Are you looking for date ideas in Columbus, Ohio? Whether you’re a Columbus native who’s run out of ideas or you’re simply looking for unique and memorable things to do as a couple, we’ve got you covered.
Here is the ultimate list of date ideas in Columbus, Ohio:
Workshops & Classes
Glass Axis Glass Blowing
Sign up for private glass blowing classes at Glass Axis. They also offer one-on-one glassblowing lessons for you and your date that teach you the techniques of fusing, torching, etc. If you’re so inclined, you can also sell your one-of-a-kind designs in their art gallery!k
Board & Brush DIY Crafts
Have a night filled with wine, whiskey, and beer, while you and your date learn, via the workshops offered at Board & Brush, how to make home décor, custom wooden signs, canvas pillowcases, and even etched glasses.
Glass Rooster Cannery
Learn all about cooking, canning, and even soap making at the Glass Rooster Cannery. You can also learn all about fermentation so you can make your own couples kombucha!
Emerald City Dance Class
Surprise your date by signing up for private ballroom dance lessons at Emerald City Dance. It only costs $99 to get a private lesson for you and your partner, along with admission to exclusive dance parties on Friday and Saturday evenings. They offer lessons in Swing, ballroom, and Latin dancing.
Clay Café Pottery
You and your date can get creative in the Clay Café Pottery workshop and create your own unique pieces! Live music is provided at each location every week.
Savoir Cooking Classes
Savoir offers cooking classes, and everyone LOVES cooking classes. The teaching staff/chefs at Savoir are world-class and can teach you a wide range of worldly cuisines. Beginner to advanced classes are offered, so don’t be scared off. Savoir also hosts private events and even wine tastings.
AR Workshop in Worthington
If you love arts and crafts, this is the perfect location for your first date! The AR Workshop offers DIY arts and crafts classes focusing on knitwork, canvas, wood, and flower arranging.
Fitness Classes at Columbus Commons
If you and your date are fitness geeks, the Columbus Commons Fitness Classes are a great idea. Take part in FREE 60 minute workouts, including Bootcamp style (barf central) yoga, Pilates, and more.
The Candle Lab
You guessed it–at The Candle Lab, you and your date can make your very own candles using any of their over 120 fragrances! In addition to candles, you can also make room sprays, body lotions, and more. Be clever and make your own “First Date Scented Candle.”
Romantic Dinner & Drinks
Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse
This is hands-down the best steak house in Columbus, Ohio. If you’re looking for a fancy dinner date, look no further than Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse. Steak, seafood, cocktails, and live entertainment are all you need to make a magical evening.
A Burlesque Show
Surprise your date with a night of burlesque at Forty Deuce! For only $55 per person, you and your date can enjoy a three-course meal, bottle service, and of course, an amazing burlesque show! (Author’s note–Burlesque shows are an incredible amount of fun. Seriously consider this!).
Boos and Brews Walking Tour
Cozy up to your date on this terrifyingly fun drinking and walking tour. This Boos and Brews Walking Tour lasts about 3 hours and takes you to different scary locations around Columbus, where you learn the haunted history of each location (while getting drunk).
Columbus Ale Trail
Leave your bug spray at home, folks, because this ain’t your typical trail. No, the Columbus Ale Trail is actually a pub crawl. If you and your date complete visiting all 46 participating breweries, you get an Ale Trail glass, a custom bottle opener, and an Ale Trail print! This is a great date for beer lovers!
Columbus Coffee Trail
If beer’s not your jam (or it just happens to be daytime), check out this coffee “trail” instead. On the Columbus Coffee Trail, you and your date will visit 17 different locations around Columbus. If you make it to 4 coffee shops, you get a free t-shirt, and if you make it to all 17 stops along the way, you get a mug!
Columbus Food Adventures
Columbus Food Adventures is a no-brainer date idea if you and your date are foodies. You can choose between private or public food tours, along with scavenger hunts and even van tours. They even pull out all the stops for season-themed tours.
Crimson Cup Coffee Innovation Lab
Coffee nerds, look no further. The Crimson Cup Innovation Lab is where you and your date will learn every aspect of the coffee-making process. You’ll learn about different varieties of beans, roasting methods, along with brewing and prepping methods.
