View Full Version : Play-A-Round by Cedar Works..Any reviews??

04-03-2006, 11:56 AM
We're thinking of getting this playset.


I wanted to see if anyone had any reviews about this and how sturdy it is and how easy it is to put together. The price seems pretty good and it includes shipping. I am assuming that since it's made by Cedar Works, that it should be good quality.


04-23-2006, 09:31 AM
I don't have a review... but I am also really interested in both the PlayARound sets by CedarWorks! Our budget doesn't allow for us to head into Rainbow or CedarWorks territory. But, my hubby loves to build stuff and doesn't mind a good quality set that he could assemble. So, we are looking at the PlayARound sets and the Sunray.

If money were no object, I would go with a CedarWorks set. So I'm thinking that the PlayARound would be a great choice for us as it is made by CedarWorks. But, the Sunray is made by Rainbow so that would also be a good choice.

I would love to get some feedback on the PlayARound...

- Julie

Mom to Ryan (5) and Jack (3)

04-23-2006, 10:35 PM
Funny, we are dealing with the exact same thing!! I thought I had decided on the playaround, but this weekend we were at Costco and I took another peek at the Sunray and we decided that is the one...then by the time I got home I started having second thoughts.

I just can't decide!! Of course I wish I could just buye a Cedarworks regular model and have it installed...DH is NOT very handy. But that doesn't seem to be a possibility at the moment.

Anyone have or has seen a Cedarworks "PlayARound" IRL that could provide any kind of feedback it would be so greatly appreciated! Is it hard to put together?, I have heard that the Sunray can be challenging and takes forever.


04-24-2006, 10:43 AM
LOL, it looks like everyone had the same dilemma I did! Those were my top two choices, with a "real" cedarworks being ideal. :) I ended up with the Sunray, so unfortunately, I can't comment on the Play-a-round. I liked the Play-a-round because of the cedar look, but also because it seemed smaller. I realized that it is, but not by much. It's the same length and the width of the base is actually only 2 feet narrower than the Sunray. The deck heights are actually within a couple inches of each other. You all may have figured that out already, but I didn't notice until like the 10th time I compared the sets, so I just thought I'd mention it. :)

The Sunray took my dad and DH 2 days to assemble. My DH isn't too handy, but my dad is. It really wasn't as hard as I expected it to be. I think we could have done it pretty easily even if my dad wasn't all that handy. And the kids LOVE it!


04-24-2006, 01:51 PM
Okay guys... I showed pictures of the PlayaRound Trading Post and Sunray to the guy who will actually be using it. My son likes the Trading Post. Evidently, the gangplank with rope is a deal-breaker for a boy who loves to play pirates. LOL!

Anyway, I called CedarWorks. According to the salesperson, CedarWorks created the PlayaRound line to compete directly with the Sunray and sets offered at Sam's.

I think both the PlayaRound and Sunray are great sets. One big difference that put me in favor of the PlayaRound, however, is assembly. Items such as the rock wall, ramp, slat walls and roof are preassembled. Meaning that all you have to do is attach them once the fort is built.

The downside is that you can't actually see a PlayaRound unless you know someone who has one. Unlike Costco, which is not far from me.

As PlayaRounds are made by CedarWorks and my kid would like a gangplank, I just might be willing to go for it. They back this product like they do their custom playsets. Same warranty and customer service.

Decisions... decisions....

- Julie

Mom to Ryan (5) and Jack (3)

04-27-2006, 10:09 AM
I posted this on another board I visit and here are some of the responses.

"Hi Sara! I bought the "Trading Post" and I'm thrilled with it! The quality is fantastic. The set was delivered on the Friday before Easter and we assembled it the next day. I am very pleased with the playset. I especially liked how many of the pieces were already assembled (ex. picnic table top and benches, fences, ramps, roof and floor panels, etc.). That saved alot of time and aggravation"

"We bought the Trading post one...the bigger one, and it is WONDERFUL! My kids love it! My dh was able to put it together really quickly too. Great purchase!"

