With late-summer temperatures still reaching into the 80s and 90s, now is a great time to throw a backyard patio or pool party. So, give your friends and neighbors a call, fire up the grill and throw a fun, casual bash before school starts.

Traditional summer party fare, such as coleslaw, chips, hamburgers and hot dogs, are sure crowd pleasers, but maybe you would like to offer your guests a little something different. Here are a few fun ideas you can use for your late-summer get-together.

Market Fresh: Utilize the bounty of fresh produce from your garden or local farmer’s market to create healthy and delicious fare. Boil or grill several ears of fresh sweet corn and serve them with melted butter. For extra flavor, add chopped parsley and minced garlic to the butter. Ask your guests to bring a fresh bowl of Pico de Gallo or salsa and they can vote on their favorites. For desert, serve chocolate-zucchini brownies and raspberry bars.

Pizza Party: Make or buy pizza dough and fashion it into six-inch rounds. Offer several popular pizza toppings, including sauce, sausage, chicken, sweet peppers, onions, spinach, olives, and a variety of cheeses, and ask your guests to make their own pies. Cook them on the grill so you don’t have to turn on the oven and heat up your kitchen.

More S’mores: Create a fun and inexpensive s’mores bar for your guests. To up the ante from traditional s’mores, lay out a selection of graham crackers, including traditional, cinnamon and chocolate. Add a variety of marshmallows, such as strawberry, chocolate and vanilla, and caramel and vanilla. Build a chocolate platter, using milk, dark and white chocolate, peanut butter cups and Andes mints. Treat your guests to a variety of non-traditional toppings – jam, lemon curd, fresh strawberries, banana and apple slices.

If these ideas sound great to you, but you don’t have a backyard patio for entertaining friends and family, contact the professionals at Lowell Russell Concrete. They’ll design and install a beautiful backyard patio or pool area that you can enjoy for years to come.