Inside: We love the Atlantic City Air Show! So I’m sharing my best tips on where to watch the Atlantic City Air Show and much more. We’ve gone over a dozen times.

I just checked my son’s back to school schedule for August, and we are a GO! I am so excited! We can attend the 2023 Atlantic City AirShow, and I’m already planning the best place to watch.

I hate to say this online…but the best place to watch the Atlantic City Airshow is…..a little bit further down.

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

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

Should you go the Atlantic City Airshow?

In a word, absolutely! We just got back from our 9th or 10th time attending the Atlantic City Airshow and I am already counting down the days until next year.

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.

Atlantic City Airshow Practice Day

This year, we went down on Monday and stayed through Thursday. We just wanted a short getaway before school started. We went to the Atlantic City indoor waterpark on Tuesday. They had the roof open at the waterpark, but we could hear planes more than we could actually see them. But, we were far north, at Showboat.

On Monday, we did see some planes practicing. We heard more planes on Tuesday, but it’s still not near the amount of volume of planes that you see on Wednesday.

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 and sometimes even on Monday too. You can find full details on the Atlantic City Website.

YouTube video

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-$20 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!

Where is the best place to watch the Atlantic City Air Show? Well, that depends. We choose the cheap option, which is to get there early and stake a spot on the beach near Boardwalk Hall. That is pretty much the center of it all and then the bathrooms are nearby for us.

But, there also is the Rainforest Cafe and other restaurants that have rooftop decks. (and presumably, bathrooms) But then you are sitting in a restaurant all day and I’m not sure how appealing that is.

I think it may be a decent option for those with additional needs, and who cannot tolerate being on a beach all day.

Then, there are beach clubs and cabanas. There is a whole assortment of beach clubs on the Atlantic City beach. These will not be free. And, there are a few that are only for adults.

It’s an area that is cordoned off, and you pay to enter. Once inside, they provide you with food and drinks (sometimes an additional charge) and other amenities.

If you want to see things like the Army people being dropped from planes, and the Coast Guard water rescue demo, you need to be near Boardwalk Hall. If you are too far north or south of that, you won’t be able to see them.

In 2023, the Air Force Thunderbirds were 2 hours past their scheduled time, due to weather. Our hotel was 1.5 miles north of Boardwalk Hall. Still, we got tired of waiting (the Thunderbirds are always the last act) so we went back to the hotel. We could still see them and hear them, but it was not as good as when you’re near the center of the action.

YouTube video

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

Atlantic City Airshow Practice Day and More

  • 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-$20 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 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!

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