August 10, 2016 / Property Spotlight

Seven Playful Palaces

Luxury homes around the world with play spaces, kid-friendly art, and amenities


Flair, refinement, life? Of course. The comforts and conveniences of luxury living can easily be extended when children are part of the family. Many grand homes and estates boast amenities for kids as well as for adults, and swimming pools and playrooms are only the start. Today’s high-end homes often include arcades and home theaters, pro-style sports courts, or fancifully constructed play spaces. Whether designed to fit in with a sophisticated adult aesthetic or spectacular enough to appeal to even the most discriminating grown-up’s inner child, kid-friendly features are just as attractive and appealing as the properties they enhance.

Chicago Choo-choo
Chicago, Illinois

This roomy family home in Chicago’s River Forest village boasts a riding train that winds through the wooded grounds, crosses a bridge, and runs along the deck of the swimming pool.A miniature train traverses the grounds of this Tudor-style estate, adding a pop of color and a welcome touch of whimsey to its elegant grounds.

The spacious grounds of this handsome Tudor-style home feature wooded landscaping, waterfalls, an expansive wood deck and nearby pool, grassy lawns and stone paths, and a separate two-bedroom coach house. Best of all is a miniature rideable train, with an engine that can pull 10,000 pounds and large enough for children and adults alike to comfortably ride. The train circumnavigates the perimeter of the property, crosses a bridge, and circles the pool deck. Indoors, the billiard and game room likewise has an electric toy train that winds through the room and even through walls to the adjoining family room. Adult spaces are not shortchanged—the magnificent foyer, carved stairway, vaulted and beamed great room, library, sauna, steam room, and wine and fur vaults help ensure that residents and guests of all ages are catered to.

Toronto Toyland
Toronto, Canada The colorful arcade room in this unique Toronto residence enjoys plenty of natural light and has its own 1950s-style soda barSpacious and light-filled, this 15,000-square-foot, six-bedroom home presents lovely, tree-filled views from nearly every room. Inside, natural light showcases exquisite craftsmanship and detailing. Parquet wood floors lie beneath the entry skylight, the home office has a wood-panelled ceiling and parquet-detailed walls, the master bedroom has a vaulted night-sky mural set into the ceiling (as well as a full-length treetop view.) The arcade and game room, a source of fun for kids and adults alike, is brightly painted in cheerful colors. The pool with a child-friendly slide and the spa, both of which adjoin the private gym, are enclosed in a greenhouse with a retractable roof.

Florida Fantasyland
Boca Raton, FloridaThis lakeside estate in Florida is a 6.5-acre private family resort that has its own waterpark.Covering six and a half acres of prime lakeside property, this magnificent Florida estate represents the ultimate in outdoor family living. An expansive, covered outdoor kitchen, dining room, and bar look out onto the home’s private waterpark wonderland—a tempting feature for all ages. A two-story pool with a gently sloping entrance and a plunging waterfall beyond surrounds a sunbathing island. While the waterfall drops from the height of a private, multi-story cliff with multiple waterslides, a curving lazy river can be experienced at a much more relaxed pace. Beyond, a private boathouse with a lift allows for easy access to the private lake.

Mexican Murals
Guanajuato, Mexico

The children’s rooms of this Mexican estate are painted with colorful Disney-themed murals, and the children’s bathroom has a child-friendly, half-height sink.In the children's bathroom, the Seven Dwarves offer some cheery encouragement when it's time to get ready for bed.

This grand adobe-style Mexican casa combines sophisticated family living with charming touches. Colorful murals featuring butterflies and Disney characters adorn the children’s rooms. A cobblestone central courtyard has a wishing well at its center, and a large grassy lawn includes a shaded playhouse and trampoline. A paddle tennis court, pool, and pergola-shaded spa are designed to keep older children and adults entertained. Impressive wood beams, stone floors, and patios—as well as the private shaded upper balcony and a vaulted brick ceiling—testify to the skilled craftsmanship that went into constructing this 16,000-square-foot home.

Theatrical Treehouse
Beverly Hills, California The sprawling grounds of this Beverly Hills estate include a magical multi-story treehouse that could have come from a movie set.This Beverly Hills mansion’s grand gate, winding approach, and 40-foot-high entryway present an elegant introduction to a property worthy of the Golden Age of Hollywood. The family room opens to a hand-cut mosaic pool and spa surrounded by a deck with plenty of room for entertaining. The pool pavilion has an outdoor kitchen and bathrooms, and behind the pavilion is a private tennis court. Far enough away from the pool pavilion to allow adults privacy but close enough that the tree-shaded play area it occupies can be supervised, a fairytale-like, four-story, tree-shaped playhouse is accented by a slide, swings, and other play equipment. The whimsical play area is adjacent to the six-bedroom children’s wing of the mansion, which also has a capacious attic playroom.  

Home for Hoops Fans
Southwest Ranches, Florida

 The kid-friendly amenities of this private and secure Florida estate include an arcade, playground, and lighted Air Jordan basketball court.A full sized playground surrounded by palm trees has a swing set, a jungle gym, and plenty of space to run around in the Florida sunshine.Rainy days are made for indoor play, and the fully-equipped arcade room is sure to tempt kids of all ages with an array of classic games.

This six-bedroom family home in an exclusive town in southern Florida just southwest of Fort Lauderdale offers every imaginable family amenity. Outdoors, a private kitchen and pool adjoin a spacious playground and Air Jordan lighted basketball court surrounded by expansive, palm-lined lawns that spread over 2.28 acres. Inside, a private arcade room and fourteen-seat theater serve up entertainment for all ages. The grand interiors provide plenty of adult-specific luxuries as well. While the master suite has a large closet for the lady of the house, the exercise room has a steam room and sauna. A cigar bar, wine storage, and gourmet kitchen also help make for effortless entertaining.

Cube for Children
Shanghai, China This centrally located Shanghai home has a number of kid-friendly attributes: a grassy lawn, a pool, easy indoor/outdoor access, leafy views—and even a cube-shaped backyard treehouse.This stylishly contemporary home feels like a private oasis in the center of Shanghai. Each room has outdoor views, the open interior allows for natural light throughout, and the use of natural materials contributes to the minimalist and organic aesthetic. The ground floor has rotating glass walls that allow full access to the rear terrace, pool, and lawn. On upper floors, leafy views, terraces, and a glass viewing cube all contribute to the feeling of living among the trees. The master suite seamlessly integrates with interlocking rooftop terraces. In the rear garden, a contemporary cubic treehouse give children their own treetop retreat and play space.Explore more playful properties 


  • Property Galleries