Color Me Quarantined

These Free Houston-Centric Coloring Books to Keep Kids (and Adults) Entertained During Quarantine

Did we mention they’re free?

By Laura Furr Mericas

Architects, museums, and more have drawn up Houston-ified coloring and activity books that are making staying inside our homes (and the lines) a little more enjoyable. While most are geared toward kiddos, we’re certainly won't judge if you whip out a mad colored pencil set to keep your mind occupied in the coming weeks.

All of the books and pages listed here can be downloaded for free (no stimulus check required). But they do beg the question: Who has a home printer anymore? And if you do … can you share? 

The Center for Pursuit coloring page from Gensler's Amazing Cities Kids

Gensler Amazing Cities

Color in the TMC, or put your own twist on a professional architect’s concept drawings in nearly 200 pages of designs, sketches, and activities by Gensler’s Texas offices. With two volumes—Amazing Cities and Amazing Cities Kids—the downloadable books will keep creative kids and design aficionados entertained for days. The world-renowned architecture firm has thought of just about everything, including paperless coloring options and an adorable monkey named Art for the kids edition. Be on the lookout for local projects throughout the pages and share your work with the hashtag #GenslerAmazingCities

A mural by Pinklomein depicted in Visit Houston's Coloring With Hou downloadable book

Coloring With Hou

Missing Houston’s murals? Here’s your chance to create your own on a much smaller (and way less involved) scale. Download 15 pages that capture Houston’s public art from the likes of Donkeemom’s astronaut at 8th Wonder Brewery to the iconic Houston Is Inspired mural by Gonzo247. Share your creation with Visit Houston by using the hashtag #MissingHou on social media. 

The African Elephant page from the Houston Museum of Natural Science coloring pages

Houston Museum of Natural Science Coloring Pages

From African Elephants to Atlas Beetles, the HMNS’s 13 illustrations give kids a chance to explore an array of animals from the page with lots of space for coloring and informative write ups about the worldly creatures and museum history. The separate HMNS family guide also includes puzzles, word searches, and an incredibly involved hidden objects search that looks like it could fill hours and hours of idle time. 

The Downtown Sugar Land coloring page by artist Charles Bey

City of Sugar Land Play at Home Pages 

Outside-the-Loop-ers might recognize five animal species found in these pages at local green spaces like Cullinan Park and Brazos River Park, as well as the charming illustration of Downtown Sugar Land by artist Charles Bey among these downloadable pages created by City of Sugar Land Parks and Recreation. There are options for little ones and more advanced patterns for pro-colorers, and the good people in the parks and rec department ask that you tag them (@SugarLandParks) when you share with the hashtag #PlayAtHomeSL. 

A steak on the grill in Texas Humor's The Texas Quarantine Activity Book

The Texas Quarantine Activity Book

While a surprising portion of the book is devoted to teaching children the difference between Texas and Oklahoma, there are some Houston ties that we can get excited about—think Beyoncé trivia and rodeo references. Plus, what red-blooded Texan doesn't want to color in a Texas-shaped steak on the grill? Bonus points if your preferred temperature is distinguishable from your shading techniques. Enter your email address here to download, and tag the creators (@texashumor) when you share. 


Updated 4:30 p.m. Apr 21

 Since this post first went live, more Houston and Texas pages have been brought to our attention. So if you’ve somehow made it through all 200-plus of the pages above, or are looking for something new, keep reading and color on!

Color a River Oaks mansion in Nan and Company Properties and Christie’s International Real Estate Coloring Book.

Nan and Company Properties and Christie’s International Real Estate Coloring Book

Geared toward helping colorers and doodlers decompress during one of the most stressful National Stress Awareness Months in history, this downloadable book packs in word searches, illustrations, cut outs, and relaxing patterns in its 24 pages. The real estate company also invites drawers to design their own dream homes and colorers to fill in the lines for existing designs from River Oaks, The Woodlands, and other local neighborhoods.

The TC Energy Center from Hines' Buildings A to Z

Buildings A to Z

Hines—you know, the giant real estate firm behind many downtown towers and The Galleria—came out with its Buildings A to Z coloring book earlier this month to support their employees working from home with kids. They saw such a positive internal response, they decided to release the 26 pages of iconic Hines projects to the public last week. Illos of six Houston towers, plus the Houston Zoo African Forest Exhibit, grace the pages of this global guide while other designs take kids (or adults) as far as Shanghai.  

A longhorn from Texas Humor's ‘Nother Expansion Pack

The Texas Quarantine Activity Book Expansion Pack and the ‘Nother Expansion Pack

The folks at Texas Humor were busy last week, releasing two expansions to their activity book above—totaling 18 new pages of drawing prompts, word scrambles, spot the difference games, and more. Enter your email address to receive more updates, or download expansion pack one and expansion pack two (aka ‘nother expansion pack) here.

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