In case you need another reason to love summer, here’s one of the best: Summer offers incredible opportunities for world-class dates that cost next to nothing. Warm weather means a ton of outdoor activities are suddenly available, offering a brilliant smorgasbord of fun. Grab a tube of sunscreen and start making plans for experiencing the best that summer has to offer:

Outdoor performances

Just about every town and city has signature cultural events. Whether it’s Shakespeare in the Park, concerts in the town square, or a dance performance that kicks off your county’s strawberry festival, artists have migrated into the open air to spend some time with you. Check the “Events” page of your local newspaper early in the season, and roll out a series of surprises through the summer to delight your date. Don’t forget to support those musicians who played a free concert by buying their CD as a souvenir for your darling.

Cook up a storm

Farmer’s markets continue to blossom as more people become interested in local artisan foods. Do you have a delicious specialty that always wows your audience? Stroll together in the shade of marketers’ umbrellas, talking about the qualities of heirloom tomato breeds or comparing different handmade fruit chutneys. Fill a tote bag with luscious fresh produce, spicy herbs and a bouquet of just-picked flowers, and enjoy a lighthearted companionship while the two of you create a low-cost gourmet dinner. For a bonus, stop at a local winery and splurge on a single celebratory bottle to add a touch of romance to your meal.

Floating and boating

It’s hot. It’s summer, so of course you should head for the water. Take your summer dating one step further and invest in something that will let you share the fun. Rafts and inner tubes often rent for just a few dollars, enabling you to float down a scenic stretch of river or find a solitary inlet of a lake on a busy summer day. Other settings may offer canoe, kayak rentals, and even boogie boards and surfboards at coastal beaches. Whichever body of water you want to enjoy, renting your own personal vessel is an affordable way to create memories to keep you warm next winter.

These ideas are only a starting point, of course. With beaches and concerts, farms and festivals, fairs and parades, your opportunities for inexpensive fun together are unlimited. And when all that hot sun becomes too much, a discount daytime movie in an air-conditioned cinema can be the perfect oasis!