Playing houses has never been more fun.

Kids love playing pretend. In the playhouse, they play as kings and queens, they play as brave firefighters saving old ladies and cats — whatever scenarios they can dream up, they can act out. Having an outdoor playhouse is a great way to encourage them in their imaginary worlds while also getting them active and outside.

What to consider

When you’re looking for a playhouse, you’re probably giving them a once-over for aesthetics and accessories, which is a massive part of the decision-making process. However, you also need to think about where it’s going to be, what weather it will be exposed to (if any), the size, the base, and the cost.


First, you’ll need to assess where your playhouse is going. Areas that get a lot of sunlight might need more shade on the actual playhouse, making plastic models the least ideal option for these types of spaces because of how hot they get. If your area is prone to floods, you may need to install a base or foundation for the playhouse in order to make it safe and prevent rot. This is an additional cost you might consider, which might change how your budget looks.


This is a biggie. If you live in an area that frequently sees weather swings and extreme temperatures, you need something hardwood and study. Plastic is only OK in these circumstances if you’re bringing the house into a shed or a garage during said extreme weather. Alternatively, if you live in a humid climate, you might have to take additional care with sealing wood playhouses and cleaning them often to prevent mold growth. Humid climate dwellers might consider plastic because of how easy it is to clean. Unfortunately for super dry, super hot climates, the issues are the same with plastic and with wood, they might start to get brittle, but it will take a long time for that to happen.

Size and Base

These two go hand-in-hand. Most of these playhouses don’t have a bottom. Therefore, you may need to add one if you live in a muddy or insect or reptile-prone area — which can be pricey. Needless to say, the bigger the footprint, the more expensive it will be to build a base for the outdoor playhouse. The Step2 model does have a base attached, and it’s pretty affordable, so you might consider that model if you are in an area where you need a base but you don’t have the budget to build one.


The playhouses on the market right now really run the gamut as far as prices and options go. There are simple models that are on the more affordable side — think basic structures generally built from hardwood or a polymer. And then, on the other end of the spectrum, there are custom builds that can cost thousands of dollars.

No matter what your budget is, we’ve found an outdoor playhouse that will both suit your needs and thrill your kids.

KidKraft – Modern Outdoor Wooden Playhouse


KidKraft – Cooper Playhouse


KidKraft – Forestview II Wooden Playhouse


KidKraft – Greystone Playhouse


Backyard Discovery – Scenic Heights Cedar Playhouse


Little Tikes – Cape Cottage Playhouse


Step 2 – Neat & Tidy Cottage Homestyle Edition


Dabliz – Kid’s Classic Cottage Compact Foldable Plastic Toddler Playhouse


Backyard Discovery – Victorian Inn All Cedar Outdoor Wooden Playhouse


Step 2 – Clubhouse Climber


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