The Best Swing Sets for Older Kids: Fun and Durable

Kumar Grant family pic
Written by Kumar Grant Updated on April 19th, 2023

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A decent swing set or backyard playset can be an investment in years of future entertainment and physical play for your older kids – and maybe even your grandkids!

But, hold on:

It needs to be safe, durable, able to withstand the elements, and legitimately engaging for tweens and above. Additionally, unless you’re having a pro set it up, you’ll want a set you know you can put together.

This round-up of the best swing sets for older kids has something for every family, from classic a-frame sets with modern safety features to full-on playhouses with monkey bars and a rock wall.

Let’s climb that ladder, shall we?

Our top picks for the best swing sets for older kids

Here’s what makes each swing set unique and worthy of your family’s outdoor space.

Best overall

Our opinion

A combination of alloy steel and high-density polyethylene are used to create the Lifetime Big Stuff Adventure Play Set (check price on Amazon), which is one of the best outdoor playsets for older kids — a versatile swing set plus an attached clubhouse with numerous other play options.

They’ll build dexterity and gross motor skills through the use of the cargo net and rock wall, engage in imaginative play with the clubhouse steering wheel, and just have a bit of old-fashioned fun on the impressive nine foot wavy slide. When it’s time to swing, they can choose from the two swings on the a-frame, dangle from the trapeze bar (a space-efficient alternative to monkey bars), or opt for the cool propeller swing that’s tucked away under the playhouse.

The durable, weather-resistant materials of this playset won’t warp, crack, or rot like a wooden jungle gym, and safety features like rounded edges and rubber-coated chains prevent injuries during play.

What we love
  • The high quality materials are weatherproof
  • Rounded corners and rubber-coated chains prevent injuries
  • There's TONS of stuff to do
Watch for
  • As you might imagine, it takes a decent amount of time and effort to assemble

Upgrade choice

Our opinion

A classic wooden playset with plenty to do, the Creative Playthings ‘Northbridge’ Swing Set (check price on Amazon) is constructed from beautiful, renewable Southern Yellow Pine lumber, noted for its longevity and durability when treated. The spacious set has a generous 15-year warranty, and its wide play deck and high wooden roof, so kids can keep enjoying it as they grow without feeling boxed in.

They can access the charming clubhouse via the climbing rock wall or the cargo net, and can make a grand exit down the 10-foot wavy slide. Two sling swings and a ring trapeze swing hang from the attached a-frame, and plastisol-coated chains prevent pinched fingers during play. Bonus: there’s a cool tire swing hanging out under the clubhouse that two smaller kids can share.

It’s one of the best wooden playsets for easy assembly, because even though it takes time to get the job done, pieces are factory-finished with Sherwin Williams premium exterior stain, are pre-drilled and ready to put together upon arrival.

What we love
  • It has a 15 year warranty, which is longer than many competitors
  • Wooden pieces arrive pre-drilled and pre-finished with Sherwin Williams premium exterior stain
  • It's one of the best playsets for big kids, because there's plenty to do
Watch for
  • Though pieces are pre-drilled, this set can take a long time to assemble

Best for budget

Our opinion

Parents in search of the best of the basics will love the Swing-N-Slide ‘Ranger’ Swing Set (check price on Amazon), a budget-friendly pick that’s safe, simple to assemble, and plenty of fun to play with.

The classic a-frame swing set includes two swings and a ring trapeze bar, and plastisol coated chains keep little hands safe while playing. It meets ASTM safety standards for backyard home use, so you can rest assured that the construction is sturdy.

Smaller backyards that can’t accommodate a whole playset are a perfect home for this versatile set. The existing swings can easily be swapped out for bench swings, gliders, or baby swings, though you’ll need to buy them separately.

What we love
  • It meets ASTM safety standards and has coated chains for safe play
  • It's easy to assemble
  • It's budget-friendly
  • Best swing set for 7 year old
Watch for
  • There's not as much to hold their attention

Best heavy duty metal swing set

Our opinion

Another classic a-frame swing set, the Big Brutus (check price on Amazon) is easy to assemble thanks to step-by-step instructions provided by BILT, an interactive companion app. Once set up, there’s no need to buy separate anchors for this set, as they’re included in the molded feet.

This heavy-duty metal set has two belt swings and a metal trapeze bar, and its sturdy construction is intended to accommodate bigger/older kids with ease. To wit, the frame is nearly 10 feet tall, and the set is about 40% bigger than the standard metal swing set.

It’s weather-resistant, so rusting isn’t an issue, and coated safety chains are comfortable to grasp as they swing.

