1206 Edwards Road, Hyde Park
How many backyard amenities can one home have? This Hyde Park manse—on the market for $2.295 million—pushes the limit with two ponds, a waterfall, an open-air theater-style seating area, a guest house, and a full-sized swimming pool. Our hands-down faves, though, are the gypsy caravan and lap pool. The caravan’s a replica of a Hudson River-area “folly” (a decorative building that doesn’t necessarily have any useful purpose) and the lap pool can stay open year-round thanks to a sophisticated heating system installed by Klimat Master, says listing agent Michael Hinckley. It also “features a bright red London telephone booth,” he notes. “Perfect for keeping towels warm and dry during snow swims.”
140 Linden Drive, Wyoming
This Wyoming backyard was converted into a mini theme park in 2011 by the folks at local production house JayTV and HGTV’s My Yard Goes Disney. Listed at $699,999, the property includes three Disney-themed play spaces: a 12-foot wide splash pad with 15 programmable jets, a faux Ferris wheel (really an eight-foot-high climbing gizmo shaped like a “giant Mickey head,” says seller Meggan De Jesus), and a circular swing set designed by the Disney Imagineers (Disney-certified people who design and build brand-related features and rides). The swings are “people powered,” says De Jesus, but because of the way it’s weighted and designed, “once you start swinging it goes faster and faster.”
28 Barrett Drive, Ft. Thomas
On the market for $549,000 (along with the regular house it sits behind), this peaceful Ft. Thomas hideaway is modeled after a “spirit house”—a common (albeit usually miniature) Thai structure meant to attract and contain displaced spirits. This one is made entirely of cedar, stands elevated on wood pilings, and has a 10-by-15-foot interior—plenty of room, says homeowner Bert Thomas, for four comfy chairs and some tables. It’s got plenty of screened windows, a small deck overlooking the woods, and a lengthy bridge-style walkway connecting it to the backyard, too. So far the only spirits inside, says Thomas, have been a few glasses of wine at the end of a long day.