imaginary play

Great for any age (4 and up) even a 13 year old will not think this is “lame”

Made in the USA

Our Concerns:

VERY expensive

Difficult assembly – you may need to hire outside contractor to put it together

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Playhouses with Swings, Slides & Other Active Accessories

For the active adventurer with a big imagination, these are a great combination of physical activities outdoor living today sunflower playhouse and pretend-play, making for all the fun.

Truth-be-told, these are more like playsets than playhouses, but we had to include them because they’re so much fun and there were just so many great options!

Backyard Discovery Eagles Nest Playhouse

Best Value Playset-Playhouse Hybrid for Active Little Adventurers

Backyard Discovery Eagles Nest Playhouse
  • Material:  Cedar
  • Ages:
  • Size: 12’1” x 14’4” x 11’7”
  • Weight: 837 pounds
  • Visibility for parents: Medium to high

We absolutely adore this elevated playhouse which has a real playset feel and for such a great price.

The Eagle’s Nest is a perfect clubhouse for any scouts, campers or pioneers who love to run, climb, jump and slide for hours.

Featuring a 10ft slide (height 5ft), ladder, climbing wall, three different elevated playhouse levels, including a 7ft crows nest for lookouts, a picnic table and open deck. It’s lab-tested all cedar construction and tight knot structure ensure durability and less cracking.

It’s also one of the only playhouses that come pre-stained, meaning no additional painting or staining required.

The maximum number of kids who can play on this is an astonishing 9 so there’s SO much opportunity for fun for lots of little ones of this playset.

We love especially the thoughtful addition of the picnic table at the bottom as a zone for a little respite from play, for snacks or for reading while your siblings play above.

What We Like:

7 ft high crows nest is a big hit with kids

Very roomy multi-level playhouse and deck

Made from high quality materials

Picnic table included

Our Concerns:

Difficult assembly

Not suitable for kids over 6 or 7

Space underneath platform not effectively utilized

Gorilla Playsets Chateau Clubhouse Treehouse Swing Set with Fort Add-On

Best for Kids Who Love to Climb and Swing

Gorilla Playsets Chateau Clubhouse Treehouse Swing Set w/Fort Add-On & Natural Cedar
  • Material: Cedar
  • Ages: 4 years and up
  • Size: 19’ x 11’ x 14’
  • Weight: 900 pounds
  • Visibility for parents: High

This is a seriously jam-packed playhouse-playset hybrid for seriously active little ones. The features list is extensive, so get ready!

This playset includes a wiki wave slide, lower level clubhouse with arched entryway, large windows and half wall, awesome swing set with two belt swings and one trapeze swing, steering wheel, tic-tac-toe spinning panel, play telescope, flag kit, safety handles; a wooden treehouse-style roof including windows with functional shutters, sunburst, chimney and an upper 5ft platform with a safety barrier.

And for kids who love to climb this is a dream come true, this model comes with a rock wall with a climbing rope, a deluxe rope ladder, and a safe entry ladder.

Woah! So many features!

Now, this model would normally be classified as a PLAYSET, but the reason it made it into my round-up of best PLAYHOUSES is because of the multiple clubhouse structures which can accommodate a couple of kids each.

Even without all the swings and slides, this would still be a pretty epic dual playhouse.

The Chateau Clubhouse comes pre-stained to ensure resistance to rot, decay and insect damage. There is no time specified for assembly, but all lumber comes pre-cut, pre-sanded and mostly pre-drilled.

You can also pay for professional assembly if you don’t feel confident.

What We Like:

A playhouse and playset all in one

Supports active and imaginary play

Great for kids who love to climb

High quality materials and workmanship

Extremely stable and sturdy design – great for really rambunctious kids

Our Concerns:

Difficult assembly

Not suitable for kids under 4 (without constant supervision)

A little bit more expensive than comparable models from other brands (see Skyfort LL below)

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Backyard Discovery Skyfort ll All Cedar Wood Swing Set

Best Value for a Playset/Playhouse Hybrid

Backyard Discovery Skyfort II All Cedar Playset
  • Material: Cedar
  • Ages: 3 – 10 years
  • Size: 263 x 201 x 148 inches
  • Weight: 720 pounds
  • Visibility for parents: High

We absolutely love this budget-friendly playhouse-playset hybrid. With both an upper and lower clubhouse and an uncovered sun deck with a telescope and a huge number of other features, this playset will offer hours of fun!