What we love
  • The sturdy construction will last for years.
  • It’s a good value for a starter swing set.
  • It's the best metal swing set for older kids
Watch for
  • The assembly instructions might challenge your imagination.

Best for fortress games

Our opinion

Little ones who daydream about a fortress all their own will love how much the Lifetime Adventure Tower (check price on Amazon) looks like the real thing. The rounded, earth-tone base gives off actual stone castle vibes; between that and the natural deep green color of the roof and accents, it’s ideal if you’d rather your yard not look like a playground.

Kids can enjoy playtime on either the top or bottom level of the clubhouse, reaching the top level by climbing either of the set’s two climbing walls. They can slide back down to the ground via the long wavy slide, or stay awhile for some creative play with the built-in steering wheel.

The attached a-frame swing set combines classic function and modern design, with broad, attractive earth-tone bars that hold two sturdy swings and a trapeze bar. Whether they’re swinging or playing, they’ll be kept safe from injury thanks to soft rubber grips on swing chains, rounded edges, and protective plastic caps throughout the design.


What we love
  • It has a cool fortress look in a natural tone that won't clash with your yard
  • There's lots of ways for kids to play
  • Best outdoor playset for 10 year old
Watch for
  • Assembly can be complicated and take quite a long time
  • Some users have reported rusting around the joints of this product despite its weatherproof claims

Best DIY swing set kit

Our opinion

If you’re in the mood for a family DIY project that’s great for beginners, opting for the Eastern Jungle Gym DIY Set (check price on Amazon) can be fun. It comes with all the hardware you’ll need to put together a high-quality wooden playset for your kids — you bring the wood — and simple instructions for piecing the set together than even a relative novice can handle.

The use of a-frame brackets saves a lot of hassle during assembly, as wood can simply be slid into the bracket and connected via the lag bolts to save you from measuring angles and making cuts. The resulting swing set is a classic, offering two belt swings and a ring trapeze bar that can easily be swapped out for other swing types if desired.

Do note that if you are truly NOT the “handy” type, this project may not be the one for you. But, if you’re a crafty parent who finds DIYs satisfying, it’s definitely a project you’ll be proud of.

What we love
  • There's no dealing with complicated shipping and delivery, since it's just hardware
  • It's a fun project for amateur woodworkers and DIY-lovers
Watch for
  • Might be too difficult if you're not handy

Most features

Our opinion

If you’ve got a spacious backyard with tons of room for a truly epic jungle gym and swing set, the Backyard Discovery Skyfort II (check price on Amazon) might just be worth the splurge. It’s truly got a bit of everything, from an extra-large clubhouse to the all-coveted monkey bars (one of only two sets on our list that has them).

When they’re not swinging from their two swings or their two-person glider, they can enter the clubhouse either via ladder or the cool angled climbing wall, which helps to build dexterity. There’s a 10-foot wave slide emerging from the handsome cedar playset, so it’s easy to make a swift exit from the top of the fort.

The aforementioned XL clubhouse is one of our favorite things about this wooden swing set — it can easily take the place of a treehouse, giving them both a lower area with a covered picnic table, bench, and play space, and an upper enclosed play space with a cool ‘crow’s nest’ lookout, complete with an attached “telescope” they can use to survey the area. In other words, it’s a great space for adding social and creative play options to their physical play sessions.

What we love
  • It's got the most features on our list, including monkey bars, a two person glider swing, built in picnic table, and an XL clubhouse
  • The extra play space is perfect for social and pretend play with multiple children
  • Best swing set for 8 year old
Watch for
  • Assembly requires at least two adults, and can take days

Best multi-rider tree swing

Our opinion

Budget and space-conscious, the SkyCurve Platform Swing (check price on Amazon) isn’t just for kids — the wide, padded swing seat can hold up to 400 lbs. safely, so multiple kids and even adults can safely ride. The nylon and steel alloy platform can be hung from a traditional a-frame swing set, but it can also be hung from a sturdy tree in your backyard and enjoyed by the whole family for years to come.

Weather damage and moisture aren’t a concern here, as the black mesh material of the swing’s seat naturally allows rain to pass through, preventing puddles; by the time the sun’s been out long enough to swing, it should be dry and ready to play. Up to four children can play on the swing at once, so it’s a hit with siblings and a fun activity for when friends are over.

A unique benefit of this heavy duty swing is the ability to install it indoors, either exclusively or during the cooler months. When securely mounted in a playroom, it encourages physical play and can create a supervised sensory experience.

While installation of this simple platform swing is fairly easy, parents should note that hanging hardware isn’t included, so you’ll need to buy the appropriate hardware for your hanging locale of choice before getting started.

