By Monica Heisey
Good news, lovers on a budget, summer is the best time for free and pay-what-you-can type excursions. We’ve rounded up some cheap and fun ideas for you and your main squeeze (or squeezes—lots of these change up weekly so you have the option to recycle the date with new arm candy… what? It’s the summer!)

1. Catch the TD Dream in High Park presents Romeo and Juliet (PWYC)
This summer, Canstage is putting on a slightly abbreviated version of the world’s most famous love story. Bring your Romeo or Juliet, a picnic, a blanket and some tolerated-but-not-technically-allowed wine for a lovely evening at a price you set yourself. (Although the suggested donation is $20.)

2. Bike, walk and laze around the Toronto Island ($8)
Grab your bikes (or rent some) and head over to the island for a day of lazing around. Take the ferry over to Ward’s Island, and wind your way over to Centre and make out in the hedge maze. Or, for a truly sexy date, hit up the nude beach together.

3. Watch Movies in the Mess Hall at Camp Drake ($5)
At the Drake Underground’s screening of Stand By Me last week, the vegetarian sloppy joes may have impressed my date more than my Verno impression, but either way we swilled beer, ate popcorn and held hands in the dark for $5 each. Not too shab. The screenings are Tuesdays at 7 pm.

4. Check out the Bata Shoe Museum (PWYC)
Thursday nights from 5-8, it’s pay-what-you-can admission to this Bloor Street homage to footwear through the ages. Maybe your date has a foot fetish?

5. Stargaze at York Observatory (Free)
On Wednesday nights York University hosts a quick astronomy lesson and allows the public free use of its observatory from 9 to 11 pm. Worth the trek; bring your camera.

6. Explore the National Film Board (Free)
Ever wonder about that cool-looking building across from the Scotiabank Theatre? It’s the National Film Board, home to a cornucopia of Canadian films from the quirky to the touching to the downright bizarre. Cram two into their digital viewing stations and choose from over 5,000 documentaries, or pop by on Saturday at noon for a free animation screening.