A swing set including 2 belted swings and a two-personal glider means 4 kids can play at once. For little climbers, there is a rock-climbing wall, monkey bars and for everyone, there is a 10ft wave slide.

Aside form all the awesome climbing and swinging features, there are 2 main parts of this structure that really sell it for me:

  1. The area underneath the playhouse structure has a built-in picnic table and sandbox. This combination leads to hours of fun and will probably get as much use as the flashier elements like the swings, slide and climbing surfaces.
  2. There is a small crow’s nest that kids can access from the upper playhouse area. I don’t know what it is about crows nests, but kids absolutely love them and this one is perfectly situated for kids to interact with their friends down below.
Skyfort 2 lookout tower with telescope
Skyfort II Crow’s Nest

Backyard Discovery has got parents covered with assembly by offering a 3D-guided interactive assembly app which is compatible with Apple and Google devices.

The Skyfort II really offers bang for your buck with all of these features in an affordable package. The all-cedar tight knot structure means the lumbar is less likely to develop cracks and is naturally insect and rot-resistant.

What We Like:

Has a spacious playhouse with upper and lower decks to play on

Comes with a picnic table, and sandbox

Kids love the crow’s nest/look-out tower

Great price for all it includes

Our Concerns:

Some customers complain that the wood is a bit thin

Monkey bars are a bit high for shorter kids

Difficult assembly

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CedarWorks Playhouse 985

The absolute ultimate playhouse!

CedarWorks Playhouse 985 with kids playing on it
  • Material: Northern White Cedar
  • Amazon review stars: NA
  • Cost: $16,495
  • Ages: 4 years +
  • Size: 30’ x 18’ x 15’
  • Weight: not listed
  • Visibility for parents: Low to Medium

Here it is, the most impressive (and most expensive) playhouse/playset combo we could find for you. This one is absolutely epic – the only downside is the less than epic name – Playhouse 985.

Then again if you spend that kind of money on a playhouse I suppose you are entitled to give it your own personal estate-style name like “Tara” or “Xanadu”.

This incredible playhouse is for the most social kids who love to be active but also want space to grow. It has a full-size double story playhouse and an eagles’ nest which you access via a number of open and covered climbing platforms.

The two play spaces are separated by a swing set with three swings, two belted and one tire swing. For little climbers, the 985 Playhouse has two rock climbing walls, 2 fireman’s poles, one with a knotted rope climb and a ladder leading to the second floor of the playhouse.

There are tons more adorable and well-designed features on this playset, including scalloped detailing, multiple crawling portals/windows, flags, star cut-outs on the eagle’s nest, picnic table and benches, steering wheel and of course, we haven’t mentioned the awesome slide.

That is a lot of features packed into a gorgeous, minimalist Scandinavian-inspired design. There is no doubt that the price tag is hefty, but you are paying for quality materials and workmanship and for the aesthetic.

All of the CedarWorks products are made from Northern White Pine, which is eco-friendly, splinter-free, chemical free, long-lasting and durable for the outdoors.

It’s also worth mentioning that you can build your own playhouse with CedarWorks and completely customize it for your child.

What We Like:

Looks amazing in any backyard

Made in the USA (Maine)

Made from highest quality materials and constructed to premium standards

Can entertain a large group of kids all day

Great for both active and imaginary play

Our Concerns:

VERY VERY VERY expensive

Some of the features can be a bit treacherous for younger kids (but awesome for older kids)

Did I mention it is expensive?

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Wooden Playhouse Buying Guide

Here are some of the things you may want to consider prior to making your wooden playhouse purchase.

