We all know that Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer - and with the weekend weather forecast predicted to stay in the low to mid 90s, why not take advantage of the sunshine with friends and family?

Here's our top five things to do on Memorial Day weekend in Lufkin, Nacogodches and surrounding areas. Have a great and safe holiday weekend!

1. Let's go the lake!

Take advantage of the three or four day weekend, and bring your family to one of the nearby lakes for a weekend full of fun in the sun.

There are so many activities to choose from at Lake Nacogdoches, Sam Rayburn Lake, Lake Livingston or Toledo Bend, whether you want to fish, swim, have a  picnic, lay out in the sun, hike, waterski, camp, wakeboard or barbecue. Visit their websites by clicking on each lake to find out more details.

2. Let's have a barbecue!

If you don't feel like driving anywhere this weekend - don't sweat it. Why not invite friends, family and nieghbors over for a delicious barbecue? Nothing says 'holiday' like good food on the grill.

Taste of Home has a list of great Memorial Day ideas and recipes the whole gang will enjoy. If you've got a pool or a sprinkler, let the kids play together in the yard, while you and the other adults mingle and have some real fun! Don't forget about dessert - fresh fruit like watermelon or frozen treats like ice cream and popsicles are among the favorites summertime treats.

3. Let's go riding!

Now that school is out, and you have a free weekend to not worry about homework or work responsiblities, take the family out to one of the ATV parks in the area.

Shiloh Ridge, in Alto, TX is offering a special Memorial Weekend deal - $40 per person includes an off-road vehicle and a weekend of camping and riding. River Run ATV Park in Jacksonville, TX and TREE OffRoad Park in Alto are also open all weekend long for camping and riding. The trails will be great, thanks to some of the rain we got last week!

4. Let's play outside!

Last week, we posted a story about the best playgrounds in Lufkin-Nacogdoches. Many of them have pavilions, barbecue pits, picnic tables, splash pads and lots of grass to play on. 

Organize a fun get-together with a group of friends and families full of activities, and good food. Bring toys to share like frisbees, volleyballs, inflatable balls, water balloons and waterguns, or play a game of hide and go seek, tag or baseball to keep everyone entertained before the hot dogs and hamburgers are ready to eat!

5. Let's go to the beach!

Though it is a little farther away than the activities mentioned above, there's nothing better than feeling like you're on a tropical beach - right in your backyard.
Bring the family to Galveston, TX, where 'every day is a fun day.'

The newly redesigned Rainforest Pyramid at Moody Gardens opens May 28, which offers exotic plants and animals, and the Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark has opened for the summer and features more than 32 state-of-the-art attractions. Click on the links to find more things to do at Moody Gardens and in Galveston, including shopping, museums, cruises, and dining.