Herbal Cocktail Trail
The Herbal Cocktail Trail is a great way to spend an evening out in Columbus. Get your passport stamped at each of the six locations along this trail! Partake in seasonal herb-infused cocktails (or mocktails) create by various local bars and restaurants in the Columbus area. If you and your date make it all the way to the end, you get a free t-shirt!
You don’t need to travel to Las Vegas to have the “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” experience. Hollywood Casino boasts over 200 slot machines and over 70 table games. They also have live entertainment and numerous 4-star restaurants—a great date idea for couples who want to let loose.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice-Cream
End your date night with a stop at Jeni’s Splendid Icecream. There are spots all over Columbus that are sure to be in your vicinity. Jen’s has a ton of unique flavors to choose from.
Meza Wine Shop
Not only is Meza Wine Shop a retail space, but it’s also a wine bar. Choose from tasking packs, a massive wine collection, and meat and cheese boards. You’re also able to order wine delivered to your home so you and your date can enjoy each other’s company in ultimate comfort.
Pick berries as a couple at Mitchell’s Berries. Not into picking berries? No problem. For only $50, you and your date can plop your butts down on hay bales and enjoy a rustic, gourmet, farm-to-table dinner.
Dinner in an Igloo at Vaso
Want to have a romantic dinner in an Igloo? I thought so. If you’re a lover of all things cold and romantic, look no further than Vaso. And ff an igloo doesn’t sound compelling, mosey on up to their rooftop bar and enjoy a cocktail while partaking in incredible views of Dublin (Ohio, not Ireland. Sorry).
North High Brewing
Meeting a Tinder date for a quick drink after work? North High Brewery has the best happy hour in the city. From 4 to 6 pm, Monday through Friday, you can enjoy discounted bar food and half-priced drinks.
Are you and your date looking for a great way to get to know all Columbus has to offer? Look no further than North Market. This 144-year-old public market has some of the best vendors from Columbus. The best part is that you’ll be supporting local Columbus businesses by eating, shopping, and drinking here.
Picnic with the Pops
Picnic with the Pops is located at Columbus Commons. Bring your date here for a picnic and be entertained by local musicians and the Columbus Symphony. Make sure to reserve your Lawn tickets before you arrive.
Spoil your date with scratch-made, hand-crafted baked goods. Sassafrass uses only local ingredients to make their food. A wonderful place to get breakfast the morning after!
Shadowbox Live is a mecca of entertainment in Columbus. Enjoy a variety of styles of shows, everything from Improv to Sketch Comedy, and even musicals. They also serve drinks and dinner, both of which you can enjoy in their cabaret-style seating.
The Big Bang Bar
You’ve heard of Dueling Piano bars, but you’ve never been. Well, here’s your chance! The Big Bang Bar has a massive drink menu and live music (cue the dueling pianists). The pianists take requests, so be sure to tip well and bring your dancing shoes.
A Columbus staple for over 40 years, The Refectory is located inside of a retrofitted 18th-century church. The main dining room has a warm, candlelit vibe, with a full menu of food that changes based on the season. They also host live music events in the upstairs choir room.
Veritas is a quaint little space that tantalizes your taste buds with their special tasting menu. They also offer specialty cocktails and a menu that changes based on the culinary theme of the season.
Masters of the specialty cocktail, the bartenders at Watershed Distillery use bourbon, gin, and other spirits to craft unforgettable drinks for your evening in Columbus. Also, feel free to order dinner from their massive menu of classic midwestern fare.
Mapfre Stadium, aka Historic Crew Stadium
Mapfre Stadium, aka Historic Crew Stadium, aka Columbus Crew Stadium, is home to the Columbus Crew Soccer team. It’s built on 15 acres and can hold more than 22,000 spectators (so there’s plenty of room for you and your date to make out). Concerts and other events are also held here.
Ohio Stadium at OSU
Wear red, eat weiners, and drink too much, oh my! If you and your date are sports fans, see the Ohio State Buckeyes play football at Ohio Stadium at Ohio State University. (so many Ohio’s in that sentence). Seeing an NFL game is a rare treat and is one guaranteed to be memorable.