I just called today and ordred the smaller one with the toddler swing. So as soon as it comes and we get it put together I can update

04-28-2006, 03:39 PM
Yay! I'm looking forward to hearing your update once you receive it and have set it up. Maybe you could take some pics so we could see what it looks like in someone's yard? I always find those IRL pics so helpful! Like many others, we're in the same boat -- I'd love a regular CedarWorks but the price is beyond us, so am contemplating (and contemplating) the Playaround and the SunRay . . .


04-29-2006, 01:44 PM
Cedarworks has a see a set program where they get you in contact with a local owner so you can see a set IRL. Have you called to see if they have the program for the PlayARound sets?

05-16-2006, 06:40 AM
Just an update. We are scheduled to receive our playset on Wednesday of this week. I ordered it April 27th so it's been about 3 weeks.

I will update when we get it put together and take some pictures during and after.

05-17-2006, 03:02 PM
I don't have any reviews yet, but I can post one as soon as ours arrives. We ordered the Trading Post last week. I haven't seen one IRL, but it looked pretty good online. We thought the price was pretty good also, especially since we received the Cedarworks catalog in the mail today and saw the prices of those huge sets!

05-24-2006, 06:44 AM
Sorry this took me so long to update.

But we got the playset Wednesday. It came on a big truck in 8 big boxes. It had been rainy all week so we waited until Friday to put it together. DH got home from work a little early and he and I started to put it together around 2:30pm or so. With just the 2 of us we got the fort structure put together pretty easily. DH didn't have a drill so with him, so we had to wait for my father to come with that. While we were waiting we put the rings on the swing beam and got that all ready. As soon as my dad came, him and DH worked on it while I kept the kids busy.

I'd say by 6 or 6:30 the fort structure was up, the swing beam was on and the A-frame was put together. 3 year old dd was actually swinging on it while they were working on the ladder, slide, and the walls of the fort and the roof.

Alot of things were already put together like the picnic table top and seat, the roof, the sides, the rockwall had everything but the handholds put on, and the floor.

By the time it was getting dark, everything was done except for the rock wall handholds, the steering wheel and the telescope. We finished those on Saturday morning.

It looks really nice and my oldest dd who is 3.5 is loving it. The swings are nice b/c they curve around her and I think she feels more secure. I also bought the infant/toddler swing for my 9 month old. She loves to swing. The heights of the swings are easy to adjust.

We had lunch outside yesterday on the picnic table, it's big enough for 2 people. Overall I think that the playset is a good size for 2-3 kids, but no more. It's on the smaller side, we got The Lookout, which was the smaller of the 2 b/c our yard is not very big.

DH was really impressed of the quality of it and the price. He didn't think you could get a nice playset for the price we paid.

My photo editing software is not working right now, but I will try to post pics as soon as I can.

05-24-2006, 07:07 AM




Nevermind DD's hair, she just woke up and wanted to play LOL

05-26-2006, 01:25 PM
Thanks for the update! It looks great!!

06-05-2006, 04:25 PM
Sara, THANK YOU so much for the pics and describing the set up. It didn't sound too daunting. My friend ordered the premium cedarworks set and paid someone over $500 to have someone install it for her and keeps telling me we'll wish we did the same that it will take us the entire weekend, bla bla bla

anyone else have any advice or helpful tips pertaining to installation?

I'm so excited! we're getting ours delivered tomorrow afternoon!! I will post pics since we bought the other model - the trading post.

06-07-2006, 02:02 PM
well, it arrived yesterday, but DH wasn't able to begin assembly until around 6. He worked until it got dark with a friend and managed to get the two towers built. (approximately 2 hours) Unfortunately, it is going to rain for the next few days - so the rest of the assembly will have to wait. x( (he did the ladders and rock wall in the garage this morning so hopefully when it clears up, the rest of it will be quick)

but, for anyone still pondering the purchase - our first impressions are that the playset is great quality and assembly is easy. We can't wait to get it all together and play.


06-07-2006, 02:06 PM
well, it arrived yesterday, but DH wasn't able to begin assembly until around 6. He worked until it got dark with a friend and managed to get the two towers built. (approximately 2 hours) Unfortunately, it is going to rain for the next few days - so the rest of the assembly will have to wait. x( (he did the ladders and rock wall in the garage this morning so hopefully when it clears up, the rest of it will be quick)

but, for anyone still pondering the purchase - our first impressions are that the playset is great quality and assembly is easy. We can't wait to get it all together and play.