What we love
  • The 400 lb. weight limit means most adults and up to four children can use this product
  • It can be hung practically anywhere
Watch for
  • It doesn't come with hanging hardware, so you'll need to buy it separately
  • Some users report wear and tear to the mesh fabric over time

Best for community play area

Our opinion

Whether you’ve got a big family or kiddos with a barrage of friends, providing enough space and activities for everyone to be engaged is achievable with the Backyard Discovery Woodridge Elite (check price at Home Depot).

Designed for multiple kids to enjoy outdoor play, the wooden swing set features a two-level clubhouse accessible via a ladder or climbing wall, and a 10-foot wave slide lets them exit from the top. When they enter or exit via the rock climbing wall, they’ll take a trip through a unique climbing tunnel and access a small lookout area, an additional vantage point to the top-level wrap around porch.

Below, two belt swings and a ring trapeze bar with safety-coated chains offer even more ways to play. Inside the lower fort, a sandbox offers a sensory play area kids can share, while a removable cover protects sand from insects and the elements when not in use.

The 100% cedar playset is naturally resistant to rot, mold, and decay, and its chemical-free stain is safe for both kids and pets.

What we love
  • There's space for several children to play together easily
  • It's the only pick on our list with a sandbox AND a tunnel
Watch for
  • It's massive, so assembly is a significant process

Swing and monkey bar combo

Our opinion

A classic backyard swing set, the Lifetime Adventure Jungle Gym (check price on Walmart) combines an a-frame swing set with a sturdy set of monkey bars for climbing and a weather-resistant 9-foot wavy slide. There’s also a fireman’s pole and a ring trapeze bar, so acrobatic kids will truly get their fill with this ASTM-certified plastic and metal set.

The bright primary colors of this swing and slide set won’t dull or fade over time thanks to the use of UV-resistant plastic, which both holds color and stays strong even after repeated exposure to the elements. Unlike some playsets, it won’t need to be stained or maintained, and can last for years as-is.

Assembling the Lifetime swing set is relatively easy, especially because it’s free standing — no concrete is needed. As you build, you’ll notice that chains are coated for safety and hard edges are either rounded off or capped to prevent playtime injuries.

Though the ability to swap out swings as desired is often a perk of a classic swing set, parents should note that doing so here will void the Lifetime Jungle Gym’s five-year warranty.

What we love
  • It's the only pick on our list with a fireman's pole, and one of only two with monkey bars
  • Made of both high-density polyethylene and powder coated steel, it requires no maintenance and will last for years
Watch for
  • You can’t attach other manufacturer’s swing seats or accessories without voiding the warranty

Best circular swing platform

Our opinion

Saucer swings like the Web Riderz Outdoor Swing N’ Spin (check price on Walmart) are a great alternative to traditional bar or bench swings, and can be a fun hang when placed on the front or back porch or secured to a sturdy tree.

This heavy duty swing has a weight limit of 600 lbs, so multiple adult or child riders can easily be accommodated. A tightly woven rope swing seat supports weight comfortably, but won’t collect moisture during rain or after snow.

Supported by a sturdy steel frame that won’t bend or break, the Swing N’ Spin comes with a 10-foot tree strap and a 5000 lb. carabiner, allowing for simple installation. When the 360 Cyclone Swing Spinner is added to the carabiner, the entire unit spin in circles ad infinitum as suggested — just watch out for motion sickness!

What we love
  • It's the perfect saucer swing for tree hanging, and comes with a hanging kit including a 10' tree strap and 2.5 ton carabiner
  • The durable frame and 600 lb. weight limit means multiple adults or kids can ride
Watch for
  • The frame may develop rust and require replacement in humid climates

Teens and tots together

Our opinion

It can be hard to find outdoor play products that keep both older and younger kids entertained, but the Ultra Play Double Bay Commercial Swing Set (check price at Home Depot) is made for the job. It’s got two swings for the older kids and two buckets for young children, so it takes up some space, but the versatility is worthwhile for the right family.

The Ultra Play is styled as two a-frame swing sets connected together by a shared center set of poles. Setting up the unit is uncomplicated, but its size demands two people, and it needs to be installed into the ground.

It’s a very safe set for multiple children to play on at the same time, and is even certified for commercial use. Even so, parents should note that the chains aren’t coated, so kids should watch for pinched fingers while swinging.

What we love
  • They can choose from a belt swing or a bucket, so it's good for kids of all ages
  • It's safety-certified for commercial use
Watch for
  • Installation will likely be a two-person job
  • The swing chains aren't safety-coated

Final verdict

Lifetime Big Stuff Adventure Play Set! (check price on AmazonThis is unequivocally one of the best playsets for older kids.

