Which wooden playset would you get? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 46 Old 03-20-2007, 10:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been looking into getting my son a wooden playset for about a year now and I think it's time to actually buy it. I've done a ton of research on them and have narrowed it down to these three:

http://www.cpdirectstore.com/page.htm?pg=hampton_1

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...opnav=&browse=

http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/nav...02&prDeTab=2#A

I'm leaning more towards the first one from creative playthings because I've heard such good things about them. It has all the basic things we are looking for but no extras. The price is decent too, it is the least expensive of the 3, it would be $1168 with everything I want (incl shipping).

The second is my "dream set" but it is gonna cost about $600 more than the fitst, and I have to buy a costco membership in order to buy it. BUT it is a Sunray (made by Rainbow but lower cost) and made of 100 % natural cedar and redwood so that is a big plus. It has lots of extras and looks like a lot of fun. It would be $1749 shipped.

The third I just threw in. I HATE Wal-Mart and haven't shopped there in over 2 years but the set is really nice, it is made of cedar and is "maintenance free". I'd probably have to buy a membership to sams club in order to get this one too. It is $1589 shipped.

What do you think? Help me decide!!

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#2 of 46 Old 03-20-2007, 10:07 PM
 
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Do you have an Andersons nearby? I am not sure how local they are. Anyhow they have GREAT prices on playsets and MANY brands to choose from. I LOVE them and hope to get one soon for my two.
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#3 of 46 Old 03-20-2007, 10:11 PM
 
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You can get used ones on Craigslist LOTS cheaper! I just bought one for $200, it needs sanding/pressure washing and staining, but for the money, you cant beat it! My neighbor got a nice one for $125.

If craigslist is in your area, i recommend checking it out!
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#4 of 46 Old 03-20-2007, 10:12 PM
 
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That playset from Costco is only $1299 at the store. I've been coveting one for DS...
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#5 of 46 Old 03-20-2007, 10:26 PM
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They are bloody expensive but sometimes you can find them used. I know they weren't on your list but do those things last. I had one growing up and it made it through 5 of us siblings plus the daycare kids my mom watched plus all our friends.

Checkout some of their features. http://www.rainbowplay.com/SafetyFeatures/Index.cfm

They also try to be as gentle on the enviornment as possible.
http://www.rainbowplay.com/WhyRainbo...lity/Index.cfm

Here's my kids' dream set:
http://www.rainbowplay.com/SwingSets...?CatId=2&Id=32

not in a million years!
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#6 of 46 Old 03-20-2007, 10:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by iamthesmilingone View Post
They are bloody expensive but sometimes you can find them used. I know they weren't on your list but do those things last. I had one growing up and it made it through 5 of us siblings plus the daycare kids my mom watched plus all our friends.

Checkout some of their features. http://www.rainbowplay.com/SafetyFeatures/Index.cfm

They also try to be as gentle on the enviornment as possible.
http://www.rainbowplay.com/WhyRainbo...lity/Index.cfm

Here's my kids' dream set:
http://www.rainbowplay.com/SwingSets...?CatId=2&Id=32

not in a million years!
I have the rainbow catalog, it is just too expensive for us. The set we would want would cost at least $3,000. I should look around for a used on, that is a good idea!

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#7 of 46 Old 03-20-2007, 10:35 PM
 
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About the Creative Playthings sets, I remember looking at the Hampton (basic pine) in the CP showroom. I belive it is 2x6 construction, whereas the one we ended up wiht is 4x4. It's still pine, but they put a finish on it, and it seemed alot sturdier. My sil has a 2x6 basic set, and you can shake it if you try hard. Ours you can't budge.

To some people it doesn't matter. To my dh it was a huge deal. So we got the next step up from the basic. We are very happy with our CP set though, but it cost alot, about $1500. But they come and set it up for you, so that is sweet. http://www.creativeplaythings.com/wo...oden-swing-set

That Costco set looks like a Rainbow, which is very nice quality.

