Okay, on the computer this time. Here's a few (semi-random) thoughts:
1. Generally suggest staying downtown. It's got the most concentration of things to do, particularly restaurants & bars and if very walkable (even has some skyways if the weather isn't cooperating). Similarly, it's centrally located for access to anything you decide to do that's not in downtown. Now, if it turns out you figure out something specific to do, you might be better off getting hotel that might be closer, but I'd only do that if you have one or two specific things that you'll be spending a lot of time doing.
2. Restaurants: St. Elmo's probably gets the most consistent "must eat here" suggestions for Indy. I'm not as much of a fan of it as many though - not saying it's bad by any means, it's definitely good - I just don't love it as much as others (particularly the shrimp cocktail, I think it is about as subtle as a bag of rocks). One that I've been too recently that I like is Fogo de Chao - it's also not cheap, but a carnivore's delight - that said also a good salad bar. There's plenty of other downtown eating & drinking options too. While TA has restaurant rankings reviews, I don't know anyone that uses it as their "go to" restaurant website.
If you want to check out more about eating options, I suggest Urbanspoon (it's my site of choice and Indy definitely has the critical mass necessary for a good crowd sourcing site), there is also Yelp (which some swear by, but I only use if Urbanspoon is weak in an area), Chowhound and others. Here's a link to the Urbanspoon Indy page:
You can then filter by neighborhood (use "Wholesale District" for central downtown restaurants), budget, cuisines, etc.
3. As for "manly" things to do, a few off the top of my head. I did find a few climbing walls in Indy via Google (since you mentioned this), there is the Speedway Museum, some (small) "war" museums downtown, the Zip Line that was a hit during the Super Bowl "relocated" to Eagle Creek Park (not sure if they'll be open), NCAA Hall of Fame, and of course Basketball! You might check to see if the Pacers or Butler (which would be my preference) are playing at home that weekend. I think a a game at Hinkle Fieldhouse would be one of the top "only in Indy" things on my list.
4. Special Events. Don't have enough time to do any research on this, but you might check the Indiana State Museum and/or Eitlejorg (sp?) to see if they have a special exhibit that might interest you/him. I do a lot of my "music" and other event research via Nuvo (Indy's weekly alt-newspaper) website. Also on a music and general nightlife (restaurant, bars, etc.), there is Mass Ave which is (generally) walkable from downtown and Broadripple (which isn't). I know there are some other web resources I use for special events (maybe the CVB?), but don't have enough time to link them right now. I'll try to next post.
That's all I've got time for now. Hope it helps,