Snow is a major part of the Alberta experience but if you’re not willing to strap into a pair of skis, skates, or tennis racket-looking shoes, learning to enjoy it can be pretty tough… unless you live in Cardston, near the southern edge of the province.

Under clouds and flakes, in freezing temperatures and with a trusty snowblower, Alberta’s Prete family has spent the last 4 years perfecting the art of powder-cave building and in 2022, they’re sharing their efforts with the community.

With 4 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and space to comfortably sleep 9 people, Matthew and his three sons (aged 6, 8 and 10) created a literal snow mansion and have even begun hosting friends, family and even neighbours.

Photo via Matthew Prete

“It was just for fun,” Prete told Curiocity. “But then we decided to put it up on Facebook – partly as a way for my boys to earn enough money for a Nintendo Switch and also because we were curious to see what would happen.”

Prete said that within hours, his phone practically blew up with inquiries from people looking to hold parties and even asking to stay the night.

“It really took on a life of its own,” he continued.

This year’s cave took about a week to build and required a ton of snow, so to say that it’s impressive is an understatement.

Not only does it have a firepit area, functional spaces and a porta-potty, it’s also got 6-foot ceilings, lights and tables for guests to play games, have a drink or lay their heads.

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Photo via Matthew Prete

But, despite some crazy interest from the public and the local media taking an interest, Prete and his family remain pretty chill about the whole thing.

“At the end of the day it was just something fun my kids and I did… We’re always looking for a way to get outside and enjoy the weather.”

If you’re in the area and would like to rent the Cardston snow mansion for yourselves, you can check out their Facebook listing here – but don’t hesitate.

It might be cold, but it’s the hottest place to be this winter.