Having a tree house is the ultimate kid dream. Maybe it’s the solitude, maybe it’s the connection to nature, or maybe it’s the ability to pull up the rope ladder and rain terror on anyone below who tries to enter uninvited (including their father). If your kid is lucky enough to have a tree house, congratulations, you’ve already won Father Of The Year. If you had one of these best tree houses, you’d be on your way to the Hall Of Fame.
Tree House From The Grandparents You Wish Were Yours
While the kids for whom this was originally built have grown up, the local neighbors’ kids still hang out here and (presumably) have new favorite grandparents. At 100 square feet, it features multi-level exterior decks, sleeping lofts, a suspension bridge to a floating crow’s nest, a climbing wall, a zip line, and yes, air conditioning.
Owls House Tree House
Roderick Romero is the unofficial tree house master to the stars (they’re just like us?) and he put together this whimsical piece with a “when you see it” name on Long Island. Romero’s creations start at $50,000 and blow straight past what you paid for your actual house.
Bicycle-Powered Tree House Elevator
This is a pretty cool tree house, but it’s candidacy for the “best” list rests almost exclusively on this ridiculously clever bike-powered elevator. Because the only other way your kids are riding their bikes into the tree house is if they’ve befriended an adorable alien from the 80s.
The Treehotel in Harads, Sweden is exactly what it sounds like, and any of its 6 treerooms are worth a look if you want to live like Swiss Family Robinson for the night and have $900 to burn. By far the most kid-friendly is the UFO room, which features constellation comforters and legitimately looks like it could blast your family into space at any moment.
Cocoon Tree House
This lightweight, hyper-modern tree pod fits 2-4 children with either a table or a bed, and apparently assembles in 2 hours with nothing more than an allen wrench, like all your IKEA crap. Unlike your IKEA crap, though, you might want to spring for the professional installation. You don’t want to be figuring out if you put the 2×4 on backwards when you’re 30 feet off the ground.
Star Wars AT-ST Tree House
Okay, so it’s not as impressive in stature or design as some of the others on this list, but it’ll definitely make that annoying neighbor kid think twice before venturing into your backyard. Plus, you don’t have nearly enough plywood for a Millennium Falcon tree house.
Between Alder And Oak Tree House
German designers Baumraum specialize in modern bespoke tree houses with equal parts form and function. Fortunately, they spent more time considering the finer details of the oak wood decks and interiors that come together in a perfect symbiosis between construction and nature than coming up with a name for this gorgeous tree house perched … between an alder and an oak tree.
DC Tree House
“A lucky set of children” are the primary residents of this piece by bonafide tree house masters Nelson Tree house And Supply. There’s a suspension bridge, a climbing rope, and a crow’s nest, all of which begs the question: where’s the tree house for a lucky set of dads?
Teahouse Tetsu Tree House
You didn’t really think Japan wasn’t going to have a say here, did you? This teahouse is built around a cypress trunk and hovers among the cherry blossom trees surrounding the Kiyharu Shirakaba Museum in Hokutu, Japan. Better that your kids experience a floating tea party here than with their nanny’s crackpot Uncle Albert pumping laughing gas into his house.