06-07-2006, 09:56 PM
Good luck with your installation! I can't wait to see pix of the trading post! I spent the last two nights carefully planning and designing a custom cedar works playset, but it is so costly!! I can't seem to get all of the things on the Trading Post (fire pole, rope ladder, 4x6 fort, ramp, rock wall) on a regular playset for any less than $3500. Dh keeps saying it's too much.

Soooo, I think we are going to go with the Trading Post too. Looking forward to your pictures, darn this rain.


06-08-2006, 03:43 PM
Hi again!
We got our Trading Post yesterday- but it's raining now so we can't put it up yet. Everything is complete and it came in nine boxes. It took over three weeks to get here.

In case anyone is interested, the age range for the playset is 3-12 (written on the swing beam) and the weight limits (written in the warranty.) are as follows:
swing area: 200 lbs for single user; 320 max for total load
play deck area: 250 lbs for single user; 1,000 max load


06-10-2006, 03:11 PM
Thanks all for the info and pics! I was just leaning towards the larger of the two sets until I saw the weight load. We just went to Rainbow today and I was totally freaking out that the decks swayed and creaked under my feet (I'm about 180 lbs, eek, 25 over my ideal), with just me and 30 lbs DD up there. Add DH and all I wanted to do was get OFF. :)

So, I'm thinking the Cedarworks regular set will be for us. Luckily FIL is picking up most of the tab but it's embarrassing how expensive it is. lol.

Again, great info, thank you soooo much!


06-14-2006, 03:45 PM
It's been set up now since Sunday and we are all SUPER pleased with it! Just as dh was tighting the last screw, our neighbors grandchildren came peeking around the corner...so we invited them over and let them give it a test drive. My boys were so excited to have kids to play with and I was very excited to see the older kids having as much fun as the younger ones. I can't imagine my boys out growing this set anytime soon.

For some reason, I can't attach pictures, but I have a few pictures of the set here at the following url.

If anyone is contemplating this set, I'd be happy to take more detailed pictures or answer any questions - or if you're in Massachusetts and want to see it for yourself- then, just ask.


06-20-2006, 01:57 PM
How long did it take to put together? What other sets did you consider before this one? I think this looks like a great set with lots of features. We have two boys, 3 and 6, how old are your children? What do they like to do on it?

Just some questions I had.


06-22-2006, 01:48 PM
my boys are 3 and 19 months. Because of rain, assembly was done in sections, but I'd guess that if it were uninterrupted it would take 2 people 6-7 hours to assemble completely. Aside from putting the two basic tower structures together, my husband finished the rest by himself. He said that it was really very easy assembly.

We looked at the set sold at BJs, the Sunray at Costco, premium cedarworks sets and settled on this one because we like the natural cedar look, but couldn't afford premium cedarworks and we really loved the two tower design and the accessories the trading post came with. It offers alot of different opportunities for pretend play. My oldest has an incredible imagination and I love hearing all the scenarios he creates on the playset.

The only thing we wish were different is that we would have preferred that the smaller tower was slightly bigger. (maybe 4x4 instead of 4x2)

I'd have to say that the big fort is the most used feature. It's 4x6 (the entire family- all 4 of us fit comfortably up there) my boys love the 3 different ways to climb up it, rope ladder, traditional ladder and rock wall. My son is totally into pirates and he loves the telescope. My guys are fearless at the playground. The higher, faster the slide - the more they loved it... and this slide didn't disappoint because it is really fast. They love zipping down it. The picnic table is awesome too.

We're having my 6 and 7 year old niece and nephew over this weekend. As long as its not raining, I'll let you know what an older child thinks of the set.

06-23-2006, 07:40 AM
Thanks for the comments. I really appreciate the input. Hope your niece and nephew have fun too.

08-11-2006, 01:03 PM
I'm very close to ordering this system (the Trading Post) and would love to hear from more folks with firsthand experience with it. Thanks.

