This year, the German Village Society will look to add children's programming at the Meeting Haus, 588 S. Third St.

This year, the German Village Society will look to add children's programming at the Meeting Haus, 588 S. Third St.

Shiloh Todorov, director of the GVS, said the hope is to develop the second-story auditorium, known as the Brent Warner Fest Hall, into a place for multigenerational activities.

Over the past several months, she has been working with a loose-knit playgroup representing about 35 families, who have infrequently used the space for recreational needs.

"The great thing is the size of the space, so kids can tear around on tricycles and the like as though they're at the park," Todorov said.

She said she has reached out to various arts and science groups - BalletMet, Phoenix Theatre, Columbus Children's Theatre and COSI, to name a few - that would provide educational opportunities for a nominal fee.

"The space is very flexible in terms of programming," she said. "We have the stage, so partnering with a drama group or musical educator is a slam dunk. The rest of the space can be set up with tables or easels or blankets for stories or indoor and outdoor play."

The next step, Todorov said, is to connect with parents, schools and other groups to determine the interest level and "narrow down what we should start with." She expects to have the system in place by summer.

German Village resident Steve Morbitzer, who has two children, ages 3 and 5, said he supports the effort.

"I think it's very exciting," Morbitzer said. "My family absolutely is going to use it. We absolutely are going to tell other parents about it. It's great to have another resource in the area."

Morbitzer, who contributes weekly information on children's activities through Todorov's blog on, likes the focus on educational activities, not simply creating another place for children to play.

"It really is expanding what their experiences are," he said. "It's not just keeping them busy."

The Brent Warner Fest Hall is a widely used resource during the year. It routinely is the site of several concerts and parties.

The Central Ohio Watercolor Society held an exhibit there last fall and drew many visitors, Todorov said.

"We are looking at these programming options for all ages because our mission is to serve the community, in part by using the Meeting Haus to gather and celebrate and build our bonds with neighbors," she said.

"Also, to sustain and grow membership, we need to reach out to neighbors and provide value, fill a need in their lives and ask them to engage with us in a way that's meaningful to them."