11 Best Outdoor Playhouses: Your Buyer’s Guide

Looking for the best outdoor playhouse for your kids this summer? We’ve got you covered with the list below.

The list below contains the 11 best kids’ playhouses on the market, each of which offers something a bit different. Whether you’re looking for the best kids’ playhouse, or you’re just looking for something cheap for your kids to play with in your backyard, this list contains some awesome options.

With that out the way, let’s take a look at the best outdoor playhouses available in 2021.

Also of Interest: Best Above Ground Pools

These Are The Best Playhouses in 2021

Backyard Discovery Scenic Heights All Cedar Playhouse Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Real wooden design
  • Loads of space
  • Saloon doors
Price: $1,155.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Little Tikes Backyard Bungalow House Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Well-Designed
  • Simple door mechanism
  • Open design
Price: $184.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
ECR4Kids Jumbo Princess Palace Playhouse Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Very cute (perfect for princesses)
  • Tall door
  • Eight feet tall
Price: $999.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
pink playhouse Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Hyper Pink Design
  • Tall
  • Easy Assembly
Price: $140.88 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
picnic on the patio playhouse Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Awesome Side Table
  • Great Design
  • Made in USA
Price: $407.85 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
backyard playhouses Amazon Customer Reviews
  • All Cedar Wood
  • Quality Construction
  • Looks Great
Price: $292.81 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse with Working Doors Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Warm and inviting
  • Looks Good
  • Great color scheme
Price: $125.10 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Simplay3 Young Explorers Discovery Playhouse Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Designed with kids in mind
  • Fun activities
  • Can fit through a doorway
Price: $249.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Be Mindful Solid Wood Outdoor Playhouse Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Includes Large Slide
  • Colorful
  • Side Table and Seats for Snack Time
Price: $289.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Bosmere Rowlinson A038 Swiss Cottage Playhouse Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Beautiful Design
  • Front Porch
  • Side Door
Price: $3,000.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
KidKraft Playhouse Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Best-Looking Wooden Design
  • Attached Picnic Table
  • Big Interior
Price: $353.96 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Backyard Discovery Scenic Heights All Cedar Playhouse

    Pros:
    • Real wooden design
    • Open Design
    • Saloon doors
    • Storage area on the inside
    • Meets or exceeds ASTM standards
    Cons:
    • Will take a while to get up and running
    • Pricey (but worth it)
    • May be larger than people need

    Plastic is great if you’re trying to keep costs down. That said, if you’re an eco-friendly family, or you’re looking for something that’s built to last, the Backyard Discovery Scenic Heights All Cedar Playhouse is the way to go. 

    Cedar is a type of super wood. It is, without getting into silly money, the best wood for outdoor playhouses. It’s the type of wood many companies will use in jungle gyms or any other outdoor activity centers thanks to its resistance when up against adverse weather conditions. 

    The only real downside is with any kind of woodwork, it’ll take a little longer to construct. That’s not a deal-breaker by any means, and you can always hire someone to put it all together should you not feel comfortable. 

    In terms of size, this playhouse comes in at 77 x 77 x 91 inches, and features a lot. Like, seriously, a lot. There’s saloon doors, a ladder, staircase, and on the inside are storage drawers and even a place to sit. Oh, and it’s massive. In short, it’s got everything kids could need to play make-believe. 

  2. 2. Little Tikes Backyard Bungalow House

    Pros:
    • Well-Designed
    • Simple door mechanism
    • Open design
    Cons:
    • Fabric canopy will take time to dry if it rains
    • Not ideal for eco-families
    • Could be a little taller

    If it’s affordable fun you’re after, the Little Tikes Backyard Bungalow House is a great relatively cheap playhouse option.

    The “building” is made up of highly durable and easily cleaned plastic. The design is very open, with only walls only coming halfway up. The more open design not only allows your kids to interact with other children who aren’t inside of the house, itself, but it also has more visibility than most other playhouses (so that you know what your kids are doing).

    What really makes this set attractive is its simplicity and a great level of detail. The color combination Step2 went with is very easy on the eyes, with very earthy colors, allowing the playhouse to blend in well with just about any surrounding.

    It comes with working doors and all those different items you see on the sides. In terms of features, this is a pretend play playhouse (try saying that fast), which is great as it gives kids the tools to make up their own stories without forcing them into a specific story. 

    Finally, and needless to say, this playhouse great value for the money if you’re looking for a cheaper option to the wood-based playhouses. 

  3. 3. ECR4Kids Jumbo Princess Palace Playhouse

    Pros:
    • Very cute (perfect for princesses)
    • Tall door
    • Eight feet tall
    Cons:
    • Princess pink design Isn't for everyone
    • Pricey
    • Eight feet tall

    What’s the most ridiculous playhouse on this list? That’d be the EIGHT FOOT TALL Jumbo Princess Palace Playhouse.