08-14-2006, 05:56 PM
We ordered a play-a-round set in July and are still putting it together. Not due to the difficulty of the project, but rather our lack of time. However, as people who rarely do anything ourselves, the set is not too bad. So, since it is not totally complete, I do not have a full review yet, but a few comments.

My main complaint is that I wish the swings were spaced farther apart. They seem close to the forts and each other. Some kids have collided when they accidentally start to go crooked. If I had realized this, it may have been signigicant enough that I would not have gotten the playset. Although, there really wouldn't have been a budget friendly alternative so that may not be true. Just thought I would let you know. The swings are no closer together than they would be on the Costco Sunray.

Other than that, I think the set is a lot of fun. The kids love the two fort system and once it is totally complete, I think that will be their favorite part. No other playsets around have two forts. Granted the one is very small, but still usable.

I will let you know more when I have more information.

08-14-2006, 07:03 PM
Thanks for the input - I look forward to hearing more. :)

08-16-2006, 08:25 AM

Just wanted to let you all know that I was considering this swingset for my kids ages 8, 6, 4, 2, and I found out that you cannot add any components to it. A glider cannot be added and a tire swing cannot be added under the fort. With the rounded swing beam, your options are limited. For me, that put this one out of the running--I am looking for something they can all play on with their friends, at the same time! Looking at the Costco Sunray 2006. Any opinions?

10-10-2006, 03:53 PM
We just got our Play-Around Trading Post and my dad and I put it up over the weekend - so far we are very pleased with it.

10-10-2006, 05:02 PM
Well, we finished the playset a month ago and the kids really do like it. I can't say enough about the two fort system because it enables so many more kids to play on the set, as well as interact between the forts. In the end, I am glad we purchased this set because I like the lack of maintenance, and the uniqueness of it--not another Rainbow set (although the kids do love those). I also think the set works well for different ages. Our 3 and 6 year olds love it, and will continue to for a number of years.

03-05-2007, 12:03 PM
I AM SO HEARTBROKEN! I have been considering ap play-a-round set for 6+ months. We are finally ready to order and they arent making them anymore :(


03-05-2007, 02:22 PM
They're available at Sam's Club:



Good luck!


03-05-2007, 02:28 PM
Awesome, thanks!!

Do I have to be a Sams member to order online?


karen h
03-23-2007, 11:16 AM
You do have to be a member - the cost for the basic membership is $40. You can buy the membership online (pick the card up later at your closest Sam's Club) and then purchase the playset. I just did it last week. We bought the Trading Post and it shipped today. Anyone have any updates on how their kids like the set? My boys are 3 & 5.

03-27-2007, 08:05 AM
Is this less expensive than when Cedarworks was selling it? If I recall, the pricing seems similar.

03-27-2007, 10:57 AM
i remember getting an email offer from cedarworks - $799 on the play-a-round late last year, should have bought it then... oh well... thats what happens when your middle name is indecisive ...

03-27-2007, 11:38 AM
I called Cedarworks and they said the larger one was 1499 and the smaller one 999. I think this included shipping as well.

03-27-2007, 01:48 PM
Yep, Sams is charging more for them. I am kicking myself for not buying it sooner. I dont see a comparable set I like better so Ill prob order this one anyway.


04-21-2007, 12:12 PM
We got our Trading Post set in November when they were 30% off. We, I mean the kids, absolutely love it. I noticed that Sam's Club is a little bit more but it includes shipping. Cedarworks charged $50 for shipping so, really, the Sam's Club price isn't that much more. We got a great deal on ours but I would pay full price for it...it's an incredible set.

So if you're on the fence...I say go for it! :)

ds&dd 5/03

04-28-2007, 07:22 PM
I've been looking at Cedar Works playsets for weeks, and just discovered this much more reasonably priced option. I'm very strongly leaning toward getting the Trading Post model, but have a few questions for those who have it already:

(1) How do the kids get from the small fort to the fireman's pole and rope ladder? From the picture, it looks really awkward to have to swing around 180 degrees, and even kinda dangerous. Does it really work ok?

(2) Do your kids seem to do ok getting into/out of the forts without the "helping handles" and ladders from the standard Cedar Works playsets? For bigger kids it may be less of an issue, but my youngest are 2-1/2 and 4 and I want them to be able to play independently.

