Amanda Keyes: Birthday Ninja

By Mary Alice Hartsock

Academy birthday party host Amanda Keyes is described by her boss as “our amazing cruise director, cake-cutting ninja, tour guide, holder of stressed moms’ hands, and all around one of the best parts of our parties.” After that introduction, I pretty much expected Keyes to march into my office wielding a sword and wearing a ninja suit. Though I have to admit I was a little let down when that didn’t happen, my conversation with this mom of four boys revealed the many ways Keyes makes birthdays at the Academy unforgettable.

Amanda Keyes, birthday party hostKeyes began volunteering in the Academy’s exhibits nearly two decades ago, and about 10 years ago she began hosting Academy birthday parties. She knows from personal experience that planning a birthday party can be a stressful experience for families, who have to clean the house, prepare food, figure out how to entertain children and adult guests, and make sure everyone has a great time.

“If you plan to have your birthday at the Academy, you don’t have to deal with any of the hassle,” she says. “Not only can you avoid the mess, but also you can leave behind the aggravation of trying to entertain lots of people in your home.”

As an Academy birthday party host, Keyes is present from the time you walk in the door until the time you get in your car to make sure your day is as stress-free and pleasant as possible. She welcomes your guests for you and delivers food to your party. When it’s time to take a tour or cut the cake, she gathers guests together and keeps everyone focused. If a family requests a theme party, she provides plates, napkins, décor, and swag to make the party feel complete!

Kid eating cakeMost importantly, Keyes is a preventer of disasters. As an experienced mom, she can pick up on those all-too-common signals that a meltdown might be on the way. If kids are getting hungry, sleepy, or bored, she knows it’s time to change location, serve the cake, or engage everyone in an activity.

“Kids always end up having fun,” she says. “And the adults have a ball! They tell me that they learned so much and caught up with family and friends. And it’s fun for me because every time I come to work it’s a party!”

One thing Keyes loves to do during parties is give tours of the museum or exhibits. Depending on whether you choose a basic or theme party, Keyes can reveal secrets of the dioramas, guide you through our Butterflies! exhibit, or even provide a special tour of a traveling exhibit.

So why choose the Academy for a birthday party? Keyes tells me right away. Academy birthday parties are affordable, she says, and we provide much more than you might get at another venue. As your host, we stay with you every moment of the party, plus you get a private party room and a safe, educational, memorable, and FUN special day.

Want to know more about the Academy’s birthday parties? Find out how you can celebrate your child’s big day with dinosaurs, butterflies, bugs, animals, and more! We are here to make your special day memorable and a whole lot of fun.


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