Initially published in 2013 but updated annually.
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 August. This year, the Atlantic City Air Show will be Wednesday, August 21st. Past events lasted from from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.
I’ve been taking my kids to the Atlantic City Air Show Thunder Over the Boardwalk for at least 8 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.
6 Tips to enjoying Atlantic City’s Air Show Thunder Over the Boardwalk
Know where to park for the Atlantic City Air Show Thunder Over the Boardwalk
- Take advantage of public transportation or the shuttles – complimentary round-trip shuttle service to Brighton Park and the boardwalk will be provided from Borgata’s North Entrance beginning at 10 am. It may be a bit of a hassle carrying your stuff on the shuttle. However, parking in some Atlantic City garages went as high as $25.
- 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.
- 9 Atlantic City casinos offer parking, rates vary.
- If you’ll be shopping at Tanger Outlets, eating at Applebee’s or Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse you can get free or reduced parking.
- 24-hour Parking: New York Avenue Garage – 19 South New York Avenue, Click here for rates
- Check this site for more parking lot locations.
Arrive early for the Atlantic City Air Show
- 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 usually starts at 11 am, but families will start arriving much earlier than that.
Find your own spot on the beach
- Bypass 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.
Locate where the bathrooms are before you sit down for Thunder over the Boardwalk
- 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.
Eat on the beach at the Atlantic City Air Show
- Pack lunch and snacks – You’ve found your spot on the beach. You’re comfortable. The kids are good. Do you really want to trek 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 am – 4 pm (time to be confirmed) on Wednesday, August 21. If you arrive early that can be a long day in the sun for the kids. Make sure you are prepared. Pack:
- 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 or headphones if the sound will bother you or the kids
- Radio– 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.
Print the Atlantic City Air Show Schedule
- You can access the schedule online for free, (will be updated as performances are confirmed) 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 our calendar event or visit the airshow website.
My top 3 favorite Atlantic City Air Show: Thunder Over the Boardwalk performances include:
1. Geico Skytypers & Geico Speedboat Race
As their name suggests, the Skytypers do skywriting in puffs of smoke. Most planes that spell out names or create midair images do it laboriously, one letter at a time, using the craft’s thick emissions trail. “We’re the only guys in the country that do it digitally at altitude, through a computer,” says Arken. [Arken is commanding officer and lead pilot for the Geico Skytypers, a squadron of six vintage World War II aircraft that performs precision flight maneuvers at airshows around the United States.] “We can do 25 letters in a minute and a half.”
2. ChefPitts Pitts Aerobatics
3. FAA flybys
With all the great performances and fun in the sun and sand what is will your favorite one be? Would love to hear what everyone’s favorite performances are and what has been your all time favorite performance if you have gone multiple times over the years. Post a comment below or on our Facebook page!
Check out our Atlantic City Air Show pictures from 2014’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?