Older children will thoroughly enjoy everything that this set has to offer. Whether they’re relaxing in a swing, trying to master the cargo net, or maneuvering the intricacies of the rock climbing wall, this will be the swing set to both teach them the limits and realms of their physical abilities as well as keeping them entertained for years.

The Big Stuff Adventure Play Set is also more age-appropriate for older kids. While kids of all ages will enjoy the swinging and sliding, the physical abilities required to master the propeller swing and trapeze bar are more appropriate for older children.

And, the strength of the alloy steel and polyethylene will not only make this swing set last longer than its competitors, there also won’t be broken parts or chipping paint or wood splinters that can cause hazards for children.

It’s also a very compact model when compared to others, taking up less overall space, yet still having all of the different, fun interactive components.

While the cost of the Big Stuff Adventure Play Set is a little higher than some of the other choices, in our humble opinion, it is reflective of the quality, safety, educational benefits, and overall construction of this swing set, giving you more peace of mind when your children are playing with it. And, how do you put a price on that?

How we chose these play and swing sets

We are real parents with real kids. We get that families have different budgets and backyards. This diverse selection of high-quality swing sets for older kids should have something for every family setup.

Next, it goes without saying that safety comes first. We did extensive research to identify safe and robust swing sets with excellent customer feedback from real families. Yep, we know that there are a ton of fake reviews out there. We’ve gotten very good at spotting the duds and unearthing the genuine comments from parents who have owned each product for over a year.

What to look for in a swing set for older kids

Swings can be fun at any age, even full-grown, but choosing a swing set for your older kiddos presents a different set of considerations.

Activity features

Even though they’re called “swing sets”, many picks have a lot more for kids to do, and are really more like jungle gyms. Fun features like a rock climbing wall, sliding boards, monkey bars and clubhouses make a swing set pick a lot more dynamic, which will encourage kids to spend more time there; this is especially true for older kids, who may be starting to require prompting to play outside.

Age appropriate

Whether they’re too young or too old, bad things can happen when you let kids play on equipment that’s not suited for someone their age. They can seriously injure themselves and/or break the gear they’re playing on, so it’s important to make sure you’re providing a swing set that’s safe for kids their age — older kids can enjoy a saucer swing long after they outgrow their regular playset.


It goes without saying that backyard swing sets and playsets for older kids require higher weight limits. Safety is always paramount, especially when it comes to equipment our kids engage with during physical play. As our kids get bigger, their swing sets will need to allow for their growing weight. Consult the safety manual of your swing set for exact figures.


Picks with lots to do are tons of fun, but if all the features are sized for the preschool set, older kids won’t have much fun. Make sure there are big kid swings with wide seats and that slides are the right size for your older kiddos.


Swing and playsets are typically constructed from wood, metal, plastic, or a combination of these. There are pros and cons to each material.


Pros. Wooden swing sets are beautiful, lending an air of classic craftsmanship to your backyard. They’re an evergreen (see what we did there?) pick that have made their way into many childhoods, and wood is a common material choice for swings that include clubhouses and jungle gym features. When woods like pine and cedar are properly stained, sealed and treated, they’ll not only look great but will hold up to the elements for years. They also don’t get as hot as metal swing sets, and are a little more gentle to bump into in the event of a fall.

Cons. While proper sealing and treating go a long way, weather can inevitably lead to rotting and warping. For some sets, however, this means having to retreat the swing set yearly, which can be an investment of both time and money. As they’re often more complex than metal and plastic counterparts, they may take more time to assemble.


Pros. Metal swing sets tend to be less feature-heavy than their wood counterparts, making them a great addition to smaller backyards. They’re coated to be weather resistant, which means that they should resist rust and other environmental damage for years without the maintenance wood swing sets require, which can be costly in terms of both time and money. Their nostalgic appearance hearkens back to the playgrounds of our childhood, and they tend to snap together a bit more quickly and easily than other swing sets.

Cons. While many have a coating to protect against it, metal swing sets are more likely than wooden and plastic picks to get hot in the summer sun. It’s also not as soft a material as wood, so a bumped head on a metal swing set can be a bit more severe. Additionally, while they’re definitely a sturdy and stable pick, they’re less durable overall than wood.


Pros. Outdoor plastic equipment is much lighter than its wooden and plastic counterparts, which means that relocating their swing set will be a breeze in comparison. Thoroughly cleaning plastic swing sets is very simple, and light maintenance occasionally will keep it looking great for years. They’re usually designed for younger kids, so they tend to be lower to the ground and feature bright, cheerful colors. They’re splinter-free, and relatively soft, so accidental bumps won’t be too damaging. They’re also often cheaper than wooden or metal picks.

