Best Playhouse – 10 Best Play Houses for Your Children

We shortlist the best playhouses for kids available in terms of space, reliability, and fun factor according to our extensive playhouse reviews. Tents, bounce houses, clubhouses, and let’s-play-pretend houses are inevitable entertainers and hits with children as places to play with friends and siblings. Also check out our shortlists of the Best Loft Beds and Best Bunk Beds.

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Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage

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Step2’s Neat & Tidy Cottage is a sturdy and easy-to-assemble product that includes a phone and doorbell (both of which ring, provided two AAA batteries) as well as a small play kitchen and a mail slot to keep toddlers and other younger children entertained. While the playhouse may be a bit big to comfortably set up in the kids’ room, it’s worth the price for a parent with multiple kids and/or designated babysitter status, as it’s simultaneously big enough to keep four or five kids busy at once, spacious enough interior-wise for a parent to sit in if they’d like.

It is also built with any possible problems or plain pesky points of outdoor play in mind–the windows keep it aired out during the summer, holes in the floor allow any water that gets inside during wetter seasons to escape, and true to the cottage’s name, it’s easy to clean. The Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage is definitely a contender for the best playhouse available on Amazon. Full Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage review and Step2 Gather and Grille Playhouse review

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Playhut Luxury House

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The Playhut Luxury House aims to provide a lot with a little as a two-door tent-style playhouse. It might provide a little too much for some, as it’s certainly sizeable (with dimensions of 58 x 116 x 60 inches) and it helps to have a hand in getting it set up, and with its lightweight material, it may be a task to take it outdoors in windy regions, but it does “hold up” once the buyer picks a place to put it. It’s durable, and while the mesh walls allow a parent to quickly check up on the kids from the outside, it’s big enough inside for Mom, Dad, and big brothers and sisters to join in on play; and the cottage comes with lower-tech takes on the trappings in fancier, bulkier structures like the Neat & Tidy Cottage in the form of little polyester toyboxes shaped like a chest, a stove, and a fridge. (Mind those pieces, though–it isn’t easy to completely fix polyester.

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Little Tikes Shady Jump & Slide Bouncer

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The Little Tikes Shady Jump & Slide Bouncer is a one-piece inflatable bounce house and slide, sturdy if difficult to clean (not to mention the fact that most of us have wound up caught in a bounce house with a bee before!), and easy to inflate for play and deflate for storage. This sounds like a high price for a toy on principle–but it’s definitely a fair one for a reliable personal party or kids’ play park structure. A bounce house needs to be tall and roomy enough to bounce in, and bearing in mind that the government-recommended “safe” bounce house weight limit is 200 lbs. by default, it’s spacious enough for a group of smaller friends or a few elementary school-age older siblings looking to take a silly spin to play in at once.

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Discovery Kids Cardboard Color and playhouse

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Huzzah for humble cardboard – the Discovery Kids Cardboard Color and playhouse is light and surprisingly strong, and invites a creatively- or colorfully-inclined kid to make it “theirs”. There’s enough decoratable wall to cover about 15 square feet in area, making doing the decorating a nice group or family project or an activity to keep a kid busy at their own pace solo. Cardboard doesn’t completely bounce back from any damage it does take and the house might need a bit of patching if it does wear out, it’s not flashy, and it’s tempting enough to think of it as a “cardboard box” that some parents might scoff at the price label, it should be quite a fun toy for a kid who’s fond of “making” things, it’ll provide a cozy and easy-to-illuminate (via four windows) mini-playroom for a kid who’s not so into the coloring, and it provides some novelty in the form of a mail slot and little chimney as opposed to fancy fixings like sinks that make water noises and phones that yell “HELLO!”

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Swing-N-Slide Hide and Slide playhouse

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Swing-N-Slide’s Hide and Slide playhouse is pricey, but aesthetically, it’s priceless, made of real wood (see the video below to size up Swing-N-Slide’s material quality) with a classic kids’-book treehouse look. It’s small, but “small” is big enough for two or three friends to huddle in, and the slide is very “slideable”. Nice things don’t come cheap or easy, however–buyer be advised that the playhouse’s assembly takes a bit of work.

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Pacific Play Tents My Little Farm House

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The Pacific Play Tents My Little Farm House is a sturdy and serviceable, easy-to-carry, easy-to-clean play tent. Thanks to its size (with dimensions of 50x40x50 in.), buyers vouch that it may be a touch difficult to find a spot for it indoors, but how many farms are indoors anyway? The interior space, design, and well-placed roll-up flap doors invite kids to run in and out herding toy animals back in forth; it’s simple, effective, and worth it.

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Expresso Cafe playhouse

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Don’t go bonkers from the “cute” spelling of “Espresso” in the product name–the word’s printed correctly on the Expresso Cafe playhouse tent’s awning. The tent is on the large side, with dimensions of 84x48x84 in., but the presence of the awning and the design, which hints it as a lovely gift for a child fond of playing chef or store, does invite outdoor play, and a cafe does need room to hold its customers–there’s room for a good gaggle of friends or both Mom and Dad to come in for a pretend cup of tea, and a nice amount of room. This product caused some customer controversy when the manufacturer switched from a slightly prettier design to a cheaper one while product images were slow to reflect the change–but it hasn’t stepped out of candidacy for one of the 10 best playhouses for kids by taking an apparent step down from its original design.

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Pacific Play Tents Club House Tent

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Like the other Pacific Play Tents tent on the list, the Club House Tent has accommodating dimensions of 58x48x58 in. and is quick to assemble and easy to clean and take down, with sturdy components. What distinguishes it is its decidedly cute-and-classic “clubhouse” look, with “secret” (flap-covered) doors and windows and a printed interior to match its exterior. It’s made to look and act the part of a straight-out-of-the-cartoons clubhouse, and while one can’t exactly lodge it in a tree or in the woods down by the riverbend, it does the trick as a quirky place for a “club” to meet.

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Children Outdoor/Indoor Pop-Up Castle Play Tent – Wizard

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The best playhouse can be a simple little spot that a child can scamper away to with their toys, and the Children Outdoor/Indoor Pop-Up Castle Play Tent is good for that. As it’s roughly round, it condenses standard dimensions into a compact amount of space that may be a bit too cozy for a child of age three or older, but it’s easy to keep set up in the kids’ room and tall enough (at 51 in.) for a parent to duck into. The Pop-Up Castle Play Tent comes in other versions (the “for the girly-girl” option is viewable in the video below), but the whimsical appeal of the wizard-themed design is universal–it looks like the sort of little hideaway a child would creep into with a set of little books, close the door flap on, set glowing blue from the inside with a flashlight, and read the night away in.

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One Touch Play Tent

One Touch Play Tent

The One Touch Play Tent is so named because it’s easy to set up–no poles or pegs to place or misplace; just a product that pops right up. It’s as lightweight and thin as most other children’s play tents and therefore isn’t exactly suited for elements outdoors and backyard camping, but its 48×48 in. interior space can (snugly!) fit a family of three or four inside for a night of play-camping in the living room. With its classically “tent-like” look with much easier setup and definite usability, it’s reliable and fun enough to justify its cost and not a bad bet for the best play tent among the best playhouses for your kids.

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The above play houses stood out in our play house reviews and suit different needs, different play, and therefore different children, but they make the grade for fun and longevity within their niches. Do you have others you would like to add to this list of the 10 best playhouses for children? Please leave us a comment.

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