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7 Best Outdoor Playhouses (2022 Reviews)

best outdoor playhouses
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Playing outside provides a great opportunity for kids to get some fresh air and expend a little extra energy. Introducing an outdoor playhouse into your yard will not only get kids excited about spending time outside but will offer a safe space to play pretend. With that in mind, here are the best outdoor playhouses.

  • 1. Step2 Charming Cottage Kids Playhouse

    (Highest quality — $$$)

    Why it’s great: This adorable outdoor cottage may be a bit of a splurge, but it comes with all the bells and whistles. Featuring a built-in skylight, realistic mantel and fireplace, molded-in shelves, outdoor table, and a working doorbell, this playhouse is as cozy as it is cute. Designed to encourage imaginative play, this cottage is praised by parents for being easy to assemble and built to last.

    Keep in mind: This playhouse requires two AA batteries for the doorbell to operate as intended.

    Good for: Families looking to keep kids occupied for long periods of time as this house has lots of fun details designed to engage little ones of all ages and capabilities.

  • 2. Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse for Kids

    (Best value — $)

    Why it’s great: This Little Tikes Cape Cottage playhouse is modeled after a Victorian-style home with a blue shingled roof and white faux brick exterior. This playhouse also features two working doors, two windows with functioning shutters, a mail slot, and a flag holder. Made from high-grade, non-toxic plastic, this outdoor playhouse is water-resistant and incredibly durable. Customers report that this playhouse is easy to assemble and doesn’t require any tools to put together.

    Keep in mind: Some customers say there aren’t as many interior features in this playhouse as they’d hoped.

    Good for: Families looking for a durable and affordable playhouse for their backyard.

  • 3. KidKraft Disney Frozen Arendelle Wooden Playhouse

    (Best for Frozen fans — $$)

    Why it’s great: This adorable Arendelle wooden playhouse is inspired by the movie Frozen and is perfect for fans of Elsa and Anna. Featuring a unique double front door design, this playhouse also includes large, ice-sculpted windows with canvas awnings, plastic roof spires, window planters, and chalkboard panels, as well as interior and exterior Frozen graphics. Parents praise this playhouse for being sturdy and spacious.

    Keep in mind: Some customers report receiving a shipment with missing parts, so double-check your package carefully in case you have to exchange or replace it.

    Good for: Frozen fans as this playhouse incorporates the themes of the popular Disney movie into its design.

  • 4. KidKraft Modern Outdoor Wooden Playhouse

    (Sturdiest construction — $$$)

    Why it’s great: This wooden outdoor playhouse is one of the more durable models on the market. This playhouse has a wide range of features designed to engage toddlers and preschoolers as well as older kids. Available in a grey and white color scheme as well as a natural wood color scheme, this playhouse comes with a picnic table with two benches attached to the side. Other features include a mailbox with a flag, outdoor grill, fabric curtains, and water-resistant roof panels.

    Keep in mind: Some customers say that while this playhouse isn’t hard to build, it does take time.

    Good for: Active kids as this wooden playhouse is durable and has lots of exciting features to explore.

  • 5. Little Tikes Deluxe Home and Garden Playhouse

    (Most interactive — $)

    Why it’s great: This Little Tikes garden playhouse features a slew of interactive elements, including a sand and water table, a workbench with tools, and a kitchenette with a pretend stove. Designed to engage kids in physical, social, and imaginary play, this playhouse is sure to keep your little one entertained for hours on end. Parents praise this playhouse for its bright and inviting aesthetic and extra fun features.

    Keep in mind: Some customers say this playhouse is smaller than they expected as it is intended for younger children.

    Good for: Younger kids as this playhouse is recommended for children ages 18 months to five years.

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  • 6. Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage Homestyle Edition

    (Most durable — $$)

    Why it’s great: This cute cottage playhouse features a stacked stone base and classic color scheme, making it the perfect outdoor accessory for any backyard. This playhouse comes with a working Dutch-style door as well as a realistic doorbell, windows with functioning shutters, and a flower box with faux greenery inside. Kitchen amenities include a sink, grill, counter space, and table with seating. Made from high-quality, durable plastic, this playhouse also has a molded-in floor for easy clean-up.

