If you have an outdoor playhouse, it was probably one of your favorite spots when you were a child. It was a place where you could dream, act, imagine, and cut loose.
There is a delicate balance between overly structuring your child’s play and providing play opportunities with some structure.
The best outdoor playhouses provide children with a safe play opportunity where they can create their own games and play experiences.
- Rebuildable design
- Easy assembly
- Taller structure
- Includes accessories
- Wood can be painted
- Secure screws
- Pole and sleeve design
- Optional floor
- Affordable playhouse
- Realistic amenities
- Real working doorbell
- Built-in floor
- Two-level playhouse
- Durable material
- Made in the USA
- Two-story home
- Bright & vivid primary colors
- Comes with slide
- Has a small porch
- Includes accessories and great features
- Accommodates up to six children at a time
- Comes with light-up disco ball
- Can be used indoors or out
- Fun-enhancing features
- Two working doors
- Brickwork detail
- Lightweight and simple
- Integrated outdoor grill
- Comes with a mailbox
- Includes built-in picnic table
The Best Outdoor Playhouses of 2023
Here is our list of the best outdoor playhouses for kids.
1. Little Tikes Backyard Bungalow House
Best Plastic Outdoor Playhouse
This novel plastic playhouse from Little Tikes has 25 customizable accessories and a few interactive pieces of accessories.
An adult builds the frame and then either the adult or the kids can affix the other accessories, in a configuration of their choosing.
This design is perfect for outdoor picnic and other outdoor activity for your little one.
- The rebuildable design of the playhouse provides additional opportunities for imaginative and active play.
- The frame can also be easily assembled and unassembled making it easy to store or move the playhouse indoors if you wish.
- It’s one of the taller outdoor playhouses at 59.5 inches.
- Some reviewers say the playhouse were delivered with missing parts.
|Footprint||47.75 x 47.75 inches|
|Age Range||2 to 5 years|
|Accessories||Canopy, stove and sink, chalkboard and gardening station|
2. Backyard Discovery Sweetwater All Cedar Wooden Playhouse
Best Wooden Outdoor Playhouse
This is a well-constructed cedar wood playhouse with large window openings and lots of play-enhancing accessories.
Inside, there is a cute, toy stove-top, sink with knobs that twist, and a toy telephone.
Outside there are two cute plastic plant pot shelves in which you can place real flowers or plants in flower pots.
- Lots of accessories that provide added play value.
- The wood can be painted, but it does come already treated with a child and pet-friendly stain.
- The screws are designed to resist loosening and have rounded heads so they will not catch on clothes or cause scratches.
- Some people have said they feel they are competent DIY-ers and this playhouse still took them up to two hours to assemble.
|Footprint||42.13 x 46.06 inches|
|Material||Wood – cedar|
|Age Range||2 to 6 years|
|Accessories||Sink, stove-top, telephone, plant pot holders|
3. Kiddie Play Tent, Candy Playhouse
Best Tent Playhouse
This is a fabulous playhouse tent that is printed to resemble a brightly colored candy store.
The door is a two-flap style entryway so smaller children do not have to work out how to unlatch or unzip a door.
A “server’s hatch” enhances the store feel, allowing children inside the playhouse to serve people outside.
- The pole and sleeve design make this playhouse exceptionally easy to assemble either indoors or outside, move it between the two, or store when not in use.
- This playhouse has an optional floor, which is included. This gives the flexibility to use it outside with the floor and then move it inside with the floor removed, saving your home from mud, grass, and other debris.
- It’s an affordable playhouse option.
- Smaller than most of the other playhouses, so there is a limit to how long this will be a viable place for your kids to play.
|Footprint||28 x 36.5 inches|
|Material||100 percent polyester fabric shell and plastic poles|
|Age Range||Up to 4 years|
|Accessories||Removable floor insert|
4. Step2 Neat & Tidy Playhouse
Best Floored Outdoor Playhouse
The Step2 playhouse provides a basic plastic structure with working windows and a full-height door which allows you to keep the critters out when the playhouse is not in use.