Any feedback would be much appreciated. This looks like a great set and I'd love to get something without spending $3000!

mom to little e
05-21-2007, 03:41 PM
I'm just bumping this up - I don't have the answers but am interested in the same questions as you. Have you decided yet on ordering the Trading Post? Why did you pick that one over the play-a-round, if you don't mind me asking?

Mommy to Ean & Mia!

mom to little e
05-21-2007, 03:50 PM
I was also wondering, can the existing swings be replaced by ordering an infant swing from Cedar Works?

Mommy to Ean & Mia!

05-21-2007, 03:59 PM
Has anyone had any experience with this adventure lodge swingset by Step 2? It seems like a good alternative to those who don't want to maintain the Cedar. A friend of ours has a Cedarworks set in the Northeast and after only 2 years it looks terrible.


05-22-2007, 09:17 PM
I recently purchased and erected the Trading Post Play a Round playset. I was impressed with the set and my 3 year old daughter loves it (she turned 3 in December). She quickly mastered the ladders and rock climbing wall, and has even mastered the rope ladder. As far as the construction is concerned, it is really not very difficult and can easily be put up in a day or two, depending on how long you work. One note of caution, I ordered my set in December with the intent on putting up when the weather was suitable. During the interim, I stored the playset in my unheated garage. However, the manufacturer suggests that you not wait too long before contructing the playset. The reason is that the wood can warp or twist if it sets too long. My set probably sat for a couple months before I put it up. I didn't have any problem except for the main beam from which the swings hang. It apparently twisted just a bit. Because the holes were pre-drilled, this created a little difficulty when I was trying to line up the holes for the bolts. I ended up forcing the bolt through with a hammer and it worked out fine - just a little frustrating. It also took some time to get the two forts level and the exact distance from each other so that the pre-drilled cross beam would line up with the holes. I put the set up myself, although I did get a little help from my wife in the early stages when I needed another set of hands to put the main pieces of the forts together.
All in all, the cedar is very easy to work with. Once it is assembled, the set is very sturdy. The swings, slide, ropes and hardware seem to be of good quality. I think this is a hard set to beat for the price. My family (my wife and I have 4 daughters - ages 16, 13, 11 and 3) especially likes the picnic table under the main fort.
I know someone asked about the fireman's pole and the knotted rope - specifically, how easy they are to access. As you may be able to see from the photo of the set, the access appears to be through the end of the small fort. I haven't yet finished the fireman's pole (you need to dig a hole to bury the bottom of the pole). I'm sure they will figure out a way to get to it. However, I think it would have been a better design if it was closer to the opening of the fort.
By the way, when I checked the web site for Play a Round, I did not see the Trading Post, nor did I see any contact information for Cedar Works. I noticed recently that Sam's Club is selling the trading post set. Therefore, I wouldn't be surprised if Cedar Works swung a deal (no pun intended) with Sam's Club whereby Sam's Club will be the exclusive distributor of the set. In the end, it may not cost any more, and Sam's Club may increase the distribution of the set.
If you have any other questions, you can e-mail me at [email protected]

05-23-2007, 08:00 AM
I'm also interested in this set, but a little nervous since I have no way to see it in person. I had the exact same concern about how difficult it is to get to the pole and knotted rope. I know you said you don't have the fire pole installed yet, do you have the knotted rope on already, and does your daughter handle that okay? I have a 2 1/2 yr old, and while I know that there are some features on this set that she'll have to grow into, I also don't want her to kill herself in the meantime :). Especially with the little fort, since it doesn't have a slide, I'm afraid that she'll be able to get herself up the ramp, but have no good way to get back down again. Do you think you could have switched the ramp and the rock wall? I'm thinking if the rock wall was on the little fort instead, then at least maybe that would keep her from getting up until she's really old enough to figure out how to safely get back down. Thanks so much!!!

I tried emailing someone at CedarWorks about them, and she said she doesn't have anything to do with the play-a-round sets this year. For those who had asked about adding other swings or whatever, she did say this: "You can not modify, change or add anything to those sets. They are just as you see them. Our Premium accessories do not fit those sets." Now, does that really mean that it wouldn't work? I don't know. Although, it does look like the play-a-round swings use chains, where the cedarworks ones use rope, so those really might not be interchangeable, but I would assume that any other regular chain swing that you'd buy would work.

