5 activity suggestions for this Memorial Day weekend.

Honor those who died

The meaning of Memorial Day often gets lost because of the unofficial start of summer, so make sure to take time to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Check newspaper listings for remembrances being held in town that your family can attend, and don’t forget to observe the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day. For history and other information, check out the government’s Memorial Day site, Remember.gov.

A time for family

Don’t forget to celebrate the holiday weekend with your family in the form of a picnic or barbecue. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant – just make sure you have plenty of food and an activity or two planned for the youngsters. Another way to get the young ones involved is to have them make (or decorate) a flag cake. Here’s a simple recipe from About.com:

- 1 package cake mix
- 1 can vanilla frosting
- Red and blue gel icing

Prepare and bake cake according to the box directions. Let cool. Frost with vanilla frosting, then make a blue rectangle in the upper left corner of the cake, along with a couple star shapes. Then add red stripes to the remaining cake so that it looks like the U.S. flag.

Start your engines

“The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” – the Indianapolis 500 – takes place Sunday at 1 p.m. EDT. You can catch the action on ABC or on several radio stations. For more information about the race and Indy 500 history, go to the official site, www.indy500.com.

Night at the movies

Memorial Day weekend traditionally sees the opening of one or two blockbuster movies, and this year is no different. For a good-for-the-whole-family film, check out “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” which opens Friday. The film is a sequel to Ben Stiller’s popular original, and this one looks bigger and badder. For older teens and adults, check out “Terminator Salvation,” one of the most anticipated action movies of the year. This is the fourth movie in the “Terminator” franchise and stars Christian Bale (but not Arnold Schwarzenegger, who’s busy being a governor these days). It opens Thursday in most markets.

Be safe

Memorial Day weekend also, unfortunately, is the beginning of accident season. The Air Force has even labeled this weekend as the start of “101 Critical Days of Summer,” a time when auto accidents and other injuries abound. So please do your part and don’t drink and drive, and make sure to buckle your safety belt (the "Click It or Ticket" campaign ramps up this weekend also).

GateHouse News Service