Good luck with your decision!
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#8 of 46 Old 03-21-2007, 08:36 AM
 
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We have The Hampton. It is about 5 years old and it does not move. We have been very happy with it.

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
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#9 of 46 Old 03-21-2007, 08:50 AM
 
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This one looks quite good

i like the look of this for my lo's but its far too expensive

Becky, sahm to angel.gif25/04/2000 Chloe 12/04/2002 Cameron 19/02/2004 Caitlin 28/06/2005 angel.gif24/07/2006 and Caden 14/03/2008

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#10 of 46 Old 03-21-2007, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by lisac77 View Post
That playset from Costco is only $1299 at the store. I've been coveting one for DS...
OHHHHHHHHH, thank you so much! If I can pick it up and save $400 then I'll do it. I think we'll end up going with that set.

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#11 of 46 Old 03-21-2007, 11:30 AM
 
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OHHHHHHHHH, thank you so much! If I can pick it up and save $400 then I'll do it. I think we'll end up going with that set.
Lucky!! I hope he enjoys it.
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#12 of 46 Old 03-21-2007, 06:14 PM
 
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We made our own, using almost entirely found materials- the only stuff we've ended up paying money for are fasteners and a used block-and-tackle. It's really not that much work, is better for the environment, and will save you a boatload of cash. You might want to consider it!
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#13 of 46 Old 03-21-2007, 06:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lisac77 View Post
That playset from Costco is only $1299 at the store. I've been coveting one for DS...
:

DS is getting one this weekend for his birthday from us and all the grandparents! (the one time having divorced parents comes in handy is when hitting them up for donations ) I just hope the snow melts in time for us to put it up!!

I've seen is set up in the store and it really is a beautiful set!
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#14 of 46 Old 03-21-2007, 06:36 PM
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Holy crap! I just did a craigslist search. Look at this one:

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/bab/289869723.html



You anywhere near the Twin Cities in Minnesota!?!?
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#15 of 46 Old 03-21-2007, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by iamthesmilingone View Post
Holy crap! I just did a craigslist search. Look at this one:

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/bab/289869723.html



You anywhere near the Twin Cities in Minnesota!?!?
WOW. Too bad I'm nowhere near Minnesota, I'm in SW FL.

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#16 of 46 Old 03-21-2007, 08:41 PM
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FWIW, we have the one from Costco and we love it. We set it up ourselves, and it took about 16 hours of 3-5 adults working on it over a weekend.

M, mom to DS1 (8 yrs), DS2 (5 yrs), and DS3 (2 yrs).

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#17 of 46 Old 03-21-2007, 09:00 PM
 
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I like the Costco the best.

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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#18 of 46 Old 03-21-2007, 09:02 PM
 
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I likes the wood on the third one. Nice a pale, pine. Looked nice.
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#19 of 46 Old 03-21-2007, 10:19 PM
 
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You may want to also research about arsenic exposure from wooden playsets and see if some are better than others in this regard. http://www.ewg.org/reports/poisonedplaygrounds/
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#20 of 46 Old 03-21-2007, 11:20 PM
 
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On another forum I was on, someone has the same quandry as you. Someone who had the costco sunray set said that she wished she had not gotten it. After only a yr, she felt that it was not holding up very well.

As for us, we have a childlife set and love it. It is the type that has green enamel painted over CEDAR (which is much better than pine, our neighbors' pine sets all look awful after less than a yr). It is more expensive, but it's very high quality. I wanted a cedarworks, but woo hoo, it was sooo expensive. I do not feel that we, "settled" by getting the childlife, it's just a very nice set. We got the firechief.

www.childlife.com
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#21 of 46 Old 03-21-2007, 11:29 PM
 
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I"d go to Costco and see what they have instore. Starting this time of year or soon, my BJs always has a great playstructure up. All your choices look great. The walmart would be fun because of the two towers but others are great.

