How Much Does a Playground Set Cost?

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 13, 2018

Playgrounds sets, or swing sets, are something that every child can use.  Swing sets come in a variety of sizes, materials (usually metal or wood), and features, and because of this, these sets can have a very wide price range.  What kind of swing set you choose will depend on your price range, the age of your child(ren), the number of children you have, and the desired features.

Ygidp_2b by gvgoebel, on Flickr
Ygidp_2b” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  gvgoebel

How much does a playground set cost?

On average, the price of a playground set will depend on the type, the features, size, brand and where it’s purchased.  As noted below, the costs could be as little as $100 for a simple metal swing set to as much as $3,000+ for a playground set equipped with forts and slides.  Refer to the chart below to see what most retailers charge.

A metal frame swing set with no additional features will usually cost about $100 to $200.  This price will depend on the number of swings and the size of the slide.  Walmart, for instance, sells a few different kinds of metal swing sets in this price range.

The basic wooden frame swing will cost $500 to $1,000.

The more complex wooden frame playground sets can cost more than $3,000.  This would include play sets such as the ones made by Rainbow and Kid’s Creations.

This price can get even higher when you start considering commercial grade sets such as the ones you may find at a public park.  These can be found through companies such as Outdoor Fun Store.

When you factor in borders, the set, ground cover and installation, the costs could be north of $8,000, according to

RetailerPrice Range
Costco Swing Set$1,000 to $13,000
Home Depot Swing Set$700 to $1,800
Kmart Swing Set$250 to $1,800
Lowes Swing Set$500 to $3,000
Sams Club Swing Set$900 to $1,900
Sears Swing Set$200 to $1,600
Toys R Us Swing Set$200 to $2,000 (wood)
Walmart Swing Set$125 (simple swing) to $2,500 (wooden set with multiple features)

Playground set overview

Most swing sets will come unassembles and will have up to more than a thousand pieces that need to be assembled.  Be prepared to have at least two workers to help you build the structure.

The basic metal frame swing set will usually include between 2-4 swings and one or two slides.  The hardware for the swings can also be used to hang rings or a trapeze bar.

The most common materials will include wood, metal and plastic.  Plastic tends to be the cheapest and least durable; it can also have its color fade in the sunlight.  Metal swing sets will be more durable but not aesthetically pleasing.  In the sun, metal sets can be hot to touch.  Lastly, wood can be the best choice because it’s the most durable and attractive; it can also be built to hold any weight limit.

The basic wooden frame playground set usually includes 2-3 swings, a ladder climbing up to a small “clubhouse” type structure, and slide coming down from this.  Sometimes instead of a wooden ladder there may be a rope ladder or rock climbing wall.

The more complex playground sets will include the basic structure, swings, and slides.  However, the structure may be two-story, such as the Base Sunshine Clubhouse Package IV.  It may contain a higher curly slide such as the Original Sunshine Castle Package V.  It may even contain a tire swing such as the Pot o’ Gold set.  Other features may include a picnic table, a saucer swing, double swings, twin slides, two-sided clubhouse, monkey bars, rope ladder, or a climbing wall.

What are the extra costs?

Many of these swing sets come in pieces that you must put together yourself.  However, there is usually an installation fee that can be paid for those who do not want to put it together themselves.  Depending on the complexity, plan on spending about $100 to $500+ to have a professional install your set.  This will all depend on the size and complexity of the job.

Some playsets are advertised with certain features (such as rings) but these features must actually be purchased separately.  Be sure to ask before you buy.

If you plan on landscaping the area, you may want to purchase rubber mulch, which can cost about $4 to $9 per seven square feet.  Other base materials may include sand or wood chips.

Some cities may require a structural permit.  Check with your local city to see if a permit needs to be pulled.

Tips to know:

When installing a playground, consider laying sand or rubber mulch underneath the playground equipment.  This material is going to be easier on children’s feet and will be a good padding just in case one falls.  This area should be at least 12 inches deep.

Be sure to read the basic rules on the playground equipment.  It’s here for a reason.  Be sure to abide by the age restrictions as younger children can get hurt if playing on equipment that isn’t designed for their age bracket.

During the hotter days, be sure to touch the metal equipment before allowing children to play on it.  If the metal gets too hot, burns can occur.

Inspect the playground area to ensure that no tree stumps, rocks or any other objects are stuck out in the play area.

Watch the clothing that your children are wearing.  Be sure to avoid clothing such as hooded sweatshirts, hoods, drawstrings and more.

How can I save money?

The easiest way to save money is to buy a used playground set from someone whose children are getting too old to use it.  This can be done using services such as eBay or Craig’s List.

How to compare prices:

When comparing prices, what you really need to do is compare features.  You also need to take the quality and stability into account.  This is especially true for families with multiple children as the playground will be used for many more years.  Decide what your price range is, then decide which features are important to you and which are not, and then visit different stores such as Home Depot and websites such as Backyard Adventures to compare the price.

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