No matter how old you get, the idea of playing in the park, swinging on the swing, or running around the playground still holds a certain appeal. Sadly, our days of frolicking at playgrounds are generally behind most of us. We’ve read the weight and age limits, we know we aren’t supposed to play on playgrounds anymore, but the urge is still there.
The good news is, the world is changing. More people understand that adulthood doesn’t spell an end to play but rather a change in form. Clever business owners and community leads have been making strides to build a new wave of playgrounds; adult playgrounds.
So, whether you are one of those clever people looking to build up a community of fun or a bored homeowner looking to turn your backyard into the playset of your dreams, look no further because this is the complete guide on how to choose a swing set for adults.
Why Do Adults Need Swing Sets?
Have you ever been driving home from work and spotted kids playing at a playground and wished you could pull over to spend just a few minutes on the swings? Sadly, this dream is only that, a dream. As an adult, you cannot hijack a child’s swing for your own purposes, and even if you could, it likely wouldn’t support your weight.
That said, just because we, as adults, cannot play in children’s playgrounds doesn’t mean we can’t have our own. Adults get all the same emotional, mental, and physical benefits from playing that kids do. Playgrounds are lovely places to:
Hold meetings and barbeques
They just need to be adult-sized.
In recent years, you may have seen an increase in exercise parks – playgrounds with gym equipment made especially for adults.
These parks are an excellent way for adults to get out and re-energize, but they usually lack some of the more fantastical elements of children’s playgrounds.
Whether you are building a community playground for all ages or adding a little liveliness back into your backyard, an adult swing set is a perfect first step.
Some Ideas for Adult Swing Sets
Here are some ideas to get you started in your search for the perfect swing set. Let’s start by looking at some commercial swing sets and then move on to residential ones.
The most accessible place to start when looking for an adult swing set for commercial use is with the classics. The classic two-person swing set is an excellent choice as it provides everything one would expect. It’s the same as what you grew up with, but you don’t need to worry about the chain snapping.
Additionally, ADA versions make your park or community center more inclusive. The ADA platform swing set can accommodate up to two wheelchairs at a time, and the ADA chair swing set is perfect for anyone who cannot use a regular swing on their own.
If you want to take it back to the olden days, why not include a tire swing in the mix? Or, if you are catering to a more laid-back or elderly population, there is always the bench swing for relaxing.
If the bench swing isn’t good enough, there is also the covered chairs swing. It includes two smaller benches facing each other and a canopy to keep the occupants dry and out of the sun.
Alternatively, if you are looking for some heavy duty playtime, but want to keep it to the confines of your backyard, try the babysitter swing. It is a small bench swing perfect for a porch or deck. If you want something a little more wild, try the orbit swing, a large round rope disk that’s sure to take you back to your days of youth.
If you have a sturdy tree, you can finally set up the wooden tree swing you always wanted but never had. These swings can also be affixed to an existing frame to create a complete swing set. A hammock swing is another great idea for outside.
To achieve the calmness of a gentle swaying motion, but stay dry and shaded, try this covered wooden chair swing. It makes for a lovely picnic or social spot.
Finally, try everyone’s dream swing: the pergola swing bed or love seat swing. This swing is a full-size daybed that swings and makes its own shade. It is the perfect reading or nap spot.
Things to Consider Before Buying
Now that you’re excited to pick a swing set let’s take a breather to consider some of the key steps in choosing the perfect swing set. Be sure to hammer out these details before you buy, as most of them will have a tremendous impact on your decision.
Let’s start by looking at why you are buying a swing set. Whether you plan to use it for commercial or personal use will seriously change what type of swing set you buy. You may have already noticed that we have already separated the earlier suggestions into these categories. The type and extent of use dictate which swing will and won’t work.
You cannot buy a tree swing and expect it to hold up to hours of use a day by adults of different sizes and play styles. If you purchase a swing set for commercial use, it must accommodate everyone and hold up to hours of relentless abuse. Once you’ve got the purpose sorted, you can move on.
