Recommended for Ages 2-6 (though I could see kids a little younger and a little older enjoying it), the Alpine Ridge Climber & Slide is a unique offering in this category of backyard play. It's perfect for kids that may have outgrown some smaller models, but the size is right that it's big - but not too big for the yard. The little nooks and grips really capture the feel of those climbing walls that my little ones love, but here we have it in a safe, home-friendly version that doesn't require a harness and rope.
Video: The Rock Daughters at Play on the Step2 Alpine Ridge Climber & Slide
Add in all the cool tunnels and hiding spots, and this climber/slide goes beyond just physical play, and opens up new worlds of imaginative play. Is it a Castle? A Fort? The place where the Fairies live? A Mountain Lodge? Is the slide a ramp for toy cars? The answer is simple: it's whatever imagination wants it to be.
--If you order one, of these - you need to either choose the "Ship-to-Store" option from Toys "R" Us, or be home for delivery. Due to the size, it's considered "freight," and shipped accordingly... on a big truck, like the one picture to the right. The weight's not bad though, and at 91lbs, it was easy for the UPS Driver and I to get it up to the garage for temporary storage.
--Assembly should be a two-person job. I tend to choose the most difficult path at all times, so I did mine with the help of a four-year-old. Overall assembly is quite easy, but attaching the climbing grips is difficult without a second (grownup) helper.