Do you have someone to put it together for you or can you and dh do it? We've have two different structures, and even with instructions, my talented, contractor husband had quite the time putting them together. If you can have them set up by supplier it may be worth the added cost.

Kim , mom to Amanda (16):, William (13), and Annie (5)
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#22 of 46 Old 03-21-2007, 11:33 PM
 
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I like number 2 best.
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#23 of 46 Old 03-21-2007, 11:33 PM
 
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I have seen them at toysrus too.
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#24 of 46 Old 03-22-2007, 01:33 AM
 
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I kind of like the 2nd one out of those.

But...the 3rd one, while it is Walmart/Sam's club and that stinks, is the less expensive line for Cedarworks. We have a Cedarworks set and we LOVE it. Splinter free, maintenance free wood is wonderful!

Mom to a 6 year old, a 3 year old, and a cuddly little newborn
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#25 of 46 Old 03-23-2007, 02:55 PM
 
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We bought a Rainbow Monster for our twin boys when they were 2, and built a sandbox all around it. The whole neighborhood hung out in our back yard!

It was terribly expensive. We bought a display model at the end of the season, which helped. But it was sturdy and well-made. DH and I could swing in unison without it moving! We would have 15 kids on it at once.

We kept it for 10 years. DH power-washed and stained it every other year, and it held up beautifully. Our sons are big (at age 12 they are 5'9"!), so they needed something rugged.

We sold the set for $1200 (about half what we paid), and the new buyer was as happy about the price as we were. He was a friend of our neighbor, and had wanted it for his daughters for years!

We looked at it as an investment. Buying a large, heavy playset allows your kids to use it a lot longer than a smaller set.

If the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.

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#26 of 46 Old 03-23-2007, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am REALLY considering saving up for a little longer and going with a Rainbow. I especially like that they come and put it together for you. I've been hearing nothing but good things about them. I'm just worried that I'll spend $3,000 for a set and then DS will get bored with it fast.

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#27 of 46 Old 03-23-2007, 06:53 PM
 
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My sons were sad to see ours go (they were 12). But all they did anymore was swing, so I sold the Rainbow and bought a yard swing.

If we had kept it another year, they would have continuted to swing for another year.

Heck, DH and I never got bored with it!

If the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.

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#28 of 46 Old 03-24-2007, 05:37 PM
 
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the inlaws got this
http://www.timbertots.com/bearcub.html

it's a semi local company that is family run and they were just amazing!

we went to a place with all the different rainbow ones set up too.. lots of fun... trust me they are bigger than you think they will be when you see pics
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#29 of 46 Old 03-24-2007, 06:59 PM
 
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We have the Sunray set from last year, and we're quite happy with it - I think it's well-designed and will last a long time. It's sturdy enough for my DH or I to swing if we want to. The biggest difference is in the weight of the sets. The Rainbows, even the ones that look essentially identical, weigh nearly twice as much. Sunrays are supposed to be anchored, while Rainbows can just be plonked down and stay put.

I'd hold tight for a bit and keep an eye on eBay, but keep an eye on the stock level of your local Costco(s) so they don't sell out while you're waffling. You can always return the set if you decide on something different. I found a Castle in my area for around $1000 shortly after we bought our playset.

That said, with the money I wanted to spend, the Sunray was the best option (the used Rainbow availability being somewhat limited). I don't regret it, even after that Castle popped up on eBay right afterwards, which is saying something for me.
Anyone who's planning to assemble a Sunray, go to this site. It's a really good resource, and there's at least one pro installer on there who gives tips on putting them together.
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#30 of 46 Old 03-24-2007, 07:15 PM
 
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We bought a used one for $100. It wasn't advertised -- I just noticed it in the backyard of some people who were having a moving sale and whose kids looked to be teenagers. I asked if they would sell it and they said sure. DH and his brother and dad disassembled it and moved it over to our backyard in a rental truck. We bought all-new carriage bolts to re-assemble it, and replaced the swings (they were pretty old). We spent around $250 total.
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