***This is our experience from 2012 A.C. Air Show. This year’s event is being held June 26, 2013 11AM-4PM***
I always thought it looked so cool when media flashed their badges and got to go behind THE VELVET ROPE. Okay, it usually isn’t really velvet but let’s play pretend here, shall we? I’ll let you in on something. It is pretty freaking cool. See press badge below for proof. You get to go in through the special door, or, in this case, beach access, since we were attending the Atlantic City Air Show, Thunder Over the Boardwalk. Yes, people in front of us got re-directed because they didn’t have the proper pass. I will say the downside to press passes is that you walk a maze to get where you need to be versus regular passes that let you walk right out on to the same beach. You spend the whole day fielding “What press are you with?” “I write online for a website” is by far the best answer since “blogger” gets blank stares even now in our technologically advanced era.
We were invited to attend as press since, well, of course we (some friends and I) write, and even better, we have families. Of course everyone knows Atlantic City, NJ for its casinos. Family friendly and casino don’t really go together. However, there is more to Atlantic City than the glitz and I can promise you, the AC Airshow is one of those things that is perfect for families. Actually, Atlantic City beaches are perfect for families all around. Did you know Atlantic City beaches are FREE? I did not. I knew Wildwood was free. I didn’t know I had another option besides trekking a mile to the actual shoreline, which I have happily done to save on those expensive beach tags.
Traffic going to the Boardwalk wasn’t bad at all. A little slower moving but nowhere near what I expected. I anticipated 30 minutes to get 5 miles. I was wrong. It was about 15. We had a parking pass good for under Boardwalk Hall, which was valued at $20 so we got out even cheaper but I can tell you that $20 is totally worth it for how close to the actual beach you get. Up an escalator and we were in front of the boardwalk. Cross the boardwalk and we were on the beach.
As “press” we were treated to all the cold drinks we could need, lunch, ice cream and snacks. I felt like a VIP. Atlantic City took such good care of us. A shout out to A Magic Mommy, Jersey Family Fun, Karen Martin, and all who made that possible.
We found a spot on the beach and crashed to enjoy the day. I think I was more excited about the airplane show than the rest of my family. I am an airplane geek. I still stop and look up at the sky when I hear an airplane (Told ya I’m an airplane geek).
The kids loved having another chance to hit the beach and splash in the water with my husband and their friend. They dug holes and built sand castles and threw sand. Er, no, that wasn’t my kid. But yeah, my kid WAS the one growling at the sea gulls and chasing them away. Thankfully it was viewed as a comedy show, with more than one person laughing. The growling was because I told him not to scream.
Oh, before I forget, the Air Show is FREE. They had $20 parking, which included being shuttled to the Boardwalk. You know me, right? FREE is my favorite word. Bring your food, pay $20 for parking, get a free fantabulous show AND beach time. You have a fun and frugal day trip or an excuse to splurge on a hotel room. The only thing I would do differently is wait until traffic cleared out a bit more before leaving. I think that if we had waited to leave until 5:30 (about 2 hours after the show ended) we would have had a lot less traffic to deal with. Be prepared!!! It took over an hour to get out to the Expressway. Once we hit the Expressway though, it was smooth sailing. The other thing you want to do is TAKE CHANGE. There isn’t a whole lot of warning that you are going to hit $0.75 toll booths until you do. Be prepared with several dollars worth of quarters.
Now on to the show. With a blimp kick off, parachute teams, Fighter jets, a Coast Guard Search and Rescue demo, GEICO Skytypers, The Caveman Race Boat, which is still not faster than a plane, and so many other jets and planes, it was a day well spent.
My favorite part of the air show was the fact that most, if not all the events were, in a way, a tribute to our military. It was also sobering and hit home that these pilots don’t learn to do this just to wow us and put on a show, they learn these tactics and maneuvers for a greater purpose. These are our Navy, Coast Guard, Army, Air Force, State Police, Medevac – people who put their lives on the line to protect, to serve, and to rescue. To you I say “Thank You.” I also loved the parachute teams. Aside from feeling slightly nauseous at the thought of hurling myself out of a jet from thousands of feet in the air and praying that my chute opened, it was great. Okay fine. My imagination is way too vivid and it scared the living daylights out of me but it was cool to watch at the same time. It’s amazing how they can change direction, keep formation, and land exactly where they want to, on an itty bitty piece of land.
A huge thanks goes to the VisitAC, A Magic Mommy, Honest Tea, and Fralingers Taffy for sponsoring this great event for us. Let me say, the swag was AWESOME!
Thank you also to Jennifer Auer with Jersey Family Fun. Loved chatting with you and loved getting the Kids’ Construction Wearables stunt plane to try out.