T cell immune responses begin within organized lymphoid tissues. The pace, topology, and outcomes of the cellular interactions that underlie these responses have, so far, been inferred from static imaging of sectioned tissue or from studies of cultured cells. Here we report dynamic visualization of antigen-specific T cells interacting with dendritic cells within intact explanted lymph nodes. We observed immunological synapse formation and prolonged interactions between these two cell types, followed by the activation, dissociation, and rapid migration of T cells away from the antigenic stimulus. This high-resolution spatiotemporal analysis provides insight into the nature of cell interactions critical to early immune responses within lymphoid structures.