NORTH TONAWANDA, NY - Driving down Eddy Drive in North Tonawanda, you can't help but notice the Sass family home; a giant snow castle fills the entire front yard!
Michael Sass, 16, and his 14-year-old brother Steven came up with the idea, and, along with some buddies, have worked three weeks to build the front-yard fort.
"We don't have a whole lot better to do," Michael said. "And it's better than video games. It gives us something to be proud of I guess, just something to keep working on."
It started with just a single, small room but "snowballed" into something much more. They've now used virtually all the snow in their yard, and they've borrowed from neighbors.
Instead of tunneling through the snow, they decided to build it with blocks. They started by filling plastic totes with snow, packing it in tightly to produce the ice brick.
The teens estimate using about 140 bricks. At about 75 pounds each, they've used about 10,000 pounds of snow to build the massive snow castle.
It's complete with a munitions room to hold snow balls, a fancy foyer with an ice sculpture, and even a bar.
Although it was dark in the beginning, the teens have since added solar-powered landscaping lights around the top and use extension cords to power rope lights.
"Nighttime and stuff, you couldn't really see it," Steven said. "So we thought this adds a nice touch, some nice finishing touches to it."
The Sass brothers say more than a half dozen friends helped them, and with another winter wallop on the way this week, the fort may grow even more.