Playgrounds and swing sets costs vary wildly. Depending on how elaborate you want to get with your setup, you can expect to pay anything from around $1000 to tens of thousands.
The good news about ADA accessories and equipment is that they are usually on the cheaper end. You can purchase a two-seat ADA chair swing set for just over $2000, whereas a standard two-seat swing set costs over $3000.
If you are looking for something a little less commercial, you should still be prepared to face a wide array of prices. The average one person swing usually lands somewhere around $100, while covered wooden swings sit closer to $3000
Swing sets come in all shapes, sizes, and materials, from heavy-duty steel tube metal frames to DIY wooden assemblies. The materials used make an enormous difference in the durability and longevity of the swing set.
You’ll want to ensure that the materials are highly durable for community swing sets. Powder coated metal and self-lubricating hinges are your best friend if you’re looking for a public playset.
Wood is generally preferable for backyard sets as it is weatherproof yet light.
The most critical safety aspects to consider when looking for an adult swing are stability, strength, and ease of use.
As adults, we weigh more and are capable of putting more power behind each movement. We also aren’t used to getting hurt anymore and don’t want to struggle when you can avoid it.
The ideal swing set for adult safety can take your weight without shaking, tipping, collapsing, or breaking. With so much more weight behind our momentum, it becomes easier to tip over a swing set as an adult.
Additionally, you might not be as spry as you once were. Swings are excellent because they only require you to sit, but they need to be wide enough to accommodate your hips and shoulders comfortably, or you won’t be using them safely.
If you plan to install a playground, especially a swing set, in a community space, you need to be keenly aware of how much space you have and how much space the swing set will take up.
Not only do you need room for the swings to move, but for people to be able to move safely around the swing set while it’s in use. We’ve all taken a swing to the forehead or teeth; it’s not a fun experience. The same is true if you wish to set up swings in your backyard.
You should also be sure to take positioning into account. You don’t need people jumping off the swing and tumbling down a ditch.
Chances are, if you’re buying a swing set for a public area, you have someone to install it for you. However, if you are on your own, putting one up at home, you need to consider the difficulty of assembly. Be honest with yourself and your skillset, or you’ll end up assembling it incorrectly and may get injured.
Be sure to buy a swing set that you are sure you can put together. You may also need to rent tools you do not own to build your dream swing set. You should also be sure to figure out how you are getting it home in the first place. Do you have to fit it in your car or will it be delivered?
Accessibility is important. Everyone wants to feel included and get the same chances to play as others. ADA accessories and equipment are an excellent way to ensure everyone can have an option on the swings.
There are many kinds of ADA equipment and more coming out each year. There are platforms for wheelchairs and seats with harnesses for people with other mobility difficulties. Just be sure that you purchase the appropriate heavy-duty frames to be able to handle such equipment.
According to ADA guidelines, community parks must have accessible play areas for people with mobility devices. That means things they can do on their device that others can do without the aid of the device. Adults and children alike should be able to access play areas no matter their ability.
It should come as no surprise that you need to check the weight limit before buying a swing set, primarily if the intended users are fully grown. While some swing sets may be designed for adults, they still have weight limits. Significantly overweight individuals may not be able to use them.
For context, commercial swing sets usually cap out at around 250lbs per seat and personal swings around 220lbs. If the weight limit is not listed, be sure to contact the seller or look up what it is before buying. There’s nothing more disappointing than buying something only to find out you can’t use it.
Some more considerable swings like the pergola swing bed have a weight capacity of up to 1100lbs. It all depends on who the intended user is and what the swing is made for.
Adult swing sets are just as critical as playgrounds for kids, but choosing the right one can be challenging. Whether you are looking to install a swing set commercially or in your backyard, there is definitely something out there for you; you merely have to do the work to find it.
Remember, the perfect swing set must be safe, accessible, affordable, robust, and easy to assemble. Make sure you have enough room before you try to install it. No one needs a swing to the head.