    This model comes from ECR4Kids and is designed for little girls, hence the Disney-esq look. 

    It’s made of plastic and features a cozy, closed off design. One thing that really sets it apart from other models on our list is the fact that it comes with actual doors. The color theme is a pink, blue, purple, and white one, making it incredibly flashy.

    Overall, the Jumbo Princess Playhouse is very solid in terms of build quality. ECR4Kids done a great job with exterior details, and has also made it pretty easy to assemble. 

    There is, of course, one issue: Price. Sure, it’s pricey, but then it’s eight feet tall, so it kind of makes sense (the Junior version is a few hundred bucks cheaper, by the way). It all comes down to how much you’d want to pay for the playhouse and how much usage your child is going to get out of it. If this is going to be used year after year, then sure, it’s worth the cost. If you think they’ll get bored after a while, maybe pass. 

  4. 4. Little Tikes Princess Cape Cottage

    Pros:
    • Hyper Pink Design
    • Tall
    • Easy Assembly
    Cons:
    • Cheap-Looking
    • Nothing Going on Inside of it
    • Flag Holders, But No Flags

    If you are looking for a lightweight playhouse that offers a bit more color, the Princess Cape Cottage is the way to go. Produced by one of the largest brands in the toy business, Little Tikes, this model is a great solution for those on a budget.

    The house itself comes in a pink and purple combination, with closed-off walls and a Dutch door. Even though it is not exactly the most complex playhouse out there, the Princess Cottage playhouse comes with some features kids will love.

    Its exterior walls feature a facade brick portion, while you also get a mailbox and a house number. What’s more, there’s a flag holder (kids love flags!). All of its walls are covered with windows, some of which are functional. For such a light model, this playhouse is made pretty solid. Putting the whole thing together is easy and takes very little time. The best thing about the Princess Cape Cottage is the fact that you can easily relocate it since it is so light.

    It’s the best outdoor playhouse for 6-year-old girls especially, thanks to its pink design.

  5. 5. Little Tikes Picnic on the Patio

    Pros:
    • Made in USA
    • Great Design
    • Awesome Side Table
    Cons:
    • Comparatively Pricey
    • Doorbell Tough To Push For Kids
    • Instructions Say To Drill Holes

    Playhouses come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and some don’t come with any accessories. This one, however, is a perfect example of thinking outside the box. Little Tikes’ Picnic on the Patio playhouse offers a bit more than your usual model. It is a composite playhouse that comes with a picnic table attached to one of its sides. On top of that, you also get a set of chairs. The house itself is pretty simple.

    Doors are a standard Dutch type that we have seen being used in almost all entries on our list. With that said, this model comes with a good window coverage but no shutters. On the inside, you will find a small kitchen that comes complete with burners and similar details. Since its a bit more complex than your usual playhouse, wondering about how difficult it is to assemble is only natural.

    Luckily, Picnic on the Patio playhouse comes panelized, so it won’t take you long to put everything together (it’s just a few snaps, no tools involved). It’s possibly the best outdoor playhouse on this list.

     

  6. 6. Backyard Discovery Timberlake All Cedar Wood Playhouse

    Pros:
    • All Cedar Wood
    • Quality Construction
    • Looks Great
    • Swing Door
    Cons:
    • Gets Crowded Quickly
    • Requires More Assembly Time Than Plastic
    • Thin Wood

    If you are not a fan of plastics and are looking for a more old school type of playhouse, Backyard Discovery has what you are looking for. Their Timberlake All Cedar Wood Playhouse brings a well-known, classic design. The playhouse features semi-closed architecture, with the front wall having a Dutch door that has a window on each of its sides. Every other side of the playhouse contains a wide open cutout that makes it very easy to keep your kids within sight.

    In terms of build quality, this playhouse is as solid as they come. One of the main issues parents have with all wood playhouses is the assembly difficulty. Thanks to a pretty smart design, the Timberlake Cedar Playhouse doesn’t have those issues. The entire thing comes in large panels, which make it fairly easy to assemble, which is why it’s one of the best wooden playhouses available right now.

  7. 7. Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse with Working Doors

    Pros:
    • Warm and inviting
    • Looks Good
    • Great color scheme
    Cons:
    • Lack of shading on the outside
    • Small Interior
    • Small Window

    If you’re after something that looks great, is durable, and won’t break the bank too much, the Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse is well worth checking out. 

    This thing is super cute. The color scheme here I find is really inviting, which is definitely a good thing when it comes to a playhouse. In terms of moving parts, we’ve got a door that opens and closes and shuttable windows. 

