6 Tips to Enjoying the 2017 Atlantic City Air Show Thunder Over the Boardwalk

Posted on: August 21st, 2017 by and
Initially published in 2013 but updated annually.

Tips to enjoying AC Air Show


Every year nearly 1,000,000 people visit the beaches of Atlantic City to enjoy the Atlantic City Air Show Thunder Over the Boardwalk.


The Atlantic City Air Show Thunder Over the Boardwalk is held annually in midAugust. This year, the Atlantic City Air Show will be Wednesday, August 23rd from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.


I’ve been taking my kids to the Atlantic City Air Show Thunder Over the Boardwalk for at least 6 years and I have some tips to make the Atlantic City Air Show Thunder Over the Boardwalk more manageable for parents. After all, it is a once-a-year event and we want you to be there when the Atlantic City Air Show returns.


Tips to enjoying Atlantic City’s Air Show Thunder Over the Boardwalk

  • Take advantage of public transportation or the shuttles – This year there are shuttles running from Bader Field and a few other locations on the outside of Atlantic City. It maybe a bit of a hassle carrying your stuff on the shuttle. However, parking in some Atlantic City garages went as high as $25.
    • Park ‘n Ride at the SJTA Expressway Intercept lot Surface lot parking will be available on the Atlantic City Expressway at Milepost 4 (Eastbound) & Milepost 3.5 (Westbound). Shuttles will run continuously between the lot and Boardwalk (at Indiana Avenue) on the day of the Airshow (times to be determined).
    • AC Jitney Association: $20 Jitney Park & Ride:
      Surface lot parking will be available at Bader Field. Shuttles will run continuously on the day of the Airshow (times to be determined). All shuttles will drop off and pick up at Albany Avenue and the Boardwalk. For more information, visit jitneyac.com.
    • Consider also the traffic in Atlantic City, there’s a lot of stop and go and many missed the beginning of the show because they were sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Even better take the train into Atlantic City, kids under 5 ride free on New Jersey Transit.
    • 24-hour Parking: New York Avenue Garage – 19 South New York Avenue, Click here for rates
    • $10 Park & Walk: The Fairmount Avenue Lot is located at Tanger Outlets, The Walk – 2313 Fairmount Avenue on the corners of Fairmount and Mississippi Avenues (Hours: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM)
    • *Parking rates are subject to change. Space is subject to availability. Early arrival is recommended.


  • Arrive early! – Yes, admission is FREE. Get there early, whether you want to sit on the beach, on the boardwalk, or you’ve bought a VIP seat in a tent, get there early to claim your spot. The show starts at 11:15 am this year, but families will start arriving much earlier than that.


AC Air Show


  • By pass the VIP tent. Park yourself on the beach. – That whole grass is greener on the other side is kind of funny. Don’t be jealous of the VIPs in the tent. It’s not always a better seat. The food in the media tent is good but the view not so much.  With umbrellas and chairs all around us when we did it, the view was blocked and my kids didn’t have much room to move around.  Park your family on the beach, the kids will love playing in the sand and water in between the jets, blimps, and aerial acts and you won’t hear complaints of them being bored or have to worry about the non-family friendly adults. Plus it’s the best view, many jets will fly right in front of your eyes. You can’t see them when you’re back in a tent behind umbrellas.


  • Bathrooms – Nope, you don’t have to go trek into a casino when your child has to go potty. Behind the tents there are port-o-potties. They are spaced out, there was one every couple of feet. Make sure you have your flip flops or sandals on. Underneath the blaring sand the sun gets incredibly hot to walk on. I was reminded of this the hard way last year, when my littlest had to go to the bathroom and we tried to make the walk barefoot. It was an incredibly painful walk, even more so when I carried him the rest of the way.


  • Pack lunch and snacks – You’ve found your spot on the beach. You’re comfortable. The kids are good. Do you really want to track all the way up the beach to stand in lines for overpriced food? Enough said. Moms and dads you know what I mean.


  • Pack, pack, and pack again – Atlantic City Air Show Thunder Over the Boardwalk, will run from 11:30 am – 3:30 pm on Wednesday, August 23. If you arrive early that can be a long day in the sun for the kids. Make sure you are prepared. Pack:
    Thunder Over the Boardwalk 035

    Still one of my favorite Air Show photos.

    • FLIP FLOPS ~ Do not attempt to walk on the sand without footwear. It will be painfully hot against your bare feet.
    • Plenty of sunscreen & hats
    • Lunch and snacks (see above)
    • Sand toys
    • Swim suits & towels
    • Water bottles
    • Ear plugs if the sound will bother you or the kids
    • Diapers
    • Camera
    • Umbrella
    • Radio/Ipod – If you are close enough to the action you will be able to hear the announcers telling you about the aircraft. If not, and you want to be able to hear there are a number of stations you can tune into to hear it.
    • Airshow schedule – You can print this out online for free, check it out below, or buy one at the show.  But have it with you so when your kids start asking, “What is that?”, you can actually tell them.



For the performance schedule click over to this blog post, Amazing Performances for the 2017 Atlantic City Air Show: Thunder Over the Boardwalk.

Check out our Atlantic City Air Show pictures from 2013’s show on Facebook.



For more ideas for things to do with the kids in Atlantic City after the Air Show, please visit this link.


Did you go last year? Do you have any other tips to share?

4 thoughts on “6 Tips to Enjoying the 2017 Atlantic City Air Show Thunder Over the Boardwalk

  1. I would really love to take my kids to see an air show next summer. I really appreciated your suggestion to pack plenty of snacks and sunscreen. It does seem like a really fun day could be easily ruined with a hungry or sunburnt child.

  2. Ken. Gibbs says:

    Hi. Can you please tell me if the. A-10. Will be flying tomorrow. Thanks

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