The Benefits of Owning a Playhouse

As already mentioned, playhouses encourage pretend play which is great for cognitive flexibility (creativity), language and communication and socialization. Pretend play also helps kids to problem solve as they work through different scenarios.

Playhouses give kids a private space to work out (and often act out) their emotions which leads to improved emotional intelligence and helps kids establish their place in the world.

The solo time also encourages autonomy and independence, which improves self esteem. Finally outdoor playhouses are great for a child’s physical health.

Best Size For a Playhouse

The size you choose is dependent on the child or age ranges of children, how long you think your kids will use it for.

Wooden playhouses are generally larger and more permanent structures and so provide kids with heaps of floor space accommodate friends and grow with them as they age.

Consider whether your child will use their playhouse as they grow older.  A space for pretend play for a little one might become a clubhouse or a place to have sleepovers during summer (if you have a secure yard) for an older child.

It is possible to pass wooden playhouses on, but they are more cumbersome to pass on than plastic playhouses because they are generally heavier and would likely require disassembly before passing them on. Although if you’re handy with power tools or have a trailer, this may not be a problem.

You also need to consider how much space you have to house a playhouse as one that is too large can become a real eyesore in your yard. It’s a good idea to measure out how much space you’re prepared to use in your yard before deciding on any model.

We also recommend putting out some chairs to map out the amount of space you’ll be using so that you can get a real feel for what your yard will be like with the playhouse in place.

Wooden Playhouses Durability

Are mentioned above, most wooden playhouses are designed to be outside and tend to fare better than plastic in the outdoors.

They are designed to withstand the elements and may need a lick of paint every few years, but for the most part, this is the extent of their upkeep (much like a regular house).

This of course depends on the quality of wood you choose as some cheaper models can warp or splinter in extreme weather conditions. You can add plastic or Plexiglass panes into windows to increase cold weather resistance and help to keep bugs out.

Most manufacturers ensure that their playhouses have a proper finish to increase outdoor durability, but it’s always worth checking to be safe. A good finish will decrease the likelihood of splinters, warping boards and of course will be non-toxic.

It is also a good idea to apply a waterproof stain or paint on a yearly basis to extend the life of your wooden playhouse.




Wooden Playhouses Assemble

Theoretically playhouses should not be difficult to assemble, with pre-drilled holes and screws included in the purchase.

We recommend using power tools for most wooden playhouses because it will ensure a more stable and secure assembly. It will also just make life easier for yourself because many parents complain about pre-drilled holes not being deep enough.

Best Type of Wood For a Playhouse

When it comes to wooden playhouses, the only thing to keep in mind is that you should definitely avoid cheaper chipboard, particle or pressboard because they are known to warp or splinter in the assembly process and over time.

Many would add pine to this list but a good quality and well-treated pine will do well outside and will last for years.

Quality timbers such as cedar, mahogany or red wood are great choices but will generally cost most and can be heavy.

Cedar and redwood will also be naturally resistant to insects and decay and are great in warmer temperatures, meaning the wood won’t wane and warp as much as other timbers.

Wooden Playhouse Safety

There are some considerations to take into account when answering this question. A well-built, sturdy playhouse where you have good visibility of your child is very safe. That depends on the quality of the playhouse and also your ability to assemble it.

A wooden playhouse with a proper, non-toxic finish should not result in splinters, but will have sharper edges which can be an issue for very little kids.

Playhouses with lots of additional play accessories such as slides and swings naturally have more of a chance to cause accidents because of the activity they encourage.

If you have a Toddler and safety is your primary concern I would recommend buying a plastic playhouse – then graduating to a wooden playhouse when your child is approaching 4 years old.

How Much Do I Need To Spend On a Quality Wooden Playhouse?

The price range of playhouses is incredibly variable depending on size, quality, and accessories. The ones we love and have reviewed range from $200 to over $15,000 which is obviously a huge range!

We’ve tried to provide you with a really great range of options to suit every budget.

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