    Keep in mind: Some customers say this playhouse was a little tricky to put together.

    Good for: Everyone as this mid-priced playhouse is high-quality, durable, and has lots of fun features.

  • 7. Backyard Discovery Sweetwater All Cedar Wooden Playhouse

    (Easiest to assemble — $$)

    Why it’s great: This children’s playhouse is made from 100% cedar wood that’s been pre-cut, pre-drilled, and pre-stained. Featuring wide windows and a half-sized door, this playhouse is an easy, breezy way to add a little bit of extra fun to your backyard setup. This playhouse also comes with a set of fun accessories to encourage pretend play, including a sink, stove, cordless phone, working doorbell, and pot and pan set with utensils. Parents praise this playhouse for its classic aesthetic and durable construction.

    Keep in mind: Some customers say they expected the wood panels this playhouse is made of to be thicker.

    Good for: Amateur builders as this playhouse comes with 3D interactive assembly instructions via the free BILT app.

Best Overall

The Step2 Charming Cottage Kids Playhouse is our overall top recommendation. It's the highest quality product we have found with the most affordable price making it the best value on our list..

FAQs about Outdoor Playhouses

  • 1. What should I consider when shopping for outdoor playhouses?

    The most important things to consider when shopping for outdoor playhouses are quality, durability, functionality, and cost. Outdoor playhouses should be designed to withstand rough play as well as the outside elements. For this reason, you’ll want to choose a playhouse that’s made from quality materials and built to last. You’ll also want an outdoor playhouse that doesn’t require more assembly than you’re willing or capable of doing. It’s always a good idea to find a playhouse with features that make sense for your family. For example, if you have a younger child, you may want a playhouse that’s smaller but comes with more interactive features, such as a working doorbell or a sand and water table. Older kids may enjoy a more spacious playhouse where they can play with their friends. Budget is another important factor, especially because most playhouses are a bit of a splurge. That being said, outdoor playhouses are available at a wide range of price points.

  • 2. What’s the difference between an outdoor playhouse and an indoor playhouse?

    The main difference between outdoor and indoor playhouses is the size and material they’re made of. Outdoor playhouses will typically be bigger and made from more durable materials, such as high-grade plastic or wood. Most outdoor playhouses can be used indoors so long as you have the space for it.

  • 3. How much assembly is required for an outdoor playhouse?

    This depends on which outdoor playhouse you choose. Some models require a minimal amount of assembly while others may take several hours to build. Most outdoor playhouses come with detailed instructions to guide you through the building process. You may want to check a playhouse’s item description to find out how much assembly is required before you commit to purchasing it.

  • 4. What age is best for an outdoor playhouse?

    Outdoor playhouses are great for all ages. Some models are recommended for kids as young as 18 months while others are more suitable for little ones ages three and up. Outdoor playhouses intended for younger kids are likely to be smaller with features designed to engage lower-level cognitive and motor skills. Playhouses intended for older kids will typically be larger and come with more advanced features. Always check the specific age recommendations of a product before purchasing it to make sure it’s right for your family.

  • 5. Are there any safety hazards when it comes to outdoor playhouses?

    Outdoor playhouses are designed to be durable and safe for children to enjoy. That being said, always make sure to read the instructions that come with your playhouse. Follow assembly directions carefully to ensure your playhouse is built properly and always supervise younger kids during outdoor playtime to avoid any unnecessary accidents or injuries.

Conclusion

Outdoor playhouses come in all sizes and styles, making them a fun activity for a wide range of ages and capabilities. Built from high-quality plastic or durable wood, outdoor playhouses are designed to encourage physical, social, and imaginary play. They often include a litany of interactive features, including kitchenette appliances, working doorbells, mailboxes, and functioning doors and windows. There is usually some assembly required when it comes to outdoor playhouses, but most models include detailed directions to guide you through the process. While outdoor playhouses may feel like a splurge, the steep price tag is more than worth what your little one will get out of having a safe space to play in their backyard.