Columbus Clippers Game
Take your date to Huntington Park for 9 wonderful innings of baseball! Admission to the park costs around $7 during College ID night and hot dogs cost just $.10 during Dime A Dog Night. If you don’t want to cheer on the Columbus Clippers, you can always sneak away to make out under the bleachers.
Columbus, Ohio’s Nationwide Arena is a great place to see some of the biggest entertainment events in the world. It’s in downtown Columbus, and it’s a great spot to bring your date to watch sporting events and see your favorite musicians.
Shopping, Strolling, & Leisure
Columbus Architectural Salvage
This is the ultimate date idea for the shopping & history lover. Columbus Architectural Salvage ventures into old homes and salvages antique fixtures, tiles, doors, fireplaces (you name it) and puts them on display (and for sale). Think of it as a museum where you can buy what you see. Woah…
There are tons of opportunities to go shopping at local businesses and to buy items directly from street vendors during the Moonlight Market Street Festival. Many restaurants stay open late so you can have some food while being entertained by musicians and artists.
There are a ton of things to see and do in this charming historic German Village. Couples can enjoy the various restaurants, village tours, a nature center, and even Shakespeare in the Park.
American Whistle Corp
If this date doesn’t wet your whistle, then I’m not sure what will! (sorry) The American Whistle Corp is a great point of interest date in Columbus, Ohio. You and your date will learn pointless facts about how whistles were used during the Crusades (not sure which side). You can even buy your own hand-made whistle at the gift shop.
Have an unforgettable Columbus date night in the Arena District. Tons of great venues can be visited here, included Nationwide Arena, A&R Music Bar, The Basement, Express Live!, and more. Whether you’re in the mood for a loud concert, or something more intimate, the Arena District has you covered.
Book loft in German Village
In German Village, there’s an incredible book store called The Book Loft. There are 32 rooms filled with books stacked all the way to the ceiling! This is a great date idea if you or your date are book lovers.
Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
Are you looking for a truly unique spot to take your date? The Billy Ireland Museum boasts over 2.5 million comic strip clippings and over 300 thousand original cartoons. The museum also has rotating exhibits throughout the year, focusing on different artists and social topics.
Gallery Hop Short North
The first Saturday of every month is Couples Art Exploration Day. Couples can explore galleries around Short North filled with exhibits, street performances, and a plethora of food and drink options.
Easton Town Center Mall
Easton Town Center is one of the best shopping date ideas in Columbus, Ohio. The old-fashioned look and feel of the buildings give your shopping experience a bit of whimsy and charm. Expect to find all your favorite retails stores in this mall, along with a handful of restaurants and even a comedy club.
The Hoover Mudflats Boardwalk
Located in Galena, this long, 1500 foot boardwalk is an insanely romantic date destination. Great for day or night dates! There are osprey nests at the end of the Hoover Mudflats Boardwalk, too, so be sure to grab that nest selfie (from a distance, of course).
Science, Nature & History
Who doesn’t like mounds? The ancient Shrum Mound is a burial ground located in Columbus, Ohio. Admission is free! Get your mound on while learning about past cultures.
African Safari at The Wilds
Columbus Zoo & Aquarium
A great date idea if you and your date are animal lovers! The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has a ton of exhibits, including a reindeer encounter, an elephant bath, and of course, sea lions. You can even get a painting done by a penguin if you sign up for their 21+ paint night.
Center of Science and Industry (COSI) After Dark
The Center of Science and Industry, located in Columbus, hosts an adults-only after-hours event most evenings. You and your date can visit all of the exhibits in the museum with drinks in your hands. COSI has 3 different levels to explore, packed with amazing exhibits. Plenty of sculptures to hide behind so you can make out too.
Arne Slettebak Planetarium
Spend a romantic evening under the stars at the Arne Slettebak Planetarium located at Ohio State University. Tickets are free, but the spacing is limited, so you’ll need to reserve your space on their website. Great make-out location!
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
These Botanical Gardens are open year-round and are a forgotten gem in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Some of the most popular exhibits include “Harvest Blooms” and “Blooms & Butterflies.”
Columbus Museum of Art
On Mondays, admission to the Columbus Museum of Art gallery costs $18, but on Sundays, it’s free! Not only is it a great place for art lovers to explore, but it’s also a great place to find statues to make out behind.
