You can’t be out camping, hiking, or fishing all summer. So when you’re home with the family, having a good backyard swing set, a set of outside games that everyone can play, and some fun outdoor activities will get you and the family away from the devices and out of the house.
The trick is to make your backyard so fun, and so appealing, that everyone in the family (and probably a few neighbors!) will look forward to spending time there together. The best way to do that is to invest in a variety of equipment and games, so no one gets bored doing the same thing. Here’s our selection of the best backyard swing sets, games and activities to make your summer rock.
- Best Backyard Swing Set with Clubhouse: Lifetime Adventure Tower Swing Set
- Best Backyard Swing Set with Tree Fort: Backyard Discovery Skyfort II Swing Set
- Best Swing Set for All Ages: XDP Recreation All Star Playground Metal Swing Set
- Best Swing Set for Little Kids: Little Tikes Clubhouse Swing Set
- Best Affordable Swing Set: Backyard Discovery Aurora Wooden Cedar Swing Set
- Best Backyard Game for Kids and Adults: Gold Toy Ring Toss Game
- Best Backyard Archery Game: Hammer + Axe Crossbow Archery Bow and Arrow Set
- Best Backyard Golf Game: Hxroolrp Portable Foldable Backyard Golf Cornhole Game
- Best Backyard Game for Families With Older Kids: Poolmaster Badminton Pop Up Backyard Fun Game Complete Set
- Best Affordable Backyard Game: Maxcozy Kids Cornhole Set
- Best Soccer Goal: Umbro Pop-Up Portable Goal Set
- Best Trampoline: Bounce Pro 12’ Trampoline with Enclosure Combo
- Best Slip ‘N Slide: Banzai 16’ Triple Racer Water Slide
- Best Inflatable Pool: Intex Inflatable Swim Center
- Best Backyard Activity for Little Kids: Children Shuttle Ball Zoom Sliding Ball
Swing Sets Aren’t Just About Swings
A kid-filled house with an empty backyard is just crying out for a swing set. It brings the playground to your lawn, and keeps your kids—and your friends’ kids—happy and occupied for hours. Plus, most swing sets offer more than just swings, so the kids will have some variety.
Best Backyard Swing Set with Clubhouse: Lifetime Adventure Tower Swing Set
Your child’s dreams of climbing Mount Everest could begin on this swing set’s two rock climbing walls. Or maybe the trapeze bar and two swings will inspire aspirations of Cirque du Soleil. Or perhaps your kids will simply gaze out from under the hardtop roof in the clubhouse and dream about being whatever they want to be. At the very least, the 9-foot wavy slide offers a fun way down.
The steel and plastic construction won’t crack, warp, or rot, and the swing set—made for ages 3-12—is easy to maintain, requiring no staining or painting. More than 90% of Walmart reviewers recommend this product, giving it an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, with many saying the nearly $2,500 price tag is worth every penny.
Best Backyard Swing Set with Raised Fort: Backyard Discovery Skyfort II Swing Set
Excuse the tax assessor for thinking about listing the Skyfort II as another structure on your property. The porch, elevated fort, and lower deck complete with picnic tables give this beautiful wooden swing set the look of a lakeside cabin. Your kids will get plenty of activity with this swing set, made for ages 3-10, because of features like a rock wall to ascend, monkey bars to climb, a 10-foot slide, a 2-person glider swing, and two belt swings.
Best Swing Set for All Ages: XDP Recreation All Star Playground Metal Swing Set
You get two belt swings, a glider swing, a disc swing, and a bumpy slide for less than $500. That makes the All Star Playground a great deal. On average, metal swing sets are more affordable than wooden sets—you can find metal sets for less than $200—and plenty sturdy. The All Star features six steel legs for stable support, even when seven kids at once are swinging for the fences. No wonder 96% of Walmart customers say they would recommend this swing set.
Best Swing Set for Little Kids: Little Tikes Clubhouse Swing Set
For the little ones, plastic makes it possible. And the Little Tikes Clubhouse offers so many possibilities. It features two swings, a climbing wall, a rope ladder, a slide, and a steering wheel—not to mention a fun, colorful design, with a blue frame and red slide and swing bar.
Best Affordable Swing Set: Backyard Discovery Aurora Wooden Cedar Swing Set
For younger kids, or for older kids content to climb and play on a smaller swing set—the peak is 92 inches—this Backyard Discovery offers plenty to explore. In addition to the ladder and slide, the rot-resistant cedar swing set features two swings, a covered fort, and a 15×15-inch chalkboard, in case the kids feel like flexing their creative muscles alongside their actual ones.