This playhouse features many realistic amenities to encourage imaginative play. For example, it comes with a real working doorbell and mailbox. But what keeps this playhouse an advantageous purchase compared to others is that it has a built-in floor that’s easy to clean and maintain.
- Realistic amenities that encourages imaginative play.
- Real working doorbell.
- Built-in floor.
- Batteries for doorbell not included upon purchase.
|Footprint||45 x 35.04 inches|
|Age Range||18 months to 10 years|
|Accessories||Kitchen table, faucet, seat, and grill space|
5. Simplay3 Young Explorers Discovery Playhouse
Best Outdoor Playhouse for Toddlers
This two-level playhouse incorporates a range of activities your child can play upon such as a ramp, a ladder, and a hand holds providing a wealth of additional play opportunities.
The US-made material is waterproof allowing your kids to play even during rainy days. Aside from that, it is weather-resistant that sure will last for years.
- Has a variety of activities to facilitate endless fun for kids.
- Made in USA.
- Two-level playhouse.
- Needs two person to assemble.
|Footprint||29.5 x 57.75 inches|
|Age Range||18 months to 6 years|
6. Backyard Discovery Beacon Heights Elevated Playhouse
Best Outdoor Playhouse With a Slide
Most of the playhouses really look like houses. This playhouse looks like a real welcoming house making it enticing for children who want to explore beyond the stars.
Part climbing frame, part playhouse, and part imagination stimulator, your kids’ friends will be inviting themselves over to play with this unique option.
- This two-story home with a slide is fun and might be a big hit with imaginative children.
- Bright, vivid primary colors make this an appealing option.
- The slide gives this playhouse an additional layer of play value.
- Users have mentioned how difficult it may get during the assembly of the unit. Others mentioned it would require two to three persons to assemble it.
|Footprint||450 square feet|
|Age Range||36 months to 10 years|
7. Backyard Discovery Skyfort II
Best Outdoor Playhouse for Older Kids
The Backyard Discovery Skyfort II stands out because it is taller than most. This makes it an excellent option for families with children in multiple age groups. The additional height gives older children room to play comfortably with their younger siblings.
The upper deck comes with a roof, trimmed windows, a covered upper porch, bay windows, and a sun deck while the lower deck has a snack stand and picnic table as well as a sandbox area. To make it more realistic, it has monkey bars, a swing beam, and a rock wall to facilitate outdoor play. Nothing to worry about its durability as it meets ASTM standards.
- This playhouse has a small porch, a bay window, and an integral bench.
- It has a huge number of accessories and great features.
- It can accommodate up to six children at a time, and the additional height makes it great if you have a taller child or for play with older siblings.
- The bay window is excellent for play, but does mean the inside of the house is open to the elements and to animals.
|Footprint||263.78 x 200.79 inches|
|Material||Wood – cedar|
|Age Range||36 months to 10 years|
|Accessories||Snack stand and picnic table.|
8. L.O.L. Surprise! Winter Disco Cottage Playhouse
Best Outdoor Playhouse for Girls
The L.O.L. Surprise! cottage is an award-winning playhouse for kids. Girls might like the decor, lights, and lack of kitchen stuff. Not all girls strive to be a domestic goddess.
Likely to be the headquarters for kids who enjoy lights, music, and dance, this cottage doesn’t have a sink or stovetop in sight.
Unique to this playhouse is the accompanying inflatable chair where your little one can collapse after a hard day’s play!
- A light-up disco ball on the inside of the house will provide your dancing divas with a fun and funky accompaniment to their music.
- It can be used indoors or out and is designed to be easily assembled, disassembled, and stored, making this an extremely versatile playhouse.
- It has plenty of fun-enhancing features such as a mail slot, house number decals, a flag holder, and shutters.
- A lack of floor, a half door, and windows with frames, but no glass or plastic to fill them, leaves the interior of this playhouse open to the elements.
|Footprint||35 x 42.75 inches|
|Age Range||2 to 10 years|
|Accessories||Disco light, inflatable chair|
9. Little Tikes Cape Cottage - Blue
Best Outdoor Playhouse for Boys
A fun and funky pad for the child with discerning taste, this Little Tikes cottage evokes lake country style that will look good in any garden or home.
