1. Moore's Pumpkin Patch & Christmas Trees: Pick up the perfect pumpkin for Halloween at this family-owned pumpkin farm, and while you're there, let the kids have some fun on the rides. There's a carousel, a mini train, spinning pumpkins, airplanes, and slides. Rowell Ranch Rodeo Park, 9405 Dublin Canyon Road, 510-886-6015.
2. Golden Tee Golfland: This is a great place for families to hang out, but not get in each other's way. Adults can tee off at the two golf courses, each fun and unique in its own way. One course is slightly more difficult than the other, so non-golfers, come armed with a load of patience. For children, there is a small arcade with a number of video games such as Drum Mania, Raptor Captor and Wheel of Fortune. 2533 Castro Valley Blvd. (between Stanton Avenue and Park Way), 510-537-2168.
3. Castro Valley Park & Community Center: There's something for everyone at this park — enough open space to stretch your legs and quieter shaded areas to catch up on that book you're reading. There are picnic areas fitted with tables and BBQ grills, tennis and basketball courts, a soccer field, and three playground areas for children of different age groups, complete with sandboxes, swings, jungle gyms and a small rock-climbing zone. The Chanticleers Theater stages its plays at the community center year-round at reasonable prices. 18988 Lake Chabot Road, 510-888-0118.
4. Geocaching: Let loose the hidden explorer in you. Spend a day cracking puzzles and solving clues to find hidden treasures through a popular activity called geocaching, in which seekers use GPS devices to find hidden objects. There could be some walking, driving, climbing, or even swimming involved. If you take something from the cache, remember to leave behind something of equal or greater value. Visit the official geocaching website for more information on how to hide and seek a cache in Castro Valley.
5. Lake Chabot: The 315-acre lake, brimming with trout, catfish and bass is an angler's delight. A popular event here is the annual spring fishing derby. For those too impatient to wait for the bait to bite, there's the 280-acre Fairmont Ridge with its scenic views, the Lake Chabot History Walk and chartered tour boats for a jaunt on the lake. Then, of course, there are the picnicking areas, and the hiking and running trails. 17600 Lake Chabot Road, 888-327-2757.
6. Castro Valley Soccer Club: The club, which offers several levels of youth soccer, begins its season on the first Saturday before Labor Day, and continues for the next nine or 10 weekends. Which means now's the perfect time to jump in, join a team and have a ball. Most divisions play games on Saturday and some play on Sunday. If you'd rather stay out of the action, grab a spot on the bleachers and cheer for your favorite team, or sign up to volunteer for the club. 20212 Redwood Road, 510-537-5247.
7. Cull Canyon: This hangout zone, with its little manmade lake, trails and recreation areas, gets extremely crowded some days. However, it's very well maintained, with grassy areas, lots of shady areas for picnics, BBQ pits, a clean beach and clear blue water. The swim lagoon is closed after Labor Day, but a larger lake is open for fishing year-round. 18627 Cull Canyon Road, 510-562-2267.
8. Biking: Nothing's wrong with the world when the sun's on your back, a cool breeze is brushing your face and you're biking down a winding road. Castro Valley has a number of bike paths, some smooth and basic, others tricky. Choose your route, pack a lunch and stop somewhere to enjoy a picnic. Visit www.bikemap.net for bike routes near you.
9. Ice cream and a stroll: Indulge your sweet tooth. Visit any number of ice cream parlors and smoothie shops along Castro Valley Boulevard, then take to the pavement with the family, instead of hunkering down inside. Grab a quick smoothie at Blenzers (20668 Rustic Drive), binge through the list of handmade goodies at Loard's (3389 Village Drive), or grab a deluxe ice cream sundae at Knudsen's (3323 Castro Valley Blvd.). Bon appétit!
10. Castro Valley Farmers' Market: Held in the parking lot of the Castro Valley BART station, this small farmers' market is a great place to hang out with the family, soak up the sun and exchange greetings with shoppers while munching on kettle corn. Every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., vendors sell tamales, bread, dips, olive oil, baked goods, pizzas, pot pies, and fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. May 15 through Oct. 30, Castro Valley BART Station, Redwood Road at Norbridge Avenue.