Oireachtas can seem daunting at first. But with all the chaos and crowds it is still very possible to have a fun trip without totally breaking the bank! I hope the tips on this page will help at least a little 🙂
Oireachtas is held at the Downtown Marriott. Generally people stay there or at the Courtyard Marriott which is across the street. Our first year we stayed a few blocks away at the Hilton Garden Inn, it was a great hotel but what a pain in the butt dragging everything to the Marriott and then having to lug it around all day was. We also stayed at The Lowes across the street once, amazing hotel but VERY pricey. We stay at the Courtyard now. In my opinion the only reason to choose the Marriott over the Courtyard is the pure convenience of staying the same hotel that the competitions are in. Don’t get me wrong, there is something to be said for that but life is peaceful at the Courtyard! They have free Wi-Fi in the rooms, Marriott does not. Most rooms have mini fridges. The wait for elevators is much much shorter. It has a hot tub, which is often filled with people but still if you can get a space it’s oh so relaxing! I would say that 9 times out of 10 you can be from the Courtyard to the Marriott in less than 10 minutes.
Neither hotel has breakfast included. One year I brought our toaster, we have even seen people with microwaves on their luggage carts! A small breakfast that can be taken on the go is preferable if you have competitions in the AM anyway. Granola bars, fruit etc. I have a large tote bag that I carry with me with snacks, tissues, gum, napkins, the kitchen sink (haha kidding), and water.
In the direct vicinity of Oireachtas is a 24 hour 7/11. They have a nice selection of beverages, sandwiches, snacks and even hard boiled eggs. The Reading Market is kitty corner to the Marriott, I strongly recommend going there. Every food you could want is available there, at mostly affordable prices. Be aware that it is always packed in there though, so keep your dancers close! The market’s hours are: Monday through Saturday: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm and Sunday : 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. They are closed on Thanksgiving Day. There is a Starbucks right inside the Marriott, or if you prefer Dunkin Donuts there is one accessible by going out past the Liberty Ballroom and riding the escalators down! Other restaurants that are literally right there: Chili’s, Hard Rock Cafe, Maggiano’s and the restaurants inside the hotels.
Last year we discovered this amazing pizza place called Zio’s. They have fantastic food AND deep fried canoli balls which are easily in my top 10 desserts ever. Zio’s is a short walk from the Marriot. The address is 111 S. 13th Street. If you go out the front doors of the Marriot, on the right you will see a cross walk. This is 13th street, cross the street heading south down 13th and in about 10 minutes you’re there!
I was able to use a restaurant.com gift certificate at 13 inside the Marriott for several years but I see they aren’t on the list any longer. However, there are many restaurant’s within 1 mile of the Marriott still on there. I urge you to check that out to save some money. There is even a restaurant.com app to download so that you don’t have to print anything.
Chinatown is close by as well, that’s always worth checking out!
There are drug stores, clothing shops and a mall all in quick walking distance. So pretty much anything you may need is accessible easily. Each year we have forgotten something, which generally means a walk to Kmart or CVS.
Of course each hotel has valet parking but if you prefer to save a few dollars and use a lot or garage you can find them by using this:
Another thing I love to tell people about is the Dickens Village across the street at Macy’s. It’s awesome! You walk through and are told the story of “A Christmas Carol”. Oh my gosh I love it! The center of the store has a light show that is really impressive too. It’s really worth going over to check out.
If you are bringing non-dancer children make sure they have things to occupy themselves while waiting for their siblings to get on stage because it might be awhile. As with feising you won’t be able to tell exactly when you will be done for the day, so keep that in mind when trying to make plans.
Each night there’s a party in the lobby. These are a great way to relax and cut loose with your dance family! Or if you prefer there’s a lovely bar over at the Courtyard that is often a lot quieter!
Being a first time “O” parent can be stressful, it’s like a feis, only so much MORE. Just breathe it will all be OK. There are literally hundreds of families there who were newbies once too so you aren’t alone. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, we’ve all been there 🙂