Cons. As we mentioned, plastic swing sets are usually designed for the youngest set, which means older kids can’t really enjoy them – even if they did, the low weight capacity means playing on them wouldn’t be safe. There tends to be fewer features in a smaller size, and designs are geared toward pleasing tots. While these aren’t technically true “cons”, when we assess plastic sets in terms of their benefits to older kids, they’re usually a pass. Another note? Sunlight can bleach the bright colors of outdoor plastic picks over time.


Can I install a swingset myself?

It is absolutely essential that any outdoor playsets are installed safely and securely. Period. So no messing about, ‘DIY Dad’!

True, all sets should come with full installation instructions, and some are considerably easier to install than others. Be very honest with yourself and your assessment of your own construction skill level. Always err on the side of caution and potentially enroll the help of a highly skilled friend or professional.

We know, it’s very tempting to watch a YouTube video or read a DIY site and convince yourself that building a swing set on your own is going to be a breeze. Real talk: your kids are going to play on there, and unless you’re extremely handy, you’re probably better off going with a professional installation. There’s no compromise that’s worth your children’s safety.

Do I need to prepare a landing spot?

Ideally, yes. Putting their swing set just anywhere isn’t plausible. If your child takes a tumble while they’re playing, you don’t want them to hit a hard surface and become seriously injured. This means that hard concrete and asphalt are a major no-fly zone for jungle gyms. While soft grass is better than stone, keep in mind that years of repeated play will wear down even the softest dirt patches, leading to harder surfaces where injuries can happen. Materials like sand, pea gravel, mulch, rubber mats, or shredded rubber all make excellent filler that’s ideal for reducing injuries during a fall.

What surface is best to place my kids’ swing set on?

As we’ve established, a safe surface underneath outdoor playsets is an essential part of playtime. We know that concrete and asphalt are both out, because they’re a lot more hazardous than softer picks in the event of an accidental fall. Grass can also be problematic, because while it starts off as a soft surface, playing in the same area over months and years can wear down the turf, leaving nothing but hard ground for them to land on. There’s a few popular picks for filling in the surface underneath your kids’ swing set.

  • Rubber mats. These are popular picks that are often spotted at homes, schools and playgrounds. They consist of large, dense mats which rest on the ground under where children are playing, creating a softer surface that can prevent hazards during falls. They’re easy to take care of, as they’re weatherproof and can simply be hosed clean if needed. They’re durable and rugged, so it’s next to impossible for kids to damage them. However, they can be more expensive than some ground cover, and rubber allergies can be prohibitive.
  • Gravel. Simple pea gravel creates a surface that’s less hazardous than the solid ground, but it’s still harder than soft mulch or rubber mats. It’s not expensive, though, which makes it a convenient pick for covering large areas of ground. It’s made of literal stone, so it’s extremely durable, plus it’s a natural material that won’t trigger allergies.
  • Shredded rubber mulch. Super low maintenance and easy to install, shredded rubber filler makes a nice soft surface to cushion their landings during a gall. It doesn’t attract insects like sand can, and it’s a lighter weight filler than sand or gravel, so hauling it is less annoying. Rubber is also very flammable, though, especially in mulch form, so take heed.
  • Sand. Inexpensive, natural, and pleasant to look at, it’s hard to argue with sand as a surface for under their swing set. It makes the play area double as a sandbox, and it’s easy to find sand at most big box home improvement stores. Sand does require maintenance, though, plus it can attract animals and gets tracked around the yard and house a great deal.
  • Wood mulch. Like sand, wood mulch is a low cost, natural alternative for lining the surface under their swing set. It has the added bonus of being good for your lawn, as it adds important organic matter to your soil that makes it healthier. It creates a soft landing area for kids, but the potential for splinters is present, and it’s hazardous when used as a projectile(an activity older kids are wont to engage in).

You also want to think about how much space you have to put a swing set. Not only will you need room for the set itself, but there can be a lot of play activity spilling over into the area around it.

Are my kids too old for a swing set?

We don’t think that anyone is too old for a swing set. Just take a look around at your favorite park. You’ll see people of all ages having outdoor fun on the swings, and maybe wandering through the clubhouse mazes.

As we mentioned, it’s important to choose a swing set that’s appropriate for your child’s age. If you have a swing set, and your children seem bored with it, it’s very possible that they just need a more age-appropriate set. A big part of the fun is having a little bit of a challenge. Swing sets made for younger children might not be challenging your youngster’s creativity or more finely tuned motor skills.

Kumar Grant family pic
Written by Kumar Grant Updated on April 19th, 2023

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Best swing sets for older kids