Best Backyard Games for All Interests
A little friendly competition livens up any backyard party. Here are the best backyard games to get the family party really rolling this summer.
Best Backyard Game for Kids and Adults: Gold Toy Ring Toss Game
Ring toss is as basic as 1,2,3—and this one helps kids learn how to add. Everyone takes turns tossing 10 plastic rings at the five numbered wooden pegs, which have various point values. Adults will also enjoy how quickly this game packs up—it zips into a compact green carry case in minutes. Next time your head to the disc golf course you can easily bring this with you! You get to throw some disc golf discs and your little ones will feel like they’re playing too (win-win).
Best Backyard Archery Game: Hammer + Axe Crossbow Archery Bow and Arrow Set
The wooden crossbow is so elegantly designed, with an easy-to-use aim and low drawing power, that you and your kids might be surprised you’re shooting rubber tip darts. Take aim at the steel 12-inch target and play games like Robin Hood or Hunger Games. Soon enough, your little Robin Hood will be ready to hunt in Nottingham Forest—or wherever you hunt in your neck of the woods.
Best Backyard Golf Game: Hxroolrp Portable Foldable Backyard Golf Cornhole Game
It’s all in the bag. Not the golf bag, but the cinchable carry case this foldable game packs into. In that bag is a club that disassembles into four pieces, a chipping mat, the cornhole target board made of tear-proof fabric and light PVC piping (the entire game weighs just over 3 pounds), six hard-plastic balls for outside use, and six squishy foam balls for inside use. There’s even a scorecard for when kids want to do more than just play for fun.
Best Backyard Game for Families With Older Kids: Badminton Set Complete Outdoor Yard Game
Now that the kids are older and you don’t have to chase them around all the time, you’ve got more energy for your backyard gaming. Badminton is the perfect way to raise the energy level, and evening out teams with kids and adults on each makes for great fun. The set includes four racquets, three shuttlecocks, a regulation size net with poles and ground stakes, and it all fits into a zip-up carrying case.
Best Affordable Backyard Game: Maxcozy Kids Cornhole Set
Talk about fun: For less than $15, you get a wooden board, four cotton duck canvas bean bags, and an included tote bag. It’s easy to set up and takes up little space when stored. And, it’s great fun.
Best Backyard Activities
Bouncing on a trampoline, zooming down a slip and slide, splashing around in a pool, or simply kicking a soccer ball at a goal keep kids busy and active for hours. Here’s some good equipment to consider.
Best Soccer Goal: Umbro Pop-Up Portable Goal Set
The beauty of portable goals is that they can be used for way more than soccer. Think field hockey, frisbees, even just distance throwing of a tennis ball. The goal measures 6 feet wide when unfurled and packs flat into a zippable case. It comes with three ground stakes so it won’t fall backward when a ball hits the net.
Best Trampoline: Bounce Pro 12’ Trampoline with Enclosure Combo
The Bounce Pro boasts jump-park quality, with a TenCate Permatron jump mat that’ll have kids soaring. The 12-foot trampoline features a 6-pole netted enclosure system, and the trampoline can support up to 220 pounds thanks to a double galvanized steel frame bolstered by double-welded frame plates.
Best Slip ‘N Slide:: Banzai 16’ Triple Racer Water Slide
Not one, not two, but three kids can slide on this Banzai at once, making this quite the slip ‘n slide racetrack. The entire slide is lined with water-spraying rails, keeping the track slick and the racers cool—even before they reach the finish-line pool.
Best Inflatable Pool: Intex Inflatable Swim Center
You don’t need to take on the cost or headache of an inground—or even above-ground—pool to give your younger guests (and probably a few older ones) a comfortable way to cool off. At 103 inches long, 69 inches wide and 22 inches high, this inflatable pool is big enough for the kids to dunk in and the adults to wade in.
Best Backyard Activity for Little Kids: Children Shuttle Ball Zoom Sliding Ball
Much in the way a zipline travels on a cable, this activity lets kids shuttle a ball back and forth along about 8 feet of rope by raising and lowering their arms. It’s a cool way to have two kids play together, gives them a bit of exercise, and teaches coordination—not bad for less than $10.
The Final Word on Shopping for the Best Backyard Swing Sets, Games, and Activities
The best backyard swing sets, games, and activities can give life to any party and make everyone feel like the life of the party. From swing sets to slip and slides, Cornhole sets to badminton sets, the right equipment can turn your yard into a fun park.