There are number decals for you to personalize your house, a crucial detail if you want to receive your play mail through the mail slot. To further personalize your cottage, you can use any standard flag pole and hoist a flag of your choosing by your door.
- Two working doors.
- The house is molded to resemble brickwork — a cute detail to differentiate this from other playhouses.
- Lightweight and simple enough to be assembled and moved by one person.
- It does not have any play accessories, or a floor.
|Footprint||39 x 42.75 inches|
|Age Range||2 to 10 years|
10. KidKraft Modern Outdoor Wooden Playhouse with Picnic Table
Best Unique Outdoor Playhouse
If you are looking for a playhouse with some unusual additional features, then the KidKraft wooden playhouse may be what you’re after.
It would be more accurate to describe it as a playhouse with a sturdy picnic table attached. This comes with some preassembled components to save time and almost instantaneous play. It has multifarious features such as an outdoor grill with a removable lid, a mailbox with a flag, and an expresso picnic table with two wooden benches attached on the side.
There is also a wide window opening with fabric curtains so you can play shop, catering van, or any other game that requires a pass-through.
- Integrated built-in picnic table, so the kids, or small adults have somewhere to sit during playtime.
- There’s a mailbox with a red flag.
- Exemplary aesthetics with spacious area.
- May require reconditioning of roof panels after several months.
- Requires at least two person to fully assemble.
|Footprint||70.9 x 48.9 inches|
|Material||Wooden cedar and plastic|
|Age Range||36 months to 8 years|
|Accessories||Picnic table and two benches|
|Little Tikes Bungalow House||Plastic||59.5″||47.5 x 47.5″||Plastic||2 to 5 years|
|Backyard Discovery Sweetwater||Wooden||55.12″||42.13 x 46.06″||Wood – cedar||2 to 6 years|
|Kiddie Play Tent, Candy||Tent||40.3″||28 x 36.5″||100% polyester fabric shell & plastic poles||Up to 4 years|
|Step2 Neat & Tidy||Floored||46.46″||45 x 35.04″||Plastic||18 months to 10 years|
|Simplay3 Discovery Playhouse||Toddlers||58.25″||29.5 x 57.75″||Plastic||18 months to 6 years|
|Backyard Discovery Beacon Heights||Slide||91.25″||450 sq.ft||Cedar||36 months to 10 years|
|Backyard Discovery Skyfort II||Older Kids||149.6″||263.78 x 200.79″||Wood – cedar||36 months to 10 years|
|L.O.L. Surprise! Winter Disco Cottage||Girls||49″||35 x 42.75″||Plastic||2 to 10 years|
|Little Tikes Cape Cottage||Boys||49″||39 x 42.75″||Plastic||2 to 10 years|
|KidKraft Wooden Playhouse||Unique||62.25″||70.9 x 48.9″||Wooden cedar and plastic||36 months to 8 years|
Why Kids Need Outdoor Playhouses
Like any other skill, we learn to be adults by observing others and practicing. This is where playhouses come in. In a playhouse, children can practice being “grown-up” without any of the associated dangers or consequences of adult situations.
In addition to that learning opportunity, a playhouse provides a place for your child to:
- Enjoy some privacy, which conveys that you trust them to play alone.
- Experience independent decision-making which helps to build self-confidence.
- Work through their emotions without worrying about how you will react.
- Learn how to amuse themselves and become more self-sufficient (1).
How to Choose the Best Outdoor Playhouses
There are numerous factors that go into choosing the top outdoor playhouses, including the age of your child, the climate where you live, and your budget. Let’s take a look at them in detail.
The Gift Of Play
When you give your child a playhouse, you’re not just giving them somewhere to play. You are also providing the framework for pretend play that will allow them to pretend to be adults.
Thinking of them as adults may give you a slight panic attack. But don’t worry, after their long day of play, they’ll still be ready for your snuggles and will enjoy being a kid for years to come.