John Glenn Astronomy Park
Nothing sparks romance like a night gazing up into the stars. If planetariums aren’t your thing, come to the John Glenn Astronomy Park. Not only is it free to visit, but it’s also open every day of the year.
National Veterans Memorial and Museum
The National Veterans Memorial & Museum offers free admission is to veterans and active duty servicemen and women. The lives of military personnel, including veteran-, active-duty-, and retired personnel, are featured in the exhibits. This is a fantastic date idea for history and military buffs.
If you or your date are political history or Greek revival architecture buffs, this is perfect for you. Home to the Ohio General Assembly, you might catch those pesky lawmakers on their way to work! There are also shops and restaurants in the surrounding area.
The Perkins Observatory is an active research facility! Used by both the faculty and students at OWU, it’s also open to the public. You and your date can learn about space and the universe by taking one of the tours. You can even watch rocket launches!
Kelton House Museum & Garden
Walking through the Kelton House Museum & Garden in Columbus, Ohio, is a great way to learn more about history. The Kelton House Museum & Garden was an important part of the Underground Railroad, as slaves in need of protection sought refuge here.
Olentangy Indian Caverns
For an admission cost of only $9.95 per person, you and your date can spend the whole day in these beautiful underground caves. There’s also a petting zoo where you can pet cows, goats, and even deer! Last but not least, there’s also a Mini Golf range and a Treasure Hunt Maze.
Rest & Relaxation
Jacuzzi & Spa Hotels
There are plenty of romantic hotels in the Columbus area. Get a spa package for the two of you or rent a jacuzzi-equipped room and stay in for the night.
Woodhouse Day Spa couples massage
You and your date will experience a super relaxing, all-encompassing experience at The Woodhouse Day Spa. Along with the couples massage, they also offer foot, hand, and skin treatments.
Arts & Entertainment
There’s nothing better than catching a production of a Broadway play at the Ohio Theatre. You can also see ballet performances here and classical films and hear music from the Columbus Symphony.
Columbus offers one of their most exciting cultural experiences every second Friday of the month, from 7 to 11 p.m. Known as “Franklinton Fridays,” you and your partner can enjoy live theatre, art exhibits, and science demonstrations.
Funny Bone Comedy Club
The Funny Bone Comedy Club is perfect for couples who enjoy a good laugh. You can also enjoy a nice dinner while the comics are performing at this venue.
Caddy’s Delight Golf World
Play courses worldwide with your partner using this virtual golf experience at Caddy’s Delight Golf World without leaving the confines of Columbus.
Skate Zone 71
If you and your date like roller-skating, look no further than Skate Zone 71. Adults-only skate nights and $2 admission specials are offered every Tuesday at this Columbus roller skating rink. The first 100 paying admissions will also receive free laser tag admission!
Nightlight 614 Outdoor Theater
Bring your date to a movie under the stars at this 21+ outdoor film theater. Grab yourself a beer or wine and even dinner from one of the many local eateries’ food trucks. Nightlight 614 is located in Genoa Park with spectacular nighttime views of Columbus.
Vertical Adventures Rock Climbing
If you or your date are into fitness, Vertical Adventures is a sure-fire great date location. They have rock climbing, yoga, and personal training classes. A great place to learn how to rock climb!
Miner 49er, a Western-themed mini-golf course where you can also eat and drink, offers a nine-hole course or an 18-hole course for $8. Scene 75 is an inexpensive mini-golf location and offers a nine-hole course for just $5.
Chiller Ice Skating
The ice rink at Chiller Ice Skating is ideal for watching hockey and figure skating, as well as ice skating for couples. A wonderful winter date idea in Columbus!
If you or your date are film buffs, be sure to check out Drexel Theatre. They’re known for showing great independent films. Be sure to schedule a date for Monday nights, when tickets are only $6 per person.
Kinetic Columbus Rock Climbing
Climbers at Kinetic Columbus Rock Climbing will appreciate the gym space, which is 500 square feet and includes free WiFi, as well as 15-foot walls for climbers of varying skill levels.