    As for dimensions, it’s nice and sleek, coming in at 42.8 x 35 x 49 inches and weighing just 32 pounds. That means this playhouse can be moved and stored somewhere during the colder months. 

    The other thing to consider with this is how easy it is to build. We’re talking minutes here rather than hours. Little Tikes is good like that. 

     

     

  8. 8. Simplay3 Young Explorers Discovery Playhouse

    Pros:
    • Designed with kids in mind
    • Fun activities
    • Can fit through a doorway
    • Easy to assemble
    Cons:
    • A little pricey considering its smaller form factor
    • Isn't as larger as other sets
    • Colors are fine

    If you’re after a simpler type of playhouse with loads to do, the Simplay3 Young Explorers Discovery Playhouse is for you. 

    So, what’s here? Well, there’s a mailbox, working doors, clips for drawing, a kid-friendly climbing ramp, as well as loads of different shapes on the underneath for kids to crawl through. 

    One of the cool things about this design is the inclusion of easy-grip handles and grooves to let kids really grab without any issues. 

    It’s also thin enough to fit through doorframes, so if the weather goes south, you can easily bring it back indoors to continue the fun. Neat! 

  9. 9. Be Mindful Solid Wood Outdoor Playhouse

    Pros:
    • Includes Large Slide
    • Colorful
    • Side Table and Seats for Snack Time
    Cons:
    • Tougher Assembly
    • Not A Full Roof
    • Plastic

    Be Mindful is another company that’s eco-friendly. All the wood the company sources is responsibly harvested. Nice. 

    The Be Mindful Solid Wood Outdoor Playhouse is a more simple design that’s perfect for play. If you’ve seen some of the wooden options on this list and worry they’re a little too complex to build, this is the playhouse for you. It’ll still require more work than plastic to put up, but it’s not anywhere near as daunting as some of the wooden playhouses I’ve seen. 

    Size-wise, we’re talking 44.5 X 42.5 X 56-inches with an interior height of 55-inches. It’s geared towards kids ages 2 to 8 years. Anything above that and they may need to crouch a bit. 

    The other thing I love about the wooden playhouses is you can paint them any way you see fit. With plastic, you’re stuck with one color. There’s a really clean white and dark blue on the page that’s absolutely stunning. 

  10. 10. Bosmere Rowlinson A038 Swiss Cottage Playhouse

    Pros:
    • Beautiful Design
    • Front Porch
    • Side Door
    • Paint it However You Want It
    Cons:
    • Pricey
    • Floor Kit Not Included
    • Shingles and Paint Not Included

    If you’re after something really different they’re going to treasure, look no further than the Bosmere Rowlinson Swiss Cottage Playhouse

    Bosmere Rowlinson offers pretty realistic and complex playhouse kits, which are made of real, good quality wood. The one shown above is among the most life-like playhouses around, coming in with a product dimension of 98 x 81 x 86 inches. The house features a spacious interior along with a bunkbed-like sleeping area for when they want to relax.

    There are also three fixed windows on the front to let some light in. And because this is all wood, you’re free to add some small curtains or blinds on the inside.

    This is by far one of the most complex playhouses on the market. As such, it comes with a steeper price tag. However, the quality and features you get make it more than worth the investment. The only thing to be aware of is that you will have to put in a bit of time to get the cottage assembled. Thankfully, the kit comes with a pretty detailed manual and isn’t anywhere near as complex as it looks. 

  11. 11. KidKraft Modern Outdoor Wooden Playhouse

    Pros:
    • Best-Looking Wooden Design
    • Attached Picnic Table
    • Big Interior
    Cons:
    • Curtain Looks Cheap
    • Unpainted Wood
    • No Play Sink

    KidKraft is another great brand to look at when you’re looking at wooden playhouses, and our favorite from them is the KidKraft Modern Outdoor Wooden Playhouse.

    It’s a great-looking playhouse that will last you for a long time, and it includes a picnic table and attached benches on one side of it. It also has a counter, outdoor grill, chalkboard, and a slanted roof. The mailbox on the front also has a flag and is fully functional.

    Seriously, KidKraft looks like they put a lot of thought into the design of this thing so that it wouldn’t look like an eyesore in your backyard.

Keeping your kids active can sometimes be tough, thanks to the invention of tablets and video games. But the CDC is as active as ever in their push to keep kids active with 60 minutes or more of physical activity every day.

With the summer just around the corner, it is time for your little ones to start exercising by playing outside, and that means it's time to start thinking about getting some new outdoor toys for kids to play with. Playhouses are one of the best ways to make that playtime exponentially more fun.

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