05-25-2007, 02:54 PM
We got the set last year. What we did with the smaller fort was take out the slats in front of the fire pole and move them to the side opening. My kids can now use the fire pole easily. They never liked the rope, so it doesn't bother them that they can't access it from the top.

DD, who is 2.5, did have trouble last year with the smaller fort- she could climb up, but she couldn't get down without help. Now she can use the regular ladder and plank to get down. She has also mastered the rope ladder as well.

Overall though, we like the set. It is sturdy, it took about three days to set up, and the kids haven't had any splinters with it. It's neat having two towers, so each kid has his "own" when they play.

karen h
05-29-2007, 05:12 PM
We ordered the Trading Post and it was delivered at the beginning of April. We just put it together this past weekend and we are very pleased with the construction and features...especially for the price. It took my husband 2 days to assemble, with some minor ploblems. Since it sat in our garage for 7 weeks, two of the beams were warped. When trying to straigten them enough to use one actually broke in half. My husband was able to work with them (using Gorilla Glue), but I called Cedarworks and they are UPS'ing us two new beams no questions asked. Very good customer service.

As far as the fireman's pole and knotted rope, we closed off the ends of the small fort and left the fronts open for easier access. My husband is going to put one 2x4 in place of the intended slats so the boys (3 and 5) have something to grab onto for stability.

The picnic table is big enough for our family of 4 to eat dinner comfortably. I didn't expect this and we were pleasantly surprised.

One final note is my husband said his only advice would be to read the instructions...this coming from a mechanical engineer. He ran into a few problems where he used the wrong bolt in the wrong spot. Removing it wasn't a good idea since the hole was already made, so we left them and bought replacements at Home Depot. Overall, easy to assemble.

Mother to Max 5 and Zachary 3

03-02-2008, 06:05 PM

I was reading all the info and reviews from the past here....

There is a new, bigger fort available this year! Called the Frontier Fort. It is 1,988 delivered.


07-18-2008, 05:45 PM
Bumping this up as I am wondering - does anyone have the newer Play-a-round set - the Frontier? http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&item=387233

It says it has 3 clubhouses in the description but I can only see 2 in the pics. If you do have the Frontier set - I would love to hear how it has worked out for your family. And if it does actually have 3 clubhouses or if its just a typo.

It's funny - I designed a set almost EXACTLY like this one on the Cedar Works site - thinking I was being more economical since I didn't choose the ladder top for the swings - just the post like int he Frontier Play-A-Round. I made other changes to my design based on one of their basic designs thinking I would be saving money. I got a quote for $8000!!! Even though this one doesn't have the Sure Step system (and a lot of the other bells and whistles) - I think we can make it work since it's $4000 cheaper!. :lol:

07-18-2008, 07:30 PM
We got the Frontier Fort this spring. And we absolutely LOVE it.

The only problems were that it arrived after 2 weeks. They say 4-6 weeks, so we planned our landscape project around the earliest it would come, 4 weeks. So, the pieces sat in our garage for three weeks before it could be assembled. There was warping, I assume because of the wait, and it made it a bit more difficult to assemble.

We didn't attach the fire pole or the knotted rope. I couldn't figure out how the kids would access either one from the bridge.

As for your question...there are two structures and a bridge.

Ask any questions you like!


07-18-2008, 08:29 PM
I am so glad to hear that you love it Gina! How old are your little ones? I have a 2 and 4 year old. I am wondering if I should wait on this one until my youngest is a little older. She has no fear and I am wondering if this set would be too much for her (really too much for me and my nerves watching her run around after her big brother fearing that she will fall and split her head open!) Are there many open areas/danger zones. It all seems to be pretty much protected by the railing/walls from what I have seen online.

I want to get it soon because I am afraid it will be discontinued. I think there was some discussion about these being discontinued in previous years. But maybe I am thinking the play-a-round site is no longer active - not the play-a-round sets at Sam's Club. This swingset is really everything we have been looking for. I especially like the troll bridge and tire swing.

Would you say your kids use one part of the set more than the others?