Free Outdoor Drive-in Movies
That’s right, absolutely free Moonlight Movies are back at Fashion Place Mall! You and your date can watch a movie from the comfort of your own car. Gates open at 6:30, and movies start at 7:30. Bring your own snacks and drinks!
Kingmakers Board Game Parlour
With a collection of over 500 board games, Kingmakers Board Game Parlour is a great place to bring your date in Columbus, Ohio, and have some competitive fun. They serve beer and wine, and even snacks.
Coliseum X Laser Tag & Axe Throwing
Coliseum X is a great spot for couples to do something different! Axe throwing costs $20 per hour, it’s an exciting place to hang out with friends, and it has the largest indoor laser facility in Ohio.
Pins Mechanical Co.
Fun and unique gaming machines are available at Pins Mechanical Co., including (but not limited to) pinball, foosball, duckpin bowling, and pin pong.
Grand Prix Karting
Grand Prix Karting has the largest and longest indoor karting track in Central Ohio, along with laser tag and escape rooms! The go-kart rides are sure to get your adrenaline up as you’re allowed to go as fast as 35 mph!
16-Bit Bar and Arcade and Level One
16 Bit has over 40 vintage arcade games, including Donkey Kong, Duck Hunt, and Frogger, and on Tuesdays, two specialty drinks can be purchased for only $10 via their “Harry & Lloyd Special.” In addition to Mortal Kombat and Galaga, Level One offers $2 drafts and cocktails and $1 liquor from 4 to 7 pm each weekday.
Amaze Escape Room
Team up with your date to unravel the clues in the Amaze Escape Room. You’ll either leave closer than ever or broken up. Fun times none the less!
Shakespeare Play at Schiller Park
Summertime is a great time for you and your partner to enjoy outdoor theatre productions at the Actor’s Theatre of Columbus in Schiller Park. They put on multiple Shakespeare plays each year. See their schedule here.
South Drive-In Movie Theater
A cozy and nostalgic choice for a date night in Columbus, the South Drive-In Movie Theater, plays contemporary films and classics. The family dog is also welcome!
Columbus Axe Throwing
Nothing says “perfect date” like axe throwing. Release your inner rage and impress your date with your target skills at Columbus Axe Throwing.
The Murder Mystery Dinner Show
This interactive comedy and murder mystery dinner show promises an unforgettable date night experience. Actors are hiding in plain sight as you dine, and you might even catch one spying on you over dinner!
Rocky Horror Picture Show at Studio 35
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a special night at Studio 35 on the first Saturday of every month. Dress up for a special performance and follow up with some audience participation. If you’ve never seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show live, check out these tips.
A must-visit stop in Columbus’ Short North Arts District, the Sherrie Gallerie showcases modern artwork with daring perspectives and is a staple of the arts community.
Wexner Center for Arts
A great date for movie lovers! On Thursdays after 4 pm and the first Sunday of every month, admission is free at WEX! You and your date can indulge in indie films, documentaries, and both classic and contemporary movies.
Zip Zone Ziplining
Zip Zone Ziplining is a definite perfect date for the adrenaline-loving couple. There are 5 total courses with varying levels of difficulty. The treetop obstacle course boasts 60 challenge elements that will test your teamwork skills along the way.
Lynd Fruit Farm
You and your date can pick fruit together at Lynd Fruit Farm. They’re open during Spring, Summer, and Fall so that you can pick apples, peaches, strawberries, and even pumpkins. Check out their schedule and calendar here.
Bike with CoGo
You and your partner can rent a CoGo bike for just $2 per ride, or $8 per day, and take it around Columbus, getting some exercise, and exploring the city.
Bison Viewing at Darby Park
If your date likes animals, Darby Park is the perfect spot, with a magnificent herd of bison! There are also beautiful trails and open spaces, so a picnic is a no-brainer.
Explore the Columbus Waterways
If you and your partner are looking for nearby opportunities to canoe or kayak, Columbus has many great spots to choose from. The Hoover Reservoir, the Mohican River, and Big Darby Creek are just a few notable locations. Rent a raft and float down the Mohican River while whispering sweet nothings into each other’s ears.
Visitors can stroll along the boardwalk at Hayden Falls and picnic under a 35-foot waterfall! Indian Run Falls offers rushing waters, nature trails, and observation platforms. A great date idea for nature lovers.
