Atlantic City Airshow Viewing: 10 Tips for Watching, including Practice Day

Should you go the Atlantic City Airshow?

In a word, absolutely! We just got back from our 3rd or 4th time attending the Atlantic City Airshow and I am already counting down the days until next year.

This year, we did something different. We attended the Atlantic City Airshow practice instead of the airshow. More on that in a bit.

the thunderbirds do a fly by at the atlantic city airshow practice

Where is the best place to watch the airshow in Atlantic City?

The airshow runs up and down the whole beach. There really isn’t a bad seat. However, I always try to position us right near Boardwalk Hall.

That is where the Coast Guard ship positions itself too. You want to be able to see the Coast Guard performance. If you can see the ship, you’re good.

How noisy is the Atlantic City Airshow?

Noisy enough to scare small children. (And me too, if I’m being honest.)

Some of the jets are very loud. Take that into consideration if you are bringing someone with sensory issues. You may want to bring sound canceling headphones.

The Atlantic City Airshow

When is the Atlantic City Airshow? It’s usually held around the middle to end of August. There were a few years that it was held in June. But, it got rained out so I think they moved it back to August to try and avoid that. The show itself is usually held on a Wednesday. Practice Day for the airshow is the day before. You can find full details on the Atlantic City Website.

Where to watch the Atlantic City air show

Where is the Atlantic City Airshow? Well, duh, Atlantic City. If you read the press releases, you’ll see that they cordon off quite a bit of space for the airshow.

How much does the Atlantic City airshow cost? It’s free! You will likely have to pay $10-$15 to park some place, but that’s it. The beach and the show are free.

What do you bring to the airshow? The boardwalk is right there, so you can get food, drinks and there are public restrooms. I prefer to pack lunches and snacks to save money and time. I don’t want to miss any of the great acts!

What acts are in the Atlantic City Airshow? This varies from year to year. But, you can expect a variety of both private and public/military/police aircraft and boats to perform. It is a really high quality show.

However, check the list of performers before you go. There have been years when our government was on a spending freeze, so there just weren’t as many acts, or as many good acts (mostly our military). If you go, you want to see the Thunderbirds or the Blue Angels, right?

Pictures of the Atlantic City Airshow

More Atlantic City Airshow Travel Tips:

  • The Practice Day is less crowded than the airshow day, but there is no Atlantic City Airshow Practice Schedule to follow. And, you won’t see all of the acts. Still, it’s a great option.
  • The Atlantic City Boardwalk isn’t like other boardwalks. Mind you, I have never once felt unsafe there. But, it just doesn’t have as much to offer as other family-oriented boardwalks. There aren’t as many restaurants and fun junky boardwalk shops like you may find in Ocean City or Rehoboth.
  • Atlantic City is one of the many New Jersey beaches that offer beach wheelchairs.
  • Casinos: Yes, AC is loaded with casinos. Some take up a block or more of boardwalk space. They have stores and restaurants inside them, but we’re always dressed for the beach when we go, so we don’t enter. Plus, I can eat at PF Chang’s anytime…who wants to go there at the beach?
  • Bring: sunblock, umbrella, towels, beach chairs, snacks and binoculars. If you go for the whole day, you could be sitting on the beach for 5-8 hours.
  • Parking: Lots of area parking. Most of it is $10 for the day.
  • Traffic: Traffic is bad the day of the actual show. If you hate traffic as much as Murray Goldberg, then go to the practice day, or plan on arriving really early. One year we missed the first hour of the show due to traffic. Also, plan on walking the boardwalk or going to the outlets or something afterward. Traffic getting out of the city right after the show is brutal.
  • Getting There: Super easy to get to. The Atlantic City Expressway dumps you right at Caesar’s and Atlantic Avenue, where Boardwalk Hall is.
  • Love thy Neighbor: If you go the day of the show, you will literally be sitting right next to someone on the beach. Almost a half-million people come to watch the show. Just food for thought.

See you next year!

For us, I like to do one last beach day before school starts and this fits the criteria perfectly. Perfect timing and perfect activity…even if we are shoobies.

Since we went to the Atlantic City Airshow practice day yesterday, as I am writing this, the airshow is taking place. So….we’ll see you there next year! Can’t wait!

Author’s Note: This post was originally written in 2013 but is updated annually as we go. So the dates may be a bit glitchy.

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