Do you happen to have any pics? :)

07-18-2008, 09:19 PM
I have a 2 and a 4 year old also! The four year old is extremely safe on it. I always stay with my 2 year old as he climbs, as the rungs are round, not flat. but he has gotten steadier and steadier at climbing.

The only places that are not protected by fences, are where the rock wall, ladders, slide, rope ladder and ramp are.

We bought plastic handles to add to the set at each climb up spot (at our local Lowes).

I wouldn't wait....it is so much fun! The kids play on the main area and slide the most. But they are often on the other side. They play "house" and pretend to nap on the bridge. So cute!

The picnic table is awesome. We eat lunch out there all the time.

This set is SOLID. It is not going anywhere. I swing on it full bore (and I am not the lightest mom) and it doesn't budge! We put our own baby swing for the little one on instead of one of the swings.

I do have pictures of the assembly process. I don't think I can post them here? but I can email them to you. Send me a PM with your email addy!

07-19-2008, 01:38 AM
Thank you so much for your reply! PMing you now with my email addy. :)

07-24-2008, 11:51 AM
We've had the Fronteir set for a few months now & have been very happy with it (we have twins that just turned 2 and our oldest just turned 4).

For two year olds, I think the set is fine (recommended age is 3-12), but you may want to stay somewhat close to them for the first week or two until they master some of the climbing accessories (ladders, ramps, etc.). As was posted earlier the two forts & bridge are fully enclosed with fences (except at the access points of course), so it's about as safe as a set like this can get. We also got some "helping handles" from a local swingset store to put near the top of each ladder / ramp (they also have them at Lowes, Home Depot, etc). The kids seem to be using them, so for $5 or so a piece it was worth it.

As far as the product goes, it's great. You can't beat the quality of the wood (white cedar), size, stability, & accessories for the price. We researched playsets for about a year & came very close to dropping a lot of money on a "real" cedarworks set, but when we saw the Frontier version offered at Sam's, we thought it would be a good "compromise" on quality v. cost. After having set it up & used it, I don't feel like we compromised at all... it's everything a kid could want & very sturdy / robust. With some minor annual maintenance I see it lasting much longer than we need it to (FYI - We did put a thin, clear weather sealant (Thompsons) on ours... just for looks - we wanted to keep the "new" white cedar look indefinitely. It took the sealant very well & maintained that great cedar feel (soft) & smell).

On assembly - Very straightforward (almost fun), but it will take some elbow grease & some time (a day or so for a few handy people).

Only complaints - Freight company messed up (& we missed our initial setup weekend) & they shorted us some lag screws (fixed by $5 & a quick trip to the HW store). Also, the firepole is a little hard to get to for younger kids... although all three of mine still love it (they just need a little help from Mom or Dad to get to it).

A few "extras" we got included a little bell (not sure the neighbors are big on that!), a few extra "rocks" for the rock wall (from Home Depot), and a 1/2 bucket toddler swing.

It's tough to drop $2k on a set like this without being able see / touch it, but after having looked at a lot of sets in person (& their cost), we feel great about our decision. It's not quite as robust as a Cedarworks or Rainbow, but for 1/3 of the cost, you just can't beat it.

07-24-2008, 03:20 PM
We got the Lookout last year, and we've been happy with it. My3Boys was smart to seal it right away. We waited a year+ and had to pressure wash it. Now we'll be sealing it with some dingy areas. Also, the Lookout only has 1/2 of a picnic table, not a full one as shown in the picture. Bizarre!

07-25-2008, 10:36 AM
One suggestion on sealing it (for those that haven't bought / assembled yet), we put all of the "wood" parts together & then put the clear sealant on with a Wagner power sprayer (think our version was $30 or $40 at Home Depot). Including setup & cleanup, I think it took about an hour (v. probably an all day job if done with a brush!). We let it dry a few days & then put on all the plastic & metal parts.

It worked out really well. Of course, I'm not looking forward to it in a few years when it needs to be re-sealed... I'm thinking it might be worth it to just to take some of the bigger parts off (slide, swings, etc) & just tape over some of the smaller parts & go ahead & spray it again (v. trying to do it with a brush). I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.