Park of Roses in Clintonville
Featuring over 12,000 roses and 13-acre property, the Park of Roses in Clintonville is one of the largest public rose gardens in the country, a great place for romantic photos.
Hoover Reservoir Park
Hoover Reservoir Park’s scenic landscape offers a spot for peaceful picnics and fishing, plus it’s a great place for hiking.
Olentangy Paddle Kayaking
With both kayaks and canoes available to rent and guided tours available from Olentangy Paddle, you and your date can explore Columbus’ scenic waterways.
Open Barn Day at Sunrise Sanctuary
Get up close to animals at Sunrise Sanctuary, for FREE, on all Open Barn Days up until November. Visit at 3 p.m., and come prepared to get dirty! Close-toed shoes are highly recommended.
Scioto Audubon Metro Park
Scioto Audubon Metro Park boasts trails with lovely wooded views, a wonderful boardwalk that crosses wetlands, and beautiful city vistas. For those with pets, there is a great dog park as well!
Alum Creek Park Swimming
There is nothing better than a swim at Alum Creek State Park in the summer. The beach features grills, volleyball nets, and even various beach vendors! The park is open only during daylight hours.
This Topiary Park is filled with beautifully sculpted bushes over a sprawling 7-acres of land. It’s a rare treat to see, and is a great date idea! Contemplate art & nature at the same time while holding hands with your plant loving date.
Walk dogs at Franklin County Dog Shelter
The dogs at Franklin County Dog Shelter are in dire need of helping hands. While you’ll have to register for a training class before you can volunteer to walk the dogs, this is a wonderful date idea for animal lovers and is a good way to make a small difference.
Zoombezi Bay Water Park
Last but not least is Zoombezi Bay Water Park. You and your date are guaranteed to have a good time by trying the park’s wave pool, water slides, and lazy river. There’s also a cyclone tube ride! An affordable and fun date that costs only $35 per person.
BONUS: Cheap Food & Drink Dates
Get Dessert at Pistacia Vera
Pistacia Vera is a hidden gem in Columbus. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, be sure to take your date here and grab a handful of their famous $1 macarons. They also serve coffee, quiche, and anything else your little heart desires.
Fox in the Snow Coffee Shop
Grab some amazing hand-crafted espresso beverages at Fox in the Snow for less than $5 per person. They also sell amazing, rustic, hand-made baked goods.
Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace
Love wieners? Who doesn’t? Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Place is a Columbus staple. They offer vegan hotdogs as well. Be sure to come by on Wednesdays for “Weiner Wednesdays” and get a specialty hotdog and fries combo for only $5.
German Village Coffee Shop
Another great idea for a breakfast date for that morning after! Their amazing baked goods and coffee are only outdone by their extremely affordable prices. German Village Coffee Shop is known for their bacon and great waitstaff. Very specific, I know.
Sushi at FUSIAN
FUSIAN’s sushi rolls range from $7-$10, and if you want to go all out and spend twenty dollars at once, order the Surf & Turf roll, with braised steak, crab mix, cucumber, asparagus, sweet soy sauce, and sesame chili! A great sushi lover date idea.
The quickest way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. Accomplish this via Johnnie’s Tavern, a hole-in-the-wall diner known for having the best burgers in the city. A cheeseburger will set you back $7.25, but it doesn’t come with sides. Those can be added for $2-$3.
Mikey’s Late Night Pizza Slice
When you find someone as passionate about pizza as you are, you should not only hold them close but also treat them to some Mikey’s Late Night Slice. Pieces of pizza are just $4. For an extra treat, the Cheezus Crust pizza is a sandwich of two thin slices of pizza joined together as one with American cheese melted on the outside.
Whole Foods Wine Tasting
$5 after 5 events are a staple at Whole Foods. These take place every Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. You get great wine samples and food samples for just $5!
Woodlands Backyard in Grandview
Throughout the week, you can get super cheap drinks; $2 drafts, cocktails, and domestic beers! Save some money for the $4-per-game mini-bowling at Woodland Backyard.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on 114 Incredible Date Ideas in Columbus Ohio! Columbus is a wonderful city packed to the brim with adventure. Leave a comment below with any date ideas that I might have left off the list!
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